YouTube and the other video sites out there making it extremely easy for you, me and your grandfather to publish videos on the internet are all cool, but the video quality is absolutely crap. For many of the videos that doesn’t matter much. You still get the message.
But sometimes you want better quality. You want to download the clip and play it locally on your computer. And you want this process to be easy.
Meet the Democracy Player from the Participatory Culture Foundation. It is an open soucre player and subscription engine. You add the video feeds you want and the Democracy Player downloads and manages the files. Just keep the player running in the background and you have interesting content available at all times. The Democracy Player even comes with a built in bittorrent client so it can download files from sites that have decided to use that type of distribution.
The Democracy Player is free, multi platform and open source. Works on Windows, Mac and Linux.
I have been following this project for quite some time and have tried the different beta versions of the player that they have made available. Recently they released version 0.9 and this is the first version that I can recommend everybody to download and start using.
It is easy to understand, has a nice channel guide and plays most video codecs. The only problem is that you will be overwhelmed with the amount of content. Huge amounts of complete crap and some pretty high quality stuff. Play around with the channel guide and you will find something you like.
You find geek classics like Diggnation, Rocketboom and Tiki Bar. You find Olde English Sketch Comedy, French Maid TV and MariposaHD. The last one in a no-so-high-definition but iPod friendly version.
But what’s the brand new channel? Well, the good people at the Participatory Culture Foundation has made a video publishing tool as well. Something like what WordPress does for blog publishing and Gallery does for image publishing. It’s called Broadcast Machine and is incredibly easy to use.
So, of course I have to try this out and give you the eirikso.com video channel. This is an experiment. I have started out by giving you some of the videos you already have seen here at eirikso.com in crappy YouTube quality. Now in much better quality for you to download. It would be very nice if you install the democracy player and try it out.
I would like to know
- If the files that I have published through bittorrent works? (Touch Screen and Magnetic Fluid Art Installation)
- If the file that is widows media is possible to play in the Democracy Player on Macintosh and Linux? (Four Seasons in Norway)
- If the MPEG4 codec that was used for the last three videos plays OK and is a good idea as the standard format?
I will keep experimenting with this based on feedback from my readers. I have a theory that the type of videos that I have been publishing on the site here through YouTube and GoogleVideo is nice as illustrations to my articles and not so interesting as a full download. Something tells me that the content you want in the Democracy Player should be more complete and tell a story alone?
The Democracy Player is indeed interesting for bloggers and private publishers, but could also be interesting for professional media corporations.
Throw some comments here or contact me.