Scripting News for 12/27/2007

New product release today 

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…

It’s with much anticipation that I say this.

I have a new product that may be familiar to those of you who used Radio 8, and in other ways may be completely new.

The idea is simple.

There’s a convergence between big screen high-definition televisions, and photography as an Internet based activity.

The purpose of this product is to smooth that convergence, to make it easy to set up a connection between the Internet and your television. To allow photography to come into your living room in new, powerful and easy ways.

Think of it as the networked living room and you’ll understand the vision.

Some of the work I’ve done is technical, some is user interface, and some is working with media organizations to try to create a comfort level, or at least a spirit of Let’s Give This A Try.

In the latter case, it’s much like working with the NY Times to get their news headlines and summaries to flow through Radio’s RSS aggregator in 2002. Only this time we’re working with photographs, and we think, the best news photographers in the world. And the pictures are beautifully high-def, they look really great when displayed on LCD and plasma screens. I use it with my 52-inch Samsung and 46-inch Sony. Of course what looks great on a wall, also looks great on a 15-inch Macbook or 24-inch iMac.πŸ™‚

And while we connect those pros with your TV, it’s equally important that we connect your friends and families too. One of the early testers found the pictures that Doc Searls uploads to Flickr a great revelation. Me too. That’s because Doc is not only a great photographer, he’s also a great story-teller. I find that I can follow the lives of far more friends visually than I can through text messages (which I love to do too!).

Viewing great photos on bigscreen TVs, desktops and laptops — that’s one focus, but not the only one.

I wanted to provide a complete two-way tool for people who love Flickr, as I do.

Why Flickr? Well, they’ve got this great thing called an API. It makes it possible for people like me to make software that runs on a desktop computer that does things like automatically backing up your new photos every night, and providing a drop-folder on your desktop for quick uploads. (It understands tags too, it’s incredibly simple.)

We also made it easy to post pictures you like to Twitter. Why Twitter? It’s that API thing again. They made it easy for us to love them. I wish more network service developers understood how powerful this outstretched hand is.

But that’s not all!

Not by a long shot.

The reason all this will be so familiar to Radio 8 users is that it builds on the same engine, the one that was released as open source in 2004. So I’ve been working on other tools to drop into this base platform and once we have a good-sized base of people using it for “really simple photos” on the desktop, there will be other tools. And because it’s an open platform, other developers can do the same. Not saying they will, but they can.πŸ™‚

Anyway, I’m in the last stages, preparing the download site, and a FAQ, and tweaking the installer.

One caveat, the first beta release is Mac only. That’s because I’m doing all my work on the Mac, and this is a one-man show. Later we will work it out for Windows too, and with a bit more work and a bit more luck, for Linux.

It should be ready before the sun goes down today.πŸ™‚

Phil Windley: “The XBR4 already has a DVI input, so hooking up ought to be a breeze and getting good pictures on the thing would be wonderful.”

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