February 21, 2006

democracy: roll your own tv

The Participatory Culture Foundation just launched the Windows version of their internet video player (formerly called DTV) today, and renamed their platform Democracy, which includes tools for playing, broadcasting, and sharing net videos. Like FireANT, which also recently had a big upgrade, Democracy Player makes it pretty easy to subscribe to feeds and browse through videos you’ve downloaded. What’s great about the Democracy solution is that it’s very easy to create new channels for other people to watch. You can use their Video Bomb to make your own channel with links to videos anywhere - essentially allowing anyone to curate a found video blog like Rocketboom’s (great and fun) Apollo Pony, or collect all of their own videos in one place, like someone at the PCF nicely did for the brilliant ladies of The Variety Shac. You can also use Broadcast Machine to host and create your own video blog or channel, complete with torrent creation to ease the bandwidth on your server.

The whole platform’s so well-thought out and easy to use that it’s a near miracle that this is an open source project by a non-profit foundation, considering the enormous amounts of money and attention lately focusing on this space, and on sites like YouTube and Google Video, and the Video Bomb front page already stands up very well against those sites in terms of sheer time wasting value (personally, I already prefer it).

It’ll be interesting to read what people say about this over the next week or so; until then, it’s definitely worth checking out on your own.