Lynne d Johnson



« Previous Entry | Main Diary | Next Entry »

04.17.08 12:27 AM

Odeo: Back in Beta


About a 1/2 hour, or hour ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to check out Odeo in beta. Since I was already an original Odea user, all I had to do was request to be notified when beta was ready. Well it is, and here's what's happening over there.

It's certainly far removed from the Odea that once was Evan Williams' Odeo:

"Odeo aims to enable this new distribution channel and medium by creating the best one-source solution for finding, subscribing to, and publishing audio content."

Today's Odeo is about finding millions of audio and video choices -- so it's a still a distribution channel of sorts, but also a little bit like a super-powered multimedia search engine. I see the ability to subscribe and create playlists, but my beloved Odeo studio is missing. Yet the blog promises it will be a component of the new site:

"Many beta testers of the new site have asked "where's the Studio?". For the near term, the Studio will exist as a micro site as it is now while our longer term plan is to embed the Studio functions directly into the new site with specific customizations for producers vs. viewers."

In March, ReadWriteWeb reported that Blogdigger had been acquired by Odeo's parent company, SonicMountain, and while Blogdigger will remain a site, its technology will be integrated into Odeo expanding search and discovery to digital media overall, and not just podcasts. Wonder if studio will be rebuilt to also include the recording of video then?

Kristen Nicole, over at Mashable, also reported earlier this month a partnership with Matchmine, for both Blogdigger and Odeo. The service enables recommendations, that will enhance the search and discovery options.

There are about 56 episodes of the Onion New Network (video) there as a subscription channel, as well as BeetTV, BoingBoingTV, and a cornucopia of other podcast and video shows.

Question remains though, do we need another digital media distribution service? I suppose it doesn't hurt, but as the swamp gets more crowded, somebody is sure to drown. Right now, I can make one video, stream it live on kyte or QIK, and then post it on YouTube, Flickr (the 90-second version), Vimeo, Viddler, Seesmic (where you can live stream, upload, or post from a social network), and a host of other services. Does one video need to be distributed in this many places? If the final season of The Wire debuted on HBO and BET at the same time, would it matter to you where you watched it? Would your choice be determined by quality, such as on HBO you can see it in HD, while on BET you can't? Or how about the advertising that surrounds it, would you prefer one advertising experience over another? Well, truth is those questions or ideas matter only a little with online video.

In the online video arena, it's becoming more and more about the experience you can have. Can you submit video responses to another video? Is uploading easy? Is your phone or camera compatible or will you have to encode your video (again is uploading easy)? What is the quality of the video playback? What about the video player itself, is it simple? Can you theme it? Does it feature sharing tools?

Back to Odeo beta, I just watched The Wire (Season 5) - Out of Character with Domenick Lombardozzi. It was a QuickTime movie that played in the standard QuickTime player. Though I was watching it on Odeo, it was streaming from the HBO site. So far, there's nothing exemplary about the experience, but I can imagine that once the recommendation engine kicks in, I would be offered a different experience altogether.


I'm not writing the service off just yet, it is still in beta after all. With that, is the understanding that everything that's meant to function, doesn't yet function. Search is off and running though. A search for Britney Spears returned 449 episodes (podcast and video) that was somehow related to Britney Spears.

Although I subscribed to a video series, another feature that I'd want from the old site, is the ability to port my Odeo subscriptions over through my iTunes subscriptions. That way I'm sure I can get stuff onto my iPod or even another device. While I know most people watch video at work, there's still enough of us who use devices to watch online video. For this reason, considerations for how subscriptions get from Odeo to your portable media device will be important.

posted by lynne | |


TrackBack URL for this entry:


This weblog is powered by Movable Type 3.3 and licensed under a Creative Commons License.