Trends in mobile TV (my presentation at Rose d’Or in Lucerne)

I did a presentation at Rose d’Or (also know as the Golden Rose) in Lucerne at tuesday. “Trends in mobile TV”, at Grand Casino, Casineum 7. May from 13.00-15.00.

The Rose d’Or (or Golden Rose) is a highly prestigious television award, given annually since 1961 at the Festival Rose d’Or in spring each year. Since 2004, the festival has been held in Lucerne, Switzerland. Before the festival was held in Montreux, Switzerland, thus the Golden Rose of Montreux.

(from Wikipedia entry on Rose d’Or)

The festival also has seminars and presentations on different subjects. This year monday is internet day, tuesday mobile day, and wednesday covers “How to create and produce world class entertainment televison?” and “Scripted formats: A new era”.

Rose d'Or

My presentation

I will also post from other interesting presentations at Rose d’Or. Come back here for updates later this week.

Feel free to contact me in Lucerne. I’ve made a Rose d’Or group at Facebook. And guess what: No one else has joined. Heh. Now how could that be? TV-people don’t use social sites like Facebook? ;-)

Pictures

Christian Lorenz Scheurer

I’ve put up pictures of the other speakers at Flickr. I will post about their actual presentations too, as soon as I have typed everything and sorted my pictures. Some very interesting days.

NRKbeta is on the air

If you’re Norwegian, head over to NRKbeta to see posts about gadgets and techonolgy. NRKbeta is NRK’s (NRK at Wikipedia) new technology site. Our tagline: “NRKs sandkasse for teknologi, duppeditter, nye medier og alt annet som er viktig i livet.”

In English, that would be something like “NRK’s new “sandbox” for all technology, gadgets, new media and other important things in life.” Have a look or subscribe to the NRKbeta feed.

I’m the daily editor, so if it sucks, I’m the one to blame. Feel free to tell me if it does (also if it doesn’t I might add…) We’ve just started so expect things to speed up the next weeks, it’s a little slow and thin at the moment. But hey, it’s a beta!

OmniFocus video is out

Omnigroup just posted a new video showing the main features of the forthcoming OmniFocus application. And it looks like they are doing almost everything right.

The two things I like the most:

Focus
Let’s you focus on a special project or folder of projects. Hides everything else you have entered in the app, so you cab concentrate on the task in front of you. Like a zoom lens on a camera. Very cool feature.

Project folders
You’ll be able to make folders of projects, grouping together projects. Put all your “home” projects in one folder, “work” in another, “you” in a third etc. It lets you organize your projects much better than just a long list of projects. It also helps you see the bigger picture. A silly example: Your “work” folder has 800 projects and your “home” and “you” folders 4…

Combine these two features, and you have a very strong tool to help you do what’s mos important right now. I have two major areas of responsibility at work now, and with the project folders and focus, I can hide the other half while I’m working on one of them.

Get me the beta, and I’ll start using this from day 1.

Joost

The latest beta of Joost is out, version 0.9.

Joost 1

Screenshot: Joost video – Ministry of Sound music videos

The Joost FAQ says…

TV, the way you like it…

…Hundreds of shows from your favourite channels
…Full-screen, high-quality pictures and sound
…No fixed schedules – watch what you like, when you like, as often as you want

Well. Not yet, at least. I don’t think the quality is good enough yet, and the content are much like the channels you put at 30-99 on your TV remote. In other words: Not your favourites. Yet.

MTV is in with some content, so is some European broadcasters like DR (Danish Television). Ministry of Sound is a new channel this time, with the right content for young males (Let me guess: Football and girls will rate high on the Joost popular lists the next weeks…)

Joost 2

Screenshot: Joost video – Italy vs. Norway

I guess the big content producers are waiting too se how this goes. But even if I think there’s lots of room for improvement, Joost is going to be huge. When enough people join, the big names will too. The quality will go up, both for content and technical quality. Broadcasters and content makers should pay attention now, get their feet wet and try this out from the start.

Joost™

If you want an invite, check out my little competition. Have fun, and see you on Joost.

Nike + iPod mac app

Graham is thinking about making a Nike + iPod application for OS X. Here are some of my initial thoughts:

  • Graphs that show your progress over time, either with the same route, or how far you manage to run in (example) 60 minutes.
  • Map integration. Let me put my runs on a map like on Nike+
  • Route playlist planning. Don’t know if that would be useful, but I thought it would be cool if I could put up a map for my run, grab data from previous runs of the same route, mark different sections of the run with a marker (like part 1, part 2 etc), and then drag in songs from iTunes to fit the different parts. Like power songs in the hills, slower stuff when it’s flat etc.
  • Some way to integrate the running with iCal. Bitch me if I’m lazy!

If you have any ideas, put them here or in the thread at Flickr. Ditto if you have any good suggestion for other Mac software that uses the data the Nike + iPod collects.

Where do we eat?

How about where your friends eat? You could ask them, make lots of notes, or just sign up to TrustedPlaces. A new web service where you recommend, tag and rate restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars.

TrustedPlaces screenshot

Yoo get a Google map showing the location (and you can zoom out on the map to see other trusted places nearby). There’s a “People who liked this also liked…” function. You can add pictures and tags, put up your own review or send an invitation to friend to go to the restaurant with you.

It all works very nicely. The design is clean and simple, and speed is ok (I hope it scales with more users!)

The site mostly UK yet, but you can add other cities and even countries easily. One thing that doesn’t work outside UK, is the map function. You can enter the address of the restaurant, but TrustedPlaces only shows a UK Google map. I talked to Sue, one of the people behind TrustedPlaces about this:

…although the map function isn’t working correctly as yet for some locations outside the UK, people can still join up and load reviews and we will ensure that they are mapped correctly in the very near future.

Check out new features and other tidbits at the TrustedPlaces blog. One of the things you can read about is how TrustedPlaces members have started bumping into each other in bars.

If you know me, I’m Oyvind at TrustedPlaces. Feel free to invite me as your friend!

When the nice meal is finished, you’ve visited the trendy bar recommended, and you come back to hotel, do remember to hide a secret in the hotel room (yes, you can wait until the next day).

Multitouch will revolutionize your computer

Giles Turnbull at O’Reilly has a short update om Jeff Han, who makes the amazing multitouch interface. Jeff has founded the Perceptivepixel company. The website is just a front page (with lamp graphics in multitouch) and not much else.

O’Reilly also has this video that shows how much cooler multitouch has become in just a year. Go back to my original multitouch post and have a look at the video there. Now, Multitouch is a whole wall.

(Click through too se the video)

Continue reading Multitouch will revolutionize your computer

DRM is a stupid idea

While Bill Gates is busy making a total fool of himself, Steve Jobs has been thinking about music and DRM. In a (quite unusual) post on Apple.com, named “Thoughts on music“, he shares his thoughts on DRM and the music industry.

Like the fact that 90% of all music sold is infact without DRM. It’s called CDs.

And that there are three options for Apple when it comes to DRM: Continue as today (with DRM in iTunes), license FairPlay (not an option, says Jobs) or third: Get rid of the whole DRM thing:

Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.

Impressive. It will be very interesting to see if any music industry leaders react to this. Do they even put their thoughts online like this? Also interesting to see Steve Jobs doing it. It has been a rather strict Apple policy to not “blog”.

Note to Eirik: Steve is on your side. ;-)

Update: Gruber

And as always, John Gruber has an excellent analysis:

In other words, the music industry wants a magical DRM format that gives them — not Apple, not Microsoft — complete control over all digital music. And a unicorn and a rainbow.

iPhone, my new book shelf?

1) The new Apple iPhone has a 160 ppi screen, when you flip it 90 degrees, the screen flips too, it can show pdfs… And you have it with you all the time…

2) The iTunes store has sold two billion tracks or so, has a system that works, and has their frontend (iTunes) installed on the majority of computers sold the last couple of years…

Add these together, and you have the perfect portable book reader. Here’s what Booksquare thinks:

We’ve noted in posts past that that an unheralded feature of the iTunes store is the ability to serve up PDF files. Go back and read that sentence again because one key element of the iPhone is its tight integration with iTunes (in retrospect, woefully misnamed). See, if you can browse the web and use iTunes, you can, theoretically, download PDF files. Not a heralded feature, but we have faith in Steve Jobs and his design team.

In other words, you can read lengthy texts. Articles. Short stories. Novellas. Books. Compendiums. On your cell phone/miniature computer/portable media player/killer device.

Setting aside the comfort issues, the iPhone could either kill the nascent e-reader business or take it to new levels. We’ve been saying just about forever that the problem with dedicated e-reader is the fact that the consumer isn’t seeking a device that does only one thing. With its “smart” orientation features, the iPhone could usher in the mass market e-book era.

E-reader to new levels

I have bought quite a few books for my (now retired) Palm Pilot. eReader.com has over 17 000 titles, but reading books on the sharp, but way too small screen on my Sony-Ericsson K800i doesn’t cut it. The Palm had a bigger screen. A lousy screen, but a bigger.

The books are DRM’ed, which of course is a nuisance. But I can live with it. If i WANT to, I get the texts out of the books, but I seldom do.

Tie text and audio together = killer app

Booksquare’s idea is brilliant. If I could buy books for the iPhone in the iTunes store, I would. What if Apple made an app for the iPhone that let you have the same book in both text and audio together? They already sell thousands of audiobooks in iTunes, and if I – for a slightly higher price – could get both audio and text at the same time, that would be a killer. The text could follow the audio when I listen to it, and if I read the text, and later were in my car, the audio version would know where I left reading the text. Let me have a way to set bookmarks with my voice when I listen to the audio version, and let people copy smaller passages and send them by e-mail or by bluetooth. That will help spread the word, and good books will sell more.

The next thing Apple should do with Google: Get all those Google-scanned books into the iTunes store. Let me use Spotlight to search all my books, and give me the most amazing e-reader ever made.

Help me decide

Recently I came over two posts on Flickr, where people asked for advice on what to do. First it was Jason Kottke that wanted an opinion on his new glasses. (original post on Flickr here).

Helpmedecide Jason's glasses

Then Matt Mullenweg wanted some advice on which dress his girlfriend should wear in an upcoming wedding:

Helpmedecide dresses

(original Flickr posts here and here.) And the winner was the dress on the left. The jury is still out on Matt’s tie…

This is the new web: Communicating with others, and letting you decide. Just as Time Magazine have figured out too too:

In 2006, the World Wide Web became a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter.

The “help me decide” tag

What if we tag all posts like this “helpmedecide” – in one word and no spaces? Tag your posts for Technorati (tag: helpmedecide), your bookmarks for Del.icio.us (tag: helpmedecide) and your pictures for Flickr (tag: helpmedecide) (and similar services).

I’ve created a Flickr group for this. So if you want the world to help you decide, just take pictures of the different choices you have, and make a new thread in the Flickr group. Buying a house? A car? A dress? Can’t decide on the christmas presents? We’ll help you decide!

And feel free to post links to posts and pics in the comments. I’ll promise to vote!

Apple home server

Tom Rowley says the same thing I said some months ago: We need an Xserve home edition (only that he says it about a zillion times better):

Automatic syncing of household digital content. Any device on the network that buys a song, TV show, or movie from the iTS will inform the server of its purchase; a specialized iTunes iServ app will make a copy of all content purchased on authorized household systems. This copy will serve as both an archive, as well as a source for streaming or copying the file to other authorized devices.

Exactly. I said:

It is used as a central for all media of the different Macs in the house. It stores backups of all pics in iPhoto, all music in iTunes and everybodys documents in general. When someone enters new music on their Mac, it’s sent to the family Xserve so others can use it, both in iTunes and on their iPods.

Just this evening I have been IMing Eirik for a long time about solutions for sharing thousands of pictures between several computers. This is a quite common scenario in modern families. You have parents and kids who all have photos that belong to several groups:

  • The ones all in the family would like to have on their Macs all the time, both on portable and not portable machines.
  • The ones that you just want to keep for yourself.
  • The ones that you want to share with just one other.

And so on.

As far as I know, there are no solutions that does this. Add backup that works flawlessly and syncing between machines, and you have a huge project that I really hope half of Cupertino is working on (the other half, please keep working on FCP 6 please). Add music, video and recorded tv, and you need a very clever system to keep this clean and simple.

What features would you like to see in the Xserve Home? Or iServ?

Wikipedia entries for GPS

Today I saw this: Geocoordinates from Wikipedia for Google Earth. It has coordinates for Google Earth for 52 175 English Wikipedia entries. So when you tarvel around in Google Earth, you get lots of clickable entries from Wikipedia. Very useful!

Which reminded me of something I thought about this summer while driving around Norway with my family. Our TomTom ONE told us exactly where to go at all times, with great precision. My partner is an excellent map reader, but with the GPS onboard she could enjoy the scenery and the summer.

Every time we approached a turn, the GPS told us which way to go.

Now, what if it could tell us about the places we approched? What if it worked like this: For every geographical place in Wikipedia, there was a condensed text-version, that took – let’s say 30 seconds to read. When you’re planning a route, your GPS searches Wikipedia for entries that are along the route, and downloads these condensed versions to the unit. Either if connected to a computer before going, or via a mobile phone when driving. A text-to-speech unit in the GPS unit then reads up these texts, like if a guide was sitting there next to you. Or, if bandwidth weren’t an issue, Wikipedia hosts 30-second mp3s with this information.

Would this be possible? Of course. Maybe not today, or next month. But as GPS-units get better processors and if Wikipedia adds the right tags, it would be very easy to do.

It’s epidemic – soon your tv will have a zillion channels

52 channels and nothing on? Soon you’ll have millions of channels and the traditional tv-channels will be in BIG trouble. I totally agree with what Eirik writes today:

When the internet really starts to shift the flow of money in the media industry we are up for some groundbreaking change…

I’m not sure that the flow of money needs to change before the groundbreaking change. Two things have happened the last days that gives a hint of the change to come:

Evidence #1: iTV

Apple does something very un-Apple: Talking about a product before you can actually buy it. The name will change, but it is a box that takes videos and music from your computer and plays them on your tv screen (and plays the sound on your tv or stereo). MacWorld explains:

Enter the iTV, which connects to your television and stereo and provides the remote-control-driven interface of Front Row without the keyboard-and-mouse issues of a full-fledged computer. Once it’s hooked up, the iTV connects to the network in your house and displays, right on your TV, a menu of options, all geared toward letting you play back digital content—stored on a computer in your house or somewhere out on the Internet—while sitting in your living room. That content includes movies, TV shows, and music downloaded from the iTunes store; other audio and video content you’ve loaded into iTunes; movie trailers from Apple.com; and perhaps other kinds of stuff that Apple hasn’t talked about yet.

So the videos don’t have to be stored on your computer. They can be streams from websites. And this is where your head is supposed to go “bing!!!”. This means that you’ll have thousands, maybe millions of channels available from day one. In no time there will be channels for every single interest, hobby, subject or event imaginable. The adult industry will of course be running ahead of all the others, but then you’ll have video streams with knitting, kittens, collecting stones, hybrid cars, wool socks and klingon language classes. And as always when the revolution comes: The ones who starts first will get the best seats. So which traditional tv-companies will get this first? And deliver their quality content via the web? Formatted for this kind of “television”? And compete? I’m not sure if they will understand it at all in the beginning. They’ll just notice that their younger audience is disappearing.

tv - by horrortaxi
(TV by Horrortaxi)

There are reports that Apple and Google already are negotiating about putting Google Video on the iTV from day one. Which means that when you turn on the iTV in your living room, you’ll have everything on Google Video available on your tv-screen with a remote. Think about it.
Continue reading It’s epidemic – soon your tv will have a zillion channels

Why is gaming important?

Do you play games on your computer or a game console? Why?

And if you do, do you think it’s important that “normal” media – meaning radio, tv, newspapers and magazines – covers gaming? Why?

Playing Xbox 360

What are your reasons for playing games? And what reasons are there for media to cover caming?

Use the comments below!

RSS feeds in Leopard Address Book?

When Tiger came out, I wrote that I wanted RSS feeds in the OS X Address Book:

Lots of my friends and contacts use sites sites like Flickr, Del.icio.us or LiveJournal. They have blogs, Amazon wishlists, and Upcoming pages. All this is possible to enter in the Addressbook app in Mac OS X 10.4. As of this version (or was it 10.3?), you can assign as many webpages to a user as you like.

Now, checking all my friends and contacts blogs, new pictures, fresh bookmarks etc. takes time. And what better are computers for, than doing the boring stuff that you don’t want to do yourself? What I would like is to add a RSS button to all of these links.

rss-in-address-book2.jpg

Today HardMac has posted lots of screenshots from the coming 10.5 Leopard. On page 4 you can read this:

Leopard integrates a RSS engine which can be utilised by every application (dedicated API). Thus mail has also become an RSS reader.

This is interesting. What is stopping Apple from adding RSS inside the Address Book too? Have a look at it and tell me what you think. I would love to have this functionality. Since I wrote the original article it seems like everyone has got a blog, a Flickr account, a photocast, podcast or videocast. Having all this info tied to persons makes sense to me. If Apple doesn’t make this, maybe someone else could make it? As a plugin for the Address Book?