I am generally totally unimpressed by the state of the art of digital Media Centres at present.
To me, the only creative thing they do is add a streamlined interface to more traditional media players like WMP , iTunes, and TV tuner viewers.
They dont appear to be really embracing technology to transform the way media is gathered, diseminated and viewed. We have been able to download video for quite some time. We have had Youtube and the like for quite some time. We have had TV tuners for quite some time. All the media centres seem to do is give us the ability to use a remote to do these things, but dont really do anything creative when it comes to content.
I think an important concept that Media Centre designers need to grasp is Cloud Computing.
I would like the see the following things before I get impressed by a media centre:
- Virtualise media storage:
Remove the barriers of having files stored in a particular place. This is already possible with home networks, and with better and cheaper broadband should be possible nationally if not globally. Make it possible to store your content anywhere. NASs, Media Centres, Gaming Consoles, Wifi MP3 players, Servers, PCs.
Make all of that available through any device with the same look and feel as if it was located on the device they are using to access it.
- Use a universal DRM strategy
Instead of following a "you own the licence to hold a copy of this and play that copy" model, choose a "you have a right to play/watch this item not matter where it is stored" model. This would be particularly useful to turn the pirating market around. Leave the ability intact for people to distribute copyrighted files, but make it possible to detect those files, and instead of disabling access, make it possible to acquire the rights to play that file, with the option to download a higher quality version if applicable.
- Develop an API to allow 3rd party content to be advertised without the need for special plugins or propreitary web portals (Stern look at tvnzondemand!)
Other related posts:
Android Froyo/2.2 Bug
Basic Workaround for lack of Steam download scheduler
Google Chrome Imgur Extension
Comment by tonyhughes, on 5-Jun-2008 13:48
"I" dont want to give "you" the ability to store large amounts of copyrighted information on "my" in-the-cloud system, lest "they" sue "me".
Its not just DRM that needs attention, its the 'rights' in copyright that need to be addressed too.
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