Sunday, January 28, 2007

Glimpse of the future of content distribution

I've recently been testing a few new programs, specifically, Vienna, Xcast, Zudeo (which, since the download was labelled Azureus 3.0, I assume to be the successor to the latter) and Democracy.

I noticed that they fall along an interesting continuum, where Vienna is a fairly traditional, although nicely executed, newsreader, Xcast is more of a content manager (1), and Democracy - while managing podcasts, screencasts, and locally downloaded video (but not very well) - is really a content distribution tool. Finally, Zudeo makes no shame of its content distribution nature, and features both official and independent films and trailers, rated and ranked by viewers.

(1) Xcast is, and the author sort-of-admits this, somewhat similar to iTunes in its usage, and integrates with it very nicely, really just adding a few nice features to better manage your subscribed casts, and simultaneously manage ordinary RSS without "enclosures" (but I prefer NetNewsWire for this, the only shareware app for OS X so far that I have actually purchased). The quotation marks here indicate that I feel the word is misused in so far as the user is not interested in the cage, but in the animal, and imho it should really be called "inclusion" if anything, c.f. "encased in amber".

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