Anyone can be a broadcaster

With Participatory Culture Foundation‘s open-source Broadcast Machine, anyone can become a broadcaster. The free web-based software plugs into pretty much any website, and allows easy publishing of video clips online. Each website can have multiple “channels”, and each produces an RSS feed, which allows for easy syndication between different websites, and also allows for the video equivalent of “podcasting” (“vidcasting”?), meaning that you can subscribe to websites and have new material downloaded automatically. Perhaps best of all, it uses bittorrent technology to soften the blow of lots of people trying to access popular files.
With the bittorrent protocol, the distribution load is shared between the original source and all the people currently downloading. This basically means that the distribution potentially becomes more efficient as the files become more popular. The net result is that even websites on a low budget can start putting movies on the net. For more technical details on the bittorrent protocol, take a look at this website.
At Surreal Road, we’re putting our money where our mouth is, so to speak. We now offer all our videos using the Broadcast Machine software, which you can see in action on the main Surreal Road website

…the real purpose of the software is to be the perfect publishing tool for our video player that will be released in August– Broadcast Machine creates channels that, when viewed in the player, give people a TV-like viewing experience.

PCF’s forthcoming open-source “Desktop TV” product aims to provide a player that runs on a PC or Mac to interface directly with websites that syndicate videos like those created by Broadcast Machine. A beta version for Apple computers is already available, with a Windows version to follow. Stay tuned for more on that.

Posted: August 13th, 2005
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