Countless torrent files spanning an ever-growing spectrum of content make it increasingly difficult for people using other bittorrent apps to cut through the noise find new content that they’ll enjoy and be informed by. Enter Vuze™ 4.8 and Swarm Discoveries, a first for any bittorrent client. Using an automated process to look at the relationships between torrents in your library and those of other users, Swarm Discoveries makes recommendations on other content that you might enjoy and be informed by. It works by looking at the relationship between torrents in the DHT and automatically applies statistical analysis to provide content recommendations. Subsequently, Vuze also now has Swarm Search™, which supplies results based on the various data sets created by Swarm Discoveries. A full explanation can be found on our wiki page, Swarm Discoveries.
- Automatic detection and full support for 64-bit operating systems (from idea Run in 64 Bit Mode)
- Prevent computer sleep has been extended to OSX and now encompasses both preventing sleep while streaming (from idea Disable Sleep Mode when Streaming Media to Devices) and video transcoding
- Prioritization and auto-open for descriptive files in torrents such as .nfo, .txt and .rar files (from idea Auto nfo Reader)
- Manipulation of tracker lists in a textual format instead of via the GUI widget (from this idea)
We hope you enjoy all the new features, and please let us know what you think or if you run into any issues: http://forum.vuze.com
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* You agree that you have no ownership interest in any ideas (or inventions), Vuze can use them freely without otherwise compensating you or requiring other formal assignments or licenses from you, and that the ideas do not infringe upon or suggest the infringement upon the rights or interests of any other person or entity.
TV Everywhere is like oil companies saying “Oh you can have all the electric cars you want, as long as you still spend $250/month on gas.”
Last week, Vuze was asked to participate in an FCC workshop focused on Internet TV and its implications for national broadband policy. The workshop was organized by Jon Peha, the FCC’s Chief Technologist, and aimed to inform the FCC as it charts the course on the National Broadband Plan. It was great to be back at the FCC again, after our very productive conversation last year surrounding the Comcast throttling issue.
A few themes emerged from the workshop that I found particularly compelling.
First, within the broadband video ecosystem, we discussed how troubling it is that both the delivery system and the content are dominated by very large incumbents that prefer to operate without meaningful competition. If you think about it, the “TV Everywhere” concept under development by the cable operators is an attempt to ensure that consumers will still pay their TV cable bill, even if they don’t need it anymore. It’s like oil companies saying “Oh you can have all the electric cars you want, as long as you still spend $250/month on gas.”
Second, and very related, online video content should be separate from the network pipes it rides on. There is an inherent conflict of interest in network providers (cable companies / ISPs) providing content services, especially when they’re also arguing that they should be allowed to prioritize some content types over others.
And third, we continued to be your advocate in arguing for the ability to move your content around and watch it anywhere, anytime you want (PC, Mac, Mobile, TV), unencumbered by format incompatibilities and DRM handcuffs. Let’s face it, you already have this benefit through DVDs and MP3s. Why should the broadband video experience be any different?
At the end of the day, as an entrepreneur, I find it really bothering that cable companies are using their two-pronged monopoly (on TV content access and internet access) to arm-twist their way into broadband video, and trying to prevent innovative, more consumer-friendly concepts to emerge. Think about what e-commerce would be today if it had been left to WalMart to invent, instead of Amazon or Ebay…
“I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the Internet. Period.”
– Michael Lynton, CEO Sony Pictures Entertainment
Over the weekend, I caught up on the news and came across this quote from the CEO of Sony Pictures. It reminded me of an old quote from a Hollywood leader in a bygone era:
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
- Harry Warner, President of Warner Brothers (1927)
After getting over my initial disbelief and amusement, I came to realize that it’s tempting to be pessimistic about this new medium. Media’s early forays onto the Internet showed great promise on the dream of delivering content to consumers anytime and anywhere. To date, however, we’ve only delivered on part of the promise. We’ve built the technologies for distributing media over the Internet, but the industry has only begun to solve the business model side of how we productively monetize this distribution.
As a result, Sony and others find themselves navigating through a formidable set of challenges:
- The Internet has enabled widespread piracy
- The economics of video on demand haven’t emerged (yet) as a viable replacement for the industry’s DVD business
- The music industry’s business model has been disrupted by the “unbundling” of songs (good for users, challenging for the industry)
- Segments of the younger generation are watching less and less TV, and spending more and more time online and playing video games.
Like every other distribution platform before it (radio, TV, VHS, e-commerce), online media distribution is being adopted by users much faster than by content owners and advertisers, thereby leading to a short-term net destruction in value.
So, if you’re a studio executive, how do you begin to navigate these turbulent waters? One thing is for sure — ignoring the sea change going on around us is not an option. Cowering in fear at the thought of translating “analog dollars into digital dimes” will have only one effect — converting these dimes into pennies. Rather, we believe content owners ought to adopt the burning platform paradigm. Recognize that content distribution will be heavily disrupted anyway, and that the worst strategy is to move too slowly. Instead, experiment like your business is at stake:
- Understand the need to re-think and evolve Hollywood’s traditional licensing windows (ad-supported versus purchase or rental)
- Understand the user experience that end consumers desire (HD versus SD, streaming versus download, PC viewing versus devices)
- Evaluate the real trade-offs that DRM introduces
- Understand WHY people are free-riding content today, since these same people also spend more money than the average Internet users on non-digital platforms (more on this later).
Technological disruption can be brutal and uncomfortable for a CEO in the media industry navigating turbulent waters. However, nothing good can emerge from a focus on short-term pain rather than long-term gain. The key is to focus on what’s important to the end consumer, and what this consumer would be willing to pay for what’s important to them.
Consumers are changing. Let’s change with them, and identify business models that embrace this change.
None of us want to end up with a quote like this to our name:
“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it to be an impossibility…a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.”
- Lee DeForest, a pioneer in the development of radio (1926)
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