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Tuning into MediaTuner

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The ink on the Feed Demon, Newsgator deal is not even dry and I am already onto the next big thing – MediaTuner, a new RSS reader, which combines RSS feeds with torrents, live video streams, podcasts and live audio streams and tons of other most commonly consumer elements of digital lifestyle. Photos, served up fresh and nice. Why, you can even play flash based games as well. (Marc will be so proud, for he has been saying this forever…. and I mean forever!)

If you were looking for an easy to use digital lifestyle/media aggregator that works inside of pretty much any browser (as long as there is Flash), then MediaTuner is not going to disappoint you. (Mind you my experience on a Firefox on a Mac was sub-optimal, though Safari performed admirably.) A sparse, clean interface, reminiscent of OddPost email client uses most common protocols like Quicktime to playback video and audio. (You will see a cute icon that says Play Media and that will playback, say movie clips off video blogs.) I think, the feature set of this new broadband application sets a high bar for other feed-readers which would now have to adapt and offer multimedia abilities. I mean if podcasting is going to be huge, lets make it even more easier to consume.

MediaTuner is he brainchild of David Cronshaw, who in his past life had created Zap2It. I emailed and asked him, what prompted him to develop this application. “It was the realization that Rich Media was was taking off, but (there was) no “TV Guide” to organize it,” he emailed back. Being a former TV guy, I don’t blame him for thinking about the ‘idiot box’ all the time.

“When I saw the possibilities of RSS over a year ago, I immediately saw the ability to organize Rich Media into one easy-to-use web-based RIA application,” he says. RIA, by the way means rich internet application. He roped in Flash guru Fernando Florez and together the duo developed to be the swiss army knife of digital content. “We have created the ability for a Universal MediaTuner Player to be able to view over 80 file formats such as Quicktime, Windows Media, Real, PDF’s, JPGs, Flash Games, and streaming audio and video to name a few,” says Cronshaw. So what’s next? Allow users to automatically download Podcasts to iPods as well as videos to Personal Video Players (PVPs) and create the next generation of Podcast and Video Blog stars (Rocketboom.) Okay now I should stop… but seriously folks, this one is worth trying. What do you have to lose anyway?

6 Responses to “Tuning into MediaTuner”

  1. Clint,

    I agree. Bloglines is lagging as of now, and cool as it was, i find it already dated and boring. Rojo is another one which is pretty good, but these folks have gone ahead and done a spectactular job of putting a nice and easy to use wrapper around everything. keep me posted on your final opinions

  2. Already looking at it. It seems like it’s going to solve my dilemma of multiple aggregators for multiple things. I need a web based aggregator that does media for my home and work PC so it’s easier to coordinate what I’ve already seen. It looks to be a job well-done so far. I’ve encountered a few minor issues to this point and qualms, but hopefully they’ll listen to feedback and make this into an excellent product. You’re spot on. Bloglines should be paying very close attention to these guys.

    The bigger question I’ve asked them and I’m hoping to hear a response on is their directory of feeds. Are they planning to do it more like Bloglines, with a directory that contains all feeds that anyone subscribes to, or are they going to be in the business of driving traffic to a few pre-selected sites like they have it setup now? I understand the want to allow users to hit the ground running with some recommendations, but it seems like a dangerous business sanctioning certain sites over others (although, this is largely a bias on my part, being that sites of people I know well were included and mine wasn’t :) ). As far as I know, at least from the videoblogging perspective, this was all done under the radar, and hearing it from you comes as a bit of a surprise. Videoblogging is still a pretty tight knit community (I know nearly everyone listed in the videoblogging category), and for someone to have not reached out to the community yet seems a little strange. Especially since they aim to drive a lot of traffic to sites that aren’t seeing much yet.