Blip.tv Launches New ‘Show Player’

Blip.tv has intrdocued a new, lightweight Flash-based “Show Player” that’s similar to offerings from Brighcove, Splashcast and a host of others. The full screen mode has that ‘Joost lite’ feel that I’ve loved since I first encountered the Specialten player.

Stills from Fearless Cooking.
Blip Show Player Screenshot

It certainly fulfills a number of the items on my player wishlist — and is based on the player from Jeroen Wijering I mentioned in that piece. The slick full screen mode, rolling clip playback, smooth timeline scrub and next and previous buttons for browsing gives a great ‘surfing’ feel to browsing video. The player is essentially an RSS reader for video, so one could even blend together a network of shows into a video area on any web page.

Blip Show Player Screenshot

The pace of development at Blip.tv is something else — in February it was a custom ad engine, March brought Ze Frank’s microdonation system, and now in April this new player.

Blip.tv’s Mike Hudack assured me in a chat that this is a beta at the moment, with daily updates due for at least a week. New features on the way include subscriptions directly from the player, embeddable cross-posting, email link sharing and user metadata like rating and tagging. “It’s a little slice of blip.tv wherever the player may be embedded,” he said of the plans in a follow up email.

Blip Show Player Screenshot

One criticism is that this is radically different than the traditional vlog format popular amongst many Blip users. Or, in Steve Garfield’s words, “Vlogs are dead.” But for now it feels to me like extra functionality to offer users, and seems particularly strong tool for introducing people to a show. The homepage link in the player is customizable, so you can link the player straight to your vlog.

There are definitely still some kinks, and it’s not entirely unique. What’s important is that anyone with some video content can sign up for a free Blip account and start putting together their own television channel for free, in a format anyone who’s figured out a television remote can understand.

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