Archive for December, 2006

My friends at viddler.com have launched their video sharing/social networking site today as a public beta. I’ve been awaiting this for a while now and excited to let people know about the site. I’m really pleased about the launch for a number of reasons:

  • They are a small startup based out of Bethlehem, PA in the Lehigh Valley – fellow Pennsylvanians! Everyone on the team in PA I have met are incredibly talented and a pleasure to be around. I have had a chance to share some emails with a few of the development team members over in Poland, and they are extremely talented as well. Overall its a great well rounded team.
  • Robert Sandie the main man behind the group is a past Macromedia Intern on the Flash Communications Server/Media Server team.
  • The user experience is superior to other video sharing sites, a lot of attention to detail and nuance to make things very easy to use and navigate. They use javascript/AJAX to improve the user experience and and not just as a buzzword.
  • The video is in Flash and is a true streaming solution – not a progressive download like some other video sharing sites, which means: less wait time, true realtime seeking to any point in the video, and the ability to deep-tag and deep-comment directly in the video timeline – awesome features implemented in an easy an intuitive UI.
  • The ability to record video directly from your webcam/browser via Flash.
  • The most user friendly, and well thought out browser based upload tool for any video sharing site. Again, Flash based to take advantage of some great API’s in Flash for uploading. The uploader provides feedback on upload speed, duration, encoding, etc. It is really a joy to use, especally because you can queue up more than one file at a time to upload. Did I mention that they support the following video formats: .avi .dv .mov .qt .mpg .mpg2 .mpeg2 .mpeg4 .mp4 .3gp .3g2 .asf .wmv .flv. – and the max size is currently 500MB. Pretty flexible I would say, especially for a free service!
  • The ability to define videos as public, private or shared with your friends.
  • I’ve seen the code base for portions of the Flash work put together by their really talented team of developers, and it is tight! The Flash work that Lukasz Hankus and their team is doing is fantastic, and I know my friend Darron Schall also did a bit of work a ways back on this in some early iterations and we all know the quality of Darrons code.
  • I have provided a bit of advisement and feedback to Rob and the gang along the way, and its really satisfying to see how far they have come from an award winning business plan to a launched product. I am sure its especially rewarding for them since they have been toiling away doing everything on their own in true startup fashion. They did manage to secure some funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners and land some clients along the way. (Note: This is the second startup company I have worked with in Pennsylvania that has been able to secure funding from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners group to further their venture and I know first hand it is a time-consuming, non-trivial process).

I could go on an on about things, but probably best just to check Viddler.com out for yourself, and if you are a Flash developer consider it another win for all of us proponents of Flash as an ideal video delivery method. I am certain we will be seeing some interesting developments and features come from Viddler as everything ramps up to full speed.

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