Wednesday, November 26, 2008

boxee blog � boxee on Apple TV 2.3

Boxee has their USB creator patchstick app working for Apple TV version 2.3 now. As my friend Scott said, it's an arms race from here out. Boxee is a competitor to iTunes now, and competition can only help both applications from a user perspective. boxee blog boxee on Apple TV 2.3

Thursday, November 20, 2008

AppleTV 2.3 update kills boxee

While mixed video/audio playlists are something I've been looking for since version 1, The new Apple TV update is mostly insignificant feature additions, and breaks Boxee, which makes it pretty undesirable at the moment. When Apple gives us the features that we want, and that the device is obviously capable of, people will stop hacking it en masse. Imagine if iTunes had got its start by disallowing CD ripping and only letting you play music that was purchased from Apple or made in Garageband. The reality is that people already have tons of digital media, and the further that Apple gets from trusting users to be responsible with how they acquire and manage media and the more they dictate usage and cripple featuresets, the less successful they will be. It's their product and their choice, but if there's a way to make it work the way we want it to, people will continue to do it. link

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Boxee: the open, connected, social media center for mac os x and linux

I've been using an AppleTV since it was released. A device with great potential (cheap, HD enabled, great integration with iTunes) crippled intentionally by Apple's need to tie it directly to iTunes only- Since it's still illegal to rip your DVD collection to file in the Rip, Mix, Burn style we've become accustomed to in iTunes, the AppleTV eschews any video media you have in naughty 'pirate' formats like DivX, and only wants to play video purchased from the iTunes store or DRM-less mp4 files you ostensibly made yourself or that come from podcasts. Every weird movie curator worth his salt that I know now has a couple of terabyte drives filled with DivX's and subtitle files, and we are not anyone's target user. AppleTV's free online video solution is also centered around YouTube, while Hulu is hosting tons of high-quality free movies and TV shows.
A range of hacks have been available for the AppleTV to make it do everything from play exotic video formats off network drives to order pizza, but they have all been difficult to install (I've learned more unix hacking my AppleTV than when I worked tech support at Apple) hard to use and break frequently, on their own or whenever a small AppleTV update comes out.

Enter Boxee. A new improved application helps you build a usb patchstick, which you plug into the service port on the appleTV, installs boxee and the supporting Xbox Media Center software it's based on. Previous hacks involved building a patchstick and then doing seperate Apple TV installs using SFTP and SSH, but that little difference isn't what makes Boxee better. Once you have boxee installed (and activate your account on, you'll need to apply for an alpha tester account first, sorry) the real difference is in the interface and thouroughness of the implementation. Boxee does everything the AppleTV always should have done. It recognizes your network drives (on the mac you'll have to turn on Samba sharing in your sharing preferences), plays every video format, displays subtitle files beautifully, finds posters, synopsis and trailers for media names it recognizes online, has like social scrobbling features (not to mention actual access to, as well as myspace video, hulu, Youtube and a host of other free video and music outlets) and the integration is beautiful.

quick intro to boxee from boxee on Vimeo.

I installed it last night and I'm smitten.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

ProVideo Camera Log by Mike Curtis | Founder | HD for Indies

QuVis has announced a new product - QuVis Wraptor - a $699 Compressor plug-in for Final Cut Studio that allows independent content producers to create their own DCI DCP. That is a Digital Cinema Initiative’s Digital Cinema Package, which is the digital file format and wrapper used for digital projection, a standard that only came about in the last few years. Why is this such a big deal? Because I’ve heard encoding of even just TRAILERS was about $6K a pop, and features were about $20K. Now you can “roll your own” for about $700. So that’s BIG.

ProVideo Camera Log by Mike Curtis | Founder | HD for Indies

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


A while back we had an ill-fated contest to find the best use of the Make Magazine's cellular automata video synth kit. Nobody seemed to get anything in anywhere near the deadline, but I've just found the project that would have been the clear winner- the CellularRecombomat, a bent, patchbay-equipped, optically sensing Critter built into a VTech kids toy case.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Traxdata MultiMediaDrive

The Traxdata MultiMediaDrive is a portable multimedia Hard Disk Drive that can simply be plugged into your TV set or any other type of screen for instant playback of movies, songs or photos.

The device ships with a remote control and can also be used as a standard external hard disk drive.

Traxdata's MultiMediaDrive plays the following media types: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX, Xvid, MP3, WAV and JPEG. It supports both FAT32 and NTFS file systems and has extensive DivX subtitle support. USB 2.0, composite video and audio R/L, component video cables are all included. The system costs £149.

Traxdata MultiMediaDrive

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Forums are up

I just set up public forums for Video Thing! I put in some basic topics, but for the most part anything goes. Have fun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'm live bogging Digital Cinema Summit at NAB

ProVideo HD for Indies by Mike Curtis

...and I'm typing this while walling with my iPhone.

Cool panel on 3d - all my notes posted at Above link

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

Quadruplex - Call for Submissions

Pete from Quadruplex writes:

hi wiley,

Hi, I really enjoy your blog and the videothings that you find.

I'm putting together a video screening that I think would be right up
video thing's street [...]

the 2 mile
Video bending and noise films

Please Forward!

The 2 mile Quadruplex is a new film organisation that is pro-magnetism and
We are looking for video in the following (made-up) genres:

* noise
* video-synthesis
* video-bent
* demoscene
* trash/broken
* old media
* data bending/'Mush'-inima
* ear-eye experiments
* VHS nostalgia
* other...

for an evening of video, film and live performances in Hull, UK.
Deadline: 30th May 08

Screening in late June, exact dates TBA

Please send DVDs, mini-DVs or twisted VHS tapes to:
Pete McPartlan
The Quadruplex
140 Worthing St

Or contact Pete about submitting online on: info(at)
Please don't directly e-mail video files...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Create Digital Motion - The Battle for Analog: VHS and the Evils of DVD

From CDM:

"We know a little bit of our soul died when we brought in all this digital tech to our work. (Happy side note, though: my eyes now glow red. It’s totally awesome at parties.) So, we now proudly present The Battle for Analog, a completely nonsensical look at the analog world we might leave behind. (Well, unless you carry some mobile VHS decks to a gig, which could be a great idea … a little magnetic distortion live, anyone?)"

Create Digital Motion - The Battle for Analog: VHS and the Evils of DVD

Cute, but it sure is heavy on the, uhh.... digital effects.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Japanese Pixelvision cameras

From videothinger Bohus Blahut:

Just thought that you might be interested in the PXL-2000 article i just wrote. It's about the PXL's that were made in Japan in the late 90's.
I will be posting a video review of a modified PXL very soon. I'll let you know when it happens. Seems almost dumb to shoot a review of the PXL in HD.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Apple TV Take 2 released in the wild

The AwkwardTV folks are already at work hacking it. First word is that the OS is still 10.4.7, which means that old hacked plugins may still work.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Macworld Keynote: Apple TV Take two

Live from the MacWorld Keynote- the next big update to iTunes and the Apple TV: HD movies, 5.1 Audio $2.99 and $3.99 movie rentals from all the major studios (4.99 HD rentals), flickr and .mac photostreaming, rent movies directly on the AppleTV without a computer. Similarity engine movie reccomendations, and subtitle support (finally). If only they would let you add perian and movie subfolders or playlists without hacking it, I'd start giving them out to everyone I know as gifts. They're still too scared to address that "user with 800 divx movies with .srt subtitles" market. I guess I can't blame them.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sony Offers a Single HDV Model for 2008 - HDR-HC9 - Sony

Sony Offers a Single HDV Model for 2008 - HDR-HC9 - Sony: "Sony has announced that they will release only one model in HDV category, the HDR-HC9, at least for early 2008. This decision only confirms the generally recognized fact that the tape-based HDV format has fallen out of favor compared to DVD, hard disk drive (HDD), and flash memory media using the newer AVCHD recording format." Retails for $1099.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Create Digital Motion � Pinnacle Video Transfer: Grab Analog Video Without a Computer

Create Digital Motion scoops video thing so often now that I'm beginning to wonder if we have become superfluous (!) Anyway, from CDM today- Super cool hardware H.264 capture device, plug it into any usb 2.0 volume (ipods, flash drives), and capture to H.264 without a computer. At only $129, I'm totally getting one.

Create Digital Motion- Pinnacle Video Transfer: Grab Analog Video Without a Computer

Also on CDM- The worlds smallest laser projector. I want one implanted in my head.

Tiny Create Digital Motion - Laser Projector Becomes World’s Smallest Projector