We thought it might be interesting to discuss a few of the things we have planned for the next release and start collecting some feedback. As we mentioned in the past, the upcoming release is all about RSS/Atom with enclosures. This XML format is used on the Internet to publish podcasts and vlogs (unlike audio publishing feeds which are collectively referred to as podcasts, there are several terms used for video publishing feeds including vlogs, video blogs, video podcasts, vodcasts, and more). The plan is to add the capability in TVersity to read all RSS versions (0.9 0.91⁄0.92⁄0.93⁄0.94⁄1.0/2.0) and Atom (including the iTunes extensions and the Yahoo MediaRSS extensions), and allow one to subscribe to such feeds from the TVersity GUI. Each such feed subscription will result in the content published by that feed to be added to the media library, which from that moment and on will be kept synchronized with the feed automatically.
Enough with technical stuff, let’s discuss some of the great stuff it will allow you to do:
Any Audio blog (Podcast), Video blog or Image blog can be subscribed to via TVersity and all its content becomes immediately available for playback on your TV (or other UPnP devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, etc.). Each time you refresh the media library it gets updated with the new feed so you always have access to the latest media published. Few examples of the stuff you can subscribe to are:
In fact you can subscribe to any of the hundreds of thousand of podcasts and thousand of vlogs on iTunes or any other podcast / vlog directory.
You can subscribe to your RSS feed on Flickr (automatically created by Flickr for each account) and have your Flickr photos available for viewing on your TV and other devices. Whenever you update your Flickr collection, all you need to do is refresh the Flickr subscription in the TVersity GUI and immediately you have those updates applied to your media library. In addition to that you can get from Flickr an RSS feed for every tag or search query you care about and subscribe to them as well.
Yahoo has a service, which makes the results of any search query you make against their video search engine available as an RSS feed. Let’s assume you like to track videos on the web related to Uma Thurman, you can of-course search the Yahoo video search engines with the words “Uma Thurman” and get a list of relevant videos but even better you can use the service we mentioned to get an RSS feed of the search results and subscribe to this feed via TVersity. From now on you can access on your TV the latest results that such a search yields and play those files at will.
Webjay is a playlist community; it allows people to create playlists from audio and video URLs and share them with others. Each such playlist is available as an RSS feed and by subscribing to it you can access its content via TVersity. You can even use Webjay as a playlist-editing tool and create new playlists and subscribe to them via TVersity. These playlists can be shared with others via Webjay or simply by sending them the RSS URL of the playlist. You can even save the RSS feed as a file and just share this file so that changes made on Webjay won’t affect you.
Playlists of online content are great but what about playlist of content located on your home network? TVersity will also process RSS files located on your hard drives and treat them as playlists. These playlists can contain media files, media URLs, folders and even other playlists (M3U, PLS, RSS). This will give you the ultimate flexibility in assembling different pieces of your media library and combining them into a collection that can be easily accessed and played on your TV. Later versions will also allow one to edit playlists from the GUI, in this next version however it will be required to edit these files using an XML editor or an RSS editor. In summary, we think this next release will improve dramatically one’s ability to access Internet content from the devices she cares about and in the same time enable the creation of playlists for videos, images and other media type (happens to be one of the most requested feature by our users). This is it for us, now we want to hear what you think, please be sure to drop us a note in the forums or in the blog and let us know.