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Old 04-02-2008, 09:03 PM
Greg DeKoenigsberg
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

Hi. It's time to talk about Fedora and video.

As many of you know, we tried to start the "Fedora TV" project last fall in
association with the nice folks at Lulu.tv. Unfortunately, between December
1st and January 31st, Lulu.tv went from a team of 4 engineers excited about
Fedora as a test case for their technology, to one engineer trying desperately
to hold things together, to out of business. Which means that "Fedora TV," in
its current incarnation, is deader than Elvis. I'll be working to pull the
domain away from the current abandonware site in the next few days.


The original goal of Fedora TV was to provide a "Fedora-friendly" home for
videos that we had some control over. I think this is still a worthwhile
strategic goal, but since we no longer have the help of dedicated engineers, I
no longer think it's a sensible tactical goal.


The question that follows: "we've got lots of people who are excited about
making Fedora videos. What's the best way, in the short term, to gather those
videos together to make them accessible?"


People are already using whatever solutions are available to them -- YouTube,
archive.org, blip.tv, and so forth. Maybe we can leverage some of these
solutions to create a comprehensive "Fedora-approved" solution. If we choose to
go this route, there are, in my view, a number of criteria.


First, a couple of criteria that any solution *must* meet:

1. There must be a way to view these videos in Ogg Theora. This is perhaps the
most difficult requirement, but also the most important. If we force Fedora
users to download proprietary software to view Fedora videos, we lose.


2. There must be a one-click download of each video from *somewhere*. A
torrent tracker seems like a good idea and a way to conserve server space, but
in practice, people ignore these videos.


3. The "one-click download" implies that there must be a centralized *and
robust* hosting environment for these videos. We should have confidence that
any such hosting environment isn't likely to "go away" -- the trap we fell into
with Lulu.tv.


There are also, in my view, a few criteria that we *should* meet:

4. Users should be able to easily specify licensing of the videos.

5. It must be easy to let the Fedora community know when new videos are
available, whether through RSS, some screenscraping app, or other means. An
aggregated feed like "videos.fedoraproject.org" might be ideal.


6. It would be great to get a static screenshot of these videos to display in
blog posts and so forth.


Finally, there is one controversial criteria that I believe we should consider:

7. While we continue to privilege Ogg Theora as the primary codec, we should
also transcode these videos to Flash to reach the broadest possible audience.


What solutions seem to meet these guidelines? It seems like we've got a number
of options. I'll go through them.


a. archive.org. Solves almost all of these criteria, and we have a strong
affinity with their mission of building a digital commons -- but their
infrastructure has been *very* flaky lately, and is turning into a bit of a
dumping ground. Their RSS feeds and search both seem to be pretty broken on a
pretty regular basis.


b. blip.tv. They support Ogg Theora as an upload format, but I was unable to
get Ogg Theora to *download* properly -- I keep requesting the Theora file and
getting the Flash transcoded file instead. Maybe someone can figure out how to
make this work.


c. Roll our own. This will take clueful engineers, but there are a lot of
options. Vaniv, the Wordpress fork that spun out of Lulu.tv, is one. Plumi, a
plug-in for Plone, is another. Mv_Embed, a plug-in for MediaWiki, is a third.
I'm sure there are others. The big downside here is that Fedora Infrastructure
already has plenty of stuff to keep track of, and managing a video content site
is a pretty big chunk of work.


d. Miro. Maybe this is the way to go. It's packaged in Fedora, so maybe it's
worth having a handful of people set up a Miro channel and seed the content.
We could use some server space in fp.o as seed space, I would think. I have
yet to play with Miro personally, though.


The simplest thing is to tell Fedora video contributors to contribute to
archive.org, set up an RSS filter to pull Fedora-themed videos from the
oft-broken archive.org RSS feed, and let the chips fall where they may -- but I
don't know if that's the *best* answer.


But we need *some* answer, and we need it soon. Advice welcome.

--g

--
Greg DeKoenigsberg
Community Development Manager
Red Hat, Inc. :: 1-919-754-4255
"To whomsoever much hath been given...
...from him much shall be asked"

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:23 PM
"Jeff Spaleta"
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 1:03 PM, Greg DeKoenigsberg <gdk@redhat.com> wrote:



a. archive.org. *Solves almost all of these criteria, and we have a strong affinity with their mission of building a digital commons -- but their infrastructure has been *very* flaky lately, and is turning into a bit of a dumping ground. *Their RSS feeds and search both seem to be pretty broken on a pretty regular basis.



I agree.. If archive.org worked....it would be great. I've had trouble using it. But perhaps there is a conversation here that needs to be had with them concerning why its busted. Can we help 'fix' it?

*c. Roll our own. *This will take clueful engineers, but there are a lot of options. *Vaniv, the Wordpress fork that spun out of Lulu.tv, is one. Plumi, a plug-in for Plone, is another. *Mv_Embed, a plug-in for MediaWiki, is a third. I'm sure there are others. *The big downside here is that Fedora Infrastructure already has plenty of stuff to keep track of, and managing a video content site is a pretty big chunk of work.

Can mediawiki scale for this?
*


d. Miro. *Maybe this is the way to go. *It's packaged in Fedora, so maybe it's worth having a handful of people set up a Miro channel and seed the content. We could use some server space in fp.o as seed space, I would think. *I have yet to play with Miro personally, though.



We should absolutely be leveraging Miro as a client interface. AB-SO-FRELLING-LUTELY
There are other applications in the space as well...for example little old gpodder that could use a default fedora feed. I'm pretty sure that the maintainer of the gpodder package would look at including a default channel definition for fedora videos :->


But the question is how do we go about populating a channel for miro and friends? Its just an rss feed right?** And are there any submarine trademarking issues here that would prevent us from including our own Fedora channel in the miro defaults as we ship it?


*


The simplest thing is to tell Fedora video contributors to contribute to archive.org, set up an RSS filter to pull Fedora-themed videos from the oft-broken archive.org RSS feed, and let the chips fall where they may -- but I don't know if that's the *best* answer.



Do we have any other* options on the table for self hosting our own video RSS aimed at populating a miro channel?* Can we for example run a project out of fedorahosted that has enough space for to manage a theora video rss feed for miro?* We could easily slap a Video SIG together, layout the ground rules for submitting content, select a few managing editors to control the RSS feed, and get the ball rolling.* But lets face it video requires relatively bloated hosting space... worse than OO.org's codebase.* Without a hosting commitment we aren't gonna get very far...even with low quality theora vids of my cat.

*-jef
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:23 PM
"Luis Villa"
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 5:03 PM, Greg DeKoenigsberg <gdk@redhat.com> wrote:
> 3. The "one-click download" implies that there must be a centralized *and
> robust* hosting environment for these videos. We should have confidence
> that any such hosting environment isn't likely to "go away" -- the trap we
> fell into with Lulu.tv.

Unless you're using one of the super-established providers (archive,
youtube, etc.) or roll your own, you can't really get this level of
certainty (as you found out at lulu.tv.)

You might look at http://www.getmiro.com/create/ - miro has publishing
tools; not sure how open they are (nor whether they handle transcoding
or web presentation by default.)

> 5. It must be easy to let the Fedora community know when new videos are
> available, whether through RSS, some screenscraping app, or other means. An
> aggregated feed like "videos.fedoraproject.org" might be ideal.

Miro handles this pretty darn well.

> b. blip.tv. They support Ogg Theora as an upload format, but I was unable
> to get Ogg Theora to *download* properly -- I keep requesting the Theora
> file and getting the Flash transcoded file instead. Maybe someone can
> figure out how to make this work.

I can't even see where it is offered, which is a shame.

> d. Miro. Maybe this is the way to go. It's packaged in Fedora, so maybe
> it's worth having a handful of people set up a Miro channel and seed the
> content. We could use some server space in fp.o as seed space, I would
> think. I have yet to play with Miro personally, though.

Note that last time I tried to install Miro on Fedora, it was broken;
all the default videos are in non-free codecs so Miro itself ran but
no video worked (and I seem to recall it failed badly.) Have not tried
it of late, though.

Luis

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:33 PM
"Jeff Spaleta"
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 1:23 PM, Luis Villa <luis@tieguy.org> wrote:

Note that last time I tried to install Miro on Fedora, it was broken;

all the default videos are in non-free codecs so Miro itself ran but

no video worked (and I seem to recall it failed badly.) Have not tried

it of late, though.


of course all the non-default videos are in non-free codecs... major publishers aren't using free codecs. So its a classic chicken and egg problem. We have to pretend we are an open technology version of Sony and create demand for our open technology by getting out and front and producing our own content or paying for the production of content that uses the technology we are pushing. We've no hope of making things better unless the people who care about openly encoded a/v get out ahead and start producing content showcasing the tech.*


-jef"pitivi for the win"spaleta


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Old 04-02-2008, 09:35 PM
Greg DeKoenigsberg
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, 2 Apr 2008, Jeff Spaleta wrote:


On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 1:03 PM, Greg DeKoenigsberg <gdk@redhat.com> wrote:


a. archive.org. Solves almost all of these criteria, and we have a strong
affinity with their mission of building a digital commons -- but their
infrastructure has been *very* flaky lately, and is turning into a bit of a
dumping ground. Their RSS feeds and search both seem to be pretty broken on
a pretty regular basis.


I agree.. If archive.org worked....it would be great. I've had trouble using
it. But perhaps there is a conversation here that needs to be had with them
concerning why its busted. Can we help 'fix' it?


If I could get someone from archive.org to return my emails. Maybe
someone else could have better luck?



c. Roll our own. This will take clueful engineers, but there are a lot of
options. Vaniv, the Wordpress fork that spun out of Lulu.tv, is one. Plumi,
a plug-in for Plone, is another. Mv_Embed, a plug-in for MediaWiki, is a
third. I'm sure there are others. The big downside here is that Fedora
Infrastructure already has plenty of stuff to keep track of, and managing a
video content site is a pretty big chunk of work.


Can mediawiki scale for this?


I don't know enough about its design to say. *Any* self-hosting operation
is going to require a *ton* of space, though.



d. Miro. Maybe this is the way to go. It's packaged in Fedora, so maybe
it's worth having a handful of people set up a Miro channel and seed the
content. We could use some server space in fp.o as seed space, I would
think. I have yet to play with Miro personally, though.


We should absolutely be leveraging Miro as a client interface.
AB-SO-FRELLING-LUTELY
There are other applications in the space as well...for example little old
gpodder that could use a default fedora feed. I'm pretty sure that the
maintainer of the gpodder package would look at including a default channel
definition for fedora videos :->

But the question is how do we go about populating a channel for miro and
friends? Its just an rss feed right? And are there any submarine
trademarking issues here that would prevent us from including our own Fedora
channel in the miro defaults as we ship it?


So help me understand, someone who uses Miro:

Does Miro actually make use of BitTorrent to *distribute* video, or does
it just figure out how to download *from* BitTorrent?


Something that combines RSS and BitTorrent seems potentially awesome --
but frankly, I'm still not sure how Miro works.



The simplest thing is to tell Fedora video contributors to contribute to
archive.org, set up an RSS filter to pull Fedora-themed videos from the
oft-broken archive.org RSS feed, and let the chips fall where they may --
but I don't know if that's the *best* answer.


Do we have any other options on the table for self hosting our own video
RSS aimed at populating a miro channel? Can we for example run a
project out of fedorahosted that has enough space for to manage a theora
video rss feed for miro? We could easily slap a Video SIG together,
layout the ground rules for submitting content, select a few managing
editors to control the RSS feed, and get the ball rolling. But lets
face it video requires relatively bloated hosting space... worse than
OO.org's codebase. Without a hosting commitment we aren't gonna get
very far...even with low quality theora vids of my cat.


Yep. This continues to be the biggest problem, and one of the reasons I
went with Lulu.tv in the first place. Aside from archive.org, I don't
have any easy answers.


--g

--
Greg DeKoenigsberg
Community Development Manager
Red Hat, Inc. :: 1-919-754-4255
"To whomsoever much hath been given...
...from him much shall be asked"

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fedora-advisory-board mailing list
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:40 PM
Greg DeKoenigsberg
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, 2 Apr 2008, Jeff Spaleta wrote:


On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 1:23 PM, Luis Villa <luis@tieguy.org> wrote:


Note that last time I tried to install Miro on Fedora, it was broken;
all the default videos are in non-free codecs so Miro itself ran but
no video worked (and I seem to recall it failed badly.) Have not tried
it of late, though.



of course all the non-default videos are in non-free codecs... major
publishers aren't using free codecs. So its a classic chicken and egg
problem. We have to pretend we are an open technology version of Sony and
create demand for our open technology by getting out and front and producing
our own content or paying for the production of content that uses the
technology we are pushing. We've no hope of making things better unless the
people who care about openly encoded a/v get out ahead and start producing
content showcasing the tech.


/me wonders if we should be building something like Mininova for Ogm-only
content...


http://www.mininova.org

--g

--
Greg DeKoenigsberg
Community Development Manager
Red Hat, Inc. :: 1-919-754-4255
"To whomsoever much hath been given...
...from him much shall be asked"

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fedora-advisory-board mailing list
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:46 PM
"Luis Villa"
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 5:35 PM, Greg DeKoenigsberg <gdk@redhat.com> wrote:
> So help me understand, someone who uses Miro:
>
> Does Miro actually make use of BitTorrent to *distribute* video, or does it
> just figure out how to download *from* BitTorrent?
>
> Something that combines RSS and BitTorrent seems potentially awesome -- but
> frankly, I'm still not sure how Miro works.

As I understand it, the miro RSS feed contains torrent:// links where
the average RSS feed contains http://. So each client is getting
notified of new episodes via rss, and then pulling those episodes via
torrent. Makes it hard to use any client other than miro with the
content, unfortunately.

I've cc'd Chris Lahey, who I hope can clarify/correct me (he's with
Miro, ex-Ximian, still rocking. And apparently curling?)

Luis

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:51 PM
"Luis Villa"
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 5:49 PM, Chris Lahey <clahey@clahey.net> wrote:
> Yes, I'm a curler now. Still a beginner, but I'm working on it.

Cool.

> There's actually a number of clients that support RSS with bittorrent
> links. In particular, most bittorrent apps. We just concentrate on
> making a nicer UI for it.
>
> And it's not a special URL. It's an http url that links to a .torrent file.

Ah, cool. Thanks for the feedback, Chris.

Luis

P.S. I should have mentioned that Fedora is looking for a video
solution, hence this question; I'll forward you the whole original
post off-list in case you're interested.

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:54 PM
Mike McGrath
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, 2 Apr 2008, Greg DeKoenigsberg wrote:
>
> I don't know enough about its design to say. *Any* self-hosting operation is
> going to require a *ton* of space, though.
>

How much?

-Mike

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:58 PM
"Jeff Spaleta"
 
Default Fedora TV, the video quandary, and a request for advice (fwd)

On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 1:51 PM, Luis Villa <luis@tieguy.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 5:49 PM, Chris Lahey <clahey@clahey.net> wrote:
> > Yes, I'm a curler now. Still a beginner, but I'm working on it.

He's a curler!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-jef

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