Saturday, April 26, 2008

FLV (Flash Video) is the New MP3

OK, let's pretend that the YouTube and Google Video terms of service allowed you to download their flash video. That it was OK to use a program like DownloadHelper to quickly download videos that you wanted to watch away from your computer. And that you could quickly and easily put them on a player like the Archos 650+ and take them with you to watch on the train or plane or automobile. Or at the gym while on the treadmill. Or while waiting at the DMV.

You could watch Barak Obama's speech on race. You could watch Frontline's Growing Up Online. You could watch Professor Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture." YouTube and Google video suddenly become serious educational places. I can watch a 3 - 5 minute funny video sitting at my desk looking at my computer, but for a one- or two-hour video, I want to take it with me somewhere comfortable. Or plug it into my television.

Think of the incredible repository of video that exists but is as-of-yet unavailable, which will suddenly be freed for personal viewing. Just look at Hulu and the old video they are digging up--that's just scratching the surface.

Won't it be amazing when we can (legally) download this video content and take it with us, like we do MP3 files? The day will soon come. I don't know how the licensing will work out, but the personal educational benefit is so compelling that we'll figure it out. We really need to.