A couple of minutes ago my cell phone rang and Mike Hudack, CEO of Blip.tv, was on the other end. I put my cell phone number on my personal website a year or so ago and I've never regretted it. Every time it rings I've always learned a lot and made some great contacts in the industry. This phone call was no different.
First, the correction
I incorrectly wrote that Blip.tv started life as rPodcaster. It turns out that I was close, but no cigar. The relationship I was thinking of was that between rPodcaster and Blip Media. Damn...my bad and since I didn't talk all that nicely about rPodcaster, my apologies to Mike and crew.
Second, the learning
I noted this at the end of the original post, but it's worth going over again.
When a file is uploaded to Blip.tv, it is converted into Flash 8 format. However, in the meantime, the original format is made available immediately. Once the Flash conversion is complete, both versions remain available. For any You Tube users out there that have waited hours for your video to become available, this rocks.
It seems to take about 10 minutes for the conversion to occur so just hang right for a bit and you'll see it.
I didn't mention the cross-posting functionality of Blip.tv, but I should have. You can upload your videos to Blip.tv and have them automatically crossposted to your personal blog. Sweetness.
Lastly, my problems
I was unable to play the video I had uploaded.
- There is no Flash 8 player for Linux. Adobe, despite their lame attempts to start a Linux blog and make it sound like they care, has all but foresaken us Linux users. I would have liked to see Blip.tv stay at Flash 7 until Flash 9 (allegedly destined for Linux as well as everyone else) comes out, but as Mike explained, the vast quality difference between Flash 8 and 7, and an 80% adoption rate forced their hand.
- The original .3g2 format wouldn't play either. I still haven't tracked down the issue with this, but it may be as simple as a plugin problem. Ironically, the wifi card on my Linux box has just decided to give up the ghost so I can't get online to suss that part out.
I asked Mike if he had given any thought to the open OGG/Theora format and in fact he has. Turns out that Mike is a fellow Linux user, although a Gentoo Linux user (which means a hardcore). He's well immersed in the free and open source community and well aware of the pros and cons of running a Linux system. Blip actually coded in OGG/Theora upload support one weekend after being called out by the Register for not supporting open formats. The player is another matter that's causing some headaches for the team, but it's on its way.
So yeah. Good conversation and I thank Mike for the insight and responsiveness.