At the Always On OnHollywood conference today, there are several interesting new products and services furthering the merge between the Web and the traditional Hollywood-based entertainment industry.
Aleric is a peer-to-peer media platform for home and work. The product, My Internet Virtual Office (MyIVO), is designed to put consumers in touch with all their digital content, no matter where the content is and where the user is. Like Orb (which I use), you can set up content that only you can use, or you can share it with friends.
MyIVO looks like it's a bit more group-oriented than Orb, which is more focused on making media on a single PC available to the Web. MyIVO users can collaborate by putting media from multiple machines in single virtual containers.
The product answers a growing need: Consumers have media scattered all over the place, and there's still no generally accepted way to consolidate it. Sadly, the presenter ran out of time right before he was going to launch his demo.
Solid State Networks is a content delivery network. Like the old-school Akamai, it enables popular and large files to be delivered reliably. What's interesting about Solid State is that it uses the BitTorrent protocol. BitTorrent is peer-to-peer, and I've never seen it used as a quality-of-service play, so this is very interesting. Other companies, such as Kontiki, have built commercial peer-to-peer networks, but Solid State is smart to use what has become a staggeringly popular protocol that millions of individuals around the world have already embraced.
PodZinger says, "We are not a content delivery network, we're audio and visual search." This very cool tool enables you to search videos and podcasts. It takes your text search string and searches not just the metadata of the media, but within the file as well, using speech-to-text processing that runs on podcasts. Then it can play the podcast starting at the word or phrase you searched for. It's like Riya for podcasts.
Blinkx is also a media search company, one that you might have heard of if you ever drive into San Francisco; it rents a huge billboard on Highway 101. Like Podzinger, it reads metadata as well as indexing speech. The cool thing about Blinkx is its Pico utility that lets you kick off a media search from any Web page. In the demo, the company founder clicked on "Spiderman" on a Web page, and the product started to collect related media clips, news, and ads. The nice thing about this is that it's invisible until you call for it. The separate BlinkxTV site is also a very elegant TV viewer application.
Nellymoser delivers rich media to cellular phones. Several well-funded companies are tackling this huge market. Consumers probably won't see this brand, since Nellymoser aims to deliver this capability to cellular carriers and content companies directly. The company ambitiously plans to serve "the entire ecosystem" of cellular content.
For an overview of the conference's main memes, see Dan Farber's "Is the Web the new Hollywood?" post on ZDNet.