Archive for September, 2009:

TV.com Releases WatchList

{ Posted on Sep 30 2009 by }
Categories : Television

There are tons of places to watch TV online legally and for free. Hulu gets much of the buzz, in part because it was the first really comprehensive offering with big corporate partners, but it’s hardly the only player out there. CBS-owned TV.com was recently redesigned and the site has been taking steps to become not just another place to watch TV, but a full-fledged social community.

Now the site is launching a new way to keep track of what shows you want to watch and even where you want to watch them, with its new TV.com WatchList feature. The WatchList is really easy to use — basically you just search or browse for shows and choose to add them to your list. From the list, you can see upcoming shows for the rest of the week (and when they will be airing locally on your regular TV), watch a preview of upcoming episodes if they are available, and go right to the show’s page, which will provide clips, full-length episodes, reviews from the community, etc.

You can even record a show from your WatchList on your TiVo by connecting your TiVo account with TV.com. That way, you can choose to record an individual episode or get a Season Pass on your TiVo right from TV.com.

Because TV.com uses Facebook Connect, you can see which of your friends are watch the shows you watch and have seen or are planning to see the upcoming episode. Soon, you can share that you are planning on watching a show using Twitter, Facebook or MySpace. TV.com isn’t trying to be the only place you visit to watch TV shows online, instead, they want the site to act as sort of a central manager, making it easy for you to watch shows online, on regular TV or on other sites like NBC.com. TV.com wants to be the TV Guide of the 21st century.

Only time will tell if these features will be enough to make TV.com more than just a dream domain name, but features like the WatchList and better social media integration are a great way at honing out a distinct niche in the vast space of TV portal sites.

What do you think about TV.com’s WatchList feature? How do you manage what shows you are going to watch (online or off)?

Dropbox for iPhone

{ Posted on Sep 29 2009 by }
Categories : Tech
Dropbox App
Image by Funkbreaks via Flickr

The Dropbox Blog has just released a wonderful post announcing the release of their free iPhone Application. It’s not intended as a standalone app, so if you don’t already have one the software will prompt you to create a free 2GB Dropbox account.

Once installed on your device, Dropbox for iPhone provides access to all your Dropbox files, allows you to view any file supported by your iPhone (including documents, photos, music, and video), uploads any photo or video you’ve taken on your device to your Dropbox account, and lets you save any file as a favorite for offline viewing.

Other features of the app include easy one-click sharing of your Dropbox files by email (a link to the file will be sent to the recipient), and a photo gallery view for easy browsing of images in your Dropbox account on your phone. You can also upload photos and video directly to your Dropbox, which when combined with Shared folders can quickly and easily share your media with friends and family.

If you already use Dropbox on the desktop you’ll appreciate its automatic sync features, but because of potential space limitations the iPhone app thankfully doesn’t actively sync your entire Dropbox collection. But it does support automatic downloads to your phone, and “favoriting” a Dropbox file will set it up to auto-sync. When a new version of the file is available on Dropbox, you’ll be notified in the iPhone app and prompted to sync.

We’ve been checking out the new app and have been impressed with its ease of use. The ability to connect natively on the go to a service we already find indispensable adds a lot of value. Are you a Dropbox user? If you have an iPhone, have you had a chance to check out the app yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Microsoft Courier Video

{ Posted on Sep 29 2009 by }
Categories : Tech, Videos

This video walks through the Courier interface, and provides an overview of the interface and Courier’s features, and more of how you would actually use it if you are not a designer. The interface has more of a Microsoft feel (fonts and titles bars) and less of the entirely handwritten journal aesthetic: a smart agenda, more defined folder system, universal search and multi-page web browsing.

The heart of Courier appears to what’s called the “infinite journal,” which is what it sounds like: A journal/scrapbook that is endless, bound only by storage constraints (presumably). Hopefully they will call it something less awkward. The journal can actually be published online, and it’s shown to be downloadable in three formats: a Courier file, Powerpoint or PDF.

The hinge between the screens is still used as a pocket to “tuck” items you want to move from one page to another. It also revolves almost exclusively around using the pen for input: In 4 minutes of video, there’s not a virtual keyboard in sight. Fingers are used just to navigate, through flicks, swipes and pinches.

It also begins to bring into focus Courier’s priorities, and possible limitations: Other than the brief glimpse at the library and the web browser, there is basically nothing about viewing content, like watching movies, reading books, or listening to music. Courier appears to be all about creating and writing with a pen, which is vastly different from what everybody expects out of the Apple tablet.