REPORT OF TRANSMISSION.CC
To APC (Association for Progressive Communications)
Table of Contents
- A-1: Time and Space Coordinates
- A-2: Aim of Gathering
- A-3: Venue
- B-1: Outcomes
- B-2: Transmission resources
C: Video CMSs
- C-1 Introduction
- C-2 Issues
- C-3 List of Video CMSs
- E-1 Alternative Media
- E-2 Distribution
- E-3 Coding
- E-4 Software
- E-5 Places
A: Subject of report
A-1: Time and Space Coordinates
Transmission.cc took place in Rome (Forte Prenestino), June 7-10.
A-2: Aim of Gathering
"Transmission is a gathering of video makers, programmers and web producers developing online video distribution as a tool for social justice and media democracy. A host of initiatives have sprung up across the globe in recent years that seek to mix media activism with increasing access to broadband, new video encoding advances, content management systems, RSS, p2p and free software. These technologies and projects are converging to democratise access to video distribution on a global level, challenge the dominance of top-down broadcast media and give voice to range of critical social and environmental issues." (`Transmission website <http://transmission.cc/>`_)
Forte Prenestino was built in the early 19th century, one of several fortresses created next to the roads into and out of Rome to defend the Vatican and Pope. It was abandoned in the 1950s after airborne warfare made it redundant, and local punks squatted 20 years ago. During the years it has evolved, though there are still some original people living there. It is massive, located in a park in a radical area of Rome known as Cento Celli (One Hundred Cells), covered with vibrant graffiti and divided into 3 levels:
- Underground tunnels – space for exhibitions eg a Comics Expo at the same time as our meeting,
- Ground level - workshop spaces, venues, bars, restaurant, offices, infoshop, wholesome food and drink store, music, gym, hacklab, etc.
- On the roofs and ramparts - private living quarters and gardens, woods, wild flowers, beehives, and space for camping.
As a meeting venue Forte was unsurpassed, allowing free headspace, good partying and hard work, all informed by unexpected interruptions and visitors, excellent food, mutant decor and feral dog politics.
We mainly stayed in gender defined dorms (with three or four times as many bodies – and a proportional volume of snoring – in the male dorm). We met outdoors under a big white roof or in a cool, tunnel shaped ‘pub’, we ate (mainly pasta) from the Forte kitchen, and drank from one of several sporadically open anarcho bars. Most nights there would be some party or other to join when our meetings and screenings were done at nine or ten at night, though some people always stayed late at their screens in the (also tunnel shaped) media lab. Some slept on their keyboards, the organisers had a ‘penthouse suite’ (known as ‘backstage’ because visiting performers would be put up there), and we’d start again at 9.30 or so in the morning.
This section has been adopted from Zoe Young's report.
Respect for the organisers for voicing the right call and inviting the right people, and also for providing an open framework for setting the agenda. All these factors contributed greatly to the success of the event. It was delightful to see that most people had common problems and transmission could serve as the right tool for working together on these issues. This section is called "Outcomes" because issues were not merely raised but solutions has been proposed, some of which are being implemented right now. Furthermore, many people and projects worked on these issues prior to transmission, but the gathering provided invaluable opportunity for them to put their work into perspective and connect these efforts in a practical manner. Confusion and chaos is natural in a field that has so much momentum, and transmission did a lot to clear up the picture somewhat for those who are in the middle of the new media blizzard.
As opposed to uniting all initiatives that distribute online video materials it has been decided that networking them is a better way. Most outcomes below are elements of a strategy to achieve that.
Metadata sharing Contact: Anna. The widest consensus of transmission was the need for a common metadata standard that allows different video CMSs to interface with each other. If all major projects would adopt it that would unleash unforeseeable possibilities, the most straightforward of which would be a common search engine that would not host but merely index content. Another more complex possibility is to exploit tagging by topics in a way that each website can update itself if any website in the ring received an upload in a certain topic. The technologies under consideration for this are RSS2/mediaRSS and RDF/SOMA. A mailing list has been set up to facilitate this discussion: email@example.com. The proposed name for such a tag is FPID (File Publishing Identificator or Forte Prenestino Identificator).
Ethical usage tag Contact: Bryan. One problem that has come up again and again during transmission (so much so that eventually we scheduled a discussion on it) was that with the growing number of video producers and distribution channels the chances of unethical usage of footage grows as well. For example, footage of violence can be released as a testimony but victims are revictimised each time the video is presented out of context; or footage intended for community screening can scandalise unintended audiences. However, information wants to be free, and it is impossible to prevent leeks. Furthermore, we want to be free as well, which in this case means that education rather than repression is the way to spread ethical usage of footage. As the elite of grassroots media we have particular responsibility in spreading awareness of these issues. We have to educate producers, distributors and consumers. One way to achieve this would be the introduction of a new category into our metadata systems. The precise name for this category has to be worked out, as well as the exact taxonomy to be used. "Ethical usage" and "scope of distribution" would be two candidates, although these cover somewhat differing concepts. The new category should be included in the novel FPID specification. Such a category would be especially powerful for awareness raising purposes, as it would not only carry information about the particular file but also raise these questions each time the category is encountered: on upload, the producer is asked about the intended usage of the file; and on download the consumer is reminded of the file's original purpose, which encourages reflection on its ethical usage. That is especially important because a lot of these violations happen unconsciously, e.g. the perpetrator is not even aware of what she is doing. Another way to continue education is the best practice of including a description of intended purpose and scope of distribution in the first frames of movies. Using a timecode on the footage has also been mentioned as a way of ensuring that the material cannot be re-cut to serve evil purposes.
Subtitling Contact: Mick. Another issue that has been raised quite a few times is the translation of videos and in particular subtitling. Public screenings are mostly effective only in the local language, so that the availability of subtitles or at least transcripts greatly determines the potential of content to spread across borders. Therefore this issue is vital, in contrast with the fact that most video CMSs do not support uploading of subtitles/transcripts together with the films. That situation has to be improved, and also taken into account when designing the FPID specification, so that subtitle information can be shared just as well as the video content itself, and subtitle information can spread together with the video files. On the other hand, if people do not have the necessary technical competence to deal with subtitles, the process is flawed just as well, so that education is the other side of the coin. We have to develop adequate documentation on the general workflow of subtitle production, sharing and translation; as well as documentation of particular subtitling programs and services. Therefore, "Subtitles/translation" is one section of the new Wikibook on Video that has been initiated at the transmission gathering (see below). DotSub has been mentioned as an ground-braking online subtitle production service, and the indymedia translations page has been noted as a site which facilitates the workflow of translation.
Clouds Contact: Anna. Tag clouds were mentioned as a way rationalising tags inside a "topic" category of a proposed FPID. Say some people/sites would tag certain videos "peace" and some others would use "anti-war". Both terms would pop up in the tag cloud, but the more popular one (for example "peace") would be in bigger font. That feeling of inferiority would encourage the users of "anti-war" to use the much cooler "peace" tag instead.
Transmission tag Contact: Andy. "transmission.cc" could serve as a tag on Del.irio.us/Scuttle to mark sites in the transmission network (note that on Flickr the tag transmission.cc is already established, marking the photos from the gathering). Furthermore, the same tags could interact with Videbomb, as a site which does not host but merely indexes video content.
Screeners' Network Contact: Anna. The idea of compiling a network of screeners has popped up at transmission, which would increase the mobility of videos and ground the possibility of having global screening days or video campaigns that sweep across the globe. Technically, the popular Drupal distribution called CivicCRM seems to be a good solution, because it has a module for contact management complete with handling of location data and areas of interest, etc. Mute is developing an installation of this right now.
Standalone Encoding Service Contact: Andy and Marcel. A website or server*(chain)* which accepts URLs or torrent files, downloads the content, encodes it to the requested format and uploads it to the required location would be really nice, because encoding is both technically more challenging for users and require extensive hardware resources for computers. Both humans and websites could use this service, because using the future FPID different video CMSs, hosting services and distribution initiatives could interface with the standalone encoding service and build its power into their services seamlessly. The architecture could look something like this:
- queue: xmlrpc
- encode: ffmpeg/ffmpeg2theora/mencoder
- web access: json/ajax
- feedback to requesting service (e.g. human or CMS)
- CMS: plone/zope
- forkflow control with a bash script (as presented by Jaromil at a transmission workshop)
(There has been concrete initiative to bring about such a thing from the aforementioned two contactpersons.)
Net Neutrality Awareness Contact: DeeDee. One bleak cloud over the transmission gathering was the controversy over the Net Neutrality laws in the US to create a two-speed Internet where certain protocols/companies would receive more bandwidth than others. Online video distribution and especially streaming is one of the most bandwidth intensive uses of the network, and using free software and free standards as we are we seem to be one of the groups who would be most affected if this evil would gain power. Therefore we have to wipe out the evil.
Shared and Mutual Publicity Contact: Agnese. It has been suggested that the members of the transmission network could profit from some shared publicity. The idea has not been pushed far more than that: stating the potential. Maybe a screening/distribution campaign for a concrete film would be a good way to test the aggregated power of the network...
Documentation on video Contact: Mick. The outcome of the discussion on documentation was that while the FLOSSmanuals is a good website to collect open source documentation, we need documentation on proprietary software as well, because many end-users have only access to these tools, and we should not discriminate them. In general, it was surprising that even the l33t people at transmission did not know what kind of documentation exists on the Internet about online video production. In order to help ourselves and also our specie, we decided to put together our knowledge and adopt the abandoned Wikibook on Video. The choice was influnced by the requirement that no particular project should host the documentation page, because any claim of ownership would discourage participation. (By the way, this is very interesting because in effect we thought against the logic of capitalism by stating that branding makes something less popular, as opposed to the widely spread notion that it makes something more popular. Weird.)
Newsreel Contact: Mick. The European newsreel initiative seems to have been a successful one in terms of its impact but there were many difficulties in compiling it. Something similar would be possible in the future only if more people can work together in an advanced framework. Translation is once again a major problem.
B-2: Transmission resources
Transmission Wiki The transmission.cc wiki worked really well during the gathering, and it excels its past usefulness now that most people have lost physical contact. Notes has still been being compiled more than a week after Rome, and knowledge is being manifactured.
Wikibook on Video For reasons stated above this is the place to collect tutorials and related information on online video production and distribution. Some initial work has been done, but the article still appears to be a stub.
Transmission Mailing List The list works in an invitation-only manner to preserve the discourse started in Forte Prenestino, although accounts are granted to anyone with a clear reason and an apparent motivation. The focus is on technical issues but non-techie supervision is vital.
Metadata Mailing List Has been establihed to address issues around the FPID specification and its possible future uses. Still invitation-only but more open than the discussion list. Members are actively seeking out possible future members. Possible future will be possible in the future, because all data is meta anyway.
C: Video CMSs
Transmission.cc was basically about Video CMSs, so they are elaborated exclusively here. There was an important presentation on the different video CMSs, and specifically about the problems and the various ways to solve them. Due to time constraints this was not carried out too systematically, so further research is required to gather knowledge beyond the ad-hoc information that is listed here. The fact is that there are many video distribution projects and they all use different CMSs that they had to work on. Therefore, effort is duplicated. On the other hand, there is not even a common platform like RSS for these projects to interface with each other. It has been decided that a specification should be written which would enable these CMSs to interface with each other. In the endevour the following related technologies will be exploited:
- XML - Extensible Markup Language
- RSS - Really Simple Syndication
- RDF - Resource Description Framework
- XML-RPC - XML Remote Procedure Call protocol
The SOMA RDF Standard is also under discussion (One World, Clearer Channel, and a third project already uses it).
During one part of the workshop participants attempted to identify the central problems that a contemporary video CMS faces, or in other words, the hippest features.
- FPID-related: interfacing, subtitles, ethical tagging.
- Taxonomy (tagging)
- Online community or database? (customisation problem in design)
- Content management: quality control and content review
C-3 List of Video CMSs
Engage Media: (Andy) In Plone. UNDER CONSTRUCTION! This CMS uses Plone's 'smart folders' feature to implement a heterogeneous taxonomy, which means that one entry can belong to various categories. However, there is no tagging: the categories are defined by the site administrators. Currently there are 3 main categories with numerous subcategories inside them. These are: Genre, Topic, Country. Uploading is through a web form, but the details are not worked out yet, although there are already separate fields for duration and Creative Commons license (the latter is supported through a related Plone plugin). Syndication is also managed by Plone using RSS1 and RSS2. Download can be through HTTP or BitTorrent.
Exequo (Gavin) In ?. PASSWORD PROTECTED. Developed to by customisable for each collective in terms of skins and upload forms with custom fields, this CMS will have the unique feature of upload-only passwords that work only for a certain time. Download is available through HTTP and streaming.
Commune (MJ) In PHP/MySQL. A Korean software which for that reason is pretty vague to me. It does support uploading of different formats for preview and downloading and also uploading stills together with the video.
IFI Watch (Zoe) In APC-AA CMS (PHP/MySQL). The video section of IFI Watch is a tematic directory, which means that it does not actually host video (thanks to this the site can include physical resources like VHS tapes as well). The database can be searched according to many criteria such as Target institution, Topic, Category, Region and Country. The upload form contains fields like Director, Producer, Duration, Language, Subtitles, Overdubbed, PAL/NTSC, Contact. All films can be interlinked through the "related videos" feature. Entries are available in two streaming formats through Exequo's streaming service. Currently, there are 97 films in the database.
OurVideo CMS (Mick) In MySQL/PHP. UNMAINTAINED? Used by Clearer Channel, one of the oldest and biggest archives. The CMS allows contributing groups to skin their pages in order to build it seemlessly into their individual websites. It requires registration for upload, accepts any formats, and allows downloading through HTTP (and according to the website it streams as well, but this does not seem to be implemented on Clearer Channel). The upload form contains fields like: Date, Language, Contact email, Creator, Rights, Website contact, More Information, Format, Quality, Duration, Size. A single entry can be uploaded in several formats/qualities, and subtitles can be included. As seen from the above, there is no taxonomy or workflow control in this CMS. Upload is managed separately through FTP, and the URL has to be pasted into the upload form. Syndication is through SOMA RDF.
What follows is a*(n incomplete)* list of partipants with contact information, links to project profiles and indication of the areas of interests.
Adam, FLOSS Documentation Project. Keywords: documentation.
Agnese, Italy Transmission, CandidaTV. Keywords: production, distribution.
Andy, Australia Transmission, EngageMedia, Active CMS, Oceania indymedia. Keywords: programming.
Anna, Australia Transmission, EngageMedia. Keywords: distribution.
Ben, London Rampart, open-access video booths, UK IMC, IMC UK newsreal, Reel2Reel. Keywords: distribution, screening, video booths.
Blank, Portland, USA Portland Indymedia Keywords: FLOSS & P2P.
Bryan, New York Witness. Keywords: distribution.
Dee-Dee Halleck, New York Paper Tiger, Deep Dish, Free Speech TV. Keywords: production, distribution (satellite, TV).
Fabian, Argentina AgoraTV. Keywords: unions, production, distribution (pirate TV).
Selene, London Rampart, LARC, IMC UK, Reel2Reel, Conscious Fashion. Keywords: production, distribution (screening).
MJ aka Myoungjoon Kim, Korea Mediact, Labor News Production, Jinbo Net. Keywords: distribution (web).
Jan, Berlin V2V. Keywords: coding, P2P.
Gerbrand*,, Amsterdam Engage Tactical Media. Keywords: distribution (streaming).
Jeremiah Foo, Malaysia Asia247.tv. Keywords: distribution (web), education.
Marcelle Keywords: coding.
Simon Haefe, Austria Sonance.net Keywords: art, financial sustainability.
Simon Worthington, London. Mute OpenMute Keywords: production/distribution (webtv news).
Mick, London, Manchester Clearer Channel. Keywords: distribution.
Holmes, USA, Massachuses` Democracy Player. Keywords: coding, distribution.
Rama, Austria/Argentina rama.xicnet.com/ Riereta, Hackitectura, Fadaiat.net, Al-Jwarizmi, r23.cc, BurnStation, Telenoika, Platoniq. Keywords: coding, distribution.
Zoe, London IFIWatch, alt.media.research. Keywords: production, academic research.
E-1 Alternative Media
Ágora TV (Fabian) They are fighting for the rights of communications for all. They are a pirate TV with air TV channel. Raided by the government several times, now they are working to reinstall the air channel in Buenos Aires with more transmission power. In the 90s the topic was the advance of neoliberalism. They were militant but they made a strong self-criticism. Now they think it is more important to work with other groups than vanguardly. They are promoting self-managed TV and they are based strongly in the social movements. They did the documentary on the self-managed ceramics factory. They are working on a new subjectivity. AgoraTV is also an Internet TV channell.
Candida TV (Agnese) "Candida TV based in Italy, Rome, was born in 1999 from the melting of different realities: underground cinema, video production, rave parties, street theaters, independent radios, subversive telemathic and counterculture pop-magazines. Candida is a core group of 7 people in Rome, Italy, fusing the experiences of self-managed squatted community centers and technical knowledge in the field of video production. From 2001 Candida TV is a small sized media cooperative with focus on creative audio-video production. The activities of Candida comprehend the organizations of events on Communication technologies, Candida also runs laboratories and workshops with youth to familiarise them in the use of contemporary audio-visual languages."
Deep Dish TV (Dee Dee Halleck) "Deep Dish Television is the nation's first grassroots satellite network linking producers and programmers, independent video makers, and activists."
Free Speech TV (Dee Dee Halleck) An independent satellite channel in the USA. "Finally, after 50 years of television broadcasting, there now exists a national television channel that reflects the diversity of our society, provides perspectives that are under-represented or ignored by the mainstream media, and shines a national spotlight on engaged citizens working for progressive social change."
IMC UK (Selene) "A network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues."
Insu TV (Unidentified) "When we talk about 'Telestreet', we mean a microbroadcasting station, a 'pirate' low cost project broadcasting with low power in a limited radius range. This range is situated into a 'shadow cone', an area that can’t be reached by the owners of the official frequency licence. Telestreets are also absolutely 'ad-free' projects and they don’t earn any money by commercial advertisements." Italy-wide telestreet portal: http://www.telestreet.it
MetaMute (Simon Worthington) "Culture and politics after the net." Online and offline magazine on topics like 'Dis-Integrating Multiculturalism' and 'Underneath the Knowledge Commons' and Precariousness. Very glossy, cool!
Reel2Reel (Ben, Selene) "Real2Reel is a small group of video artists making short and occasionally amusing films about counter-cultural activities, social struggles and environmental concerns, all with a strong grassroots direct action bias." Since 2002.
Paper Tiger (Dee Dee Halleck) "Paper Tiger Television (PTTV) is an open, non-profit, volunteer video collective. Through the production and distribution of our public access series, media literacy/video production workshops, community screenings and grassroots advocacy PTTV works to challenge and expose the corporate control of mainstream media. PTTV believes that increasing public awareness of the negative influence of mass media and involving people in the process of making media is mandatory for our long term goal of information equity."
Portland Indymedia (Blank) "Portland Indymedia is an IMC for the southern Cascadia region of Turtle Island (an area temporarily demarcated as 'Oregon' and southern 'Washington' on some maps)."
Asia247 (Jerry Foo) They produce and syndicate vodcasts from Asia. They have a production studio. They broadcast/podcast almost every day. "Asia247.tv is Asia's first English-based Podcast Station. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Asia247.tv aggregates video contents from around the world, and brings news and views Asians care about to the world. [...] Asia•0900 is a daily morning news program that picks a hot topic everyday, keeping you informed about Asia every morning at nine. AsianDialogues, a talkshow that brings prominent Asians in their respective fields together, giving them a free voice on the Internet. AsianElections, focuses on electoral activities all over Asia, as Asian countries are intricately linked to each other, spanning over 52 countries, the results of each of these elections have great impact on their neighbouring ocuntries. ClickAsia, a tech program featuring the latest and greatest technology has to offer."
Chomsky Torrents "The purpose of this site is to provide a gathering place for torrents with progressive and radical content. As for now, it preserves a special place for the work of American dissident Noam Chomsky, as the domain name suggests."
Clearer Channel (Mick) "Clearer Channel is a resource for downloading free video and audio. In this website, Media activist Groups create channels of content that shake us up and wake us up!"
Engage Media (Anna) "EngageMedia is a website and a network for distributing social justice and environmental video from South East Asia, Australia and the Pacific. It is a space for critical documentary, fiction, artistic and experimental works that challenge the one-way communication model of traditional media."
Engage Tactical Media (Gerbrand) "Streaming media and tactical tools for social change and cultural diversity."
FLOSS Documentation Project (Adam) UNDER CONSTRUCTION! "FLOSS Manuals is a site for free manuals on free software. The manuals you find here are intended to introduce you to softwares that you might find useful, softwares that are made available under licences that allow you to download and use them for free. Many of these softwares are extremely sophisticated but the fundamentals are usually quite easy to grasp if you have the basic principles outlined clearly infront of you."
Indymedia European Newsreal "The European Newsreal is an independent media network of regional production and screening groups for the European wide distribution of copy-left videos covering issues ignored or distorted by the corporate media. The European Newsreal is a platform to promote and empower groups and campaigns working towards positive social change, a world without repressive borders, exclusion and exploitation of human beings and our environment."
Indymedia Newsreel (Ben) "Indymedia Newsreel, a monthly television series, brings progressive grassroots organizing, going on in your backyard, to a national television audience. Each program covers actions taken in local communities, by ordinary people, to address critical issues like air and water pollution, reproductive rights, homelessness, for-profit prisons, sweatshops, racism, police brutality, indigenous struggles, and more."
Indymedia Oceania Oceania Indymedia syndicates news from local Independent Media Centres (IMCs) in the region. We aim to be a space to facilitate the networking of solidarity between communities engaged in struggles for social, environmental and economic justice.
IndyTorrents A torrent tracker for independent radical content.
MediaAct Supports public access and independent filmmaking. Main activities are providing facilities, trainings, research, and consultation for media activism.
NGVision (Simon, Agnese) "New Global Vision is a digital video archive project. The goal is to build up a network of dedicated ftp servers and a peer-to-peer file sharing system able to overcome the bandwidth problems related to the size of video files. [...] In italian... for the moment."
pooool "The Worldwide First Platform for Visual Content and New Visual Media Formats. pooool is the first project of its kind, aimed at covering the growing need for visual content in major markets. pooool is also art and research oriented, colaborating closely with art universities, technical research departments and cultural institutions. Unique beyond a functional business and sales model is the newly developed copyright and utilization concept for visualists. An intellectual property protection and utilization society is planned to be coupled with the pooool-label, creating a lasting link between creatives, culture, economy and the public."
Sonance (Simon Haefe) UNDER CONSTRUCTION! "Sonance network is an open network for present artists, curators and newcomers in the fields of new music and media art, electronic-, net- and digital art, expanded theater and dance, perfomances as well as paintings, installations, actions, film, writing, design and architecture, theorie and more. Since 1999,|sonance network| provides a structure for networking of cultural agents with the aim of presenting their works in virtual and real spaces."
Sub Video A bulletin board system for transcript/subtitle sharing and translation. "A collaborative resource for international video accessibility and exchange."
Toy Satellite "Toy Satellite is an Australian based producer of digital media, live performance and installation works. Combining real-time video collage and improvised soundscapes, Toy Satellite draws its inspiration from avant-garde cinema, theatre and composition. Toy Satellite is a not-for-profit media culture organisation, extending opportunities for new media arts practice for civil society throughout the Asia and Pacific region."
Indymedia Translation Tool "The Translation Tool is an open publishing system to coordinate translations of the indymedia network."
V2V (Jan) Video Syndication Network - a ring of servers that distribute video using FLOSS technology. For encoding, the Ogg Theora codec; for distribution, BitTorrent files; for playback, MPlayer/VLC.
Videobomb A video aggregation and tagging service, connected to Democracy Player. "Video Bomb filters up the hottest videos on the internet: people submit links to the 'Incoming!' page and you bomb the best ones. If a video gets a lot of bombs quickly, it makes it to the front page."
Video.Indymedia.Org (Mick) "Indymedia video distribution network." With an excellent selection of links!
Witness (Bryan) Human rights organization based in the US, but working globally with other human rights groups on the ground helping them to use video technology for their advocacy purposes. Currently they're in the midst of trying to put together a space where anyone with internet access can upload human right related media. The working title is the "Video Hub." As you can imagine, due to the subject matter, numerous issues have been raised, technical as well as legal and ethical. We're looking forward to meeting you all. Some very interesting projects and questions have been presented already! Background information: http://www.witness.org/technology
Open Media Coalition A network that is very similar in its aims to transmission, and also a recent development! Initiated by the Video Vertigo group. "The Open Media Coalition is a developer-led working group whose aim is to share and write code on a variety of projects related to the concept of "open media." Members will work to open up and share APIs and schemas; to enhance interoperability; to develop new standards that help promote independent media; and to evangelize a set of principles that underlie this movement."
Platoniq (Rama) "Cultural co-operative system. Platoniq is a group of cultural producers, curators and software developers who from the mix of their computer-technical knowledge and social interests have set up a number of independant community media projects."
RC 23 (Rama) Streaming platform/interface/entrance door to GISS, open and public stream-ring, consisting of multiple servers hooked to each other sharing bandwidth and other resources with real-time geo-mapping visualization.
Spread the Media! "Spread The Media! This is what we strive to improve and better understand. This is a fresh collaboration among peers active in the Open Media circle and a recruitment effort. From Developers to Artists.... The Big Thinkers in this space! We are gathering some of the most trusted sources... those who blog about all aspects of Open Media.... and their thoughts will be aggregated here as passive contributors to this pool of information. We hope to tap into the independent developer community, looking for those interested in contributing code and collaborating with other people on projects aimed to build out the tools needed in this space. STM will host such projects and offer a code repository so that people can easily discover these valuable contributions and find out more about the people who developed them."
Unmediated A collaborative blog and some very useful surveys of audiovisual content sharing platforms! "Tracking the tools that decentralize the media."
Video Vertigo An initiative that is very similar in its aims to transmission, and also a recent development! Striving for the interoperability of video sharing platforms. "We are brainstorming the infrastructure for the future of video syndication. Videoblogging, RSS, microformats."
al-jwarizmi (Rama) "It is an ongoing development for distributed competence live streaming, based on Pure Data (aka PD) a real-time visual programming environment for audio and graphics processing. al-jwarizmi mixes live audiovisual signals produced by a geographically disseminated swarm of operators with dynamic content from databases and stream it outto the internet. PD modularity will provide advanced levels of web interactivity and unexpected possibilities in recombining political & programing & media skills. New tools for social cybernetics. A new generation prototype for real-time communication/creation over free networks based on horizontal relations between agents taking part in it."
Burn Station (Rama) "Burn Station is a mobile copying station which - as it travels through suburban spaces - supports the free distribution music and audio. It is software as well as a local network. But above all Burn Station is a social event which congregates people together to listen, select and copy net label and net radio audio files with a Copyleft Licence. Burn Station is an open source and a non-commercial project involving the new means of free networked distribution. It is based on the Burn Station software which was developed by Platoniq and Rama as a 100% Free software. Burn Station aims to establish links between the media space and the physical space of the city."
Democracy Player (Holmes) "The free and open source Internet TV platform. Download and watch all the best internet TV shows and videos in one powerful application. New channels arrive daily in the built-in Channel Guide. Stop squinting at tedious web videos: sit back and watch big, high resolution videos. Features: Democracy Player is a new kind of browser for watching videos-- grab webpages with video and video RSS feeds (including podcasts, video blogs, and BitTorrent feeds), and watch them full screen, one after the other. It's free and open source."
ffmpeg FFmpeg is a complete solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It includes libavcodec, the leading audio/video codec library. FFmpeg is developed under Linux, but it can compiled under most operating systems, including Windows. It includes a command line tool to encode video into different formats.
Pure Data "PD (aka Pure Data) is a real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing. It is the third major branch of the family of patcher programming languages known as Max (Max/FTS, ISPW Max, Max/MSP, jMax, etc.) originally developed by Miller Puckette and company at IRCAM. The core of Pd is written and maintained by Miller Puckette and includes the work of many developers, making the whole package very much a community effort."
Theora Theora is an open and free video codec, the only one that is available for endusers at the momement. It is developed by the xiph.org foundation.
Video Booths (Ben) "Low cost networked interactive video booths consisting of low spec computer technology running open source software."
Rampart Creative Space and Social Centre (Ben, Selene) "The rampART is a squatted school from which the gospel of grassroots DIY culture, creativity and participation is experienced, practised and promoted. This non-commercial private venue is just one of a growing number of such autonomous spaces emerging to counter consumerism, materialism, spectacle and apathy." Has "two media labs, radio, 2 cinemas and a big hall." Possibly the venue for Transmission followup in October.
Riereta (Rama) "A small & dark techworkshop in Raval, Barcelona's old town. A human trusted network that owes very much to the model of free software communities, both for the software used, and for the internal organisation, based on spontaneity, curiosity and cooperation."
LARC - London Action Resource Centre (Selene) "A collectively run building providing space and resources for people and groups working on self-organised, non-hierarchical projects for radical social change." Possibly the venue for Transmission followup in October.