2008 Streaming Media Editors' Picks

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Gotuit PowerVideo Suite
Here’s the only product in our Editors’ Picks list that also took home a Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award. That award was in the Search and Indexing Platform category, but the VideoDiscovery Module is only part of the PowerVideo Suite’s four-pronged attack. Granted, that’s a terrific app for both viewers and advertisers—videos in a library are marked with metadata for each logical scene, and then scenes are categorized into playlists based upon that metadata—but the VideoMarker and VideoMixer modules are equally impressive. The former lets users themselves control the marking and tagging of their favorite clips, while the latter allows publishers to give users varying degrees of control over the metadata, building far richer search and indexing experiences than would otherwise be possible.

Microsoft Expression Encoder
When Microsoft first hinted at what was cooking in Redmond back in the winter of 2006, two underlying motivations were clear. The company was putting video back at the center of its overall corporate strategy, and it was admitting that some of its competitors were right in that good design should be an integral part of application development. That helped Microsoft garner both MLB and the NBA as Silverlight users, but it also was evident in the elegant, intuitive user interface for Expression Media Encoder, which includes a preview function that allows users to look at a before-and-after samples of video before it’s actually been rendered—a delightful marriage of form and function. As Steve Mack wrote on StreamingMedia.com, "It looks fantastic; it’s the update we’ve been waiting for for years."

Mogulus Live Broadcast
When we started collecting nominations in August for the 2007 Readers’ Choice awards, we saw a few unfamiliar names, and Mogulus Live Broadcast—submitted in the Webcasting Platform category—was among them. We soon figured out why we hadn’t heard much about it; the startup hadn’t even launched yet. So we promptly filed it away in the "don’t believe the hype" category, only to watch Mogulus Live Broadcast explode as one of the few "lifecasting" solutions that holds much promise. Heck, a year ago, we thought lifecasting was just a fad, and the video quality on its poster child, Justin.tv, quickly turned me off. We’re still not convinced it’s got business legs, but the $2.7 million Mogulus had raised as of press time, along with the 25,000 video channel producers it now boasts, along with the fact that it takes lifecasting seriously by adding professional features (like decent-quality editing) … and, well, we’re watching now.

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