Plumi 4.1 Beta Released
Plumi, the video-sharing web application which runs engagemedia.org, was recently updated to be based on Plone 4, the latest version of the open-source content-management system upon which Plumi has been developed.
Since then, EngageMedia and Unweb have been working on some exciting new features focused on improving video sharing and playback, including BitTorrent video-sharing support, high/low resolution video playback, video-analytics and template improvements.
BitTorrent file-sharing of videos will enable Plumi sites to distribute videos over torrent networks. This in turn will let many users, or "seeders", choose to share between them the download of those videos to new users. This distributes the bandwidth load and data usage, and BitTorrent also allows people to resume downloading a file if it is interrupted by a bad internet connection.
This opens up possibilities for video sites located in areas without reliable internet connections to make videos available to download over longer periods of time, without fear of downloads failing due to interruptions. For example, EngageMedia plans to work with some community TV groups in Indonesia for whom this way of sharing video may be very useful.
Another useful new feature for areas without high-quality broadband access, is the ability to switch to a low-resolution, low-bitrate version of the video file. This allows people who may previously had to wait a long time to watch videos in the player, to have a smoother more viable viewing experience.
Video-analytics is another major new feature. Users of video sites have come to expect the ability to see the number of people who have viewed their videos. A new Plumi feature based on the open-source stats application PiWik, gives us this functionality, as well as the ability to see how many people have downloaded the video file itself.
Finally, some template improvements have been made, making the user-interface simpler for ordinary users, and also to make it easier to view the author of a video in listings such as latest videos.
This release is a beta version, designed for development and testing purposes. When a final version is released in the coming weeks, it will be available for EngageMedia and other organisations to install on live production websites, at which point you'll be able to enjoy these great new features.
In the menatime, you can read more about this Plumi release on the Plumi blog.