June 29, 2007 |
We covered a product called Jaman (a P2P video client that connected users with inexpensive purchase-to-own downloads and over-the-Web rentals of films produced on the independent circuit, many of which have found audiences across international divides) when it was quite a young one several months back. Today, we check in to see where it’s at and what it’s done with itself.
As it turns out, its creators have done quite a bit. Some alterations. Some enhancements. Some more polish. It’s moved along. With the new Jaman, users can commence with a film soon after a download begins (granted that the broadband connection is fast enough to ensure the data comes down more quickly than video is played back. Plus with an improved layout to the website and a new community page (one of those more interesting features of the Jaman project), the whole package looks a good amount more attractive.
That isn’t all, however. No, the people behind Jaman haven’t simply been amending code at their respective workstations. They’ve been writing more. According to Om Malik of GigaOM, the San Mateo-based startup has been working to bridge the gap between their P2P solution and their users’ living rooms, or television room, as it were. And they’ve been doing so with the help of Apple – though without Apple’s express acknowledgement or approval.
Yes, they’ve hacked the Apple TV, and have done “a great job” of it, so says Mr Malik. Video gleaned from Jaman’s portal purportedly shows on a large plasma screen with “stunning” visual quality. And syncing supposedly works without a hitch. Those two alone are possibly the most crucial variables to account for.
No direct-to-Apple-TV downloads, however. Like the purchase-to-own stuff you can currently get to the Apple TV via an iTunes equipped Mac or PC, you’ll need to keep your desktop humming to keep all gears turning smoothly. Not sure why that is exactly. Perhaps Jaman’s (unofficial) Apple TV plug-in works via a back door in iTunes?
We’ll likely learn more details in the near future.
Now, I know what some of you will say silently to yourselves. (Or audibly. Whichever.) That Apple is supposedly working on a video rental system for iTunes and Apple TV users already, so there’s no way they’d sit down with the guys at Jaman and establish official ties. Au contraire, dear naysayers. As stated earlier, Jaman specializes in independent film. Apple does not. Not nearly to the extent that Jaman does, anyway. Therefore, I second Malik’s assertion that Apple “should give this product their blessing.” Because, well, it just makes sense. Doing so would give Jaman huge backing, and would also give Apple TV a much-needed boost to have it escape its status as a pricy “hobby” and have it pushed into the realm of serious development at Infinite Loop. Besides, current owners will finally have reason to justify the $299 expense, and potentials will have reason to finally take the plunge. That’d be great, would it not?
(I presume that by Macworld SF ‘08, Apple will perhaps halve the cost of the box, or upgrade its innards a bit.)
I love what’s already available to Average Joe at Jaman.com. The desktop client is great, and the various enhancements made in the past few months are much appreciated. I only hope that the company is able to eventually take the Apple TV plug-in public. It’s win-win all around if they do. Guaranteed.