This past weekend I was at a wedding where the bride, groom, and both of their families came from different sides of the Pacific Ocean (Japan and central California to be precise). At the party the night before the ceremony a few of us broke out our phones to play with translation apps, which of course, led to comical results.
One of the highlights was when the groom-to-be (who happens to be bilingual) looked at my attempt to translate "I think you've had enough beer," from English to Japanese and said "That's good, but far … Read more
The facial recognition technology that powers Face.com is now available to third-party developers. Those who are interested in using it inside of their applications will be able to take advantage of an open API that the company is making public Monday morning.
For consumers, Face.com's technology brings some very interesting things to the table. Face has already offered a tagging tool, as well as a recognition-based alert service for Facebook. But not everyone keeps their photos there. Using the new API, developers could build similar facial recognition tools into both desktop and Web based photo organizing apps … Read more
A few years ago you would have needed some good software and a beefy computer to do sharable, animated photo slideshows as good as what travel site TripAdvisor is now offering. Called TripWow, this new photo tool is completely free and requires no registration whatsoever. Better yet--the results look beautiful.
The tool appears to be aimed at folks who either do not have access to photo editing and sharing software, or a subscription to a photo-hosting service. That said, Picasa, Flickr, and Facebook users can import their shots with very little effort. There's also an option to upload from … Read more
Video host Dailymotion has quietly added a new feature for users who want to blend their digital photographs into slick-looking video slideshows.
The company has partnered with Stupeflix, a standalone media mash-up tool, to let users upload up to 30 photos, as well as an audio track that is turned into a video. This is distinctly different from companies like Animoto, that curate and maintain a collection of ready-to-go music tracks that can be used as the background music.
As for creating these slideshows, there's very little control over order and duration of the slides. Some might find this … Read more
Since being acquired by Google, YouTube's had a target on its head. This has been true both from a legal perspective, as well as from competitors that have done as much as possible to put out more features, or simply do things better. Web video host Vimeo's latest feature--called stats, which rolls out to paying Vimeo Plus members Tuesday afternoon--is a mix of both.
Stats has been in the works since 2008, though the project got sidelined for more pressing matters like better categorization, a mobile interface, 1080p video, and an HTML5 video player. Though not as sexy as most of those things, stats is probably the most important feature in helping Vimeo's video creators know more about how well their content has been received, as well as who's watching it.
Stats gives users a visual and numerical breakdown of:
Referrers (where videos are being watched from--including the individual sub-domain pages) What country viewers are from A breakdown of user likes and comments How many times a video has been downloaded How many times a video has been played versus how many times the player was simply loaded. How many of users actually finished the video (both on the site and in embeds).
The tracking that goes into making these numbers available works even for non-paying Vimeo users. The feature simply turns on once you become a Plus member. It can also go as far back as to when you joined the site, which for me was in June 2007. Although in a phone call with CNET a few weeks ago, a Vimeo representative said the tracking has only been going for the past year.
Beyond these metrics, many of which can be found on other video hosts, Vimeo's secret sauce is that it can further break out each metric by the quality of the video. So if you want to get an idea of how many viewers watched a standard definition, versus a high-definition copy of your video, you can do that. It can also spit those numbers out on a spreadsheet-friendly .CSV file.
The stats feature should be going live to Vimeo Plus users in the next few hours. Below, and after the break are some shots of what users will get. … Read more
Divvyshot, a photo-sharing start-up I first heard about last March, has opened to the public. It's a clever and attractive site for photo sharing, with an emphasis on group events. It also has the world's cutest sharing feature for iPhone users.
The site succeeds as a photo sharing service. It's easy to use and very, very clean. Firefox users also get the benefit of HTML 5 support: you can just drag photos onto the Web site to upload them. There's no need for an uploader app, although one is available for other browsers. A new Flickr … Read more
Hot on the heels of a visual face-lift, Facebook on Friday announced that the prototype version of its photo uploader, which was introduced in mid-November of last year, will soon be rolling out to all users.
Unlike the existing version of Facebook's photo uploader, the new uploader requires the installation of a browser plug-in. This inconvenience is rewarded with the option to leave Facebook entirely, while the photos continue to upload in the background. Previously, users would have had to leave that window or page running while the uploader did its magic.
Facebook also said the new uploader supports … Read more