Mediafly is coming to the Roku Digital Media Player later this year. The Mediafly channel will aggregate free-of-charge audio and video podcasts from a variety of providers, including Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN, and NBC. While these programs are easily available on a PC, the Mediafly channel should provide a quick and easy way to enjoy them on a TV or living room audio system as well.
Currently, Mediafly allows users to organize podcasts into customized feeds that are then available on a variety of Web-connected devices, including the iPhone, Zune, and Blackberry. (Check out CNET's coverage of the recently released Mediafly iPhone App for an explanatory video.) However, the Mediafly experience on the Roku will include streamlined access to the most popular 500 shows across 20 topics without the need to set up an account or manage any subscriptions. For example, the promo screenshot (above) highlights the comedy genre, and shows at least two Comedy Central stand-up podcasts, along with "Ask A Ninja."
The capability to access audio and video podcasts exists on competing products such as Apple TV and TiVo DVRs, but both of them are considerably more expensive than the $99 Roku box. Originally introduced as a Netflix-only playback device, the "Roku Netflix Player" has since expanded its roster of content providers, adding Amazon Video-on-Demand as well. Mediafly is the first of 10 new channels that the company has pledged to add by the end of 2009.