20110213

Ahem... Picasa?

Dear Google,

Don't you think it's about time to make functional Picasa clients for Linux and Android?

Currently, I am relying on a random 3rd-party app maker to upload video from my Google Nexus S to my Google / Picasa Web account - it's a little discomforting.

Also, video transcoding for Picasa Web albums is really straight forward to do using ffmpeg from the command-line, and it will even do VP8 :) ... but still, I can only upload videos from Picasa using Windows or Mac. If you're worried about software patents, then just use a plug-in architecture with dlopen(). That way, users can supply "their own" versions of popular multimedia encoders / decoders. For closed-source platforms, just write a plug-in that uses the codecs available on that system (e.g. windows, os x).

2 comments:

Christopher Friedt said...

Clearly Google is concerned about the amount of resources that on-device transcoding might consume, including battery power, or potentially that users might encode and upload copyrighted material (i doubt it).

The video formats / constraints are here. Considering that most mobile devices save video in one of the already-supported compressed formats, transcoding is not really an issue. The only issue I could forsee would have to do with size (1GB from Picasa, 100MB from Mac).

Transcoding could conflict with Android's wait lock mechanism, if it takes a really long time.

I would think that most of these things are relatively simple problems to solve... convert the transcoding process into a background process with a high 'nice' value. Saving state might be a bit tricky. Use preference properties to only transcode when connected to a power source, or when battery power is above some threshold, and when connected via wifi rather than 3G.

Christopher Friedt said...

They've added a web interface for video uploading - good work!