Voddler

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Voddler
Original author(s) Voddler, Inc.
Initial release July 1, 2009 (2009-07-01)
Written in Adobe-Air-based front end and proprietary back end/server
Operating system Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X (Intel only)
Platform x86
Type Media player
License Closed Source (Proprietary Software)
Website www.voddler.com

Voddler is a commercial video-on-demand service and accompanying media player client application distributing movies and television programming using a patented hybrid peer-to-peer distribution system.[1][2][3] Voddler was founded 2005 by Martin Alsen, Magnus Dalhamn[4] and Mattias Bergström.[4]

Voddler's concept is similar to those of Amazon Video on Demand, Vudu, Headweb, Spotify, and Grooveshark, but only for video,[5][6] and with its media player client software's 10-foot user interface is primarily designed for the living-room TV instead of a desktop computer interface, much like the graphical user interface of Boxee.[7][8] The service in its advertisement-financed version is currently only available in parts of Nordic countries of Europe during the ongoing beta phase, although they claim that their subscription model will in the future also be available in almost all countries in North America, Western Europe, Russia and the Baltic states.[1][9]

Voddler is developed by a privately held for-profit startup company Voddler, Inc. which is a Swedish high tech company with its head office in Stockholm,[3] the corporation was founded in 2005 and is responsible for the development of the Voddler P2P/TV video content delivery service and Voddler Player client software.[10][11][12] Financially backed by funding from several small venture capital companies like Swedish Deseven and Finnish Eqvitec,[13][14][15] as well as investments from Elisa Oyj (a Finnish telecommunications company)[9]

In September 2010, Voddler also introduced Voddler Social with integrated social networking features into the Voddler media player client that allow you to directly share recommendations to your friends, similar to that of Boxee and Spotify media player clients and their respective social networks.[16][17][18]

Content[edit]

Movies that are new or popular will only be made available through subscription or pay-per-view, while older and less popular movies can be seen for free with advertisements. A few movies are also said to be made available at the same time as the premiere in the cinemas.[19]

Voddler have to this date confirmed current deals to carry content from Noble Entertainment, Scanbox Entertainment, Non-Stop Entertainment, Film-Factory, Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company, this includes subsidiary companies such as Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films from Disney and also DreamWorks Studios from Paramount.[20] Voddler have also announced that they have also signed an agreement to carry content from Sony Pictures Television, including subsidiary companies of Sony Pictures such as Screen Gems, Columbia Pictures Television, TriStar Television, Columbia TriStar Television, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM),[21] as well as Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.[22] In addition to Sandrew Metronome (a Scandinavian film distributor) that is one of the biggest distributor companies in the Nordic countries,[23] which is the market that Voddler is targeting first with expansion to Norway, Denmark, and Finland during the spring of 2010 announced.[24]

Player software[edit]

Voddler's standalone media player application software is only available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, and is since the 8th of March 2010 completely closed source and based on Adobe Air proprietary software framework, at the same time they have also launched an Adobe Flash based website which allows the users to watch movies directly in a web browser as an alternative to using Voddler's standalone media player application software.[25][26][27]

The network client ("VNetManager" background daemon / service) function is a separate application and it uses closed source proprietary code from Voddler, and the same goes for Voddler's back-end server application that Voddler runs.

Movie delivery and storage[edit]

P2PTV overlay network serving three video streams.

Similar to that of Vudu's hybrid peer-to-peer TV and P2P-Next technologies. The Voddler player connects to a user’s home broadband Internet connection to deliver movies, users select the movie that they want to watch then a few advertisements clips start to play before the selected movie starts playing. The first couple of seconds of every movie within the catalog is loaded onto the hard disk drive of the computer that the user is running the Voddler player on, ensuring instant playback when the user chooses to watch a given film. The remainder of the movie is delivered to the client via an exclusive peer-to-peer network with each Voddler player serving movie content to other boxes within the network. This process begins instantaneously while the user views the loaded portion of the movie, allowing for seamless viewing. The movie then finishes downloading to the users hard disk drive. Users are not yet able to set the amount of internet bandwidth the client uses, this is instead determined by the Voddler client automatically and the quality of the movies delivered depends on the users internet bandwidth. Movies and advertisements clips are cached and stored locally on the user hard disk drive, and the Voddler client will store up to 13GB of movies on the user's hard drive.[18][28][29]

Voddler Social[edit]

Voddler Social is Voddler’s new integrated social networking features to share, review, and discuss films online with your friends within the Voddler Social social network that was introduced at the end of September 2010. This feature also allows the user to post their recommendations on Facebook and/or Twitter direct from the Voddler media player client, and you can also import all your Facebook-friends to quickly generate a friends list to start with when you begin to build a circle of friends around you that you follow in this social network.[16][17][18]

GPL violation controversy[edit]

Similar to Boxee, Voddler's first media player software, then called Voddler Player, was initially based on the GNU Public Licensed source code of XBMC Media Center, a free and open source software, which GUI interface Voddler uses as its application framework for the media player on the client side.[30][31][32][33][34]

However in late November 2009, concerns were raised by Voddler users as to whether Voddler was in violation of the GPL license by incorporating parts of XBMC Media Center and FFmpeg source code into their client software but not providing all of the Voddler source code needed to compile the Voddler player executable. December 21, 2009, Voddler made an official reply stating that they will comply and provide all of the requested source code, however so far they have still not done so, and developers from XBMC Media Center say that they have several times tried to contact Voddler without success.[35][36][37][38]

On 24 February 2010, Voddler temporary stopped their VOD service due to their encryption scheme for streaming videos had been hacked, and at this time they also announced that they would move to instead use Adobe Air and Flash proprietary based media player and front-end clients.[39][40][41][42][43]

Competitors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Voddler (2009-07-21). "Voddler FAQ". Voddler.com. 
  2. ^ Nicholas Mead (2009-07-21). "Exclusive interview with Voddler’s co-founder". SOFTONIC INTERNATIONAL S.L. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.voddler.com/about/
  4. ^ a b "Soffpotatisarnas nya bästa kompis". 
  5. ^ Liz Gannes (2009-09-01). "Voddler Riding Hype as Spotify for Video". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Pingdom (2009-08-28). "Spotify and Voddler: Hot Swedish companies prepared to take streaming to new heights". Royal Pingdom. 
  7. ^ Peter Pettersson (2009-07-27). "Svensk gratistjänst erbjuder tv på nätet" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. 
  8. ^ Jonka Tekijä (2010-01-04). "Voddler: the Spotify of movies". Serial Creative Director. 
  9. ^ a b IT 24 (2010-09-07). "Finska miljoner ska ta Voddler österut" (in Swedish). IDG.se. 
  10. ^ ecoustics.com (2007-04-13). "Voddler Announces Global TV-On-Demand Service". ecoustics.com. 
  11. ^ allabolag.se (2009-07-17). "Voddler Sweden AB" (in Swedish). allabolag.se. 
  12. ^ TradeVibes (2008-09-15). "Voddler Overview". Mill River Labs. 
  13. ^ Daniel Goldberg (2010-01-11). "Han ska styra upp Voddler" (in Swedish). IDG.se. 
  14. ^ Daniel Goldberg (2010-02-05). "26 miljoner till Voddler" (in Swedish). IDG.se. 
  15. ^ Martin Schori (2010-02-03). "De har pumpat in pengar i Voddler – hela listan" (in Swedish). Dagens Media. 
  16. ^ a b http://www.voddler.com/blog/view/2756645978784768249/voddler-social-new-social-features-on-voddlercom-to-share-review-and-discuss-your-favorite-films/ Voddler Social – new social features on Voddler.com to share, review and discuss your favorite films
  17. ^ a b "In The Footsteps Of Spotify - Voddler Goes Social". ArcticStartup. 
  18. ^ a b c dojan (2010-09-17). "Voddler gör en Spotify – blir sociala med Facebook" (in Swedish). Newsdesk PR 2.0. 
  19. ^ Aron Andersson (2009-07-21). "Så ska Voddler bli ett Spotify för filmvärlden" (in Swedish). Metro. 
  20. ^ "Voddler announces agreements with major Hollywood companies...". MyNewsdesk. 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2009-11-01. 
  21. ^ "Voddler and Sony Picture Television signs agreement". Voddler Blog. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  22. ^ Karin Lindström (2010-03-10). "Voddler tecknar Hollywoodavtal" (in Swedish). IDG.se. 
  23. ^ IT 24 (2010-02-17). "Voddler skriver på med Sandrew" (in Swedish). IDG.se. 
  24. ^ IT 24 (2010-02-10). "Voddler satsar på Danmark" (in Swedish). IDG.se. 
  25. ^ Louise Josborg (2010-02-24). "Hackare knäckte skyddet - Voddler stängs" (in Swedish). SVT. 
  26. ^ Niklas Dahlin, Mats Lewan (2010-02-25). "The new Voddler – released March 8th" (in Swedish). Voddler Blog. 
  27. ^ Marie (2010-02-25). "Filmtjänsten Voddler stängs efter hackerattack" (in Swedish). Ny Teknik. 
  28. ^ "Push-Pull Based Content Delivery System (Voddler Software Patent)". freepatentsonline.com. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  29. ^ Voddler. "Exklusivt: Voddler Voddler FAQ". voddler.com. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  30. ^ "Yes, we have built the player with xbmc as a foundation.". xbmc.org. 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  31. ^ "Voddler använder XBMC (Uppdaterad!)" (in Swedish). xbmc.nu. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  32. ^ Daniel Goldberg (2009-07-01). "Premiär för ny svensk filmtjänst" (in Swedish). Computer Sweden. 
  33. ^ Bredbandsbolaget (2009-07-01). "Bredbandsbolaget Voddler Beta Kampanj" (in Swedish). Bredbandsbolaget. 
  34. ^ Kevin Anderson (2009-10-07). "Boxee: Thinking inside the box". Guardian. 
  35. ^ "voddler.com is in violation of GPL". Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  36. ^ Andersson, Niklas (2009-12-18). "Förbannade Voddlare vill se koden" (in Swedish). Computer Sweden. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  37. ^ "Reply from XBMC developer in official XBMC Community Forum". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  38. ^ Andreas Jansson (2010-02-19). "Voddler anklagas för kodstöld" (in Swedish). Computer Sweden. 
  39. ^ "voddler.com is in violation of GPL". Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  40. ^ Andersson, Niklas (2009-12-18). "Förbannade Voddlare vill se koden" (in Swedish). Computer Sweden. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  41. ^ "Reply from XBMC developer in official XBMC Community Forum". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  42. ^ Andreas Jansson (2010-02-19). "Voddler anklagas för kodstöld" (in Swedish). Computer Sweden. 
  43. ^ Rasmus Fleischer. "Därför hackades filmsajten Voddler" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2010-02-28. 

External links[edit]