Entrepreneur Interview Series: A Sit-Down with Screenius genius co-founder Seth Cohen

Screenius may sound like the ominous description of an evil-genius iPad app hell-bent on world domination — but it’s far less maleficent than that. Screenius is a newly-launched iPad app that is joining the ranks of Angry Birds, Doodle Jump and Pocket God.

Screenius is another infotainment tool — one that helps you funnel your video choices through its ‘video valet’ services. This video-funnelling tool reduces the ridiculously-large amount of online video choice and whittles it down to a bearable size to offer you just two choices.

Quite genius if you think about it. If you were to go to a Ben and Jerry’s and stare at their 75+ flavors your eyes would glaze over as you tried to choose. Go to McDonalds however and your choice between their simplistic Chocolate or Vanilla is practically child’s play. “People can be paralyzed by too many choices,” points out Seth Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Screenius.

Screenius is more than just a video-viewing app though. It’s an intelligent app that learns your tastes as you go. If you watch TED Talks and The Colbert Report clips regularly, it won’t pop-up with Justin Bieber’s new Christmas hit or Jersey Shore reruns (both of which YouTube erroneously suggested to me last week, shudder). In addition to learning your likes the app includes review posting, sharing, and short menus for video browsing.

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Twusic – Tweet your Music

Twusic is Twitter meet Music.

After spending some time on Twitter as a user, you might notice that a lot of people share their music taste. But all this content only appears as text. For music lovers it’s great to share with others what they’re listening to but is it really relevant for their followers?

Actually, there are many tweets containing the #nowplaying hashtag, thanks to all the music services that allow users to automatically push their music onto their Twitter account.

Late 2010, Twitter started to include Apple Ping music information for those sharing their music via iTunes but, again, without the possibility to listen to that music, unless you already have it on your computer.

That was some sort of solution, but not good enough.

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Autoplay Video in HTML5

I’ve been playing around with SublimeVideo; it’s being used on the Launch Page of Levoma. As the video had to be part of the page, I was hoping I can do an autoplay in the HTML and it automatically play on its own. However, SublimeVideo won’t allow that.

The Video Embed code for HTML5 states that you can have an autoplay so the video can be played without needing user intervention.

<video src="myvideo.ogg" width="320" height="240" autoplay></video>

That didn’t play well with Sublime Video code. SublimeVideo’s API (still in beta) suggest using sublimevideo.prepareAndPlay(video) but they didn’t have a code handy to use. So, here is the simple code to do it.

Here is a working example.

(Video Source: Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971))

P.S. However, on a philosophical note and best practice, I’d not throw a video to a user that auto-play on its own. The Video on Levoma was part of the landing-page experience and there was no audio.

Chicken a la Carte

This short film is about the hunger and poverty brought about by Globalization. There are thousands people dying everyday due to hunger and malnutrition. This short film shows a forgotten portion of the society. The people who live on the refuse of men to survive. What is inspiring is the hope and spirituality that never left this people.

Ferdinand Dimadura’s short film — Chicken a la Carte (imdb) — will surely leave you spellbound.

Panda – Video Solved

Panda: Video SolvedPanda is an awesome open source solution for video uploading, encoding and streaming.

By providing an elegant REST API, Panda makes it completely painless to implement full video uploading, encoding and streaming functionality to your web application in a matter of hours.

  • Runs completely within Amazon’s Web Services utilising EC2, S3 and SimpleDB.
  • Everything contained within one elegant Merb application.
  • Support for the numerous encoding profiles FFmpeg supports including FLV, h264 for Flash a iPhone formats.
  • Lovely little admin dashboard for managing your videos.

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