Thinking once more about state and synchronisation
When I registered thestateofme.com some years back it was for a project to allow synchronisation of RSS aggregator/reader state across a number of systems. I never wrote any code because things got overtaken by events. Firstly I discovered RSS Bandit, which had a mechanism to sync state via a WebDAV server (and a number of other means). Then along came Google Reader. At first it kind of sucked, and I kept on using RSS Bandit, but a year or so later I switched to Google Reader and I’ve never looked back.
But now state synchronisation is once again looming as a problem. I want to read ebooks, listen to audiobooks and watch videos on a range of devices, and I want to be able to pick up where I left off – regardless of which device I last used.
Despite knowing that ‘it’s a trap‘ I ordered a Kindle 3G a few days back, which should be delivered by the end of the month. I’ve accumulated so many O’Reilly ebooks recently that I reckoned it was worth having a dedicated device for them. But what if I get going on a novel using it, and then decide I’d like to read a few pages on my iPod touch, or my Tablet PC, or the Android phone I’ve yet to buy?
I recently got a bunch of audiobooks from Audible via a free promotion from a UK newspaper. I’d never tried the format before, but I kind of like it – I listened to a few chapters of Matter on the way to/from a reunion event at the weekend. The Kindle should pay those books too, so how do I start from the right place without laboriously writing down the chapter and time stamp?
I should also take this opportunity to moan about Windows Media Player’s lack of a ‘resume’ function. I like to watch videos on way train ride home, but I don’t always get to complete a whole episode. If I pause an episode then I can pick up again – provided that the machine hasn’t been restarted (which happens all too often with Windows). It’s also feasible that I’d start watching a video on my laptop, and want to finish it on a media player at home, or an iPod or whatever.
The answer to all of these questions is a bookmark service in the sky.
Of course it’s never that simple. People need to agree on APIs and data formats, but it’s also not rocket science. Just to make things a little more tricky though I’d like something that isn’t trapped inside a proprietary content/player silo.
Anybody out there interested in giving this a push forward?
Filed under: cloud, could_do_better, media, technology | 7 Comments
Tags: audiobook, bookmark, cloud, ebook, media, player, reader, state, sync, synchronisation, video