This ad on Campus Technology worries me. It’s from a company who I believe was on the road to extintion: Real Networks. Remember RealPlayer?
They developed a product, named Helix. Their pitch goes like this:
Archive athletic events.
Control who uploads and downloads content.
Currently serving hundreds of universities (including Rutgers), Helix is revamping the Control mode:
…create a branded video library that functions like YouTube, complete with the security your organization needs.
Which is OK if you are Coca-Cola and you want to hide your How-To videos from all those spies from Pepsi, but is questionable for a University, which should be the temple of openness.
In fact, if you want a video library to work like YouTube, and you are within academia, well, why don’t you use YouTube? Quality factors? Yes, I agree, it’s not consistent quality, and you have a lot of limitations. But you have also complete freedom. It’s “open” and universal.
Seriously, I am worried that we are little by little going back to the closed model of media behind paywalls or firewalls in our colleges. Faculty: consider please not publishing videos, lectures or whatever behind closed doors, with proprietary formats.