Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Second pillar of Ovi revealed - Share

**Update** - share online fixed to add Ovi as a service provider and according to the Ovi product manager at MWC - monthly upload limits may be relaxed in the near future.

The door to Nokia's Internet services opened a bit further this week with Share online (Nokia's twango acquisition) hitting the web, following on from the UK music store.

Ovi share is based around media sharing (privately or publicly) similar to Flickr for Photos and YouTube for video.

All the usual elements are there: private / public group sharing / widgets for republishing media / email and MMS upload / RSS feeds and social networking elements / media editing functions / developer api (although I didn't delve into this to see how advanced it is). There's a 100 different media file types for upload, covering all the main formats.

Strangely Nokia's share online app is **still** being updated to include Ovi Share (but the link on the homepage to install the new version, whilst working, did not add anything new (Flickr and Vox are still the only service providers)).

I got round this by adding an end destination Ovi channel as an email destination in Shozu so can post pics/vids directly to Ovi without Share online, but it's a bit annoying I have to use a 3rd party app to do this when Nokias own media uploading app doesn't!

...The web based editing (eg. rotate, size, brightness) and vizualisation (eg. slideshow) tools for images are very basic unlike Piknik integrated within Flickr Pro, but Flickr has been going a couple of years - so I'm sure we'll see an evolution with these embedded functions.

The monthly upload limit is disappointing as well, but presumably we'll see a pay-for-extra-upload-storage-and-features business model coming. Another slight peeve is when viewing slideshows or listening to audio clips uploaded into your channels, clicking on the media forces a new browser window open to view it /listent to it - in line listening or viewing is much better user experience.

Trawling through the forums about feature requests from users it looks like Nokia are aware of the need for deeper level integrations (Ovi Facebook apps are mentioned for example)to play nicely with other web platforms and media web sites, so the Ovi share team are going to be very busy over the next 12 months.

From the mobile standpoint it would have been nice to have deeper level integration there too, eg. being able to dial a number and leave audio snippets directly a-la-spinvox or utterz rather than attach an mp3 voiceclip to an email for upload, being able to send a text directly to Ovi.

Mobile access is straightforward enough through the mobile browser as you'd imagine via the URL with access to most of the functions within the main website. No dedicated client as yet.

... Ovi looks to be shaping into something pretty important for Nokia ... there is the danger of course that Ovi tries to do too much and become one all-encompassing black hole doing nothing particularly well, when compared to specialist sites (eg. flickr for photos, youTube for video, and the different Social networking sites) so we'll have to wait and see...

I'll continue to play with Ovi Share and will be looking out to see if Nokia manage to get cross-integration of the other pillars of Ovi (n-gage / music / maps ) or whether these will remain as silos as they launch. Where will MOSH sit I wonder?

Also I hope Nokia will adopt the partnering model with specific 3rd parties(such as Moo with Flickr). Right now though, from a photo standpoint, I won't be giving up the Flickr pro account just yet...