The evolution of a revolution

Posted: June 17, 2010 by f3technologies in F3 Technologies, FargoTube

As we wrap up our customer pilot phase and prepare to launch FargoTube into the broader market next week, we thought it would be a good time to tell you how we’re incorporating the feedback we received these past few weeks.

We’ve expanded FargoTube’s upload capacity and its compatibility with a broader variety of operating systems, internet browsers and mobile devices. We’ve made FargoTube more versatile for users with especially fast and especially slow internet connections. And we’re expanding our partners’ ability to monetize audio files and still images through FargoTube.

As you may know by now, FargoTube is a revolutionary online service that delivers video and other media in a social-networking setting. Content owners can sell some videos while offering others free of charge, sell t-shirts and other fan paraphernalia, promote concerts and film releases, get fans’ feedback, and allow fans to share their enthusiasm with one another.

The feedback that we’ve gotten over the last few weeks is vital because FargoTube will be a primary means of communication between content owners (musicians, film production companies, etc.) and their fans. We want to make sure that our partners can deliver their video content seamlessly with the rest of their online presence, including their branding, their websites, and their use of third-party social-networking websites. We’re adding up to 10 new themes that content owners can incorporate into their tubes (by “themes,” I mean patterns and color schemes such as the tartan in the image below). Tubes can also be customized with a growing range of layouts.

The most significant improvement may be FargoTube’s improved compatibility with mobile devices. Starting this week, our uploader converts video files into .mp4 format, which is compatible with the video players in Apple’s iPhones and the new iPads. The Flash format that we’re dropping wasn’t compatible with the html5 technology on iPads.

We’ve recently improved FargoTube’s compatibility with Linux and Macintosh operating systems to match its high performance on Windows. We’ve also made it more compatible with Mozilla’s Firefox internet browser, Apple’s Safari browser, and Google Chrome. One minor glitch that we eliminated was the tendency of some browsers to render certain fonts awkwardly large.

We’re in partnership discussions with an art school that wants to use FargoTube as a way for students to submit assignments for review by instructors. As a result, we’re allowing videos, music and still images (including photos and graphic arts) to be bundled and sent over the same tube.

FargoTube can now handle files as large as a gigabyte, and up to 10 at a time. That means New Line Cinema, the studio behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy, could easily upload all three films if it wanted to stay in touch with fans of the movies via FargoTube. And it would be able to add seven outtakes or pieces of behind-the-scenes footage at the same time.

But we believe FargoTube’s greatest advantage is its ability to put independent studios and artists on the same playing field with the giants. FargoTube’s first significant partners, the country music label Strange Records and its four musicians, are pursuing an online-first strategy with their music and fan paraphernalia. “It’s pretty rare that you can go to Wal-Mart or Target and get placed,” Strange Celebrity Entertainment, LLC, President Kendall Bard told me yesterday.

We also increased FargoTube’s “time out” period, allowing partners with slower internet connections to upload large files.

We’d love for you to check out the new features for yourself at http://www.FargoTube.com.  The standard features are all available there, and we will continue working with partners to customize their “tubes” with the features they need.

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