Oggbama

So Bush went, and Obama came in — even taking time to check on Bush before he left. But what was disappointing to me was the sheer lack of ways to watch the thing with free software.
The official site used Microsoft Silverlight, and surprisingly, YouTube didn’t do a live feed. There were a couple of options floating around:
* Install Moonlight (bleh!) — okay, so Moonlight is free software, but before you rush off and install it, know that you’ll have to click through on a Microsoft EULA to actually do anything useful with it, like watch a president take office. Silly, silly, silly.
* WBUR’s Live Ogg Vorbis stream — This one is reasonable. It’s just not as much fun to listen to it. You need to *see* this kind of thing, really.
* BBC World Service — This one, works with Totem. Some old Real Media or Windows Media format I’m sure, but old enough to have support in free software at least. Patent encumbered and less than ideal.
Of course, the BBC World Service is distributed in the US by Public Radio International — and they supply content to WBUR. So, is there a way they could supply their TV to a local PBS affliate that would be willing to stream Theora? I think it’s worth fighting for.

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2 comments

  1. Duv · January 23, 2009

    Sort of a shame, I know that BBC was doing a live feed through flash for video coverage. I was watching that the whole morning…. sucked that i have to DL another copy of it through.

  2. eagle · January 24, 2009

    Especially with government communications, we need to rely on communication that can be used with free software. Citizens should not be required to enter into a restrictive corporate software license agreement, in order to participate in their own governance. Also, people need to be able to preserve the communications for history. Just imagine if FDR’s fireside chats were transmitted in an encoded, DRM format. This sort of thing would be immediately unacceptable if it were text, so be sure to help people understand that audio and video should be held to the same standards!

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