Hey!Watch – Transcoding 2.0

Hey!Watch launched over the holidays.

Got an invitation code this weekend, just as I was getting up to speed on using my new Samsung Blackjack phone. Ah, the joy of synchronicity.

What Hey!Watch does is allow you to transcode video – translating it from one format to another.

In and of itself, that’s nothing to write home (or blog) about. But, they’ve added a number of features that I think are remarkable.

First and foremost, in addition to uploading video from your hard drive, you can point Hey!Watch at a url, or an RSS Feed with enclosures.

What this means is that you can “pull” videos from YouTube, MetaCafe, and many other sources – including video podcasts, or other feeds which are regularly updated. Point Hey!Watch at an RSS feed that has video enclosures, and it automagically discovers the videos, including updating when new ones are posted.

Second, it offers and incredible number of ingest and output formats – so it can take the Flash-based videos from YouTube and create WMV or MPG videos.

Finally, you can subscribe to an RSS feed of your encoded (really, transcoded) videos – so any video you’ve added to the system, via upload, via pointing to a url, via an RSS feed, gets added to your transcoded videos and published to that RSS feed. You can also hit a web page with thumbnails of all your transferred or transcoded videos, if you prefer – and download / delete them.

This is the right way to do transcoding in a Web 2.0 world.

The only thing not completely clear to me (my fault for not reading closely the terms when signing up) is what the revenue model is. I know I have a “watcher” level account for some period of time but I don’t have a clear picture of what all the different levels include, which are free (and which will continue to be free) and what the costs are.

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