Jon Lech Johansen, a.k.a. DVD Jon, is an Internet legend for cracking the cryptography on DVD’s and in Apple’s FairPlay technology. He did this in a way that sounds totally great but which I am too stupid/lazy to really understand/use so feel safe mostly ignoring. Also he is Norwegian and like 16 years old. (Actually he’s 24 now. But the DVD hack he worked on (and was unsuccessfully prosecuted for) was released in 1999.)
But check out this CNet article about the first product from the company Johansen co-founded, doubleTwist Ventures. I can’t actually try it, because I’m living in OS X-ile, but if it does what it appears to do, it’s the media Swiss Army knife the world has been longing for. What doubleTwist appears to do is:
a) find and reconcile all your media files (music, movies, photos, etc.), on whatever storage devices, in whatever formats, and beats them over the head till they interoperate
b) gives you the power to share said files with friends via Facebook (and also by other means that I don’t really understand yet)
Also, it’s free. Says doubleTwist co-founder Monique Farantzos, in a statement:
“When you receive an email, you can read it on your Blackberry, web mail, or Outlook. E-mail just works. With digital media such as video from a friend’s cell phone or your own iTunes playlists, it’s a jungle out there. It can be an hour-long exercise in futility to convert files to the correct format and transfer them to your Sony PSP or your phone. The digital media landscape has become a tower of Babel, alienating and frustrating consumers. Our goal is to provide a simple and well integrated solution that the average consumer can use to eliminate the headaches associated with their expanding digital universe.”
Yes, Monique, yes! A million times yes! I don’t use my PSP anymore, but still: yes! This thing sounds unbelievably useful. God I hope it works.
(And did you see the byline on that CNet piece? Is there really a person who reports on digital media whose name is Erica Ogg?)