Photo and video enhancer Cooliris (download) has launched an updated version of its browser add-on that brings new features including support for viewing local media, file specific metadata, and a Facebook photo viewer that shows user name tags. It's also available--for the first time, to Linux users.
A few weeks ago I met with Shashi Seth, Cooliris' chief revenue officer, and Austin Shoemaker who is the company's CTO to talk about the release, which they say has addressed some of the top requests from their users. The biggest being the capability to view local photos and videos from their computer's hard drive inside of Cooliris' 3D media wall, which users on all three platforms can now do.
This basically turns your browser into an ad-hoc media center, something Shoemaker says has been created to be a unified experience across multiple platforms. For instance, if you're on a Mac, it links up with iPhoto, and if you're on a PC, it organizes your "my pictures" folder by album. Either way, you see your stuff without telling the service where to go to find it.
But what about Web content you ask? It's also been given a boost--literally. The new version has a visual effects engine that take better advantage of users' graphics hardware. For Mac users the tool is using OpenGL, and on Windows it's Direct 3D. Seth says it runs lean enough that most hardware from the last five years or so should have no problems with it. In my brief testing I ran it on a 3- year-old PC with barely a hiccup, however it's noticeably smoother on my other machine with a beefier graphics card.
Additionally, the tool now displays a much broader selection of metadata from selected sites. When viewing photos from Picasa Web Albums and Google Image search, or videos from YouTube, it now shows things like view count, user ratings, exposure, aperture, and resolution. This unfortunately… Read more