We made the New York Times

Remember that new job I started two months back? Well, we have been hard at work preparing for our first public release. I’m happy to report we went live this past Tuesday as the new & shiny Silverlight Toolkit, which will have surpassed 10,000 downloads by the time you read this.

What’s really cool is we were briefly mentioned in the New York Times on Wednesday as part of the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference in LA this week.

Silverlight Toolkit in the New York Times

That is a pretty big deal for a new team like ours. We are already working on the next release since part of our charter is shipping new controls with full source code early and often.

So you’re probably thinking, "Why should I care? I’m not creating a Silverlight application anytime soon." First, stop hating. 🙂 Second, the answer is that Silverlight is growing rapidly and gaining ubiquity so you will likely experience many of your favorite sites through Silverlight in the future. For example, Netflix announced this week it will begin using Silverlight to bring its on-demand, instant streaming feature to both PCs and Macs by end of year. See, Silverlight is for movie lovers too.

Happy Halloween!

TiVo Series3 + Amazon Unbox + Rhapsody + SlingBox = Digital Media Nirvana

TB and I have been NetFlix subscribers since the service debuted. We have not been watching as many DVDs lately due to our work & travel schedules but there also haven’t been many good movies out, in my opinion. We have a bunch of C- movies in our possession on average so we end up waiting a few days to receive a new movie we are interested when it is finally released on DVD. Well, no more.

We saddled up with TiVo again, finally trading in our Comcast DVR for a TiVo Series3. We were TiVo subscribers in our previous homes via DirecTV and missed the simple, easy-to-use and it-just-works interface of the boxes since switching to Comcast a couple years back. I’m glad we rediscovered TiVo as the Series3 boxes and their various services are simply amazing.

With our Series3 box we can:TiVo Unbox Rhapsody Slingbox

  1. Watch all our favorite high-definition broadcast (football!) and premium programs in all their 720p and 1080i glory.  
  2. Rent new movies and TV shows using Amazon Unbox directly from the TiVo—or any computer connected to the Internet. (more)
  3. Listen to the latest music via RealNetworks Rhapsody directly from the TiVo. (more)
  4. View our TiVo recordings in other rooms in our home among multiple TiVo Series2, TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD boxes. (Multi-Room Viewing)
  5. Copy any (unprotected) recorded programs from the TiVo to any computer on our home network—enables us to burn the program to DVD or take on-the-road on a laptop. This feature isn’t well advertised by TiVo…probably to keep Hollywood off their back. Requires the free TiVo Desktop 2.5 (or later) software. (TiVoToGo)
  6. Copy any video saved on any computer on our home network to the TiVo—enables us to watch things like YouTube programs and home movies on the big screen. This feature isn’t well advertised by TiVo either. Requires purchase of TiVo Desktop 2.5 Plus software for $25.
  7. Take any of those programs from #5 and copy them to portable digital media players like an iPod or our Zunes—great for the gym and airplane. Requires purchase of TiVo Desktop 2.5 Plus.
  8. Access our entire digital music collection and play our music on the big system with song information displayed on the big TV. Requires free TiVo Desktop 2.5 software. (more)
  9. Access our entire digital photo collection and view them on the big TV for sharing with family and friends. Requires free TiVo Desktop 2.5 software. (more)
  10. Check local weather, traffic, etc. using Yahoo! services. (more)

That’s quite a list of features that make the new TiVo boxes and monthly subscription fees worth it to us. Once you factor in our Slingbox AV—which gives us access to all our TiVo content from anywhere in the world—it’s clear we have truly reached Digital Media Nirvana.