Integrating MediaTomb into the desktop, and a hectic few weeks
In the end, however, it worked beautifully. My dad could click "search for media servers" on the Playstation, have it discover my computer, then he could just click videos and find the one to play. In the background, MediaTomb was silently transcoding the .mkv format (which the PS3 doesn't understand) to MPEG2.
We can do so much better
Imagine how amazing an easy interface to mediatomb could be. I could right click my Videos folder, select sharing options, and then check a box for "stream media in this folder over the network." Instead of manually editing configuration files and scripts, I click a button that says I have a Playstation, and it sets that all up automatically. I never even have to learn what codecs are, what UPNP does, or even that I'm using MediaTomb.
This could be a major feature in Ubuntu. This is something where we can easily outclass Apple and Microsoft, who seemed to be more worried about copy protection then actually letting you watch your own movies. It could even be a selling point for the Best Buy clerk trying to explain the boxed Ubuntu copy to a console gamer.
This requires real work to do
On a personal note, I haven't made a post in a few weeks. Real life has been very hectic. I moved back in with my parents to save some money, but the situation has become clearly unlivable for me and I'm finding it very hard to spend enough time on open source. There's so much for me to do in the coming months, and it'd be a real shame if Jaunty wasn't as good as it could be because I was too busy doing "real" work so I could get out of the house.
I'd really like to get more involved with making things like this much easier for every day human beings. I'm going to be visiting some apartments tomorrow in preparation for moving out, however I'm not sure if I'll have the savings to do it without making a huge financial risk. I may get stuck in a menial job just to pay rent, working even less on Ubuntu than I am now. Or, I might luck out and land a job at a place like Canonical, and be able to spend 80 hours a week just doing what I love. I can't help but feel optimistic in this community.