Will Pando Solve Your Digital Media Problems (Like It Solved Mine)?

I used to have a problem, but a friend of mine helped me with it. He didn’t know he was helping me; in fact, he wasn’t even my friend when this problem first cropped up. So, to clarify: he’s a new friend who helped me solve an old problem.

My problem was this: I often record interviews on an Olympus digital recorder, and then download those files to my computer. But I generally don’t transcribe my own interviews anymore, so now I would need to get that digital file onto my research assistant’s computer so she could transcribe it. Unfortunately, even a 60-minute digital audio file is way too big to e-mail. This meant I had to burn a CD or put the file on a flash drive; either way, my researcher had to physically get the data from me. This wasn’t a big deal until she moved to Minnesota for a few months (long story). I resorted to FedEx’ing CD’s to her, which worked okay but was an expense and a hassle.

Enter Robert Levitan. He is a good friend of a good friend of mine, and I met Robert when he offered to help me think through the future of Freakonomics.com (another long story). He is a web guy of long standing and good repute, one of the founders of both iVillage and Flooz.com. His current venture is called Pando. “What,” I asked him when we first spoke, “is Pando?”

Pando, as it turns out, is a pretty simple program that lets you send and receive really large data files via your e-mail — either video, audio, data, any kind of media that lives on a computer. (Poof: my problem with the digital audio files was instantly solved.) But what’s more interesting is that Pando may represent the future of media distribution. This week, the company launched a new version that not only lets you send and receive large files personally, but also lets you subscribe to RSS video and audio feeds.

Pando is now in talks with networks and other content suppliers. So imagine a world where, instead of visiting different content destinations — NBC TV, for instance, or NBC.com, or NPR or whomever — in order to pull down the specific content you want, you program your computer to receive whatever content you regularly want from whatever content providers make it, and it comes to you. (It’s kind of like a Google Reader for video and audio content.) And once you have the file, you can move it around wherever you want. In a perfect world, Pando would let me get media from anywhere and share it with anyone — and I wouldn’t have to let every media company on the planet put a piece of distribution software on my computer.

As the TV networks, movie studios, and other content providers face the digital future with trepidation, I wonder if Pando may have a hand in solving their problems as well.

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  1. Chewxy says:

    Rapidshare, Megaupload, and the like :D

    I agree with speed that WLM is good too

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  2. Chewxy says:

    Rapidshare, Megaupload, and the like :D

    I agree with speed that WLM is good too

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. allboutcontent says:

    With video RSS, Pando could be a great resource for both consumers and content producers. The content I want, delivered to me is tough to beat. Sounds like a lot less time searching and more time watching. Plus because it’s downloads, not streaming, you’re not sacrificing picture or sound quality. That’s a good formula.

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  4. allboutcontent says:

    With video RSS, Pando could be a great resource for both consumers and content producers. The content I want, delivered to me is tough to beat. Sounds like a lot less time searching and more time watching. Plus because it’s downloads, not streaming, you’re not sacrificing picture or sound quality. That’s a good formula.

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  5. Yaron says:

    Thanks Stephen for the great write up. We’re big freak-fans here at Pando so this really made our day.

    You definitely got the gist of what we’re up to. The powerful consumer-to-consumer media sharing features of Pando enable our unique model of people-powered media “super-distribution”; a concept inspired by another book we love; “Linked”.

    In effect, we’re doing for hi-res portable (downloadable) media what YouTube has done for low-res streaming media; made it really easy for people to share and syndicate media they love via email and the Web. Content owners have really come around to recognizing the tremendous potential of putting consumers in control of media consumption and distribution. Exciting times ahead.

    Thanks again for recognizing us!

    -Yaron
    Founder, Pando Networks

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  6. Yaron says:

    Thanks Stephen for the great write up. We’re big freak-fans here at Pando so this really made our day.

    You definitely got the gist of what we’re up to. The powerful consumer-to-consumer media sharing features of Pando enable our unique model of people-powered media “super-distribution”; a concept inspired by another book we love; “Linked”.

    In effect, we’re doing for hi-res portable (downloadable) media what YouTube has done for low-res streaming media; made it really easy for people to share and syndicate media they love via email and the Web. Content owners have really come around to recognizing the tremendous potential of putting consumers in control of media consumption and distribution. Exciting times ahead.

    Thanks again for recognizing us!

    -Yaron
    Founder, Pando Networks

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  7. pkimelma says:

    It seems a shame that none of these have a login-free way to allow other people to send *you* a large file. That is, I would like to be able to send someone an email with a link. They click the link and it takes them to a site where they can choose local files to send back to me. The link would code a unique ID, so I could time expire it (avoid spam). This seems so natural that I am amazed I cannot find this anywhere.

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  8. pkimelma says:

    It seems a shame that none of these have a login-free way to allow other people to send *you* a large file. That is, I would like to be able to send someone an email with a link. They click the link and it takes them to a site where they can choose local files to send back to me. The link would code a unique ID, so I could time expire it (avoid spam). This seems so natural that I am amazed I cannot find this anywhere.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0