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. Din says:

    I have used Pando before but the speed ain’t that impressive.

    For rapid file transfers, a neater solution would be Rocketstream. http://www.rocketstream.com

    If Pando has the speed of Rocketstream, it would even be more impressive. Imagine media delivery to anywhere over the world at high speed, minutes not hours.

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  2. Din says:

    I have used Pando before but the speed ain’t that impressive.

    For rapid file transfers, a neater solution would be Rocketstream. http://www.rocketstream.com

    If Pando has the speed of Rocketstream, it would even be more impressive. Imagine media delivery to anywhere over the world at high speed, minutes not hours.

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  3. Chloe says:

    Democracy Player/Miro supports RSS video streams. It is exactly a RSS reader for videos. It also lets you search for videos too.

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  4. Chloe says:

    Democracy Player/Miro supports RSS video streams. It is exactly a RSS reader for videos. It also lets you search for videos too.

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  5. Jason says:

    Pando is, essentially, a trojan. Crooked companies sign up to distribute content using it, install it with their software, and then Pando stays resident on that users computer until they realize something is eating up their bandwidth and wasting their connection to better the Pando network, at the expense of their own service. They don’t inform the user that Pando will remain resident on the computer, wasting your internet connectivity. With usage based billing actually IN EFFECT (the news is generally wrong about this, people have low caps and huge overage charges RIGHT NOW here) in most Canadian households, this can lead to massively increased Internet bills. It can also lead to degraded internet service, because Pando is wasting your bandwidth.

    This is not an application to be promoting. As people who supposedly research this very topic, I am shocked and somewhat appalled that you would post something as irresponsible as this. Pando is a weed that needs to be eliminated from the Internet, it’s essentially a legal virus. This completely shoots down you folks credibility. :/ Which is kinda disappointing.

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  6. Peterson says:

    Pando is a scam. It collects as much information about you as it possibly can, then sells it off to the highest bidder, and then automatically downloads a bunch of viruses to your computer. You should read the EULA next time.

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