Cooliris browser add-on was just updated to a new version that now offers something many users have been clamoring for: Linux support. With the 1.10 release of this 3D photo and video viewing plugin, Linux users running Firefox 3 can now also take advantage of this visually impressive software program for surfing through rich media on the web. In addition, the new version of Cooliris includes improvements to their Facebook support, the ability to browse local files on your computer, and the addition of metadata to the content you're viewing.The
The New Cooliris Feature Set
First and foremost, the biggest news regarding the latest release is definitely the added support for Linux operating systems. In order for Cooliris to work on Linux, you need to run a recent Linux distribution (e.g. Ubuntu 8.04, Fedora 10, OpenSuse 11). You'll also need hardware-accelerated graphics, Flash 10+, and Firefox 3.
Another new feature is the software's ability to now view files that are saved on your own computer. At the moment, this local media support is limited to photos only, but the company is working on adding video support in a later release. In a way, this makes the browser plugin behave somewhat like desktop software as it blurs the line between what's online and what's not. Just as you can browse through Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, and Google Images, you can now click on an item that reads "My Computer" to gain access to your local media store, too.
Finally, the software has been upgraded to include additional metadata about the content you're viewing. This may seem like an inconsequential upgrade, but it actually may be the most useful of them all. Instead of simply browsing through the photos or videos, you can now see additional information like ratings, view counts, title, resolution, etc. If you're flipping through the Facebook photos, you can easily move from one friend's photos to another's by clicking the names of the people tagged in the photo, accessible from the metadata section at the bottom of the image. This upgrade also applies to items in the "Shopping" section of the plugin where you can virtually window shop at Amazon.com.
Coming Soon: A New Cooliris for iPhone
Cooliris is also releasing an upgrade for their iPhone application, too, which will include some of the same features as the browser plugin. One notable exception, however, is that it won't have the ability to browse through the photos stored locally on the device itself. This is because Apple prevents the application from tapping into that local store, explains Shashi Seth, the company's Chief Revenue Officer. That said, the new iPhone app will display metadata, which should make it a more useful way to surf through your online media, go shopping, or catch up on the news.
Cooliris Raises $15.5 M
The company also announced that it has completed $15.5 million in Series B funding from a group of investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, The Westly Group and the T-Mobile Venture Fund.
The software, originally launched in January 2008, has been downloaded over 10 million times and is seeing 50,000 new downloads per day. The iPhone app has reached 800,000 downloads.