Tag Archives | Flip

Cisco to Flip Users: Scram!

How abruptly did Cisco kill the beloved, very popular Flip camcorder? It moved so suddenly that there are still street ads up for the thing, or at least were as of a couple of weeks ago. Some Flip dealers don’t seem to be aware that it’s a dead gadget walking. Heck, it remains the best-selling camcorder on Amazon. Cisco itself will even still happily sell you a Flip.

But the company seems to be in a rush to leave its Flip days behind it. The New York Times is reporting that as of yesterday, videos uploaded to FlipShare, the Flip’s video-sharing service, will expire after thirty days. That apparently includes videos already on the service, which means that anyone who uploaded videos to FlipShare that aren’t disposable needs to find a new home for them.

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A Ghost of Ad Campaigns Back

If you’re bummed out about Cisco axing the Flip, don’t visit San Francisco–ads like this one (in a photo I took yesterday) are a sad reminder of how recently the product appeared to be an extremely viable entity.

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Did Flip Have to Die?

The New York Times’ David Pogue has a nice, angry elegy for the Flip camcorder, which Cisco killed earlier this week. David mentions that Cisco recently briefed him on the next-generation Flips, which it had planned to introduce yesterday. I saw ’em too, earlier this month–they had built-in Wi-Fi which permitted both wireless transfers to a computer and live streaming to the Web, and while they weren’t a transcendent advance on earlier Flips, they did look like fun. I wonder what happened to all the new Flips which were manufactured but which won’t ever reach store shelves?

While I’m linking to smart coverage of the Flipocalypse : Michael Mace points out that the emergence of smartphones that do good video didn’t have to render Flip irrelevant (he quotes me at the end, but I’d like his post even if he didn’t).


Cisco Axes Flip, Decides That ūmi Isn’t a Consumer Product

Wow. Networking kingpin Cisco, which had been making a major push into the home in recent years, has announced that it’s dramatically scaling back its consumer efforts. It’s shutting down its Flip camcorder group altogether, shifting the emphasis of its ūmi TV telepresence system (announced just six months ago) from the living room to business use, and refocusing its home networking business “for greater profitability and connection to the company’s core networking infrastructure as the network expands into a video platform in the home.” (I assume that means that it’ll concentrate its Linksys line on bread-and-butter products such as routers, rather than the media streamers and other consumer-electronics gear it’s sometimes experimented with.)
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The First Flip That Isn’t a Camcorder

Our friend Dave Zatz’s discovery was the real deal: Cisco division Pure Digital has released FlipShare TV, a $150 box designed to let you watch videos shot with Flip videocams on your TV. It’s the Flip brand’s first foray into products beyond the wildly popular cameras, and therefore a hint of where the company may go in an era in which more and more people shoot their video with a phone or a still camera rather than a dedicated video device.

The Wall Street Journal’s Katherine Boehret has reviewed the FlipShare, and her take is lukewarm at best. The basic idea sounds tantalizing: It lets you watch not only videos on a computer in your house via a wireless connection, but also ones which friends have decided to share with you. But the FlipShare isn’t an autonomous resident of your home network: It connects via a computer in your home that has a USB key plugged in, and the computer must be turned on and running Flip’s software. It’s also meant only for viewing video captured with Flip cameras. And while you can get alerts of new video shared by friends via e-mail, text message, or Facebook, the FlipShare box itself has no way of notifying you of new videos to watch.

Flip’s made its name not by making the most powerful video products, but with ones that are exceptionally simple to set up, use, and enjoy. I wouldn’t expect it to come out with a Popcorn Hour-like box aimed at video nerds. It does seem, however, that we’re rapidly reaching the end of the era of TV boxes which do only one thing –and that a box for sharing Flip video might also provide access to non-Flip clips. (YouTube, anyone?)

I’d also love to think that we’ll see features similar to the FlipShare’s capabilities show up on boxes that some of us already have attached to our TVs, such as TiVos and Rokus.


Question of the Day: Which Flip Video Cam?

As we collectively gear up for the holidays, product purchase inquiries have started rolling in. Katie asks:

Mino or Ultra!?!? Im getting one for x-mas and i need to tell my dad which one is the best but both sound good!!!

Flip rocked the CE world with the success of their reasonably priced and dead simple digital video cams (and software). So impressed was Cisco, that they acquired Pure Digital, the company behind Flip, for a lofty $590 million earlier this year.

I’m hoping Katie is inquiring about the HD Mino and Ultra Flip cams. As there’s no way I can recommend the SD models—functionality duplicated in nearly every digital still camera (and the iPhone 3GS). In fact, for some time I’ve been eyeing the waterproof Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 still camera which also shoots 720p HD video and I’m currently evaluating the 720p-capable Sony DSC-WX1 digital cam.

But for those, like Katie, intent on a relatively simple, inexpensive, dedicated video camera I’d say go with the Kodak Zi8 ($180 MSRP). Unlike the Flip competition, the 1080p Zi8 provides a macro recording mode, incorporates some basic image stabilization, and effectively offers unlimited storage by utilizing SD cards (BYOM). And then there’s the larger 2.5″ LCD. I also happen to think Kodak’s current cam lineup is sharper looking than Flip’s, and the Zi8 is offered in three colors (black, raspberry, blue) for those who care.

[This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.]


The New Flip (Bonus Question: Does the Flip Have a Future?)

Flip Mino HDA new high-end $229.99 version of the Flip MinoHD pocket camcorder is out–it’s got 8GB of memory (up from 4GB), a bigger screen and an HDMI port. It’s also got a new aluminum case which the Flip folks say makes this “the world’s sleekest HD camcorder” and which Gizmodo raves over–although oddly enough, the official specs seem to say that the new version is a tad chunkier than the old one. (The marketing materials refer to “soft, rounded edges”–maybe they give the new Mino, which I haven’t seen in person, a svelter feel than its predecessor.)

The new Mino sounds cool, and  the whole Flip line’s image quality for the price, industrial design, clever features (like the pop-out USB connector), and general commitment to usability are commendable. You gotta think that the clock is ticking on the whole product category, though–between phones with video camera capability and ever-better video from still cameras and video built into still other devices, the world isn’t going to need dedicated low-end video cameras forever. I don’t expect Flips to go away immediately–for one thing, even the standard definition ones have much better image quality than my iPhone 3GS–but I’d love to know what Cisco has in the works that might make the $590 million it spent to buy the Flip into a smart investment rather than the technological equivalent of buying a gallon of milk even though its expiration date is about to come.


A Tweetup in San Francisco

Sam Levin and Daniel Brusilovsky, both of whom are definitely Friends of Technologizer, are throwing a tweetup this Thursday in San Francisco from 5:30 to 9:30. Door prizes include Western Digital’s WD TV video box, a WD portable hard drive, Flip video camera, and Speck cases; if you’re in the Bay Area and can make it, you’re invited. (I plan to be there–c’mon over and say hi.)

Click here for more details and to register.

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