DoubleTwist, the universal media hub from a team led by Jon Lech Johansen, is now available as a public beta for Mac OS X. Interesting and ambitious: DoubleTwist acts as a sort of universal digital hub — imagine if iTunes worked not just with iPods and iPhones, but with portable players from other manufacturers. E.g. the demo movie shows DoubleTwist syncing video to an Android phone. And DoubleTwist acts as a social networking service, for exchanging photos, video, and audio files with friends and family.

In addition to handling device communication, it also handles any necessary format transcoding to move audio and video from your Mac to your gadgets. The UI looks very polished, and it seems to integrate very well with existing iTunes and iPhoto libraries. The overall wow factor is high.

Also interesting: it’s Mac-only, at least for now. This is the sort of thing that ten (or maybe even five) years ago would have shipped for Windows first. Update: Ends up there is a Windows version, which did ship first, albeit in very different form.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009