What have we been up to?
At Paratii, we’re building a decentralised platform for streaming and monetising on-demand video without being taxed by third parties. At the heart of the system, lies an embeddable player, that can be used by publishers (on their domains), developers (in web-based or mobile applications) and creators (as a window to display content beyond the big Tubes and Flixes).
The last couple months have been fast-paced for the team. We assessed positive and negative aspects of the prototype launched in December, significantly evolved our player’s architecture, revamped its UI and did active research with prospective publishers in the pursuit of improved market fit.
🎬 Paratii Player v0.0.2
The second iteration of Paratii’s player is sleeker and faster, marking the migration away from Meteor and towards a Clappr/React-based architecture. This much lighter ephemeral in-browser node for the underlying p2p network has been shared a couple hundred times on Twitter, and is still undergoing heavy development. A shoutout of gratitude here to Flávio Ribeiro, one of the guys who conceived Clappr, for helping us push this migration forward and advising us since then.
💡 What’s new?
- Design. The player is prettier and less intrusive, and its icon set is cohesive and discreet. Details to watch out for include the colours and ‘surprise’ features like the wallet. Non-essential features have been moved away (they’re all accessible via
paratii.js) from the main UI in favour of a simpler experience.
- Slim wallet. Unlike its predecessor, v0.0.2 has a slim wallet that won’t bother those who don’t want to mess with it. This makes for a lighter, more familiar feel to publishers willing to experiment with p2p video distribution on their domains.
- Video quality selector. The best resolution will automatically be selected for your speed conditions, but you can always adjust it yourself.
- Cross-platform support. The player should work fine when shared over Twitter, in Telegram and embedded in Medium, Wordpress or web pages alike. Still a lot of quirks and conditions among different browsers - we’re trying to accommodate all of the platforms below for v0.0.3.
The main download has been reduced from >6Mb to 887Kb (and is being reduced further), which makes the player load much faster. Video delivery has become smoother with upgrades to new versions of the
libp2p protocols, so the average buffer time has fallen too.
Average transcoding speed (not previously benchmarked) is at ~1:1 for anything less than 720p (i.e. it takes 10 seconds to transcode 10 seconds), and around ~1:1.2 for 720p and 1080p. We’ve followed the IPFS update which brought in relays, making it easier for peers to find each other. Finally, there’s a new stream multiplexer in town, so multiple streams can be passed as a single one.
⚖ Maturation of the protocol
Our token design has matured and solidified PTI as a TCR-like work token. Stakes are already semi-functional on the Paratii library (
paratii.js)and portal, and we’re currently implementing a slightly adapted propose-challenge mechanism upon the standard TCR framework. Next up comes a scheme for deploying sublists. We did not take the approach of writing a set of rules in stone to later build and battle-test a system around it. Instead, we outlined a blueprint and are refining its specs as we gather feedback from real users and learn from empirical data. Read more about formalisation on “What to watch for, next”, a few sections below.
⬆ I am a creator, how do I benefit?
A select batch of “early uploaders” has been testing a portal we’re building as an easy way to onboard content onto the decentralised web. It still restricts usage to those previously invited, for security reasons. We’ll make an open call for another batch, in the following 2–3 weeks. Subscribe to be notified if you want to test the platform as a creator during this phase.
Note: we’re still on a testnet, and no monetisation option is available yet. Further down the road, anyone will be free to choose or create a monetisation scheme during the upload process.
💻 I am a publisher, how can I use this?
Why not throw out an experiment? You won’t earn any money yet, but it won’t hurt.
In short, it’s already possible to (1) upload a video into Paratii; (2) get its embed code on the sharing icon, in the player [left]; (3) set parameters; (4) paste the embed code on a page of a given domain.
Drop us a line if you have an idea and need some help. Writing a cool piece on the decentralised media industry, for a news outlet? Why not illustrate it with a Paratii-powered embedded video? We’re also keen on listening to longer-term potential plans, feature suggestions and feedback of all sorts.
Along the past weeks, a group we’ve been calling “early uploaders” (in practice, a bunch of disintermediation-hungry alpha testers) has experimented uploading content into the system and sharing it over Twitter. Below are some pieces worth highlighting.
1. Paratii Explained
Creator: Toddy Ivon
What is it? We would be remiss in not including this creator on a list like this. Toddy’s been following Paratii since its (even earlier) infancy, and contributing a lot in educating the community. In this video, he excitedly shows off how the Paratii portal is shaping up.
2. Dammit Moon Moon
What is it? You can’t call yourself an “online video platform” until people host videos of animals doing stupid things on it. Luckily, this one came early.
3. Johnny B Goode (a short film about time travel)
Creator: Z97 Filmes
What is it? This short caught us by surprise with its great special effects and interesting premise. Summoning aliens with sick Chuck B. riffs? Sign us up.
What is it? A single from Pugile, an Italian electroacoustic trio. The smooth, psychedelic sound and biologically-themed 3D backdrop make this one of our favorites. 3D Design by Leo Leonardi, released by Variables.
5. Vento na Janela (Wind a Window)
Creator: Marcelo Moura
What is it? Simple and subdued, this clip of wind gently moving a curtain through a window is enthralling nonetheless. A shining example of finding beauty in the ordinary.
6. Notícias Semanais (Weekly News)
What is it? An active member of the Paratii community, Rye hosts a weekly animated recap of the goings-on in cryptoland. We still don’t know if he’s real or indeed a cartoon.
7. Os 10 Fundamentos da Economia (The 10 Basics of Economics)
👀 What to watch for, next?
- We’re preparing
paratii.jsfor an official 0.1 developer preview and will sponsor The Developer Conference’s (Brazil’s largest development conference) blockchain-themed hackathon. With a presentation on the library scheduled (that includes some ideas for simple hacks), we’re excited to see what comes out of the experience. 20th of April.
- Around the same time, we’ll make an open call for a wider batch of early uploaders. The version of the portal they’ll use will already include further features (basic identity & content management). 15–30th of April.
- We’ll release a full specification and analysis of Paratii’s cryptoeconomic model. May-June.
Keep in touch
Paratii is building a peer-to-peer network for curation and monetisation of videos.