As the presidential nominations race heats up, one can barely keep track of all the video content related to the elections. Debates, gaffs, press conferences are all being downloaded, edited and shared at lightning speed; thanks to technology. Being an informed politico or smart constituent isn't as easy as it used to be simply due to the sheer amount of digital information that's available on a daily basis. But voters across the country are beginning to participate in a trend that could just make for one of the most informed constituencies ever: storing video content on the Cloud.
"I, for one, have a lot of things to do during my week," explained LeAnne Lindsay, a mortgage administrator in Philadelphia, PA.
"I want to keep up, but it's really hard. I was trying to get through coverage on my lunch break, but that's a challenge. Now I'm just downloading and organizing all my election-related video through content storage systems and watching it during the weekend and even reviewing it when I think there may be something where there is some double-talk from candidates. I don't want to miss a thing, but it needs to be on my time."
Welcome to the 2012 elections, Cloud style. You no longer have to take up space on your computer with massive video files. Citizens are tapping into the Cloud to upload content and simply access it when they have the time. An example of Cloud computing is something you probably use everyday: Gmail. All the content is stored on super computers elsewhere, easily accessed when you want it.
There are several products being used, but a popular one seems to be a newcomer called QVIVO. The platform is a pioneer; most Cloud media lockers have shied away from video due to its large file size -- hundreds of times larger than music.
Netflix doesn't store subscribers' downloaded movies and TV shows, and the companies that do store your media on a Cloud locker, such as Google and Amazon, only store music at this time. Only now are startups such as QVIVO taking this next logical step to a providing consumers with a strong management system for video storage.
QVIVO not only automatically imports users' media files but organizes them into slick libraries complete with cover art, trailers and subtitles. All the Internet's popular files and formats are supported in HD. QVIVO is the only cloud of its type that actually manages video media in this manner, on any platform.
iCloud approaches video in a completely different manner from QVIVO when it comes to content management.
"Unlike other Cloud media platforms, we've spent a considerable amount of time perfecting video," said QVIVO co-founder Liam McCallum. "Uploads are lightening fast, and all the heavy lifting of converting files to right formats is done automatically for users in the QVIVO Cloud."
QVIVO is also connected. For example, a family member's profile could be linked to their Facebook accounts so that they can check-in, 'like' and rate their favorite media surrounding the candidates. In addition, with a single button users can tell friends what they're into while watching video of candidates. QVIVO apps are free and will soon be available for the Android and iPhone.
Ben Mitchell, an election watcher from Michigan, concurs with the value of this technology for his needs.
"I can't tell you the amount of time I've spent trying to get home-streaming working smoothly around the house," Mitchell said. "The fact that I can now stream video around the home between any PC with QVIVO installed is a winning feature for me, so I've been trying it with all sorts of subject matter and just recently found it's really great for keeping track of what's going on with the candidates as well. I can stay on top of the reports better."
Looks like having one's 'head in the Clouds' no longer has a negative connotation. While the verdict may be several months away as to the selection of the Commander-in-Chief, many people have already voted positively on the Cloud for managing the political discussion.
Lauren DeLisa Coleman is a writer specializing in new technologies. If you would like to contribute as a citizen reporter to The Huffington Post's coverage of the 2012 elections, please contact us at www.offthebus.org