Nokia's first Ovi branded services product was launched at Mobile World Congress 2008 and is now available for you to use for free. Twango was purchased by Nokia last year and the new Share on Ovi is the much improved version of Twango. You will actually still see some Twango branding on parts of the site as Nokia works to integrate the service. There are several other services that will be branded under the Ovi name, including N-Gage, Nokia Music, and Nokia Maps.
I had the opportunity to meet with several people at the Nokia booth and Serena Glover did a fantastic job presenting on the features and benefits of using Share on Ovi. Share on Ovi allows you to upload and then share 100 types of files, including photos, videos, Microsoft Office files, PDFs, and more. With Office documents, the file is shared on your selected "channel" and then to open the file you need to have Word or Excel on your local PC. Videos are converted by Share on Ovi and appear in a player on your site so anyone can view them.
Channels are the way you organize your media to share with others and can be quite useful. Serena shared about having a soccer channel that could be setup to share media with members of your team. Even better, you can control permissions on the channels so you could have all of the members of your team with contribution rights so photos and videos could be uploaded and shared between the team and family members. You could even post your game and practice schedules within the channel and I can really see the benefit of setting up team specific channels on Share on Ovi. Channels can be thought of as playlists since they are just different views of the media that resides in your My Media repository. You can upload media directly to specific channels (each channel actually has it own email address too) or you can organize it later after you upload the content.
In addition to sharing your content stored in channels with the public or groups that you want to see your content, you can also republish your content on your blog, website, or eBay auction. To embed a channel in your site, you can choose from a Flash Ticker, a Flash Slideshow or a Flash Grid and copy/paste the line of code onto the site where you want your channel's media to display. You can also share a single piece of media and Share on Ovi gives you the code after you select "Embed this media". RSS feeds are also available for the content in your channels so people can be notified when new content in posted in the channel. There is also functionality to have email sent to people when content is added to the channel they are a part of on your site. People can enjoy content on your site without signing up for a Share on Ovi account too so you are not limiting who can view your content.
I went and downloaded the 2,000+ photos I had on Flickr (using Flickr Backup) to back them up and prepare them for uploading to Share on Ovi.
One issue that does limit me from moving all my photos completely to Share on Ovi is that there is a 250 MB per month limit on upload bandwidth. I'll have to ask Serena about allowing people to exceed this limit once so that they can migrate all their photos from one online service to another. At the 250 MB rate, it will take me 3 months to upload my 2,000+ existing photos and I won't be able to upload anymore that I take with my Nokia Nseries device. While there is no limit on your account storage, there is a 100 MB maximum file size.
Even though Share on Ovi is a Nokia service, you are not required to own a Nokia device to use the service. With the backing of Nokia, I would think we can also rest assured that the service will be available for quite some time, unlike some of the other services that may be bought out by competitors. You can always download the original file anytime you want in case you need to do something with it offline.
If you do own a compatible Nokia Nseries device (the N95, N70, N93/N93i, N82, N81, N76, or N73) then you can download the Share Online application. You can also use Share using the integrated utility in the camera upload application to send photos and videos to Share on Ovi. You are also given special email addresses with your free account so you can upload content via email. If you have a Windows XP computer you will also find a Web Publishing Wizard available to upload content.
I plan to upload my content and try the service out for myself soon. I may even embed videos here on this blog that are stored on Share on Ovi. Since the service is free, you may want to give it a try yourself and share content with teams, family members, and the public.
UPDATE: I was just notified by Nokia that the monthly upload limit has been increased from 250MB to a whopping 2GB so I am now ready to make the transition to Share on Ovi. Stay tuned for video and image content shared on my Share on Ovi site in future posts.