Pure Digital allows direct video uploads to Grouper, Google video

Pure Digital, the popular point-and-shoot camcorder company, has introduced software in its latest camcorder that enables direct uploads to video sharing sites Grouper and Google Video.

This is a first, and we think it will be popular. It will add fuel to the video revolution we are seeing right now. We’ve mentioned the Pure Digital pocket camcorder here. It is selling well, and an IPO may be in the works soon (indeed, the fate of its backer Crescendo Ventures may depend on it; the company has raised $28 million). Due to scheduling problems, we couldn’t get our hands on the latest version to test it, but Jonathan Shambroom, VP of product and marketing at Grouper, explained the steps:

1) You shoot a video with the touch of a button on the camcorder.
2) You plug the camcorder’s built-in USB arm into a PC or Mac.
3) You upload video directly to sharing web sites Google Video or Grouper Networks using software on the camcorder.The software was produced with the help Grouper, and is especially compatible with that site. Here’s how it works (or see step by step visuals here).

The camcorder gives you three options for sharing video: 1) email privately to friends or family, 2) send privately as part of greeting card, or 3) post publicly on a Web site.

To email to friends, here’s what you do: After you shoot a video, you click “share.” You type in a person’s email address, and Grouper’s software on the camcorder sends the email for you. The video, meanwhile, is uploaded to Grouper’s site automatically (the camcorder talks to the Grouper server, which grabs the video for hosting). The recipient, meanwhile, gets the email and clicks on the link, which takes them to the video file (now hosted at Grouper). If you shared it privately, only those recipients will see it.

If you want to send the video with a greeting card, you follow the same process, but you pick which greeting card you’d like to have a as a backdrop. The greeting cards are a mixture of the standard messages (“We miss you!” or “We just had a baby boy!,” etc).

The third option is to publish a video publicly, and here you have a choice of Google Video or Grouper. If you pick Google, it links you to Google web site, and you have to find you video and upload it through the Google interface. If you select Grouper, all you do is select file, and you don’t do any upload.

The new version of the camcorder, called Pure Digital Point & Shoot Camcorder, will be available nationwide by the first week of November. The existing Pure Digital camcorder is already a hot product among soccer moms; it is a simple point-and-shoot camera that doesn’t require any tech savvy.

Grouper solidified the deal with Pure Digital six months ago, before it started talking with Sony, Shambroom said. Indeed, at the time, YouTube was not the front-runner that it has become. Even though Google will soon own YouTube, Pure Digital won’t be compatible with YouTube, at least at the outset.

Camcorder features, pricing and availability:
• 2x digital zoom; 1.4 inch color playback screen
• Instant playback, review and delete features
• Built-in software for simple viewing, sharing and archiving videos
• Home movies can be viewed on TV or PC
• Pricing: $129.99 for the 30-minute camcorder; $169.00 for new 60-minute model
• Camcorder will be available at “over 10,000 retail locations” including Target, Costco, CVS/pharmacy, RiteAid Pharmacy, Longs Drugs, Duane Reade, Eckerd Pharmacy, Ritz/Wolf Camera Centers, Amazon.com and Albertsons
• For DVD processing, return to one of over 9,000 Pure Digital-certified retail locations

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