An easy interface to bring multimedia content from a computer, a local network or the internet to a multimedia device by both "direct transfer" and automatic syncronizations that can automaticly and transperent solve the compatibly problems different formates makes by converting to a format the given multimedia device supports.
Today many people got multimedia devices that are quite powerful. Cellphones, PDAs, mp3 players, pocket video players ect is in a size that makes it passably to carry them with us everywhere and most of these devices can now work as good music players, picture views and even video players. To get the full use of this features a user needs to be able to transfer content from his computer to his device.
For music this is usualy not a big problem, many users have a large mp3 collection and can use these files. The problems come if you like the open formats like ogg vorbis and flac which is generally not supported by mp3 players. It would also be nice to be able to set up one of more playlists that syncs to your music device when you connect it.
Videos are a bigger problem. Most phones will for example only support mp4's and 3gp's, and will need a given resolution and bitrate to give an optimal result. On you computer videos are mostly divx and xvid, with the addition of other formats like .mov and flash videos. Internet videos are also often in flash. The tools to do this is mostly there in the repos, but by far not easy enough to use for the average Joe. What we really need here is an interface that can recognize a given device and use the optimal settings, convert and then transfer. Again it would be nice to be able to sync you favourits from Youtube or video-podcasts from Miro (Democracy) when you connect a device.
Pictures isn't that much of a problem. Most pictures are jpeg's and are supported by most devices, but there would still be nice to be able to have other formats converted too. The main problem with pictures is the size. Many digital cameras today takes pictures at more than 6 mpix, and that requires quite much storage. On the other hands, most pocket devices have screens with a 320*240 resolution and they therefore really doesn't need more than lets say vga resolution (so that you can zoom in a bit). Storage is also a problem for video and flac music files (and other loseless formats). Yet again, it would also be nice to have your favourite photos synced from f-spot or a given internet-service when you connect the phone.
Joe has just bought a new phone with a large screen and wants to view pictures and videos on it. He has already a large collection pictures taged in f-spot and some videos he really likes added as favourites in youtube. With an easy setup, he can get it to his phone adjusted to screensize and the supported formats. New pictures added to his favourite tags will automaticly be added to his phone when he connects the next time.
Mary really likes open source and open formats and rips every cd she buys to flacs. Then she gets a new phone and wants to start to use it as her portable music player. The phone doesn't support flacs (and they are too big anyway). Mary can still easily sync her favourite music with an easy setup without manualy transcoding the music and making duplicates.
The program conduit ( http://www.conduit-project.org/ ) already has much of the desired functionality and a nice gui that is easy to use. This could be implemented as further extentions to conduit perhaps integrated with the PIM-functionality described here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PimSyncPlan?highlight=%28pim%29 .
This needs to have a conversion system (which I think the conduit guys are working on already). Make plugins to handle the different multimedia sources (youtube, f-spot, flicker, facebook already exists). Make plugins to recognize and handle different multimedia devices (to classify its capabilities and limitations).
Feel free to edit and add ideas to this page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is just some ideas, and I'm not a developer, and it is perhaps the ubuntu devs or the conduit devs you want to contact if you think this is interesting.