I've spent a good bit of time over the past week (probably to Chris' chagrin) working on media functionality for Habari. You can see my quick, obviously unrehearsed screencast describing all of the features visually if you don't want to read my post. Essentially, media in Habari is about unifying all of your media sources inside your blog software so that you don't have to go running from place to place to assemble a post. In other words, making it easy for the user. I have a pretty common scenario that I use when I start into my diatribe about Habari media. Paying for hosting is a pain in the butt, especially if you use a lot of photos or audio. Anyone with any sense uses a service like Flickr to house their photos and link to them from their blog. It's simply more cost effective. The trouble is that integrating these services with the interface you're already using to write your blog. Habari is great at this. Rather than forcing you to upload your photos to your own server, you can keep photos anywhere that Habari can connect to with one of its media "silos". A silo is simply a plugin that connects Habari to these services in a standard way so that you can access it directly from within Habari. So now if you are writing a post and remember that you want to upload a photo to insert into the content, you don't have to switch out of your "blog writing" mental state to load up Flickr and upload stuff. You click open the media panel in the Habari interface - right on the post authoring page - upload your photo to Flickr, and insert it into your content. Done! The opportunities for this are awesome. The media silos will also handle audio and video, so services that store these files for you off-site can still house your stuff, but you can embed them directly into your posts without leaving your writing interface. Even if you have a Gallery installation on your own server, you can still use a silo to interact with Gallery to access and maintain your photos without leaving Habari. The simple file silo that comes with Habari gives you access to store files on your own web server and embed them. It lets you organize files how you want them to be organized, without forcing you into any structure you don't like. If you have a dozen photos to upload, you can use the more efficient FTP to transfer them to your server into the directory you want, and the simple file silo will display them just the same. I am really excited about the progress we've made on the silos in the past week or two. I've managed to finally connect uploading to the simple file silo so that you can upload photos to your own server. With the back-end worked out, the Flickr upload should come very quickly next, and then shortly afterward, the Viddler embedded recording functionality. Yes, that's right, you're going to be able to record video blog entries directly within the Habari post interface. How cool is that? The possibilities for the media system in Habari are wide open. I'm anxious to get some other providers on board. For example, I'd love to have a Hipcast API to embed my Hipcast audio into posts. I'd certainly use it a lot more often. Can you think of any other services that might be useful to try to include? Any comments on the system? Let me know!