Supersize my Windows Media Library
Steve's got a great idea here:
I'm freaking tired of applications creating their own media libraries. How many photo, music and video libraries do we need? (speaking of that, how many 'import my photo' tools do we need?)
Personally, I would really like to see a central storage facility for media in Windows. Perhaps it's already in Longhorn, I have no idea, but I want a single place (that I specify - why does it have to be on the local box?) that is a repository for all my photos, videos, music, contacts, etc that's easily accessible via a consistent API and common dialogs.
The Windows Logo program should mandate this, IMHO. An application should not be able to get the 'Designed for Windows' seal of approval if they create their own media store.
One reason that Apple does a better job of this is that most applications (not only media) has programmatic access to not only their storage location, but also their functionality (and, yes I am already well aware that apps such as Windows Media Player has this too, but tell me how many music apps use it). [Source: The Furrygoat Experience]
This makes a lot of sense. Part of the reason that we need photo management programs is that, as far as Windows is concerned, they're pretty much just a bunch files. Sure, you can jam them in My Photos, but they're still just a bunch of files - plus, you just know Mom's going to drop them on her desktop, right? How about this idea: we make the Windows Media Library that One Library.
- Expand out the searching / tagging / syncing / viewing to include a nice photo viewer.
- Expand the tagging support we've got for our music files so we can tag our photos, and allow multiple category tags for pictures like Picassa.
- Enhance the database engine from whatever random MS ISAM format they're running on to something on the level of Sql Server Express, or get some of that Lookout indexing goodness in there. Set it up to migrate to WinFS when the time comes, but don't wait for that.
- Open up the library a lot better than the current COM / C++ API's do now. We need a carrot to balance the stick of the Designed for Windows seal - make it a no-brainer to put media in there and get it out. Make it easy and exciting for developers to do cool things with the library, like you have with Media Center development. Let me build my own photo browser on the library, and let me use SQL to do it. Make your end users choose one digital camera over another one because it works with the Windows Media Library.
- Make the library internet saavy - let me subscribe to a photo RSS feed (like Flickr) that goes right to my library, and make it easy for me to post my pictures to a blog or photo sharing site. Make sure the RSS feeds work for all media, I don't need a Podcasting application.
- Let us extend the Media Library with a provider model, and use a provider model to fill the library so it's easy to feed new things into my library (like in the RSS feed above).
More and more, personal computers are becoming media management and viewing appliances, and they really need common media library. How about it, Scoble?
 Do not mention the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer or I will slap you. Hey, why does that thing take 30 seconds to open a 30KB JPG on my Athlon 64 3000+ with 1GB RAM? Browsers don't.