If you're an existing user, you probably noticed that on 1st April we relaunched our website and published the new HWDMediaShare component for Joomla 2.5.

To say a big thank you to all the existing subscribers who have supported us over the years, any users who have active subscriptions for the old hwdVideoShare or hwdPhotoShare software can access the new component and addons for the remainder of their plans, at no extra cost.

For the past six to seven months we've been rebuilding the HWD component from the ground up. We took everything we knew from the legacy software and started over. Before we even laid a pixel of graphics or a line of code we had to establish some goals that would prove useful to our existing community and the development community of Joomla. That goal was to make HWD as flexible and usable as possible in the realm of Joomla. 

If you’ve used the internet for any amount of time (and we assume that you have), then certainly you know how popular YouTube and other video sharing networks can be. The #1 social video website in the world is known to produce trillions (yes, trillions) of unique visits every single year as more than 800 million users browse its pages every day, and no doubt you’ve heard that 60 hours of video are uploaded to this single company’s servers every minute (that’s an hour of video uploaded every second, for those who are counting). Even without the embedded videos shared across millions of websites hosted around the world, YouTube.com itself is the third most visited website, just under Facebook.com and Google.com - but why is that?

After nearly a year of development, the first release candidate of the new HWDMediaShare component and the new HWD website was released on 1st April 2012.

Understandably, lots of users are eager to start using the new product immediately.

The aim of this article is to provide clear guidelines to existing users about migrating from hwdVideoShare and/or hwdPhotoShare to the new HWDMediaShare gallery.

Most Joomla users don't really know much about the Joomla platform, and quite rightly don't care. However, since Joomla 1.6, Joomla has been split into two parts. The first part is the CMS, which we all work with every day. The second part is the Joomla Platform, which is the layer behind the CMS.

Why has this been done? By splitting these parts it means developers can interact with Joomla without using the CMS and create stand alone web applications.

Pretty exciting, but where does HWDMediaShare come in? 

Video sharing scripts like HWDMediaShare are becoming ever more popular. The reasons people want media on their websites is driven by the popularity of sites like Youtube and the clear advantage of using media to attract new business and customers.

Sharing media on your website takes up significant server resources, and not all hosting providers support the requirements needed to share media online, but plenty do with more joining them all the time.

hwdVideoShare was not designed for Joomla 2.5 and is only officially compatible with Joomla 1.5. The following information is provided only with the hope it will be helpful for users as a temporary solution.

Joomla 2.5 was released yesterday, 24th January 2012.

Trying to install the previous versions of hwdVideoShare into Joomla 2.5 will result in error messages, normally something similar to the following:

Fatal error: Call to undefined method JAccess::get_group_children_tree() 

As of today, 25th January, our hwdVideoShare Nightly Builds will install into Joomla 2.5.

If you don't want to upgrade your version of hwdVideoShare, and you are using the last official release you can modify some code to get your installation operational with Joomla 2.5.

It seems such a long time ago when the hwdVideoShare project was launched in 2008 and the FLV format was the de-facto standard for streming video to the internet. Part of its success was the fact that the Adobe Flash plugin, required to reproduce this format, was installed in 99.9% of the personal computers connected to the internet. Only 3 years after that the scenario has changed noticeably, and more and more people consume multimedia content from smartphones, tablets and netbooks. The once ubiquitous FLV format has given way to the sophisticated and efficient MP4/H.264, required to stream video to the new breed of portable devices.

If you've been a faithful hwdVideoShare user before the H.264 revolution is likely that your gallery still has a good bunch of files encoded in the good old FLV format that your visitors are unable to reproduce in their mobile devices. Wouldn't it be great that you could transform those old files into new shiny HTML5-capable mp4 files? Absolutely!

Simple answer, No!

If software is completely published under an Open Source license, like HWDMediaShare is released under the GNU GPL, how can it be commercial?

This issue causes fierce debate between developers and users. Broadly speaking you can say that users don't want to pay for something that is "free" and developers don't want to get up in the morning and work all day for nothing.

Although we published our Amazon S3 plugin for HWDVideoShare several months ago, we noticed that in the last few weeks it has become one of the most valued plugins for our subscribers. That's why we decided it was the time to put some more love in it!

For those not familiar with the Amazon S3 service, it is basically an affordable highly available storage that can be used to host and serve static files taking advantage of Amazon huge infrastructure around the world. As other Amazon cloud services is uses a pay-as-you-use model, so you only pay for the storage and bandwidth used without any other fixed or hidden cost. Amazon S3 also offers some advanced features, such as rmtp streaming and their CDN network (cloudfront).