Step 2: Air Mozilla Reboot


Continuing the conversation I started a few weeks ago and Step 1, I want to focus on one of the most powerful tools we have to engage the Mozilla Community and facilitate participation.

What is Air Mozilla?

Air Mozilla is different things to different people.

  • The original wireless network at the 1981 Landings office
  • The live stream from Mozilla’s Mountain View office (10F)
  • The website,

In a sense it is all of those things but if I articulate it differently it is:

  • The website
  • The technology to host and steam open source video, live and recorded, at scale
  • A platform – a service & API – for others to use

Our needs for Air Mozilla have outgrown what the current website and infrastructure provide.  It’s time for a reboot.

What is Air Mozilla (take 2)?

Consider this proposed Air Mozilla Mission Statement:

Air Mozilla is a central hub for Mozilla’s rich media, a place for live video streaming and prerecorded video content. It is a site where the Community can find, share and create video content, an open repository of video & audio resources that are freely available to the public, accessible by anyone and any device.

Air Mozilla is also a place to set a good example for open standards by publishing all rich media in open formats with Creative Commons licenses.  It is a place to help drive open standards on the web; a showcase for new rich media technologies.

Air Mozilla is where we tell the Mozilla story in video, where we bridge the gap between video production and web standards evangelism, ensuring that the video we produce is distributed in a manner consistent with Mozilla’s values.

The Reboot

This Reboot is going to require a lot of help from the Mozilla Community.  My teams are acting as the initial stewards, to kick-start this Reboot.  We’ve had the luxury of listening to some great minds who have put a lot of thinking into this already and I’ve summarized and collated a lot of that thinking and have realized that there are two main pieces to Air Mozilla:

  1. The website
  2. The technology

The website
The website, simply speaking, is  It should become the focal point for Mozilla’s rich media.  Some of the goals for this site should be:

  • improve discoverability of Air Mozilla content (past content & future content)
    • future programming guide, listing upcoming live broadcast events
    • searchable archive of media content (with #tags & metadata)
  • improve post-event distribution of Air Mozilla content
    • strive for WebM, fallback to h.264
    • iTunes/RSS podcasts based on #tags and metadata (everyone’s Web is a little bit different *)
    • consumable by anyone, by any device including iOS & Android as well as desktop operating systems
  • increase the amount of content available on Air Mozilla, including content from the various Mozilla Communities
  • be mashable
  • probably more we haven’t thought of

The technology
Open source video, today, is hard. It’s harder to natively create content. It’s harder to stream WebM at scale. Even at Mozilla we’ve relied on Flash-based partners for streaming projects at Mozilla’s scale.

What if you could change that?

The technology behind Air Mozilla should empower you.  It shouldn’t care what tools you use to create content.  It shouldn’t care where you are.  It should showcase video technologies like popcorn.js or Universal Subtitles.

Air Mozilla should allow you to:

  • upload video content – from any device in any format – and have it transcoded to various open source codecs and fallback codecs
  • broadcast a live video stream from anywhere you have Internet
  • support one-to-many and many-to-many collaborations, live & recorded

The technology behind Air Mozilla should:

  • be a lightweight skin on a reusable stack of tools & processes
  • a service/API that can be the source of media content for Mozilla websites.  You won’t need to build your own toolkit for handling multimedia content
  • probably a bunch of other things we haven’t thought of

Want to get involved?

Step 2 is very exciting to me.  Imagine if you will, an Air Mozilla that rivals the likes of TED, of YouTube, of Vimeo – but is the premier showcase for open source video at scale.

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Categories: Community, Mozilla

2 responses

  1. Asa Dotzler wrote on :

    This excites me and I want to help! I’ll be joining in where ever I can.

  2. Kevin Dangoor wrote on :

    I agree that this vision for the Air Mozilla reboot sounds fantastic. It also seems like a huge amount of work. Are there existing tools that help us get there?

    Is there a reason to not use an existing service for this? (ustream comes to mind. even youtube offers live streaming now, I think.)