A Review of Ecat.Media's beta app
by Joshua Williams, CreateSV
This week, I signed up for an account with Ecat.Media's beta site. I hadn't previously heard of Ecat.Media, until I happened to see the tool mentioned in my Twitter feed. Overall, I'd describe it as publishing tool and file maintenance system for the bitcoin blockchain, and on first impression it looked like a great solution for creatives who want full control of their work. You can go directly to the beta site with this link: beta.ecat.media
After only a short period of use, I am very impressed. Seriously, Ecat.Media is an awesome tool, and I expect to make this application a central part of how I deliver content in the future.
I think the best way to get up and running with the Ecat.Media tool is to follow the tutorial that Ecat Media posted on YouTube: Ecat.Media Beta Tutorial.
Please note that this site is in beta, and this is a testing phase for the application... I signed up for the app with the understanding that there may be a few bugs. Also, I'm only using a small amount of BSV inside the wallet. So far, everything has been working very well.
In fact, I was able to post this CreateSV blog entry onto the blockchain using the ecat.media tool. To see the internet version of this post, go CreateSV Ecat.Media Review
No, I didn't take the time to add much style to this document... the file was written in markdown and converted to html, and this was more of a test and attempt to showcase how Ecat.Media works.
To me, Ecat.Media acts as a full-featured management tool for controlling your creative work on the blockchain.
There is a wallet, which the user has full control over. You can fund or "charge" your wallet with bitcoin, depending on how much data you intend to send to the blockchain. You will need Money Button to add funds. I decided to add 1 megabyte to my wallet. Using Money Button, I swiped $1.81 USD in value (0.011 BSV) to charge my wallet with enough power to send 1 MB worth of transactions. Obviously, these dollar and BSV value-amounts will fluctuate over time.
When you charge your wallet, you will see that you suddenly have Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs) available. I'll describe UTXOs in greater detail in future blog posts, but basically: these are transactions that haven't been spent yet, and which are therefore available for your use (as the owner of the wallet). That's a very simple description of UTXOs, and the term is probably confusing to many bitcoin users. Again, in future blog posts I'll spend more time describing UTXOs.
Actually, I recommend using Ecat.Media simply for its educational value. Many people have difficulty understanding what UTXOs are. Just by using this tool, you can become aware of the term "UTXO", thereby becoming more comfortable with the concept, and actually see how your available UTXOs are changed with each transaction.
In the YouTube tutorial, there is a brief description of various tokens that should be available in future versions of the app, and these tokens will give the you real control over how your content is seen or heard; for example, you, as the content owner, can encrypt your files, add paywalls, or use other payment methods to charge anyone who wants to access your material.
Over the past year, I have made several media posts to the blockchain (i.e., not purely financial transactions). For example, I had posted using bico.media, and I had also posted using command-line tools. I think that the user-interface of Ecat.Media is great, in that it allows creatives to publish their work by using very intuitive graphical tools. It's easy to drag and drop files for uploading to the blockchain.
For a beginner who is posting to the blockchain, Twetch is probably the simplest tool to use. For those who have become comfortable with Twetch, and who might want to upload larger amounts of data (beyond the smaller Twetch posts), I would recommend Ecat.Media as the next step. This is a beginner-friendly tool (although I'd also recommend that any beginners wait until the application is out of its current beta stage). Using Ecat.Media, you can easily post material, see everything you've posted in the past, have ownership of your work, and maintain a unique wallet just for your creative content. Everything is very visual.
Again, I want to emphasize that this app is currently in beta. If you use it, think of yourself as being a tester for the application. If you find any bugs, you can report them on the Ecat.Media homepage. With just a few dollars worth of BSV, I had plenty of power available to make many future transactions.
In my last CreateSV blog post Blogging, in the Age of Bitcoin, I presented some wishlist items that I wanted to eventually see in a content ownership and management tool, using bitcoin. Ecat.Media might just deliver nearly all the items on my wish list! I'm extremely impressed by how user-friendly the entire experience is, and it's amazing to think that so many tools (such as paywall tokens, simple file encryption, and other controls for the publisher) will be available with the app. I'll be experimenting with many features of Ecat.Media for a while, and I'll try to share everything I learn here at CreateSV. For now, I just wanted to tell you all how excited I am about this awesome new tool being built with BSV. Outstanding work by the development team.
And, is there anything better than what's being developed in the world of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision - the original and true bitcoin - right now? Exciting times!