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Top Video Sharing Sites Reviewed 146

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the who-is-doing-it-right dept.
prostoalex writes "Digital Video Guru is running a comparison of 10 digital video sharing sites - EyeSpot Beta, Google Video Beta, Grouper Beta, Jumpcut Beta, OurMedia, Revver Beta, VideoEgg, Vimeo, vSocial and YouTube. Currently, based on traffic, YouTube is the leader of the pack (more heavily visited MSN Video does not support user-uploaded videos), but Digital Video Guru blog awards Vimeo for fastest uploads, JumpCut for editing, and YouTube for community features."
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Top Video Sharing Sites Reviewed

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  • by kimvette (919543) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @09:49PM (#15093405) Homepage Journal
    MPAA to sue 10 recently-reviewed sites citing DMCA violations in 3, 2, 1. . .
    • You hear that Pirates! Thanks to Digital Video Guru, the MPAA knows all your hiding places and are coming after j00!
  • Good pick. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by O'Laochdha (962474) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @09:57PM (#15093425) Journal
    The thing I like about YouTube is that they have their videos as standard shockwave files...I can't get most other sites to run on my browser/OS.
    • Isn't Google just standard flash? It works in my browser, and most shockwave applets don't even work.
    • Now it's up to Macromedia to add a volume slider and it would be perfect, right now I have to change my computer's volume levels to control it, very annoying (google's player has a volume slider)

      If there's a volume control I'm missing on YouTube, please, tell me where it is... (mute isn't good enough)
    • IMHO, that is a drawback. I have had more trouble with the Flash based players than sites that simply embed video links in the code.

      What OS are you having problems with? OSX, Linux, and Windows XP all work for me.
    • Ah. no wonder I can't view YouTube on some of my systems.
    • If only Macromedia^WAdobe would fix the $%^&* sound lag.
    • The thing I like about YouTube is that they have their videos as standard shockwave files...I can't get most other sites to run on my browser/OS.

      Gaaaaaaahhhh.

      1. I HATE Flash, and don't have it install. I'm not interested in a load of bloated software, with a history of open security holes for months before they get fixed.

      2. Installing Flash is exceptionally difficult on any platform other than Win/Mac-PPC/Linux-x86. On the BSDs, you have to load-up on hundreds of MBs of Linux libraries to run the Linux

    • Excuse me ... but when did Shockwave become a standard? And why wasn't I told?
    • Since when is shockwave a standard format for video?
      How many choices do I have for software that can view/play shockwave files?
  • Missing (Score:5, Funny)

    by d2_m_viant (811261) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @09:58PM (#15093430)
    ThePirateBay [thepiratebay.org] is noticeably absent from that list.
    • Oh great, now you've just tolled the MPAA the real hiding plaice of oal the Pi-rats!
      • The MPAA is well aware of The Pirate Bay, and regularly sends them threatening letters. TPB routinely posts them on their site and mocks them for (amongst other things) trying to wield US civil law at them (when they're based in Sweden), etc.
    • I'm sure if there were plug-in support for downloading videos via bittorrent and then displaying them in-browser, it would have been considered along with the other sites...
      • Lots of open-source clients have a "preview" options, which is some kind of "embed webserver" which can stream those parts of the file that are already downloaded.

        mlDonkey [sf.net] has one [sf.net]. I'm not sure about Azureus.
        Also, most of the P2P clients save their temp files in a flat format which could be opened in a player (although I'm not sure how Windows and it's weird file locking mechanics would accept it), so a plug-in that presents temp-files with human usable names (i-e name of torrent, instead of hash)
  • by Samir Gupta (623651) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @09:58PM (#15093434) Homepage
    Most of Europe and China, if you try to access Google Video, you are told it's not available in your country yet. Why they have this restriction by unilaterally banning ALL videos from users of said countries is beyond me.

    Is it legal (due to censorship policies)? Than why do the other sites not have this?

    This is a major detractor of Google Video's usability in my opinion.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @10:03PM (#15093447)
    When Google announced Google Video, I naturally checked it out. I was impressed with a wide array of titles. But what dissappinted me most was the inability to adjust the brightness/contrast of the videos. Some titles are just too dark!

    At first I thought it was my version of flash. But even after getting the latest, those videos are still too dark. To make matters worse, there does not seem to be an effort to sort this issue out. We need some common video controls on some these videos for sure.

    On Kubuntu' Konqueror browser, the controls that at least appear on Windows2k with Firefox 1.5 do not appear at all!

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @10:41PM (#15093545)
      At first I thought it was my version of flash. But even after getting the latest, those videos are still too dark. To make matters worse, there does not seem to be an effort to sort this issue out. We need some common video controls on some these videos for sure.

      If you're using Windows, you probably don't have the correct color profile selected for your display, or you're using the wrong gamma setting. Or you're using Linux, and don't have the gamma set properly (X does not default to a reasonable gamma- it defaults to 2.4 or something, when Windows is 2.2.) Note that you can't use "2.2" as a parameter- you have to give it something like "1.2" or similar. Google "linux gamma" etc.

      Macs also sometimes default to goofy profiles, so check under "Color" in the Displays control panel.

      I've never had a problem with video brightness on google video, but I am using a calibrated display on an OSX macbook (and Dell monitor- yes, both are calibrated.)

  • I'm talking about blip.tv of course. Just put a video up on there today. Fast, easy, and up online immediately.

    Don't get me wrong, I also have a youtube account. But blip.tv is quickly becoming my favorite.
  • Torrent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by From A Far Away Land (930780) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @10:18PM (#15093489) Homepage Journal
    I haven't RTFA, but is there a place that lets you post a video, and it automatically offers a Torrent of the video for download? It seems like a good way for a popular video to get around quickly without causing any one server a huge bandwidth bill.
    • I haven't RTFA, but is there a place that lets you post a video, and it automatically offers a Torrent of the video for download? It seems like a good way for a popular video to get around quickly without causing any one server a huge bandwidth bill.

      Not that I know of, and damn stright there should be.

      I think most places consider it too impractical. When torrent support is baked into Mozilla, then we might see some trial attempts.

      When this happens then I really think we'll see online video heat up.
    • Well, not a specific place, but you could install Broadcast machine [getdemocracy.com] on your server if you wanted to do that.
    • Democracy Television (google for it) does.

      There's even an open source PHP script available which includes a built-in Tracker & Server.
    • "without causing any one server a huge bandwidth bill"

      Unfortunately, it would still create huge spikes in bandwidth shortly after videos are posted, since you're now asking the site to seed as well as track torrents.

      Normally each user posting a torrent is responsible for seeding it. By centralizing that you are losing all the benefits. Only if a torrent becomes very popular and users keep their share ratios fair do you get any benefit. Most of the time, especially for all but the top popular torrents, there
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 08, 2006 @10:31PM (#15093522)
    which site is the youtube of Pr0n?
  • by ImaNihilist (889325) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @10:32PM (#15093525)
    YouTube is great because it's ad free, and everything loads fast. That's why people like it. Too bad that YouTube doesn't have a revenue model yet. The only reason they stay afloat is because some company keeps GIVING them millions of dollars. Some estimates would suggest that YouTube costs $750,000+ per month. A company can only operate at a loss for so long.

    Eventually their cash flow will stop and they'll start pilling on the ads. Adwords, pop-ups, those annoying flash "timer" ads where you have to sit at a screen for 30 seconds, and ads before you play each video. Sure, they'll probably add a "premium" section to the site where you pay $9.99 a month and get to view the site ad free, but how many people are going to pay for that?

    I remember when Atom Films and iFilm where big. Once the ads start poppin', the people start droppin'. And as the Pringles commercial goes, "Once you pop, you just can't stop." That's pretty much the motto for all these "free" content/service sites. It's great while it's ad free and everything loads fast, but once that ends...the party is over.

    Google Video at least has some staying power. At least with Google I can save some videos in .mp4 format. Personally, I hate any site that doesn't let me save the video to my HDD. Since YouTube doesn't sell ads, I'm not sure I understand the "point" of making you go to their site everytime you want to view a video. They might as well just let you download it, and save themselves the bandwidth cost.
    • Forgive me not being able to memorize the script... "Yes, it cost me a million dollars to run this newspaper this year, and I expect it to cost me a million dollars to run this newspaper the next year, and the year after that. At this rate, I am going to have to shut down this newspaper in... 63 years."
    • I hate any site that doesn't let me save the video to my HDD

      KeepVid [keepvid.com] will let you save the video from most of the popular video sharing sites, including YouTube.
      • Yes, it will allow you to save the videos, just as you could do with some other apps, although this one definitely takes the cake for ease of use. Unfortunately, unlike with Google Video it is just the video which you were just viewing. With Google Video you can download vieos that are normal-resolution (i.e., 640*480) and high bitrate, instead of the super-compressed versions used in streaming.
    • It's possible to embed a YouTube video. The instructions [youtube.com] are on the YouTube site. YouTube isn't making you go to their site; it's just that some people choose to just link to a video instead.
    • by prockcore (543967) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:25AM (#15093928)
      Too bad that YouTube doesn't have a revenue model yet.

      They do. It's just not online. All those weekly clip shows on E and VH1 pay YouTube for content.
      • Precisely what value does YouTube provide to the equation "Internet full of amusing videos = great material for low-budget cable shows = profit!" Because I'm thinking thats "Well, none, really. They just lucked out and found someone even more inclined to spend money stupidly than they are. But eventually the suckers will find another supplier or figure out that they, like the rest of the net, can get their content for free."
      • You really think that revenue model generates them the $12.5 million they've already spent on their completely free no-income service?
        Rubbish.
        YouTube are operating at a huge loss, and they're relying on the "Web 2.0" hype to keep going. The fact that we can compare 10 fancy web 2.0 video editing sites, none of which have a genuine revenue model, and most of which have secured millions in funding from venture capital firms really shows what a problem we're heading towards.

        I wrote a little semi-related p [adamrhodes.co.uk]
    • People like me who make their own videos hate YouTube because it recompresses the videos into FLV format at an extremely low bit rate. It also renders stereo audio tracks down to mono, probably also at a reduced bit rate. All this transcoding is why a video from YouTube loads so fast, but it also means that the video looks and sounds significantly worse than the original. Read more about it here: YouTube and the Flash video format [chron.com].
      • >People like me who make their own videos hate YouTube because it recompresses the videos into FLV format at an extremely low bit rate.

        Right on. It would be really nice if they offered better quality downloadable versions of the videos in addition to the quick streaming Flash/Shockwave/whatever crap. That's one reason i frequent archive.org [archive.org]'s video collection moreso than anywhere else. If you first want to quickly see if something is any good you can download/stream heavily compressed realmedia or mp

    • I disagree. I run a Web site with a similar name, Tubespot.com [tubespot.com] (purely coincidental--I came up with it before I heard of Youtube.) I showcase funny television commercials that I record off of TV. I use what I consider to be a reasonable bitrate: 600 kbps Quicktime h.264 or Windows Media. And the ad revenue that I get from Google ads covers the bandwidth costs. It doesn't turn a big profit or anything, but at the current rate it would scale up indefinitely to pay for the bandwidth.
    • I noticed that very recently, all NBC-copyrighted content disappeared from YouTube. That's a signal to me monetary concerns are being considered, as that's a very lawyerly thing to do. Perhaps a stronger revenue model is in the works, and this is a step to prepare the site for it.
  • by mal0rd (323126) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @10:45PM (#15093557) Homepage
    This review isn't worth your time. It didn't even mention that http://video.google.com/ [google.com] allows you to download the videos in standard formats and youtude only allows you to play the videos with a flash player.

    Basically, if you are using youtube and you come across a video you like, it's not possible to save it. That makes it almost worthless.
  • Recompression (Score:5, Informative)

    by sakusha (441986) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @11:29PM (#15093661)
    The one thing that annoys me terribly about these video sites is that they recompress video files available on other websites and present them in a low-bandwith Flash format. Sure Flash is crossplatform Mac/Win and runs almost everywhere, but it has the worst quality of any video codec. And recompressing video introduces significant artifacting.
    I've seen dozens of recompressed videos on sites like iFilm and YouTube that are easily available in high quality on the original websites, it's like iFilm and YouTube are scraping the web looking for content to populate their sites. And of course they don't provide a link to the original site, so you have no way to know there's a better quality version available. This is dragging video down to the lowest common denominator. I run a video blog website, and I use non-downloadable streaming video precisely because I don't want some other site scraping my content and recompressing it to make it look like crap.
    • Re:Recompression (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Amusingly, the one thing that looks worse than crappy recompressed video is streaming video. Seen your site on a modem?

      The only reason to stream stuff is (illusion of) control, don't pretend otherwise.
      • No, there are other legitimate reasons for using streaming, even on low bandwidth pipes like a modem. You start watching the video immediately, you don't have to wait for it to download, and you can jump to any point in a video instantly. This is significant when you put up long, long videos. The whole point of the web was to put users in control, some people (like me) have chosen to give the user the ability to instantly watch and instantly move to any point in their video, as a tradeoff for lower quality
    • I disagree. Flash video, if done properly looks fine. You do realize it's a licensed MPEG4 variant right? Not only that, but it streams quite well and starts almost immediately. I'll take the new Flash video format over Quicktime or Windows Media any day. I run on Windows most of the time and now matter how clean the machine is Quicktime always proves to be the most unstable video format out there. It doesn't matter which CODEC is used QT on Windows is always a poor choice IMO. On Mac it runs great of cours
    • Actually Flash is just a wrapper. With Sorenson or On2 codecs flv files look just as good as dvd's - however most people don't encode at that quality because of bandwidth issues.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "U.S. Physicists, ~1900 already, sign a petition expressing strong repudiation of the new US nuclear weapons policies, giving Bush the power to nuke without asking the congress and considers use on Iran. The UC San Diego Physicist and signatory to the petition Dr. Jeorge Hirsch warns about the consequences if U.S. deploys nukes through a 10' video." here [digg.com].

    I wonder how long will it pass until this video is on all this video sharing services :-).

  • by pez (54) *
    If you are just a regular person, like me, who takes video of your life, and you want to share it with more of the people you know (your friends and family, and the people they know too), then Multiply's social communications platform is second to none. You can share original-quality video, plus photos, blog entries and more -- all in one place.
  • by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:35AM (#15093802) Homepage Journal
    Ups:

    Lots of fun copyrighted content. full episodes of the state, aeon flux, etc
    Nice & searchable
    subscriptions to keywords. I just wish it would default sort by most recently added
    LOTS of obscure 80s content
    LOTS of obscure 80s music videos
    Nice user interaction tools
    Groups!

    Downs:
    WAY too much anime crap on there - I swear 70% is anime footage.
    Way too much 'crap' footage like teenagers lip syncing to some rap song. make it friends only
    Searches for keyword stuff eventually lead to more anime crap
    They are cracking down on copyrighted stuff - I got an email from "DCMA" when i posted a conan o'brien clip on there. It's now gone.
    The speed of downloading videos is throttled to be less than realtime. You have to instantly hit pause when the page loads, then hit play when it's done
    sometimes, even if you have ahead-buffer loaded, it stops for 5-10 seconds and resumes playing. Only happens on certain videos
    No more videos allowed that are 12+ minutes.

    Youtube is addicting, plain and smiple.
    • No more videos allowed that are 12+ minutes.

      This totally does *not* make sense. I have a tutorial video that I am having to cut into pieces to upload to YouTube. The whole enchilada in LoFi Quicktime is 27MB. I'm having to give it to them in 10 Min> chunks. Guess what? Each chunk is coming out to 55MB. OK, if that's the way you want it, YouTube, go ahead and give me 220MB of space instead of 27MB.

      Other than that, YouTube is Da Kine.
  • by krunk4ever (856261) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:56AM (#15093853) Homepage
    Maybe not as big as a factor anymore, but filesize is and no compression are the 2 features I look for. Ability to edit online is fine and dandy, but I can already recompress, re-encode, and edit on my machine already. What I need is a service which will not decrease the quality after my upload to conserve bandwidth and allow a good max size, now that video quality is up to the HDTV era.

    Google Video I believe doesn't have a max file size limit, but they do recompress your video to whatever codec they use.
    Youtube (not sure about file size limit), but after re-enconding into FLV, the quality is pretty depressing.

    I haven't tried the others listed on the site, but I currently use PutFile ( http://www.putfile.com/ [putfile.com] ). They have a limit of 25MB for videos and no longer allows direct downoading, but they're decent and actually play back the original file. For larger files, most people probably won't want to view it in the browser anyway, so I upload to RapidShare ( http://www.rapidshare.de/ [rapidshare.de] ) which allows a maximum of 100MB and unlimited downloads. Though for anyone that's used RapidShare, you know about the wait times.
  • because, wait for it, I still have my beta deck. late in the game, he shoots, and yes, mod's be, he scores!!
  • Am I the only one who has never heard of "MSN Video" ?
    • Maybe because of the following, from http://video.msn.com/ [msn.com]

      To use this product, you need to install free software
      This product requires Microsoft© Internet Explorer 6, Microsoft© Media Player 10, and Macromedia Flash 7. To download these free software applications, click the links below and follow the on-screen instructions.

      Rob
  • Limited Availability (Score:3, Informative)

    by earthstar (748263) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @02:35AM (#15094041) Journal
    Looks like you guys didnt know that Google Video is not available in many parts of the world.

    Here in India,Google Video simply gives a error Message- " Thanks for your interest,This service is unavailable for your region".

    OTOH,Youtube works fine.

  • Funny you should mention those video sites. I've been up all night playing with YouTubes API, but don't worry, the result is well worth it (check sig).

    If anyone likes this script, please help yourself. I'd love to see a "best of 80's cheese" or "best old school sci fi" list if anyone else is as addicted as I am.

    Oh thank you goodness, d/l complete. Time for more Ren & Stimpy...

    Call me immature if you must, but IMO, this is what Sunday was made for.

  • Dont understand why they didnt mention phanfare.com. Its pretty much best site ive found http://jmacdonald.phanfare.com/ [phanfare.com]
  • Most of these sites have 2 issues as I see it. First they rely on pilfered content. Usually the biggest draw is from some copyrighted clip from Comedy Central or a cartoon or what have you. Look at the Natalie Portman rap that was getting so many hits and then got pulled. The second problem is that they do not reward content creators in any meaningful way. Sure, they get exposure, but that's just a means to the end of getting noticed by someone that will hire them usually. I think that if they were rewarded

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