Video Hosting Sites Review

February 12th, 2009

Last July, I wrote about video uploading sites. Now that I’m starting to get ready to post video online, some public but a lot of it just for friends or family, I’ve taken another look. And I’m disappointed in what I see.

Youtube has made the biggest improvements since then. Now, they can handle high-definition video, an intermediate “HQ” encoding, and the standard low-bandwidth encoding. Back then, there was no HD support, and I don’t think any HQ support either.

There are two annoying things about Youtube. One is the 10 minute limit per video file, though that can be worked around. The other is the really quite terrible options for sharing non-public videos. In essence, the only way to do this is to, on each video, manually select which people you want to be able to see it. If suddenly a new person gets a Youtube account, you can’t just give them access to the entire back library of videos. What I want it to tell Youtube that all people in a certain GROUP should have access, and then I can add people to the group as needed. That’s a really quite terrible oversight.

Vimeo, on the other hand, has actually gotten worse. Back a year ago, they were an early adopter on the HD bandwagon. Now that they’ve introduced their pay accounts, the free accounts have gotten worse than before. With a free Vimeo account, you can only upload 1 HD video a week. You also get dumped in the “4-hour encoding” line, and get the low-quality encoding. Yes, it’s noticeable, and much worse than Youtube HQ, let alone Youtube HD. You have no time limit, but a 500MB upload limit per week.

The sharing options with Vimeo are about what I’d want.

blip.tv seems about the same, and I’m still avoiding them because you have to pay $100/yr to be able to keep videos non-public.

Then there’s viddler. I am not quite sure what to make of them. They seem to be, on the one hand, Linux fans with a clue. On the other hand, their site seems to be chock full of get-rich-quick and real estate scheme videos, despite a ToS that prohibits them. They allow you to upload HD videos but not view them. They have a limit of 500MB per video file, but no limits on how many files you can upload or the length of each one, and the sharing options seem good.

So I’m torn. On the one hand, it would be easy to say, “I’ll just dump everything to viddler.” On the other hand, are they going to do what Vimeo did, or worse, start overlaying ads on all my videos?

Any suggestions?

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Comments Feed8 Comments

  1. Derek Elkins

    Out of those options, why not write a tool to manage a YouTube account the way you’d like? That would only leave the 10 minute limit.

    Reply

  2. jay

    do it yourself with s3 and s3cmd tools. no need to worry about restrictions or ads. & for private viewing you can create security tokens.

    Reply

  3. Jon

    I think I heard the 10-minute limit was withdrawn on youtube, I could be wrong.

    With regard vimeo and the encoding turnarounds, I have some sympathy for them. According to http://diveintomark.org/archives/2009/01/08/give-part-5-constraints , youtube queue up 13 minutes of footage every second. I imagine it must be very difficult for a small player to join the game without some major CPU investment.

    Reply

  4. Rob Sandie

    Hi John, thanks for including Viddler in this comparison of services, I am one of the founders here at Viddler.

    Just to clear some things up, we are embracing real Business use and taking down “get-rich-quick” and “real-estate” syndication spam. Problem is we get so much of it being an open service that Spammers continue to come up with more ways to get around our filters.

    Regarding HD, we are working on an economical plan to for displaying of HD videos and with that involves different tiers of usage we are building out.

    If you got any more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via email!

    Best,

    Rob

    Reply

  5. Todd Troxell

    Heya– viddler sysadmin here. I am not sure about the future of Viddler’s free offering, but I can say that we’d all be pretty disappointed if we had to setup ads or functional limitations on personal accounts.

    Got lots of spam too : ) I’ve been thinking about setting up skx’s blogspam software to catch spammy posts, but been too busy keeping the site running thus far.

    The manual route is kind of nice too sometimes– encode stuff to .flv and setup something like flowplayer.

    Reply

  6. John Goerzen

    Wow, thanks guys for replying. I had just about decided to use Viddler anyway, but the sharing options seem broken (see “videos going public” thread in bugs forum). If that gets fixed, I’ll be trying out viddler.

    Thanks again for reaching out.

    Reply

  7. Uwe Hermann

    Hi, for videos which you want to make public (and put under a free-ish license) anyway, you could use archive.org. AFAIK they provide free hosting and pretty much unlimited size and bandwidth for free-ish content of all kinds (don’t know the exact terms though). Or checkout ourmedia.org, which is also sort-of related to archive.org, but may have a nicer interface.

    HTH, Uwe.

    Reply

  8. Thom Speechley

    Hey! This is November. Can you tell me if anything has changed at viddler? I would prefer a site not quite as crowded and irrelevent as youtube to showcase our club’s videos. Thanks.

    Reply

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