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?