I’ve decided to convert all of my online videos to one of the two major video streaming services: Google Video and YouTube. The only question is which one…
Anyway, I thought it would be easier to post in one of those formats since it’s player independent. Well, almost, but it’s more so than posting a specific format.
I currently post in three formats: WMV, MOV, and AVI. That covers every player available since all players generally support AVI, and WMV and MOV cover the two major platforms (PC and MAC).
So now I’m confused. More than normal, that is.
Carrying my own video files is a big bandwidth hog, and carrying them in multiple formats greatly increases bandwidth usage. It also provides for theft of the files. I’ve already hunted down and stopped three people from carrying them as their own, and those instances fell in my lap. I’m not posting porn or unusually valuable films. In fact, they’re relatively low quality compared to so much other content out there. I don’t get it.
Anyway, converting to an online video service allows me to better control the files, offer them in a more accessible version, disable almost all potential theft (certainly more than I can right now), and saves me some bandwidth. There are ‘buts’ to the conversion though, as one would and should suspect.
There will be a new watermark on each video that shows the hosting service’s name. Is that so bad? I’m not uploading anything worth much in the way of profit, so is a small logo in one corner really that much of a deterrent?
Clicking on the video will link you back to the hosting service page where you can view it at their site, and that page undoubtedly will have advertisements and other crap on it, including links to other videos they think are related to the one you’re watching at that time. Again, is any of that bad?
Submitting the videos to either of those services will add it to a hemorrhaging database of such works and make it available to anyone browsing that particular site. While they can stumble upon the videos here using a good search site and the right terms, or using the all videos link in the sidebar, or searching this site using criteria that match a video post, or any number of other methods, does it make a difference that they’d be available using a site I can’t track or monitor to the degree I prefer?
I absolutely will lose some rights by uploading videos to any online service. Some are worse than others. All promises that such a reduction in rights doesn’t actually take place are false. That’s corporate America, a place where you can lie to your heart’s content—without worry of repercussions—so long as you provide a disclaimer somewhere written in legalese and therefore rendered incomprehensible to most humans. Consider this: once an object leaves your hands and enters those of another, you lose control, and that means you lose rights under the law. That’s undeniable. Those rights the particular service in use admits to pilfering beyond that is the proverbial icing.
If I go with Google Video, I am faced with yet another bit of my personal security that becomes added digital fodder in their growing records about me. I have GMail, I manage GMail for other people and have protected their privacy by using my own information, I have the Google Toolbar for Firefox (although I use hacks to disable many of the tracking functions), I use Google Search (again, ditto on the hacks), I am testing Google Analytics in addition to several other analytic software packages, and there are unoubtedly other Google applications and services I am using with or without my direct knowledge. When is it too much? Do the videos really make a difference in all of that?
If I go with YouTube, I’ve seen a lot of problems with their ability to serve the number of users requesting their services. Sometimes videos don’t load and you have to keep refreshing, sometimes you get a 500 error from the server and have to keep refreshing, sometimes you have to give up entirely because a video won’t load no matter how hard you try, and I have a litany of other complaints. Do I entrust video service to a company that appears unable to keep up with demand? Are these just growing pains that will ultimately lead to the superior and incontestable leader of online video services?
If I do go with one of these services (or even another I’ve not looked at yet), do I go with the company that is public (and, therefore, more transparent) and has a proven infrastructure (Google), ubiquitous in this particular online segment yet privately funded (meaning less transparent; that’s YouTube), or something else entirely?
Using an online service like those mentioned does not guarantee videos can not be stolen. There are plenty of applications available that allow people to capture and locally save streaming videos, even those offered by online service providers, so such use certainly isn’t assurance that your videos won’t be misused.
I have concerns about quality. I should test each of them on past videos and see which one impacts that less. What if they both suck? Stick with what I’m doing or change for the other benefits?
I started this post with a decision on the overall question already in mind. Now I don’t know. I feel like I may have talked myself out of considering and utilizing any of these services — at least right now. On the other hand, none of these concerns are new or unconsidered, yet I’m left with the feeling that this could be a road down which I don’t want to travel.
Let’s be honest. Maybe I’m being paranoid, or scrutinizing this choice a little too closely, or trying to force a modification on something that works like it is.
And I’d already convinced myself I’d made a decision…
I’m going to find something for lunch. This is giving me a headache despite the fact that I’ve not done anything other than consider it and write this post.
Once more, ugh.