After pondering the question of hosting my own videos time and time again (and I’m sure there are other brief mentions of the quandary scattered about), I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it’s time to make the leap. It’s not that I mind hosting them here as standalone files. It’s not that I think the quality problems with a hosting service are acceptable. It’s not that I think having some stupid hosting logo stuck on the screen during playback is okeydokey.
It’s just that hosting them myself consumes a tremendous amount of bandwidth. This site has increasingly moved uphill in bandwidth usage, and no small part of that stems from video downloads.
Also, I’ve continued finding the videos posted to other sites around the net without proper attribution or linking, something that is a copyright violation, theft, and downright spiteful. So no more.
I’m beginning the process of migrating all videos to Google. I thought about YouTube but can’t honestly see a difference between the two at this point. Quality issues and conversion artifacts appear to be consistent on both platforms, and Google owns both anyway.
I suspect it will take some time to get all the videos moved over. That’s because I have no correlative index to guide me from what’s been posted to what’s in the camera archive. So it’ll be a hunting expedition. But it doesn’t end there.
Many of the videos I’ve uploaded have been altered. In order to get the best quality from Google when I convert them, I need to go back to the original AVI versions. For those videos that I’ve cropped, lightened, or otherwise manhandled, I’ll need to perform the same steps on the original AVI file before uploading and converting it.
So this will be an ongoing process for some time. I don’t consider it urgent. That means I’ll work on it as time permits. I’ll also be doing the conversions in reverse chronological order—from newest to oldest, the same as the typical blog chronology. You’ll see the most recent videos change first, and slowly all the remaining videos will follow.
[Update] As luck would have it, embedding Flash in an XHTML document is totally fubar. There’s no simple way to do it, the default methods aren’t even valid HTML—let alone XHTML, and nobody has quick, simple, standardized code that works across all browsers on all platforms while retaining its W3C validity. Yet my decision stands. Since I don’t post videos all the time, I think the intermittent XHTML validation errors are acceptable—painful and frustrating, but acceptable. I’ll continue to investigate ways to resolve the bastardized code and validation errors without letting it inhibit the video conversion process. It’s never easy, is it?
Also, for the sake of convenience, I’ve now split out the video category so it’s easier to find specific groups of items. You can see the updates in the sidebar.
[Update 2] Well, it didn’t take long for me to change my mind about Google versus YouTube (or GooTube or YouOogle or whatever it’s called now). Google Video gave me all sorts of fits and problems. Some videos wouldn’t even convert for inexplicable reasons (their site offers NO HELP WHATSOEVER in that regard). When I went over to YouTube, those issues vanished without a single look back. So you’ll now see the videos are posted from YouTube instead. Just sayin’.