Here are the scores (on a max of 6) I came up with, after my evaluation of online video sharing services:
- 4.5: Revver and Blip.tv
- 4: Vimeo and Veoh
- 3: Dailymotion, Youtube, Soapbox
- 2.5: Google Video and Myspace
- 2: Gofish and Clipshack
- 1 and 0: Eefoof, Yahoo Video and Grouper
- uploading in .mov and .wmv, not in flv (see here)
- embedding is possible in both .mov and flv (.mov is bigger, so probably flv will be your preferred format)
- 480 by 392 (360+ 32 ) is the biggest screen size of all services and the quality is excellent!!
- you can save video search queries into "collections" or make manual collections – each collection is a vodcast – you download the videos in .mov. Example: videos about Jazz: feed
- Revver’s business model: they "give you the tools to share it with the world and split the ad revenue with you 50/50". Both the embedded movies and downloaded movs have an advertisement at the end (a static image with a link)
- There’s one big drawback: the Revver management interface is a pain to use: slow, hard to navigate, sometimes buggy
- automatic metadata on the files, like original upload filenames, upload date is missing
- it’s so hard to find the permalink of a single video (you have to go to the "grab this" syndication snippets
- after trying to perform an action (such as adding to a collection) the interface does not show whether it worked or not…
- it takes quite a while to have your video reviewed (fortunately they do send a notification email – but at the moment I received it, my video was not yet visible)
- when you enter the description right after processing, that description gets lost
Scores: 1 upload, 2 quality, 1.5 openness. Total: 4.5 / 6
Summary: Revver is the highest quality service to host your videos – if you don’t object against the ads. But it’s a pity you have to put up a fight with the interface to get that far…
- quick upload, really easy navigation and management interface
- you can upload via ftp, and even from within Windows Movie Maker!
- you can choose your license (All rights reserved, over CC to Public Domain)
- Your uploads are played on Blip.tv either as flv or in their upload format (but not in the original size) – see the wmv, .mov and flv version. Some of my uploads failed however and the flv conversion isn’t always optimal.
- any search result, tag, category or user page is also available in feed format – the enclosures are the unmodified files in original format!!
- there are all kinds of cross-posting and mirroring options – resp. to your own blog or the internet archive for example
- ads: opt-in only. Apparently they hope to finance the non-monetized content with the content of users who choose to have ads displayed (50/50 revenue sharing). Only two advertising partners at the moment, but things are moving – immen.se joined as partner only last week
Scores: 1 upload, 1.5 quality, 2 openness. Total: 4.5 / 6
Summary: Blip is the most open and user-friendly (in several meanings) service. Only the quality of the flv conversion is a bit behind. Not surprisingly, the service gained popularity among geeks and creatives (it’s the only service who had a considerable number of screencasts :-) ). Which, in the long term, is not a bad strategy – after all, it’s those groups who evangelize technology to other users and who create original content… (Note: check out this audio interview by Jon Udell with Mike Hudack, one of the founders of Blip.tv)
- excellent quality , simple, easy to navigate site
- Accepts wmv version (bad quality conversion) and flv (good till excellent)
- RSS feeds per user or per tag, the enclosures point to the original upload format!
- maximum upload size: 30 megs/week!
- 400 x 300 embedded flv version (the controls show on mouse over, do not take space in themselves):
Scores: 0.5 upload, 1.5 quality, 2 openness. Total: 4 / 6
Summary: Vimeo has about everything you can wish in a video hosting service… but because of the 30 MB max upload, it’s only a viable option for really light users…
- accepts mov (bad quality conversion) and wmv, not flv
- Innovative features:
- publishing via RSS: they upload automatically the videos from your private vlog (so Veoh sees itself as your hosting partner)
- forwarding and getting the embedding html code from within the embedded video flash player
- subscription and video download requires the Veoh client however, I didn’t see any outgoing rss feeds
- screen size is OK, but quality is abominable
- 425 by 340, .mov version:
Scores: 2 upload, 0.5 quality, 1 openness. Total: 3.5 / 6
Summary: Veoh has some nice features, but the dependency on the Veoh client for some features disqualifies it as a host for your screencasts
- I could upload .mov and wmv (of course)
- within the soapbox environment, your videos are shown in wmv if you’re using IE, in flv if you’re using Firefox
- flv is used for embedding in your own site (regardless platform or browser of your visitor) has some nifty usability features: you can perform edit/upload actions while you keep watching a video…
- you need to login with a live.com/msn account in order to get the code for embedding the video, or even browse more videos: this is handicapping virals and seems plain stupid to me
- see 5MB wmv version (not really great quality) and 80MB .mov (better, but still not outstanding – embedded here, 412 by 362 px)
Scores: 1.5 upload, 1 quality, 0.5 openness. Total: 3 / 6
Summary: Slick interface, pretty good display quality, but not really impressive.
- Formats: accepts wmv, flv and mov
- the video quality of all of the 3 uploads is equally bad
- Size: 425 x 350 – too small
Scores: 1.5 upload, 0.5 quality, 1 openness. Total: 3 / 6
Summary: Youtube is the king when it comes to speed, social features and usability, but for screencasting it just doesn’t fit…
- really fast upload, great workflow
- accepts .mov, and .wmv – the flv gave an encoding error
- embedding is possible in small (200 by 166), medium (400 by 316) and big (640 by 480) screen size (a bigger screen size doesn’t help if the images get blurry…). Here’s: the medium version:
Scores: 1.5 upload, 0.5 quality, 1 openness. Total: 3 / 6
Summary: Dailymotion is probably one of the better video sharing sites around, but size and quality aren’t good enough for screencasting
- Formats: accepts wmv, mov, no flv.
- on the plus side: they’re the only service where you can upload videos larger than 100 MB!
- video quality: bad
- No feeds for videos by one author, subject… there is however a way to convert searches into feeds by adding the "&output=rss" parameter to the url, which converts the search to a vodcast with mp4 enclosures! Example: all videos from blogtalk reloaded as feed. Note that "blogtalkreloaded" happens to be an uncommon user name, so that the full text here is equivalent to a search by author.
- Size: 400 x 326 – far too small. There’s no preview of how big the embedded version actually will look like
Scores: 1 upload, 0.5 quality, 1 openness. Total: 2.5 / 6
Summary: Google was the first of the big players (June 2005) to offer video hosting, but didn’t really know how to make it an appealing product so far – so no wonder they bought Youtube. It would be nice still to have Google video improved for geekier, heavy duty video hosting.
- Accepts .mov and flv. Although they pretend to take.wmv, the conversion of my wmv file failed (tried several times)
- Both versions have an equally poor quality however
- Despite Myspace ‘s bad reputation, the video upload and management interface is clear and clean
- No feeds, embedding works fine (flv version, 430 by 346)
Scores: 1.5 upload, 0.5 quality, 0.5 openness. Total: 2.5 / 6
Summary: Good service but insufficient quality for screencasting
- accepts, wmv, flv, mov – the latter one is just a tidbit better, still far from sufficient
- clear, simple management interface
- no rss feeds
- embedded (343 by 290, .mov version) – far too small
Scores: 1.5 upload, 0 quality, 0.5 openness. Total: 2 / 6
Summary: Again: probably a good service, but not for screencasting
- accepts .mov and .wmv (but wmv version failed to be processed)
- in order to register, you have to go through screenfuls of sponsors who want your email…
- screen size : 430 by 354 , quality insufficient
Scores: 1 upload, 0.5 quality, 0.5 openness. Total: 2 / 6
Summary: an sponsor-driven community site, that happens to be built around video sharing
- wmv and flv failed converting, .mov version : bad image quality
- you can post really quickly and anonymously, that’s what I did by accident BTW…
- embedding is impossible – what they call embedding is a link to the ads-overloaded site
Scores: 1 upload, 0 quality, 0 openness. Total: 1 / 6
Summary: quick anonymous media sharing, not a place you trust your files to for hosting
- flv is not accepted, wmv upload failed conversion after several trials (although they pretend wmv is accepted), the uploaded mov has an appalling image and sound quality (which is really exceptional among the services I tested!)
- no real size preview of what the video will look liked when embedded (as in Google video), it turns out to be 425 by 350:
Scores: 0.5 upload, 0 quality, 0.5 openness. Total: 1 / 6
Summary: Unbelievably bad product by such an otherwise great web company. Maybe they should go shopping in the upper regions of this list?
- Formats: accepts wmv, mov
- processing takes really long and then… where are my videos? I could only find them back via the general search days later…
- I was unable to play the video in Firefox, in IE (with Windows media player) the .mov version plays without sound (and with appalling image quality), the wmv without images!!
- Size: 400×300 (+25) – didn’t bother to embed one
Scores: 0 upload, 0 quality, 0 openness. Total: 0 / 6
Summary: if I believe Techcrunch, Grouper might be interesting if you download their proprietary viewer/uploader. Not for web-based use though…