Posted on Jul 31, 2005

Video Flickr

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of Flickr.com – a photo-sharing website. I have pro accounts for myself, Lambda Chi Alpha, and CFEA; and I also set up a Third Goal section to pool Peace Corps photos.

When it comes to managing and sharing photos, there is nothing better than Flickr. I just wish they’d offer the same features and service for video.

If your cell phone or digital camera takes photos, there’s a good chance it is also capable of recording small videos. If Flickr added a video-sharing service, then it could become the single best consumer image sharing repository.

Alas, there are more complexities regarding sharing videos than there are sharing photos. Bandwidth aside, there are so many video formats. Some formats can only play in Quicktime, others in Windows Media Player, and many in both or neither.

For example, my Treo 650 captures video in the 3g2 format, which plays back via Quicktime, while my new Casio Exilim EX-S500 uses MPEG-4, which defaults to Windows Media Player.

I have found a few sites that are creating a Flickr-like service for video and tested three of them out.

  • Vimeo takes the easiest approach. It simply stores your videos in their native format, leaving playback compatibility up to its visitors.
  • YouTube attempts to convert all of your videos to Flash files. For my MPEG-4 test, it did just fine. As for my unsupported 3g2 format, it converted the video but lost the audio.
  • JussPress required me to download some software to use their site. Since I didn’t quite trust ‘em, I decided to pass on testing their service. If you were bolder, feel free to tell me about it here.

In time, either Flickr will jump into the video-sharing market, or some other player will figure out the best formula for sharing video snipits.

7 Comments

  • jasonpearce says:

    Steve Chen, one of the YouTube founders, read my site and asked for some feedback. Here’s what I shared with him.

    Steve,

    You’ve made a great start. Thanks for creating the service and engaging users for feedback.

    Business Plan: I’m a bit hesitant to fully use your service for I don’t fully understand your business plan. It’s free now, but will there be a pro service? What’s will be the difference? How many videos may I upload and how long will the remain hosted? Without a clear plan (http://flickr.com/help/general/#3), I don’t know what to expect.

    Flash: I understand the benefit of converting all videos to Flash. I own two web-enabled phones, however, and neither can view Flash. Perhaps offer additional viewing formats, or a mobile version of your site (http://www.flickr.com/mob/).

    Uploading: Provide more than one way to upload content. For me, most of my videos are recorded via my mobile phone. Consider providing a way to email video attachments. Flickr also has some great software apps to upload multiple photos at once.

    Rate: Consider giving users the ability to rate someone’s video. Flickr could use this for photos.

    Date Recorded: Can you not pull the Date Recorded information out of the video files? If this information is embedded in video files the way its imbedded in photo files, populate this data automatically for your users.

    Tags: Be more flexible in your tag rules. Let users enter quotes and punctuation. If you don’t use them, just strip them out for the user instead of showing an error and requiring them to re-enter.

    Description: You make it a required field but give the user no indication that it is required.

    My Video: Populate more links the way you do for Location. If you are going to add an anchor tag to the location, do so for each photo’s tags, Recorded date, etc.

    Who’s On Now: Get rid of it. It detracts from your main purpose. Plus, unless there is a benefit for me knowing who is online right now, it adds little value. If you add instant chat, maybe; but don’t do it.

    Those are all of the opinions I have for now. Thanks for asking. Best of luck to you.

  • TechCrunch says:

    Profile – YouTube

    Company: YouTube
    

    Launched: early 2005 Location: Palo Alto, California Overview: YouTube is very much like flickr (profile), but for videos. You can upload videos in a number of different formats ( .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG ). Videos can be of any length, …

  • Jason Thompson says:

    the pictures you have posted of Oklahoma State University are not of Oklahoma State University. I was a member of the Alpha Heta chapter. The house at OSU does not look like that, is not in that shape, and should not be represented as so. Can you please change the files name to represent the chapter it truly is? Please notify me when you have completed this. AH 1568

  • Chris Clonce says:

    As an alumni of Alpha Eta Zeta, the Oklahoma State University chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha, I am greatly dismayed that you have erronously labeled pictures of an poorly maintained chapter house as that of the Oklahoma State Chapter. This dismay is compounded by the fact that you have apparently had some role or involvement with Nationals. Your blatant disregard for the reputation and honor of Alpha Eta Zeta is evident by the fact that a simple review of the photos in the Paedagogous would have clearly indicated that the pictures you posted, for the whole world to see I might add, are obviously NOT those of the house at Oklahoma State. I can only hope that your carelessness has not yet caused any undue harm on the Alpha Eta Zeta by misleading future rushees (or their parents) of the state of the property and the corresponding state of its membership. If you place any value on the principals expressed in the Ritual you will immediately correct this error and apologize to the current members and alumni of Alpha Eta Zeta.

  • jasonpearce says:

    Jason and Chris. For starters, you are using my personal site to complain about your greivances that need to be directed to my office.

    Second, all of the photos posted by my office on Flickr are up there for you and other members to use, tag, describe, and improve in ways that were previously not available.

    There are more than 9,000 photos that have been added in less than six months. If you don’t like how one or more photo is identified, then make the correction yourself. All members are invited to properly identify, tag, and describe the photos my office has posted on Flickr.

    Instead of complaining about it, simply take the invitation that has been given to you and properly describe the photos as you see fit.

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  • Michael Myers says:

    Jason,

    I am a novice when it comes to many of the things you speak of regarding video. I have been unable to even get video FROM my treo 650 onto my cpu. Any advice. Basic info is probably all that i need to make a huge step.

    Thanks