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.
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.