This is part one of a (currently) four-part review of online video sharing sites.
Whilst clearing out my hard drive I came across a few videos which would be fun to share with friends and family. Rather than email it out (too big), I decided to upload them to an online video site, but which one? I’ve previously posted about Metacafe, and have used YouTube & Google Video to view movies, but as of yet I haven’t uploaded any. I’m also one of the beta testers for Microsoft’s answer to the combined Google/YouTube user generated online video market, Soapbox, so I thought it would be interesting to go through the process of uploading a video to each of the sites and measuring how easy it was and the resulting video quality.
Step 1: Find your video
I chose a short (13 seconds, 3.5MB) video of the Amalfi Coast, between Positano and Amalfi.
Step 2: Create an account
Simply click on the Sign Up button, enter 9 fields (including postcode for some reason), and you’re in.
I already have a Google account, and the same user login process was used for all Google services. However the account creation is incredibly easy and painless once again.
Incredibly simple, just requires an email address, nickname and a password.
Again, like Google I already have a Microsoft Passport, but even without, the process is quick and easy.
Step 3: Upload the video
Select the Upload tab, and I had to verify my email address. “Before you can use certain features on YouTube, we need to verify your email address”. This prevents people registering with false information, although doesn’t prevent someone using a disposable email address. Once the email has arrived and you’ve clicked on the link there is a two step upload process. There are the following tips and restrictions:
- Uploads will usually take 1-5 minutes per MB on a high-speed connection.
- Converting your video takes a few minutes; you can add more info or upload more videos while it’s processing.
- Videos are limited to 10 minutes (unless you’re a Director) and 100 MB.
- Videos saved with the following settings convert the best:
– MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format
– 320×240 resolution
– MP3 audio
– 30 frames per second framerate
The video needs a title, description, tags (in this case italy, positano, amalfi, coast), a category, and language. The second step involves browsing to your video, selecting whether you want it public or private (handy for personal videos), and if you want to email the link to one of your contact lists.
Once uploaded, the initial options are presented again, along with a raft of others. You can enter details about where and when it was recorded, allow comments, ratings and video responses. Bizarrely once you save these details there is no obvious direct link to play your video, only a “share” link to send to others (which admittedly is the same as a view link).
Once you’ve pressed upload, you need to watch the progress bar and wait for a confirmation message.
Not quite perfect, but plenty of options.