Thursday, October 27, 2005

Now Playing: Your Home Video (New York Times)

It looks like more entrepreneurs are jumping on the video sharing site bandwagon. I checked out Google Video and OurMedia. OurMedia appears to have features similar to Flickr. For educational purposes these sites would make it possible to create an online repository for screen-captured help files and learning objects that included video or animation converted to video.


"The entrepreneurs who have started companies like ClipShack, Vimeo, YouTube and Blip.tv are betting that as consumers discover the video abilities built into their cellphones and digital still cameras, and get better at editing the often-lengthy video from their camcorders, they will be eager to share video on the Web. While most of the services are free today, the entrepreneurs eventually hope to make money by selling ads or charging fees for premium levels of service.

Sharing video on the Web is still a new notion. 'A lot of people haven't really come to terms with the idea that they can publish their own video online,' said Jakob Lodwick, the founder of Vimeo, based in Manhattan. 'For the longest time, video has always been connected to a physical tape or a disc. There are still a lot of people who aren't even comfortable sharing their photos online yet.'

But many early users of video-sharing services have encountered frustrations with other means of distribution. Ms. Tallent, who lives in Marina del Rey, Calif., said she had tried posting videos directly on her personal Web site, but that was cumbersome, and she ran afoul of her Internet provider's limits on file size.

Paul Krikler, who works for an investment bank in Manhattan, got tired of creating DVD's for his family members so they could enjoy videos of Mr. Krikler's 10-month-old son, Benjamin, chortling at the camera or being fed.

'Making DVD's would've been a less frequent process,' Mr. Krikler said. Using ClipShack, 'I can put up a couple new clips on a Saturday or Sunday every week, and people can go in and see new clips on a Monday.'

Mr. Krikler chooses to allow only his circle of friends and family to view his videos, and says there are about 50 people in that group, including one friend in Australia. He shoots the videos using a digital camera from Canon that is designed mainly to to take still pictures, and sends the videos to ClipShack.

Users of the services can upload cin�ma v�rit�directly from the camera, or painstakingly edit the videos using software like iMovie from Apple or Windows Movie Maker from Microsoft. Some services, like Phanfare, charge a monthly fee, and most, with the exception of Google Video, limit the size of videos.

None of the sites should be considered a reliable sole archive for personal video, however, since many do not allow users to download their original file once it has been uploaded. And there is always the possibility that a site may vanish overnight.

At least two sites, Blip.tv and OurMedia.org, promise more permanence by uploading a copy of each video submitted to the Internet Archive, which is run by a San Francisco nonprofit organization whose mission is long-term preservation of digital material. "
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