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YouTube's Growing Competition

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the how-many-dancing-kid-videos-do-we-need dept.

139

bart_scriv writes "BusinessWeek looks at YouTube's rapidly growing imitators and questions the site's long-term viability. In addition to the competition, YouTube continues to face problems caused by its reliance on copyrighted material; the site's popularity is service- (rather than emotion-) based, which makes it a ripe target for anyone that might replicate and improve the service. From the article: 'YouTube's own challengers are advancing at a rapid rate. AOL is re-engineering its video site to mirror YouTube's success, and CNN is launching CNN Exchange, which will house user-contributed video features. Then there are sites like Eefoof.com, Panjea.com, Revver and Blip.TV, which share up to 50 percent of ad page revenue with the creator of the videos. Others like Dabble.com (currently in beta) sort through all video hosting sites (like YouTube and its competition) for search content, while specialty video sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point of interest.'"

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139 comments

Dvorak (4, Funny)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910460)

No sooner does he endorse it or the end draws near....

The best clone (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910469)

http://www.pornotube.com/ [pornotube.com]

Yup, the best Youtube like site.

Re:The best clone (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910487)

Agreed. The only site I see that can come close to competing with YouTube is a site that offers content YouTube cannot allow.

Re:The best clone (1)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911245)

http://pornotube.com/ [pornotube.com] obviously not safe for the work environment.

Re:The best clone (2, Interesting)

althalus1969 (680826) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910593)

na, xtube.com is miles better

pornotube (2, Interesting)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910475)

http://www.pornotube.com/ [pornotube.com]

Waves goodbye to your bandwidth.

Re:pornotube (1)

vodkamattvt (819309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910556)

Wow, no sooner than its posted on slashdot, the database connections fail as it crumbles under the load of nerds drooling for "user created" porn.

Re:pornotube (3, Funny)

Aphoric (808093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910717)

...just as long as it's not created by ./ users!

Re:pornotube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910741)

Nah, it's been like that for a day or so.
Not that i'd know or anything...

Re:pornotube (4, Funny)

Durrok (912509) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910703)

Wow, great place to... see a bunch of guys... naked :\

Wheeee! (0, Offtopic)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910860)

"(Score:3, Interesting)"

Huzzah for slashdot! :P

Man... slashdot's got real tetchy lately with the cat comments :/

The past is prelude (4, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910476)

This happens with every Internet advancement. People proclaimed the end of EBay with time, but it is as strong as ever because they adjust to the situation better than most companies (buying PayPal, partnering with the USPS, et cetera). Other examples are the search engine wars and e-mail. When GMail blew the top off of wimpy e-mail capacities, the competitors were quick to match it.


Something important to note is that one user can upload videos to any or all of the top video sites. YouTube et al will have to offer some incentive for a user to stay with their service for the long term.

Re:The past is prelude (3, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910630)

The big difference between eBay and YouTube is how it is used. You go to eBay and bid on items. The more items available, the more likely you are to go there. eBay has built a community. YouTube does have a community but its biggest boon comes from embedding videos into other pages, especially blogs. That can be easily replaced wholesale by similar technology and not many people would notice. Right now YouTube (much like GMail) offers a feature set at a price point that is not offered by many other providers. When (or perhaps if) other providers do catch up, it will be a lot harder for YouTube to stay on top than it was for eBay to stay on top.

Re:The past is prelude (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910829)

"YouTube does have a community but its biggest boon comes from embedding videos into other pages, especially blogs. "

I think you underestimate just how massive Youtube's site is. It's not uncommon to find vids that have 500+ comments attached to them. I know lots of people who go to Youtube just to find silly stuff and share it with their friends. Great time killer. My experience, of course, is simply anecdotal. I'm having a hard time imagining YouTube's fate being sealed very quickly.

Re:The past is prelude (1)

buffoverflow (623685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910740)

On the other hand... For each example of a groundbreaking originator staying on top throughout the tumult of the spawn of their new industry, there are equal examples of similar innovators being robbed, stabbed in the back, and stomped by the competition.
Often times the first one off the line is the one who ends up with an arrow in his back by the time they reach the finish. Look at everything invented by Xerox PARC.

There's one more factor there (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910913)

There's yet another factor remaining, so I'm going to just wait and see. Maybe Youtube will do just fine without any further incentives.

The factor is: most me-too clones suck. There are a lot of PHBs... err... MBAs out there who seem to think that jumping on a bandwagon means doing the absolute crappiest job, with the cheapest unskilled monkeys off the street. And that you can just make up for that by adding some "features" that are just a PHBs ego trip, as opposed to even trying to understand what the market wants. (Think of all those dot-com era "features" like adding blinking text, or bright blue text on a green background.)

It's not just Google or Ebay. Look at the iPod or iTunes too, at that. (And disclaimer, I'm not even an iPod or Apple fan, but I can still be disgusted with _stupid_ imitation when I see it.)

E.g., you'd think that making yet another HDD based media player would be an easy enough proposition, no? Yet it took half a decade for people to even begin getting their act straight. Some were as big as a freaking brick (I still remember an Archos which was _literally_ as big as a 5" HDD), some had a nightmarish user interface (I'm looking at you, Creative), some insisted on ruining a perfectly good MP3 by re-converting it to their own proprieatry lossy compression in 64kbps (Sony, you suck), etc. And yet paradoxically a lot of them were actually more expensive than a similar capacity iPod. And when they tried adding a feature of their own, even one which might be useful in its own right, like video playback, it came at the expense of being badly implemented _and_ ending up costing more than a good laptop.

Ditto for iTunes. It never ceases to amaze me how many bad ideas people try to cram into copying that... badly. Ranging from the functionality of their program or web site, to the music selection, to some hare-brained ideas like, basically, "I know! People would love to pay for the privilege of indentured servitude to us! I bet everyone just dreams of a service where we hold their whole music collection hostage, and can remotely render it useless if they even think of stopping paying monthly." I mean, seriously, wtf? Who there thought that blatant extortion is a feature?

Those are just two random examples. I could give more, but it's already too long a rant anyway.

The moral is: don't underestimate how crappy a job some people can do when they try to copy something they don't even understand. I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of PHBs out there managed to get even copying Youtube wrong. It may seem like a clear and straightforward idea, that noone can possibly get wrong, but then the same could have been said about everything else which did get copied all wrong.

Re:The past is prelude (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911013)

Ebay has a solid revenue stream. They collect money on every item posted for sale. They started making money right away. (I'm talking in absolute terms, not when they climbed out of the red.)

YouTube's revenue stream, currently, is advertising, which does not provide enough to make it profitable on its own yet (I believe). They are burning through cash, apparently waiting for their business plan to descend from on high.

Make no mistake - YouTube is fun, and I love it. I just hope they find a way to stay in business for the long run.

Re:The past is prelude (3, Informative)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911102)

People proclaimed the end of EBay with time, but it is as strong as ever...
And they may well be correct...

It is not strong as ever.

Its share price is less than one half of what it was one year ago, there was talk of them buying back shares. Their US, UK and Germany (pretty much their only true strong markets) are stagnating. They are seriously getting their asses kicked in China. Competition in the form of Google and others is a constant threat. Brand Value is decreased due to rising fraud, poor customer support and ever increasing charges. It was widely criticized by analysts for overpaying for Skype, and Skype has lots and lots and lots of strong competition. And to rub salt in the wound, key management such as Jeff Jordan quit.

It is takeover fodder.

No, it is not in a strong position, it could fall hard, and fall fast, and fall soon.

That said, they have always been in a stronger position that YouTube. eBay did make money from the start but it's very hard to see where YouTube is getting its from. It's near impossible to see how it is sustainable going forward. YouTube looks much more like a Dot.com than other so called Web 2.0 companies. I think they will either be history soon enough or sucked into Yahoo, News Corp., or some similar satanic pact.

Clones are one thing... (3, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910484)

but brand recognition is whats a winner here.

I am reminded of iPod killing headlines.

Re:Clones are one thing... (4, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910537)

Granted it's been a while since I left the back end of the target demographic, but CNN? I somehow doubt CNN is the hip, happening, with-it, groovy brand name the cool kids are into these days.

Re:Clones are one thing... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910657)

CNN must be smoking the same stuff as Walmart [slashdot.org] .

Re:Clones are one thing... (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911049)

Granted it's been a while since I left the back end of the target demographic, but CNN? I somehow doubt CNN is the hip, happening, with-it, groovy brand name the cool kids are into these days.

CNN is chasing after 'the long tail' here I suspect. Not all users of the 'net or the web are 'cool kids', or interesting in becoming or hanging out with the same.

Re:Clones are one thing... (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910547)

And with names like these... Eefoof.com, Panjea.com, Revver and Blip.TV

YouTube's brand recognition will remain just fine. Those are some of the worst web site names I've ever heard. Randomly pounding the keyboard would create site names that are easier to remember.

Re:Clones are one thing... (1)

Grimster (127581) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910845)

I agree, on 1 of those, panjea, I'd probably turn the J into a G and maybe or maybe not add an extra A if I tried to type it say, in 2 hours from memory.

eefoof? it's pretty easy to remember, silly sure, but easy to remember and type it's only 3 "letters" e-f-o eefoof

Revver same deal, r-e-v

Re:Clones are one thing... (1)

joemawlma (897746) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911547)

My favorite one is http://www.videosift.com/ [videosift.com]

Excellent name too considering the purpose of their site...

Re:Clones are one thing... (4, Interesting)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910555)

Brand recognition isn't everything. With sites like Truveo [truveo.com] and Blinkx TV [blinkx.tv] , you can just search through all the various video websites out there, no matter what site they're on.

Re:Clones are one thing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910583)

but brand recognition is whats a winner here.

Which is why I do all my searches on AltaVista instead of Gooble or whatever it is.

Re:Clones are one thing... (2, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910739)

but brand recognition is whats a winner here.

Are you sure? It a recognised brand for content uploaders, but they tend to be better informed as far as finding somewhere they can upload free video to.

As far as content consumers go, the vast majority of people who visit youtube do so (IMO) via a link from an email. They'll click on that link whether its to youtube or some other generic content hosting site.

I am reminded of iPod killing headlines.

iPod users are shackled to their hardware ipod via their collection of DRM protected mp4s. No such situation exists with youtube.

A better analogy would be altavista, jeeves, etc pre-google.

Re:Clones are one thing... (4, Insightful)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911014)

iPod users are shackled to their hardware ipod via their collection of DRM protected mp4s. No such situation exists with youtube.
If you think that iTunes Music Store files comprise even 20% of the audio files on all the iPods in the world, you're delusional.

Re:Clones are one thing... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911146)

If you think that iTunes Music Store files comprise even 20% of the audio files on all the iPods in the world, you're delusional.

I don't, but if ITMS songs comprised even 5% of my collection, I'd be buying another ipod.

Re:Clones are one thing... (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911165)

Sometimes, YouTube, like any Internet tube, gets filled. That's when I take out my Video iPod and watch video files. Is there a way to take content from YouTube and turn it into iPod Video format, without a further loss of fidelity on top of the incredibly ugly Flash video codec they use now?

Re:Clones are one thing... (2, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911416)

I haven't specifically tried what you're asking for - but I suggest trying the appropriate firefox plugin [mozilla.org] and swftools [swftools.org]

Re:Clones are one thing... (1)

iwsnet (946715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911120)

Youtube is serving 100 million videos a day so I don't think they should be too worried, except for Google. I don't think anyone will use AOL's video offering. Their name recognition is strong and they are already a media darling, so I don't see growth slowing down for the next year or two.

Shocking (5, Interesting)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910488)

In a shocking development, all of the sites mentioned in the slashdot article are working just fine... except pornotube.com.

Re:Shocking (2, Funny)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910870)

Pornotube was kindof flakey before /. mentioned it.

I know this via mental telepathy, and by no other means.

Re:Shocking (1)

vain gloria (831093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911003)

In a shocking development, all of the sites mentioned in the slashdot article are working just fine... except pornotube.com.

Except YouTube, you mean. The site has been down for the last couple of hours at least, with a lesser example of those Web 2.0 cutesy messages that El Reg has been known to rage against.

We're currently putting out some new features, sweeping out the cobwebs and zapping a few gremlins.

We'll be back later. In the meantime, please enjoy a layman's explanation of our website...
(MS Paint diagram here, chortle!)

Re:Shocking (1)

g253 (855070) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911070)

it works just fine, it says something like "database error 04", and when you reload it's error 03, then 02... you get the idea. At 0 it works...

Re:Shocking (1)

dourk (60585) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911456)

How can pornotube get around 2257 restrictions?

Google video? (4, Insightful)

anethema (99553) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910496)

Pretty amazing the article doesnt mention Google Video...it has to be one of Youtube's major competitors too. Has a simpler interface and better search...

Re:Google video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910552)

but it doesn't have the beloved comment section

Re:Google video? (4, Interesting)

stienman (51024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910619)

Has a simpler interface and better search

And does a much better job of obeying copyright.

Youtube is only as good as its current copyright stance lasts. Once a major lawsuit from a copyright holder happens, Youtube is going to go the way of napster and MP3.com. It'll still be around, but it'll probably have to start erring on the side of too restrictive. Google started out trying to avoid copyright problems, and it will be able to defend itself against copyright lawsuits. That being the case, they won't need to have a period of time where they overreact.

Still, I hate searching in youtube. There's way to much junk in it - not unlike the internet as a whole - and they don't rate videos like google seems to be able to do. Perhaps they need to use the google rank of each video (this video is linked to by x websites using the following keywords) so better videos float to the top of searches.

As the information increases, good searching still seems to be key to a good service. Google seems to know its business. I'm waiting for them to bend their processing power to analyzing video and audio to automatically pull out people and words.

-Adam

sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point... (4, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910519)

"while specialty video sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point of interest"

Well waking up to a Slashdot story specifically referring to what's in my pants certainly is a new one.

Re:sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point.. (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910928)

Pornotube is in your pants?

Re:sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point.. (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910995)

(I was wondering why the link wasn't working.)

Re:sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point.. (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911168)

Well waking up to a Slashdot story specifically referring to what's in my pants certainly is a new one.
I think that's more common than you think: Astronomers Make Important Dark Matter Discovery [slashdot.org] doesn't refer to what's in your pants?

Hint: toilet tissue. It's in the bathroom for a reason.

I disagree with the summary (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911308)

from the summary: "while specialty video sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point of interest"

I disagree with this statement. Pornotube concentrates on MANY points of interest: fetish, lesbian, gay, orgy, large breasts, strip tease, midget, asian, etc...

What?

Re:sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point.. (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911384)

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I doubt that many people find the point in your pants to be all that interesting.

Brand is important (2, Insightful)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910521)

Forgive me if this is raised in TFA... but the brand that youtube now has is very important. If I want to see a video of some viral incident, or a TV trailer or clip, I turn to youtube, because I'm familiar with it. I've only just about heard of some of the others, never mind used them. Surely we saw the same effect in the search engine market... everyone knows that Google isn't necessarily the best, but I still go there first and only go somewhere else if I get no joy. The same will happen with youtube - just what can its competitiors offer that beats youtube? Easily accessible video at a good speed and with a big audience (to both see your footage and to upload their own interesting clips) is what it's for, and that's what they do well. Why go anywhere else? And naturally, the last thing I want is the fragmenting of the market, with different comaparable audiences at all sites, since then I'd have to search multiple sites instead of one.

YouTube's ... competition? (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910530)

Who wants to "compete" with YouTube's "business model"?

Damn you, YouTube! I can lose money through a free video service *much* faster than you can! I can have an even sketchier idea of how to recover costs! I can make it easier for people to block ads!

Re:YouTube's ... competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15911089)

Wow, Steve Ballmer reads Slashdot!

Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness? (4, Interesting)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910548)

Do any of these copycats offer actual video downloads, or are all of these guys locking up content behind various streaming schemes?

Also, is there any way to bust the video out of a Flash Video player? I'd like to view some of these videos under Linux on AMD64 w/out installing the 32-bit Firefox and Flash It seems like it should be possible to extract the streaming link from the Flash file somehow and just grab the content w/out the player. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910610)

the easiest way to grab the videos is if you are using firefox and the videodownloader plugin from videodownloader.net

ffmpeg? (2, Informative)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910645)

going by your low UID, I think you might have tried this but still here is what I tried (this worked for me, though FF is required and not flash): use this FF addon [mozilla.org] to dload the flv file, and then just use "ffmpeg" tool to extract to mpeg format.

How to Download Youtube (2, Informative)

Petskull (650178) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910653)

http://www.hiphopmusic.com/best_of_youtube/2006/02 /how_to_download_and_save_youtu.html [hiphopmusic.com]
http://www.tian.cc/2005/11/how-to-save-flash-video s-from-youtube.html [www.tian.cc]

These are two of the sites I turned to when I wanted to learn how to download YouTube videos.

Basically, the premise is that you have to change the url to get it to download as a file and then convert it from an .FLV file into something else.

Example:
open "View Page Source" and do a text search for "player2.swf?video_id="

change this:
player2.swf?video_id=b4Knsablahblahblah

to this:
http://www.youtube.com/get_video?video_id=b4Knsabl ahblahblah [youtube.com]

Then save the file and convert it to, say, AVI. I use CinemaForge for this.

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (2, Informative)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910710)

To store YouTube videos on your own machine, get the VideoDownloader extension for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2390/ [mozilla.org] . Then go to the page for the YouTube (or Google Video or whatever) page of your choice, and click on their icon. A window pops up and you click on a button to download the actual .flv video. That's in Flash video format, which you'll probably want a player for: http://www.martijndevisser.com/blog/article/flv-pl ayer-updated [martijndevisser.com] . Now you can run that (on a Windows machine at least) and play .flv videos from YouTube locally. Voila!

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910806)

Google video allows you to download the movies...

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910959)

Do any of these copycats offer actual video downloads

To be fair, IMO the majority of videos on Youtube are cool to watch, but I see no reason to keep copies for eternity.

Unless of course you have an affinity to watching kids dance.

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911444)

I hate streaming, especially if I have a choppy net connection at the time. And if it's a particularly funny video, I don't want to have to download it a second or third time to show my wife or a friend.

--Joe

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (2, Informative)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911082)

In Addition to the other suggestions I offer youtube-dl chock full of "Cross Platform Command Line Goodness" http://www.arrakis.es/~rggi3/youtube-dl/ [arrakis.es]

You're Welcome

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (1)

NOCjock (995398) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911343)

Flash works out-of-the-box on SuSE 10.1 AMD64. What distro are you using?

Re:Any copycat that didn't copycat flash-suckiness (1)

dbitter1 (411864) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911658)

Try Unplug ( https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2254/ [mozilla.org] ), which is pretty good. You can play the extract (The .FLV file) in VLC under Win32; assumedly you can do it on the other platforms VLC compiles on?

It's not easy (2, Interesting)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910553)

The problems for YouTube aren't easy to overcome. They've got a reputation for being free and easy to use, which is really the problem. If they decided to implement a poster-frame ad at the end of each video to generate revenue (like Revver does), they'd be dealing with money, which would immediately necessitate making things harder to do. For one, the identity of the uploader would be more important, as would the possibility of Daily Show clips getting some random uploader cash. On top of that, advertisers are very picky about where their ads appear, so while they might be happy to have 10,000,000 impressions, they wouldn't be happy if half of them came from sites that were otherwise porn-related (well, not necessarily). The administrative overhead of doing ads would probably undercut its value, and the friction it creates would make people move to free-er sites.

Maybe they just need to create a second class of user, verified accounts, where they can put ads on their videos*. I figure they've got to do something soon, because their reputation is about to eat them alive.

* this assumes that single-frame ads at the end of videos are not offensive. YMMV.

Re:It's not easy (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910587)

Sorry, I accidentally erased the first line of my comment: None of the competition will matter if YouTube implodes before they can eat marketshare... the quickest way to lose marketshare is to appear to be doing a bait-and-switch, which may be where they're headed.

World of Ends (1)

Petskull (650178) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910554)

User-created content is at the center of YouTube's web-2.0 pedigree: the idea that the "new" fluid Internet model will be based on user interaction and contribution.

It seems that this is presicely what is meant by how the internet is a World of Ends [worldofends.com] . As upload capability becomes more and more prevalent, it will become more representative of the global population. The question then becomes- Is this a good thing?

Shallow content [shallowhalmovie.com] , rumormonging [snopes.com] , and misinformation [venganza.org] will lead to a populace that is more popular, but will it be more true?

Re:World of Ends (1)

enven (992813) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910569)

Pornotube FTW.

Re:World of Ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910955)

Shallow content, rumormonging, and misinformation will lead to a populace that is more popular, but will it be more true?

More true than WMDs in Iraq? More true than the batboy saga? Who determines what is truth? Will the athiests who say they have no god belief while they are clearly, by all objective measures, on a crusade to further thier belief there is no God and advance this belief over others? Will the Christian who says they respect other peoples beliefs while they clearly, by all objective measures, are on a crusade to see the Christian belief trump all others?

Guess what I'm saying is, we will make it what we make it, truth be damned or honored depending on whether or not it happens to fit whatever is popular. I don't like that it's like that, but that's the way it is. When humility and admitting when you're wrong become popular virtues again, instead of signs of ultimate weakness and ultimate proof of lack of credibility, then truth and what is true will have a shot at being popular. Until then, don't hold your breath for anything to be more true, beyond that things will be a more true reflection of who and what we are as a people. And unfortunately, history is pretty clear that as a people, humanity only rarely flirts with love of truth and when it does, it doesn't last long. Egos and greed always see to that.

GoFish.com (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910571)

It's much the same as YouTube. However, they also have contests and stuff. Right now they're having a contest called "America's Dream Date" where you and some "lucky" contestant get to go to Paris for a week. Also, they're giving away an iPod nano.

It's a very new site, so the content is thin, but it seems to work, much the same as YouTube.

RS

State of video technology (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910596)

These sites are a good reflection on the current state of video technology. All these sites use Flash video: A low-quality proprietary solution that requires on a 3rd-party plug-in. The only one that tried using a standard video format was Google Video, and they quickly abandoned that in the beta phase because it was too complicated to support.

I think it is a sad state of affairs that these sites don't (or can't) just use embedded mp4 files. It shows how video standards have failed and a proprietary solution is more ubiquitous. This will make archival very difficult.

Re:State of video technology (1)

webrunner (108849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910656)

The problem is, there isn't a player/format that can be a) site skinned, b) load as fast, or c) stream as quickly as flash/flv. Embedding any video other than through flash is a nightmare for the end user, and can't be easily integrated into the site.

The world does need a free alternative to flash, but proprietary or not it's by LEAGUES the best solution for web video.

Re:State of video technology (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911067)

What I've never understood is why video is treated completely differently from images. For example:
      <img src="foobar.jpg" />
JPEG is a standard image format that browsers display in-line. Now, why can't I just do this:
      <img src="foobar.mp4" />
MP4 is a standard video format that every player(*) can play, so why don't browsers use that?

If for some reason that isn't desirable, just send the MP4 file the way you do HTML and PDF - that works just fine. (Ex: On Windows/Mac, Firefox embeds Quicktime. For Linux there are comparable plug-ins like mplayer) This is what sites do for .PDF files, so why is video treated differently? The browser then invokes whatever viewer you have configured.

I think the problem is that there is a perceived difference that video is special, when it really isn't. That state is magnified by the fact that manufacturers are trying to push their own formats and confusing people.

(*) Windows Media Player refuses to play MP4 files, even though it can do it if you use another front-end for it like Media Player Classic
(*) This entire discussion works if you replace .MP4 with .AVI as well. AVI is a de-facto standard though, not an ISO standard.

Re:State of video technology (1)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910781)

The growing ubiquity of Flash for video shows one of the strengths of closed-source software, namely that they can license patented technology and deploy it widely.

If an open source project tried to license the same video compression algorithms how much would it cost? (It'd basically be the last software license the patent holder would ever sell.) Who would pay? (If your response is "death to software patents" you're missing the point.)

Re:State of video technology (2, Interesting)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910822)

The sad state of affairs is that, of all the possible video players, Flash is the most ubiquitous and easy to support right now. At any rate, there's nothing inherently low-quality about Flash video. It's just that YouTube, Google Video, and similar sites all want to use as little bandwidth as possible so the videos are encoded at low-quality bitrates (around 250 kbps video as I recall, with 64 kbps mono sound). If you have a decent source video and double that bitrate, the encoded Flash video actually looks quite good.

Re:State of video technology (1)

br0ck (237309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911402)

Anyone that doesn't believe him should check out this video [dvlabs.com] . (this was a recent digg post)

Re:State of video technology (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911016)

I think it is a sad state of affairs that these sites don't (or can't) just use embedded mp4 files.

I'm kind of torn myself. Mp4 would be better quality and could be downloaded, but I don't really have any desire to download 99% of the videos on Youtube. And I've got flash players on WinXp, Ubuntu, and Mac OS X so i'm not really hard pressed to worry about it.

Re:State of video technology (1)

eraser.cpp (711313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911113)

The flash video player works very well and is the ideal solution for a site like YouTube. WindowsMedia/Real/Quicktime embedded videos are slow to load and tend to not work correctly. The flash videos work every time and are very fast. MP4 won't work until a plugin capable of loading the videos quickly and easily exists (quicktime is not even close).

Youtube and the Slashdot effect? (2, Funny)

tsu doh nimh (609154) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910617)

Yeah, all the sites are working? Haha. Check out the Youtube homepage: "We're currently putting out some new features, sweeping out the cobwebs and zapping a few gremlins. We'll be back later. In the meantime, please enjoy a layman's explanation of our website..." Gremlins, my ass.

Re:Youtube and the Slashdot effect? (1)

Moqui (940533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910719)

YT has been down longer than the article has been up.

And if the latest video of EmoGirl15 doesn't pull down YouTube, Slashdot has no chance.

Re:Youtube and the Slashdot effect? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910816)

Emogirl15 is so yesterday. These days it's SarahJParent FTW.

Re:Youtube and the Slashdot effect? (1)

Khomar (529552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910730)

Actually, that page has been up all morning before the slashdot link to the site. There may be something wrong with their servers, but it happened before the slashdot effect.

Re:Youtube and the Slashdot effect? (1)

Fanther (949376) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910771)

From my observation, YouTube was down at least 30 minutes before the post was published on /.

Well, OTOH, Slashdot effect has a broader meaning these days...

Popular search engines faster [friskr.com]

Slashdot effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910631)

No sooner does a YouTube article get posted to Slashdot than they're closed for maintenance (http://www.youtube.com/ [youtube.com] ). Go figure...

Jumpcut? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910675)

I'm a little surprised Jumpcut didn't rate mention. Granted, not everyone needs its editing features, but if you do it's hard to beat.

In other news (2, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910737)

The instant pornotube and the other adult Youtube clones are posted to Slashdot, Youtube dives to 10 trillionth overall.

Anyone can start one. (2, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910760)

YouTube uses a particular Flash Video Player [jeroenwijering.com] script which is out there free (Creative Commons) for non-commercial use, and licensable for commercial use. With that, some content management software (done from scratch if you're brave, otherwise just tweak the crap out of one of the zillion CMS packages out there), and an obscene amount of bandwidth, you can have your own YouTube clone up and running in no time.

Re:Anyone can start one. (2, Interesting)

merryberry (974454) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910843)

To start a you tube you will need:
FFMPEG http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/ [mplayerhq.hu] : for video conversion
FlowPlayer http://flowplayer.sourceforge.net/howto.html [sourceforge.net] : displaying flash video
or Flash Video Player http://jeroenwijering.com/?item=Flash_Video_Player [jeroenwijering.com]
FFMPEG-PHP http://ffmpeg-php.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] : If php is used a nice extension for getting screen shots of videos, not necessary though
flvtool2 http://rubyforge.org/projects/flvtool2/ [rubyforge.org] : so you can seek though the created flash file
Then all you need is leverage framework or cms in php, or phython, or something and you are done. (well sort of!)

speak of the devil, youtube is down... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910835)

... I want my Python clips!

And it uses that damn Flash (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910853)

Grrrr.

Which is wierd beacuse (1)

TerryOutOfWork (944943) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910882)

How does YouTube pay it's unGodly bandwidth bills?

Are all these competitors lining up to go off the cliff too?

Google still wins (4, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910994)

Google wins. Why? They offer the option to download the damn videos.

It's the only way to get the videos on your iPod, PSP, Gameboy (via Play-Yan micro), etc...

I wish, however, that Google would get rid of that "Windows/Mac" option (AVI sucks) and replaced it with MP4 and H264.

Granted, the iPod option is H.264 but it's resized to 320x240 and the PSP is MP4 but it's resized for the PSP's widescreen which is also lower resolution than my computer display.

Competition... (2, Informative)

Fanther (949376) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911045)

An added difficulty for YouTube is that it is lacking an emotional hook to differentiate itself from a pure functional service (think iPod). Users visit YouTube not based on any of the brand's perceived values, but on its ability to give them what they want, when and how they want it.

If the website is able to give users what they want, it does create 'perceived value' or positive emotions. If now this value is put in the context of e.g. the YouTube logo, I understand this brand becomes more valueable to these users as well. At least that's what happened to me yesterday after I got to watch some videos of geriatric1927 [youtube.com] .

By the way, here [friskr.com] you can compare YouTube, Google Video and 19 other video search engines. (yes, it's my website)

Maybe. (4, Funny)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911104)

Just Maybe Senator Stevens was Right.

YouTube, XTube, PornoTube...

The internet really is a series of tubes.

But how to make money.... (1)

maddog71 (987070) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911159)

The real challenge here is that Youtube relying on copyrighted content to get all the click-thru's from SE's prevents it from establishing any meaningful ad revenues.... One competitor who has seemingly figured out a way around this is http://www.gofish.com/ [gofish.com] , in addition to the normal video sharing application they launched a reality-TV like show where they are directing the user-base to submit specific types of videos to compete, thereby eliminating the copyright and Adult issues that plague advertisers..

Senator Stevens was right ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15911182)

I guess the Internet really is a series of (you|x|porno)Tubes after all.

HMMMM (1)

BillGod (639198) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911240)

while specialty video sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point of interest.'" What one point of interest does pornotube concentrate on?

No Google Video??? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911365)

I'm sure Google Video is far more popular than a lot of the sites mentioned in the article summary (too many things to do to read the article itself), but yet it isn't mentioned...

Splash splash (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911494)

So, I am biased because I have a friend who works here, but check out gofish [gofish.com] (ick, flash 9... oh well).

Basically, it's the only immitator that I am aware of that is actually trying to go out and do "directed" content. Like, not just a bunch of people getting drunk and filming themselves laughing at thier own idiocy, but actually saying "hey people, we're gonna have a contest so, make a video about.... THIS".

Not that I don't like the mindlessness you can see on youtube, of course. Sometimes that's fun, and necessary, but I like the idea of taking this huge pool of wasted potential and pointing it in a direction. I'm hoping someday they start going beyond the braindead dating meme and start filming political/satire themes, but that's just my own personal interest.

AOL FTW? (1)

rizzle (848961) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911531)

So, as unlikely as it sounds, AOL does have a huge ace up its sleeve. It is one of the only companies that signed a deal with its bandwidth providers which is *not tied to the amount of bandwidth* being used. It is one of the last large companies that was able to secure this kind of deal until (for obvious reasons) this kind of service is no longer offered. However, AOL is grandfathered into it from the mid 1990s.

This means that it does not face the same $1-2 million / month bandwidth charges that companies like YouTube are facing. Provided that they could build up their UnCut video (get past the AOL brand negativity, get rid of that VideoEgg uploader, make the site more user/video centric), they could have a gem in their hands.

USC 2257, HR 4472 and pornotube (1)

bextreme (37107) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911560)

With the 'secondary producer' clause of USC 2257 (strongly reinforced via HR 4472 to get around some court challenges), companies like pronotube are in a deep pile of crap (as long as they stay in the US). These laws require than anyone that distributes material 'containing lascivicious depictions of the genitals, including simulations or actual depictions of sexual activity' MUST have photo proof of the actors age at the time the video was made, as well as all aliases those actors have ever used, and any other videos or pictures they may of been in. They MUST keep these records on their business premises, indexed and ready to be searched.

The FBI then is required to go around and verify compliance on these - they are not required to give any notice, and can show up at any time.

The penalty for ANY violation? 5 years each in a federal pen!

It also requires a notice on each and every page that contains this as to the location of the records - something they are already missing.

pornotube is one FBI visit away (how long will THAT take?) from some serious pound-me-in-the-ass prison time.

Its a tube not a truck (1)

jamaalthegreat (993993) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911650)

Youtube already blew away the competition from Youtruck.com. Why would anyone think they can manage to attack a company with all the tubes!
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