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Best Way To Distribute Video Online? 227

Posted by timothy
from the just-assume-others-will-mirror dept.
CHAMELEON_D_H writes "For some time now, I've been working on a short, geek/nerd oriented animation. It's nearing completion, and I'm starting to look for a method to share it with anyone willing to spare a minute. There are dozens of video sharing and streaming sites out there, making my choice very difficult. Looking for the best possible video and audio quality, while still having vast OS and browser compatibility leaves me dumbfounded. Having a download link would be a great bonus. Youtube is the default and most common choice, but has mediocre video quality and resolution. DivX Web Player has astounding quality, but requires users to download DivX's plugin and forces me to find hosting or purchase more bandwidth, as they no longer serve videos via stage6. Do Slashdotters have any experience with sharing or uploading videos? Problems you've encountered? What do your eyes say about different streaming video sites?"
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Best Way To Distribute Video Online?

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:22PM (#24880149) Journal
    My starving artist friend in NYC developed a short video on his mac and was faced with exactly this dilemma. So he sent out an e-mail with a link to the site where he was hosting a portal page. He simply said in the page that you could go watch the embedded YouTube video he had there if you didn't care about quality (and to be honest, his video really didn't require it) but then said that if you were a quality snob or if you couldn't make out the YouTube video, you could click the links.

    At the bottom, he had a list of various Quicktime sizes. One was pretty much HD and he said that if you didn't have a large high quality display that you should just go for the medium version. He also pointed out you could download them by right clicking if (and his provider is horrendous) you got choppy video.

    Nobody brought his site to his knees, 90% of the people probably just watched the YouTube video and everyone could watch it.

    You could do a similar thing, hell you could even point out that you don't need to install QuickTime or a DIVX codec if you just watch from the portal page or visit YouTube.

    Remember, you may be a quality snob but your audience isn't always so I would leave the choice to them. Is there something about your video that makes it look unbearable on YouTube? Is the animation and its features really that detailed and fine?

    If it is, I have another idea. I don't know how this works but I buy my Cinematic Titanic dvds from EZ-Takes [eztakes.com] (also known as DVD Wagon) and it looks like they'll sell anything on there for a low price. You could contact a company that sells streaming video or DVD ISOs for low prices like $1 and then just not get anything for profit and use them as a cheap host for your audience. You might not see profits but you'll retain the rights to your video/audio and have a way someone can spend a dollar and get the highest quality possible from you. There's probably a more reliable company to do this through, I just know of EZ Takes.
    • Spend a few bucks converting a high quality source to Flash Video format. THEN:

      If you want to host it yourself, check out HaXeVideo [google.com]. Also, Red5 [osflash.org] is supposedly widely adopted.

      If you're uncomfortable with open source, check out Wowza or FMS2 - both of these proprietary servers let 10 people watch your video at the same time, and come with plenty of examples. As long as your computer is connected to the internets & you know how to configure a router...

    • DivX is NO FORMAT! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:25PM (#24880959)

      DivX is a CODEC (enCOder+DECoder) for the MPEG4 video format.
      You can play DivX encoded videos with every MPEG4-compatible decoder.
      Every other information is only deliberate disinformation by DivX Inc. to sell you their trash.

      But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, when there are enough alternatives.
      There are x264, XviD, Theora as video encoders,
      Matroska and Ogg as containers,
      Vorbis, MP3 and too many other formats and encoders to count for audio.

      And nowadays eveybody who watches downloaded films has those on his disk anyway (except maybe for Theora and the Ogg DirectVideo demuxer).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Snaller (147050)

        "But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, "

        Because it is supported in hardware everywhere, there is tons of (user friendly) software for it and there is a great browser plugin in in for it.

        "There are x264, XviD, Theora as video encoders,
        Matroska and Ogg as containers,"

        XVid is basically the same as Divx so that is fine, but the rest are weird non standard junk not supported in very much. That's something you reencode to avi as fast as possible if you can't get it in avi t

        • by Wildclaw (15718) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:51PM (#24882927)

          XVid is basically the same as Divx so that is fine, but the rest are weird non standard junk not supported in very much. That's something you reencode to avi as fast as possible if you can't get it in avi to start with.

          Non standard junk? x264 is an encoder for h264, which happens to be the standard format for high quality video.

          Matroska is the best generic container format (replacing the flawed avi) as well as open standard and open source based. It does suffer somewhat from not being the industry (as in big business) standard, but on merits it is the best on the market, and with the increasing use to distribute high definition content in the scene, improved hardware support is very likely.

          The mpeg container format (.mp4 - can't remember its real name right now) is industry supported which means that it is implemented in more hardware, but compared to Matroska it is less flexible. Still, when using h264, I won't blaim any business for going with that format, even though I prefer to use Matroska for all my encoding.

          As for Ogg and Theora, they are far less common. Ogg is pretty much dead in the water. Matroska simply won over it at the start, and ogg has never been able to recover from that. Theora is nice in that it isn't patent encumbered, which is a plus for businesses that need to think about licenses, but to be honest it will have a hard time replacing h264 or its older sibling mpeg4 (divx,xvid). The usage for theora lies in specialized software playback such as games, where the playback engine is included and license fees can be troublesome.

          • by delt0r (999393)

            The usage for theora lies in specialized software playback such as games

            I hear that. I am making a game and Dirac hits the CPU too hard and is too new. But there are other issues with the likes of H264 etc. with fees for content production.

            Now someone will say the fees are quite low, and thay are if thats all you pay. But you don't. Theres contracts, lawyers and fees and lots of extras. If you are a indy developer this makes anything like H264 for a game a no show.

            But for games there is also Bink.

            By the way is Matroska still actively developed?

          • by DigitAl56K (805623) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:49AM (#24885489)

            Matroska is the best generic container format (replacing the flawed avi) as well as open standard and open source based.

            Matroska is nice, but AVI is not "flawed". Lots of people dislike AVI and can't explain why, only that they have heard others also saying that it is "flawed". AVI has supported a wide range of compressors including DivX and Xvid for many years successfully. AVI is certainly not best suited to H.264 but given that AVI, introduced in 1992, stems from IFF, first introduced by Electronic Arts in 1985, you can hardly call that a flaw. The main technical challenge that AVI writers have to deal with is correctly writing VBR audio streams - an issue that has already been addressed for many, many years.

            Maybe you can explain why you think AVI is "flawed"?

            • by mzs (595629)

              How about the need for the index at the end of the file.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by h4rdc0d3 (724980)

              Maybe you can explain why you think AVI is "flawed"?

              Perhaps "flawed" is not the best word to describe the AVI container format, however it is definitely outdated and no longer the ideal format for modern video/audio. Matroska is without a doubt superior to AVI, with its only flaw being that it is not yet supported by much of the "industry".

              AVI has had many shortcomings that have since been overcome by extensions, such as the 2gb file limit (solved by OpenDML). Most importantly for today however, AVI d

          • by Danathar (267989)

            Have you EVER tried to use some of the accelerated functions of the newer video cards to decode h.264? You CAN'T do it with .mkv files. Mostly they support .avi and MAYBE .mp4.

            Until video card vendors start supporting .mkv files with their players for hardware accelerated decode, downloading and playing a high-bitrate h.264 1080p video files are almost impossible unless you have a bleeding fast computer.

      • by DigitAl56K (805623) * on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:34PM (#24881761)

        DivX is not just a codec. DivX 4 through 6 do use the MPEG 4 Part II video spec (ASP) but what's important is that DivX defines additional constraints such as limiting the use of different bitstream features and data rates for CE device classes with varying capabilities to ensure a high quality playback experience on a very wide range of hardware. DivX Profiles (e.g. Mobile, Home Theater, 1080 HD) also constrain file format features and valid audio formats for the same reason.

        This is why you can buy $50 devices that are certified to play all your DivX files smoothly so long as you've encoded them to the correct profile. Can you walk into a store and easily identify something on the shelf that you're absolutely certain will play any other combination of formats? I bet most people can't.

        But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, when there are enough alternatives.

        DivX Codec was just updated last month.

        There are x264, XviD, Theora as video encoders,
        Matroska and Ogg as containers,
        Vorbis, MP3 and too many other formats and encoders to count for audio.

        x264 is a good codec, but good luck finding a low-cost DVD player that supports it. Xvid is a comparable video codec to DivX and provides compatible output options - i.e. leveraging the support DivX has built in low-cost CE devices. Theora has no CE support that I am aware of, and I don't think CE support of Ogg is either extensive or thoroughly tested by anyone. Vorbis as an audio format is only recently being supported even in PMP devices (sure, you can find a handful here and there).

        If the only thing that's important to you is playback on your desktop then sure, do whatever you like. I like creating my media so that I can pass it to friends without worry, watch it on my TV with my $50 TV player or connected device, transfer it to my phone, etc.

        Every other information is only deliberate disinformation by DivX Inc. to sell you their trash.

        One of the greatest values of DivX is that an interoperable and largely open platform that has been created to bridge the gap from your desktop to the world of consumer electronics. Name any other high efficiency video format openly accessible to the general consumer that almost any software can export to that works on thousands of low cost devices from hundreds of manufacturers. Infact, name some other companies dedicated to making platforms that are so open and accessible who have actually been fairly successful in doing so?

        Where is the love? :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rtechie (244489) *

        But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, when there are enough alternatives.

        Compatibility. Next to nothing uses Theora and Vorbis, and Matroska and Ogg are very obscure container formats that require codec packs to be installed AND only work on a handful of platforms. For example, Matroska only works properly on Windows.

        Performance. H.264 and Divx/Xvid are relatively CPU intensive, especially H.264. So if you want to play your video on older hardware or handhelds, these codecs are right out. I still encode stuff in MPEG 1 for this reason.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by fearofcarpet (654438)

          Compatibility. Next to nothing uses Theora and Vorbis, and Matroska and Ogg are very obscure container formats that require codec packs to be installed AND only work on a handful of platforms. For example, Matroska only works properly on Windows.

          Well this sucks. I ripped my entire Simpsons DVD collection, encoded it using x264, and put each episode in a Matroska file using GNU/Linux. And all this time I've just been hallucinating while I was watching them! On my MacBook... My Nokia N800... I'd better run out and get a copy of Windows so I can install a CODEC pack that allows me to watch all these videos in the MKV container--maybe the VLC player? That's a CODEC pack, right? Thank you so much for exposing my apparent Mplayer-induced delusional episo

          • by yuna49 (905461)

            I, too, laughed out loud at the Matroska => Windows disinformation, along with the "AVI is not flawed" posting above. Then there's the "no one supports Matroska in hardware" meme.

            1) You can play files in the Matroska container on any platform that mplayer supports, and that's quite a few. But like the poster above me, maybe I was hallucinating when I watched those files on my Fedora box. The xine engine also supports Matroska. Have a file in the Matroska container with H.264 encoding, soft subtitles

        • by stm2 (141831)

          It may be obscure and without users, but it is not true that only works properly on Windows, I tested under Linux and run without any problem.

    • Torrent. (Score:5, Informative)

      by DrYak (748999) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:27PM (#24880987) Homepage

      Nobody brought his site to his knees, 90% of the people probably just watched the YouTube video and everyone could watch it.

      If the link points to a torrent, the site is even more likely to be able to withstand lots of users downloading the video.

      That's what torrent where designed to begin with (before the format became also popular on sites like pirate bay) : to enable content provider to distribute huge files without killing too much bandwidth.

      All the poster has to do is to send some way or another (using a plain HTTP link, or sending burned CD-R through snail-mail) the file to a small amount of friends who could all seed the file initially and everything will be ok.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by thtrgremlin (1158085)
        Why not just upload the torrent and get your friends to download it the same way. With the way bit torrent works, all your friends (or anyone else for that matter) will become seeders in no time if they just stay connected. Also, if you post the torrent here, I am sure there are a fair number of /.ers willing to seed it. Also, if by any stretch of the imagination you don't know about it already, Pick out the CC License of your choice [creativecommons.org] and at the end there are many sites listed that will host CC Licensed work
        • by DrYak (748999)

          Why not just upload the torrent and get your friends to download it the same way. With the way bit torrent works, all your friends (or anyone else for that matter) will become seeders in no time if they just stay connected.

          Upload bandwith is the problem.
          I don't know how it is where you live, but here the ADSL (assymetric DSL) lines are really incredibly assymetic : 5mbits download but only 500kbits upload.

          So getting the first copy is going to be slow, specially if the friends uses clients who aren't able to correctly coordinate among them.
          Because you'll going to have n friends pulling together the first copy over the smallish upload bandwith.

          Note: some clients are designed to prefer downloading the rarest chunk first.
          So in th

      • Don't forget to list it in the Miro guide. [getmiro.com]

        Miro makes it pretty easy for people to browse for and download video that is distributed via bittorrent.

      • by mveloso (325617)

        Well, the main problem with distributing via Bittorrent is that if you're the only one seeding nobody will be able to get to 100% (and thus be able to watch your flick) for a while. Sort of obviates the benefit of bittorrent. Bittorrent's main assumption is that 100% of your content is available at any given time, and for best results it should be available from more than one host.

        Witness the 1 seed/255 leech phenomenon. If that 1 seed is on a normal home connection (with 41k up), bittorrent distribution of

        • All the poster has to do is to send some way or another (using a plain HTTP link, or sending burned CD-R through snail-mail) the file to a small amount of friends who could all seed the file initially and everything will be ok.

          Well, the main problem with distributing via Bittorrent is that if you're the only one seeding nobody will be able to get to 100% (and thus be able to watch your flick) for a while. {...} for best results it should be available from more than one host.

          Hence - as I said above - the poster should send the content to a couple of friends so that at least a handful of seeds have the content.

    • while i have no experience in film production, and thus don't know what it's like from the perspective of the filmmakers, i know that the Democracy Player (currently known as Miro) used to be a great way to sample a wide variety of video content produced by independent filmmakers (and also not so independent ones).

      Democracy player used the bittorrent protocol, i believe, so bandwidth was never a problem. the video quality was usually around that of VHS or standard def TV, but i think it varies depending on

    • &fmt=18 (Score:3, Informative)

      by Matteo522 (996602)

      The secret to YouTube is adding &fmt=18 at the end of the URL.

      My fiance just put up her first professional music video, and the quality is pretty good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op11TX0ELIg&fmt=18 [youtube.com]. The benefits of ease-of-distribution, in my opinion, far outweigh the loss in quality.

      Plus, as you hit the high levels of quality, you shut out more and more people as the speed increases.

    • by sootman (158191)

      One minor option: if you want to offer downloadable videos, you might want to zip them before posting--not to save size (they'll come out the same +/- 1%) but to FORCE people to download. Just so some yutz who doesn't know how to download things won't visit your site every week, click the video link, and RE-download it (from your server) every time he wants to watch it, using up all your bandwidth in the process. Also there's no question of choppy streaming--the file downloads as fast (or as slow) as the in

    • http://www.vimeo.com/ [vimeo.com] if the video is below 500 MB. They also serve HD content which is pretty nice.

    • by y86 (111726)

      ANYTHING that requires a user to install a plugin = EPIC fail.

      Why? Lots of users CANNOT install software because of AD rights not to mention OS incomparability.

      DIVX plugin? What the HELL, does anyone remember the downloads from DIVX.com that CAME with fcsking SPYWARE built in?!?!?!? I'd trust their plugin about as much as a 40 year women old at last call who says she's on the pill.

      Why LOSE 1000's of customers when you can just use a flash video player that requires nothing? (Flash is installed by defaul

  • why not both? (Score:5, Informative)

    by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:23PM (#24880167)
    Hit up youtube to give it exposure and link to your webpage where you provide a torrent for the better quality files. Put some simple ads on that page and you're good to go.
  • Vimeo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Peganthyrus (713645) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:25PM (#24880193) Homepage

    I mostly see things pop up on Vimeo when people don't want to post them on Youtube for quality reasons.

    • I would second that, maybe post it on YouTube for the number of eyes that would see it, and then link to a Vimeo version of the video in higher resolution - you can post at up to HD resolution on Vimeo.

    • by terjeber (856226)

      First and second Vimeo. It is Youtube with decent (very decent in fact) quality. No hassle with bandwidth issues. No problem regarding quality.

    • It's a shame that Vimeo is so slow compared to Youtube though.
    • by billstewart (78916) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:49PM (#24880543) Journal

      Animation is *such* a broad space. Some kinds of animation don't need much resolution or bandwidth, e.g. South Park. Other kinds might want lots of pixels or at least wide format, but they're still fairly low bandwidth, e.g. cartoons with lots of things in them or landscapy shapes. But there are kinds of animation where you really do need more quality/bandwidth, e.g. you're starting with photo images and doing interesting things with lighting that you want to show off.

      Depending on what you're doing, it may be that YouTube, or YouTube in full-screen mode, may be enough, or it may not, and Youtube's been talking about handling higher-resolution video as well.

      • by yuna49 (905461)

        As someone who watches quite a bit of Japanese animation, I have to say that the shift to 720p, H.264-encoded fansubs has really improved the visual experience. The line art is much crisper, and the colors and contrast more vivid. I'd take a look at recent shows like Dennou Coil, Ghost Hound, or Nijuu Mensou no Musume to see some excellent examples from three different production houses (Madhouse, Production I.G. and Telecom/Bones, respectively).

    • Vimeo does seem like it has good resolution, but remember that Youtube does have the "Watch in High Quality" link on videos that are uploaded correctly (640x480, mp3 audio).

      The DeadlyPandas [deadlypandas.com] site has quick and easy info about properly encoding a video for YouTube using VirtualDub (skip the initial "game recording" stuff).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MsGeek (162936)

      This is the home for almost all of my videos. They won't take AMVs or mashups so I still have to upload those to YouTube. But anything original? Vimeo all the way.

  • SimpleCDN (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stile 65 (722451) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:26PM (#24880209) Homepage Journal

    Flat fee per upload. Plus you get 15 credits just for registering.

    http://simplecdn.com/ [simplecdn.com]

    Their MirrorCDN option is also nice, depending on what you're doing. $.07/GB is less than half of what S3 charges for transfer rates.

  • by illectro (697914) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:27PM (#24880213)
    imeem.com [imeem.com] supports 'Near DVD Quality' in their own words, and they just use s flash player. Most people use imeem for sharing mp3s but the video quality is pretty good too.
  • It's geek related, lots of people that have bandwidth to share on their Flash streaming servers. Set up a script that round-robins across a bunch of streaming servers. Just use a decent encoder and the quality will be good.

  • If you want some sort of "universally" available distribution your only real option is Flash. The best flash video site (which even supports HD) is Vimeo, and you would probably find it to be the highest recommended site among video pros.

    An alternative is to encode into one of the standard formarts, MPEG-1 probably covers most ground and distribute using Vuze, but that requires your audience download Vuze (aka Azuerus).

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Flash is hardly universal. It excludes those who have any 64 bit OS other than Windows.

      Xvid is open source and available for just about any platform. So why not just host the avi on a web server and let people download or stream with the player of their choice?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by terjeber (856226)

        It excludes those who have any 64 bit OS other than Windows.

        Actually, no, it doesn't. Flash is available for most of these platforms. Flash is not available in a 64 bit version for 64 bit anything (including Windows) but neither are the majority of browsers on the market today unless you are an expert. If you are an expert you really should not have a problem at all running flash on your 64 bit computer. I run Flash on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, all of them (sorta) 64 bit OSs.

        As it comes to universality, Flash has broader coverage than any other distribution mecha

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by corsec67 (627446)

          Firefox on Ubuntu 64-bit is 64-bit.

          Why would ANY 64-bit distro default to 32-bit browsers? Wouldn't that defeat the point of even having a 64-bit distro, and require fragile compatibility libraries?

          • by andrewd18 (989408)
            Because, shockingly enough, most users care more about usability and functionality than performance.
          • by terjeber (856226)

            There are a few reasons to run a 32 bit browser also in a 64 bit environment. As others point out, usability and features is one of them, and unless your browser needs access to more than 2G of continuous memory running a 32 bit browser on a 64 bit OS poses no issues whatsoever.

            Also, the number of fully supported 64 bit browsers out there is very limited. If you know how to get your fingers on a 64 bit version of Firefox (for example) you probably also know how to run the 32 bit Flash plugin in the 64 bit v

        • As it comes to universality, Flash has broader coverage than any other distribution mechanism in the real world today, and therefore Flash would be the appropriate choice for Web distribution.

          Often stated, but never verified. The published methadology for the Flash numbers is a consumer survey, and thus doesn't capture enterprise desktops, which are more likely to not have Flash installed, or have older versions with much weaker video support.

          WMV is almost certainly more broadly supported, since it's on 100% of all Windows machines, plus a big chunk of Macs via Flip4Mac and Silverlight. Open source tools like VLC and (soon) Moonlight have WMV support as well. It's certainly much more supporte

          • by terjeber (856226)

            Often stated, but never verified. The published methadology for the Flash numbers is a consumer survey, and thus doesn't capture enterprise desktops, which are more likely to not have Flash installed

            This I would like to see substantiated. Most video sites do not require H.264 supporting versions of Flash, so you don't need the latest and greatest.

            WMV is almost certainly more broadly supported

            Rubbish. It is not supported natively on the Mac platform, and WMV support on Apple is certainly lower than Flash support. Stating that WMV is more widely supported than Flash is absurd.

            • We'll, it's really a math question.

              WMV: Windows + Mac * (Flip4Mac OR Silverlight OR VLC) + Linux * VLC

              Flash: Windows * Flash + Mac * Flash + Inux * Flash

              If you're think of H.264 enbled Flash, I think even Dobe only states a 80% consumer market share, and it'll be corresoningly lower in Enterprise.

              All VC-q needs is a 6 year old version of WMP, while H.264 needs a less than a year old version of Flash.

  • by Dzimas (547818) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:29PM (#24880253)

    I like blip.tv or vimeo. Both offer significantly higher quality than YouTube. The only hassle with blip is that you have to pay to get "premium" encoding, although the free version works just fine if you're patient enough to wait a few hours.

    However, it may make more sense to host the file yourself (you can use something like Amazon's AWS to serve gigabytes of content for hardly anything) using any of a number of excellent embedded video viewers. This gives you absolute control over your media, which is a surprisingly valuable commodity. If your animation turns out to be popular, your site could see hundreds of thousands - or even millions - of visits. That can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars of revenue. On the other hand, if you upload your film to YouTube, you're going to hand over that advertising revenue to Google and walk away empty handed. Honestly, "social media" sites are a fool's game - You do all the hard work, someone else profits.

    • I second that. I work with a video site with a very large number of viewers and blip handles out traffic just fine. we've only had an issue maybe 2 or 3 times for a couple hours or less including the time we were using them while they were in beta. They offer encoding to several formats, support high resolution and have a great flash player based on jeroen wijering's player.
  • Vimeo is your best bet, especially if your footage is HD.

  • by DreadfulGrape (398188) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:33PM (#24880319)

    YouTube has a "high quality" video upload option. I've watched a few - most of them are pretty good. Might be suitable for your purposes, and of course, universally accessible. Check it out:

    http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hlrm=en&answer=91450 [google.com]

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:35PM (#24880345)

    Put the crappy version up on Youtube. It lets people see what you're about and whether they'd like to have a better version.

    Now here's the trick: in the video description area, include a link to a torrent tracker with the higher quality version. Seed it yourself to get the ball rolling, watch it take off from there.

    I've seen people who make game videos do that sort of thing, like when it's show-off clips or game music videos and the like.

    The advantage of doing it this way is you increase the stumble-on factor by being on Youtube and people can see your video in seconds. Those who care enough to demand the higher-quality version will have the torrent link and be very happy. All around, win-win. Now aside from using a p2p app and thus directly supporting the terrorists, you're all set.

  • by xiando (770382) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:35PM (#24880349) Homepage Journal
    I distribute video using BitTorrent because that allows me to distribute video in very high quality. It is also my preference when viewing Internet video. Why insist on making the users view video files in their web browser? I personally prefer to view videos using a video player (mplayer/xine/vlc/etc) and I even download videos from web video sites like youtube (youtube-dl) and view them this way. Streaming in good quality does not scale well, and it does not work well with many software combinations (different OS, web browsers, etc). Most users seem to know how to download a video file using BitTorrent, so why not use that standard? If you really want to allow users to stream videos then give them a low quality flash video (like YouTube) and offer them to download a high-quality MPEG4 ("divx")/DVD ISO video file. This would allow those who prefer to view videos in their browsers to do so while also allowing people like me to download and view the high-quality version at my leisure. I do not think high-quality web browser viewed streaming video is possible, so consider the next best thing, low quality streaming with the option of downloading a high quality version.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      Most users seem to know how to download a video file using BitTorrent, so why not use that standard?

      Uhhh... no. Most users don't.
      Most users have never even heard of bittorrent.
      Bittorrent is not a standard. Not by far.

      If you're not giving the masses streaming video, they're helpless.
      Even right-click + save is to complicated for a lot of people.

    • by gravis777 (123605)

      Most users seem to know how to download a video file using BitTorrent, so why not use that standard?

      You are kidding, right? You obviously do not work in IT. We have 1500 users here in this building, about 15 of whom know how to use BitTorrent, or about 1%. Then we block BitTorrent ports to all floors except IT, because then those 15 users will want to use the entire 40-meg fiber line for themselves.

      Shoot, I see people install the Ask Toolbar, have 5 different instant messanger programs running, embed smiles from Smiley Central in their e-mails and are completely confused when their IT department throws a

  • by Craptastic Weasel (770572) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:36PM (#24880361)
    Or you could post a question to Slashdot, in which your user name links to your site, and within that site is a link to the video.

    I think this [noamr.info] is the video.

    I know (or believe, rather) this wasn't your intention, but I am working on the coveted "Commander of the Obvious" award for most obvious solution. :)
  • by molo (94384) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:47PM (#24880517) Journal

    You can now stream over bittorrent. This works by prioritizing earlier segments in the file and combining the bittorrent client with the media player.

    See here:

        http://trial.p2p-next.org/ [p2p-next.org]
        http://www.ghacks.net/2008/07/27/eztv-allows-bittorrent-streaming/ [ghacks.net]

    -molo

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:48PM (#24880529)
    I would upload one copy to a couple of streaming video sites like Youtube and Vimeo. Once you've done that, take your highest-res copy and any other material you want to share, and upload to archive.org. That way, if people want to watch on their own terms, the video is available in a huge digital library that tries to invest in digital permanence. Be clear about the licensing terms and leave your contact information.
  • duh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by jagdish (981925) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:49PM (#24880541)
    Name it "xxx-porn" and spread it on the interwebs.
  • by WarJolt (990309) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:53PM (#24880575)

    Please don't accuse me of a flash advocate, but it's really not their fault. Youtube encodes video at a lower quality to save bandwidth.

    Flash actually support multiple codecs. h.264 is the standard used today for many video encoding needs. h.264 is sometimes used with youtube and flash, but to what extend I don't recall.

    So really flash is like any other player. The best way to send video over the internet is to first encode it into h.264

  • by sudnshok (136477) * on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:54PM (#24880597)

    I believe many of these video sharing sites claim rights to anything you post. You may want to keep that in mind when choosing (if that matters to you).

  • Shameless plug, but check out http://www.unicornmedia.com./ [www.unicornmedia.com] They will take content, transcode it to near lossless h.264 quality, and host it on their site for free. As the content owner, you are given the opportunity to place ads, which you get a percentage from. They launch a new front end next month designed entirely in Flex, so as long as the client has Flash, it will play.
  • It used to be Vimeo, but now it's Infinovision [infinovision.com]. Their player is nicer, it extracts thumbnails of the video and places them on the progress bar so you can preview and seek there. Also they don't have an upload size restriction, and support true seeking not just progressive downloading like Vimeo. It's super high quality, and you can brand the player with your own logo which is cool. They even built a Youtube-esque user submitted video content Joomla component called JVideo. Which uses their stuff so you
  • Vreel [vreel.net] is entering beta very soon. They've liscensed the DivX web player and will offer videos up to 1 GB, or up to 8.5 GB if you sign up for a premium account. With support for h.264 encoding. Looks like it will incorporate all the best features of the sorely missed Stage6.
  • Why not use Yahoo Hosting which has unlimited data and transfer [yahoo.com]?
    Couple that with On2 [on2.com]'s Flix encoder for making VP6 videos (makes Youtube look like a B&W TV with rabbit ears vs HDTV with a true 1080p source)

    there's also a few other choices in terms of hosting that has unlimited data storage and unlimited bandwidth for a reasonable price per month...just use our good friend...google.

  • http://www.youperview.com/ [youperview.com] accepts longer and higher resolution (quality) videos, and you can make money from the video. Since it is a pay-per-view site, you can have a preview video that is available to all, but to view the complete video one must pay (and the price is set by the video producer, not the youperview site). The preview can be embedded into a web page, and you can send people to the youperview site to view the full video. As with any video, you probably want to tailor your video to play nicely
  • What's the best way to distribute HTML files online?

  • I can get hosting with no transfer limits for $5 per month and there's plenty of ISPs to choose apart from the one I use.

    How poor do you have to be to not be able to afford that?

    • by mariushm (1022195)

      That 5$ per month account would probably get disabled "excessive processor usage" as soon as 20-30 people start streaming a video.

    • by imsabbel (611519)

      Sorry, but if you put big videos (i mean, you want to be better than youtube...) on that webspace, you will be surprised by how quickly you can find out the limits of "unlimited"....

      • by Roblimo (357) Works for SourceForge

        Yes. I tested several of the "unlimited bandwidth" cheapie hosts. Every single one choked and stuttered due to transfer throttling when I had 5 or 6 friends hit a video at the same time. My (Flash) test vids were encoded at 512 KBPS or less, which is slightly better than YouTube but nothing special.

        - Robin

  • Your question doesn't make it clear. Are you needing an existing service to actually host your content, or are you just looking for the best method of delivery for your own site? Just because YouTube quality is low doesn't mean you can't use the exact same technology (Flash FLV video) but at a higher bitrate and resolution. You can set up your own "YouTube" on your site in a matter of minutes. You just need a flash video player (there are tons of them out there for free) to point at the FLV files sittin

  • Here's some tips (Score:3, Informative)

    by mariushm (1022195) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:46PM (#24881215)

    For streaming on site:

    1.
    Convert your movie to MP4 with AAC sound and use some free, open source flash video player like http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?item=JW_FLV_Player [jeroenwijering.com] for streaming.

    2.
    Use Vimeo. Very good quality.

    3.

    Offer Youtube clip and Vimeo and downloads on the same page.

    Regarding bandwidth:

    1. Offer the movie in 3-4 sizes
    2. Use a torrent tracker (either on the server or something like PirateBay), it helps.

    If you don't want to use bittorrent and he expects lots of simultaneous downloads, buy a dedicated server with a lot of bandwidth.

    For example, FDCServers.net offers some servers with up to 15 TB (avg 50mbps) of download pretty much guaranteed, at about 150-170$.

    Keep in mind though, if he wants quality bandwidth (not really needed in this case), 100 mbps link (33TB) usually goes for about 500$ a month.

     

  • I've not done much research on this, but maybe you can do a combination of things.

    1. Have a low-res sample on YouTube
    2. Provide info at the beginning of the clip about your mySpace and FaceBook account, etc...
    3. Have a mySpace and a Facebook account and whatever other site you can, and promote your movie
    4. On the sites you are promoting your movie, give people the link and/or instructions how how to get your movie via P2P.
    5. Make sure your movie is shared at least by you on these P2P networks.

    What do you think?

  • Upload it to YouTUBE, and if it gets popular buy some real hosting ( http://nearlyfreespeech.net/ [nearlyfreespeech.net] is pay-for-use with good load scaling) and put some Google ads on it and pull the YouTUBE version. If it's truly popular you'll make a small profit.

    I'm not sure of the best way to put it on your page. I'd just use SUPER to stuff it into an MP4, which will then either download or be automatically streamed via Quicktime (I have to applaud Apple for that piece of cleverness).

  • Youtube is far from perfect. The quality is only so-so but the thing is that it is great for exposure. Everyone knows how to use it, it's very simple, the traffic it gets is enormous, it even works with many DVR's, cell phones and stuff like that. It is THE video hosting service in the same way eBay is THE online auction site.

    Therefore, I'd really recommend that you use Youtube at least for a preview or a sample of it. You can add a link or insert a link at the end for where it is avaliable at high
  • Has a FLV "preview" and allows a high-quality download option.

  • My suggestion:

    Post it to youtube, for the lazy people who dont care how high res it is.

    Post a direct A HREF link to a regular AVI or MPEG file, for people who cant or dont run flash, and/orwho understand that it will have to download first and then they have to open it in their choice of players. You could optionally post two files, one small version (for the no-flash people that also have no-bandwidth), and a larger one (for the folks at work that sit on a DS3)

  • Silverlight Streaming?

    http://streaming.live.com/ [live.com]

    It's free for up to 1 GB of storage and 1 TB of transfer a month. File max size is 105 MB, which is plenty for even a short HD clip.

    You have to upload in WMV, but an uploaded file is available as both an embedded Silverlight player (Win/Mac, with Linux coming via Moonlight) and a straight link to the WMV playable by tons of tools, including VLC. And Windows Media Player and other tools will let anyone "Save As" from the web link if they want a local copy.

    I'v

  • FTFS:

    Do Slashdotters have any experience with sharing or uploading videos?

    Seriously?

  • Encode your video in On2's VP6 (which can be very decent quality and playable by Flash, which most people have), upload it to Amazon's S3 service, and use a Flash video player to play it. Problem solved. You have complete control over your video's quality, and will pay next to nothing to serve it up. You can also have other versions on S3, such as xvid/h264, and simply link to them. It's not that difficult.
  • There's also FlowPlayer [flowplayer.org], though you'll need to host it somewhere.

  • It's simple.

    You release a torrent of your video in an OGG container (Vorbis audio and Theora video). Savvy people get this.

    You link to a Youtube version for the plebs.

  • YouTube for exposure, Revver and Blip.tv for revenue and format diversity. If you've got something crazy HD, distribute it via BitTorrent--the market will respond if it's popular, and you might only have to seed for a few days.

  • Upload a high-quality MPEG-2 file to The Internet Archive [archive.org], fill out the form describing the video, and let them create derivative files for you. TV shows do this daily uploading gigabytes without difficulty. You'll end up with files you can link directly to at no charge (use the "download" URLs, don't link to specific servers; download URLs will be redirected as archive.org does their internal bookkeeping). If there are any kinds of videos you want which archive.org doesn't make for you, you can upload t

  • Now if you upload in AVI or MPEG, youtube and myspace tend to recompress them, giving you visual crap. Use Canopus Procoder or the Helix Encoder and encode in Real Video, and get your quality how you want it. Then upload to one of these sites. My experience is that then the sites tend not to reencode, and just wrap the video in a Flash container. So while the real video may not look quite as good as your divx before your upload, it looks a heck of a lot better after the upload.

    Second thought is to go with o

  • That way I can watch it on Linux, Mac, PS3, my phone, iPod, PSP, ...

  • If you don't want to use youtube, try converting it to a flash format and posting it on your own website. See this for more details:

    http://www.ffmpegx.com/flv.html [ffmpegx.com]

    From the website:

    "Currently, the best format for such use is FLV (Flash Video), as almost all browsers will display it natively without need of installing extra plugins. It is for example the format used in Google Video."

    You can control the size and bit rate (quality) so you can create a widely compatible video, but still make it high

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