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My Video Rant For The Day

Robert Scoble
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-25

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I really like the idea of OurMedia.org. After all, I want to have a service that makes it easy for me to share my entire life with you. Text. Photos. Video. Audio.

But my experience in the past 24 hours tells me we are a LONG way from a service that anyone can use. Particularly when it comes to video.

First of all, the uploading experience, in particular, sucked. I tried more than half a dozen times to upload a video. In both IE and Firefox. It barfed everytime and gave very vague error messages.

This is one place where AJAX just isn't the right methodology. The browser wasn't designed to upload things. I switched over to http://www.archive.org and there they force you to use an FTP client or an app that you download. This was a far superior experience, albeit I had to be a geek because using FTP isn't something that most people are familiar with.

With my FTP app I could see how progress was going. With the browser I saw no progress. It either works or it fails.

And that's on top of being forced to be a media file expert to begin with. My new hard-drive based camcorder makes MPG2 format videos. But they can't be uploaded cause they take 4GB per hour. Whew.

So, you need to pick between Microsoft's format, Apple's format, Macromedia's format, Real's format, or the more generic MPG4 format. Problem is there's no ubiquity in playback (except for maybe Macromedia's format which I don't like as much as the others). I can just imagine a normal person giving up.

Don't think Microsoft is blameless here. Our encoding tools are WAY too complex. Windows Media Encoder is free, yes, but you almost need a computer science degree to use it.

I wish we had a really great compression component and a really great uploading component that we could use in our Web-based apps. You should just be able to drag an MPG2 file onto a target and have the system do everything else for you.

Well, that's my video rant for the day.

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About the Author:
Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as PodTech.net's Vice President of Media Development.

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