The first thing that probably comes to mind when thinking about online video is YouTube. It’s the most popular service and is pretty darn entertaining but for some of my “day job” needs I wanted something that looked a little more professional and that wouldn’t scrape the encoding quality down like sandpaper.
The alternative I chose was Blip.tv, which allows you to upload videos, have “episodes”, and is conducive to video podcasting offering up RSS feeds, enabling comments, and tags. I was pleased with Blip while it lasted until something with the day job turned things upside down and I had to scramble to find another video service. Honestly I could have just embedded the videos using the amazing flv wizard but I like the social networking features and stats tracking of the video services.
I Googled around, passed over Revver (I forget my reason for ignoring it) and came across Viddler. I signed up for an account and was pretty impressed. They have a sleek interface that allows you to enter titles and tags on the fly in a smooth AJAX-y manner (you don’t have to go to another page to enter this information, it’s kind of like editing details of a photo on Flickr). You can also record directly to their site (without uploading a file) using your webcam.
What ultimately sold me was their batch upload feature. Since we no longer had our half-dozen videos up on Blip, I had to toss them all up again. Viddler helped me do that all in one batch operation which included adding tags and titles to every video while I waited. On the flip side, I’ve already noticed that the embedded videos on my work site don’t load in Firefox 2, but they work fine in Safari and FF 3 Beta 3.
Last night I went to my personal Blip.tv profile and encountered some familiar issues. The upload time was dragging, the thumbnail I uploaded for the video player wasn’t working, and the video wasn’t playing on my profile or while embedded on my blog even after about 30 minutes it still said status “pending”. I decided since Viddler was working out so well at the day job that I would sign up for a Miss604 account on there. I made a Twitter update saying I was moving on to Viddler and the response was astounding.
I received a Twitter request from Rob, the co-founder of Viddler, who also added me as a contact on the video site and made a nice comment about the video I had just uploaded. I then had some friends and contacts message me saying they’re also pleased with Viddler.
This morning I got an email from Eric, the Director of Content Development at Blip.tv. I assume he saw my Twitter as well – yes, Twitter is very public – and he was just asking if I would share some reasons why I left. Eric was really nice to inquire and I gladly shared my story. I explained my reasons for moving over to Viddler and he was all ears. I stand by my statement that Blip.tv is excellent for video bloggers (and I haven’t deleted my account or anything), but I think I’ll be giving Viddler a whirl for the next while and we’ll see how it all pans out.
I’d like to thank Rob and Eric for being so responsive and engaging me in conversations about my satisfaction with their respective services. I’m certainly more inclined to work with them and use their products after all of this. Geez, aren’t the internets great?