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Review: Five Top Personal Video Sites

With the launch of YouTube in early 2005, video services on the Internet changed dramatically. Online videos have become a new social networking medium, offering humor, current events, and creative endeavors.

While the initial success of YouTube may have been linked to viral videos and copyrighted materials, most of these services are now primarily focused on enticing the artists themselves to bring their works to the world. The draw of these sites is pretty clear: Budding directors and video bloggers get free instant exposure. Viewers get an abundance of free, fresh content in a broadband-friendly format.


Video Sites


•  Introduction

•  AOL UnCut Video

•  Blip.tv

•  Google Video

•  Yahoo Video

•  YouTube


•  Sidebar: Users Beware

In this roundup, I looked at the most popular video sites: AOL Uncut Video, Blip.tv, Google Video, Yahoo Video, and YouTube. All of the services use Macromedia Flash for formatting and displaying video content. Flash is perfect for this role, as it is cross-platform and eliminates any complications with video file types or having to install specific players or codecs. In most cases, some image and sound quality is sacrificed for the sake of quick load times, but most of the videos remain clear and easy to watch.

There is a downside, however. All but two of these services allow for online viewing only, so taking your favorite clips with you on your next trip might not be possible.

So which should you use? Well, since all of these services are free, you can actually use all of them if you want. But it's usually a good idea to identify yourself with a single video service if you want your videos to become popular. What follows are my impressions of what each video service brings to the table.


Users Beware: Don't Upload That Video!


Is it safe to upload your videos to a personal video site? Not if there's a copyright problem. Check out the article Users Beware: Don't Upload That Video!


AOL UnCut Video
On the surface, AOL's UnCut Video, currently in beta, appeared to be a clone of the other video services. It wasn't until I started digging that the differences became clear. What I found was the easiest and most robust upload capability of all the services, as well as some room to grow in the future.

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