YouTube is not the only place on the Web to watch streaming videos.
YouTube is certainly one of the biggest names when it comes to online video content. Major Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook have integrated YouTube into their content. Smaller and independent Web sites like Maddox’s Best Page in the Universe are now doing the same.
It is important for users to understand some of the negative aspects of YouTube and be aware of alternative Web sites where to watch online videos.
YouTube has an enormous selection of videos in all categories. However, this is downplayed because not all of the videos are good quality. This is true for both the audio and visual qualities of videos.
A search for concert footage of the band Interpol brings up hundreds of videos of the band from venues throughout the world. But not all of these videos will be of good quality. A major issue is with the synchronization of audio and video.
There are also plenty of examples on YouTube where video quality is sacrificed for audio quality.
Since anyone with an account can upload files to YouTube, there is plenty of amateur video taken with handheld cameras. These videos generally lack in both audio and video quality.
Another issue with YouTube is longer videos, such as television shows, will be found cut up into two or three segments. YouTube does a decent job of automatically finding the other segments of the show, but it is still a bit of a hassle.
On a purely aesthetic level, YouTube is a bland looking Web page. There are no interesting color schemes and the pages are somewhat cluttered.
One of the first noticeable aspects of Dailymotion is its organized and professional looking layout. The video preview thumbnails are neatly aligned in rows with a uniform amount of text for each video description. The color scheme of the Web site is simple and attracts the eye much better than the white space that characterizes YouTube.
Dailymotion’s homepage shows its channel function, which offers categories such as “News,” “Comedy,” “Film and TV” and “Animals.”
Dailymotion’s search function includes a list of tags on the right-hand corner of the page. These tags can be used to search for related video or refine the initial search. YouTube has a similar function, but the tags are included in a cluttered individual listing.
On Mar. 21, French-based Dailymotion was included in the Red Herring Award for the top-100 private technology companies based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“Companies like Google, eBay and Skype were spotted in their early days by the Red Herring, and we are honored to join them,” according to Dailymotion’s official blog.
Dailymotion’s most notable aspect is its organization. The search function operates well and information is not cluttered on the screen. Unfortunately, Dailymotion does not have the quantity of material found on YouTube.
This is the site most commonly linked to Yahoo Video. Veoh has a pretty organized layout and even includes a feature video streamed on the homepage.
Videos on the homepage are organized in a single column, and the text descriptions are not always uniform in length.
Veoh shares several similarities with YouTube and Dailymotion. The search function operates similarly with decent organization. Veoh also includes a list of channels, but they are not organized into broad genres. Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has his own channel on Veoh.
Veoh’s video selection is poor compared to YouTube and Dailymotion. There is simply not as much material to choose from. Also, the streaming video quality of Veoh videos leaves much to be desired. The playback is often choppy and pieces of video are skipped in order to maintain audio synchronization.
Veoh offers users the option to download the particular video that they are watching. The streaming video option acts more as a preview function and makes it easy to weed-out the poor quality videos.
Video Hybrid is somewhat of a search engine for video content. The Web site does not actually host any of the videos. It redirects viewers to other video sites. The search is most applicable to television shows and films.
Video Hybrid is not dissimilar to a video rental store. Videos are separated by categories, such as “films” or “television.” Clicking on a particular film or show allows the user to view all the videos related to that show. A brief plot synopsis is included with each listing.
Video Hybrid is only useful for well-known movies and television shows. There is no music content, and the selection of videos is limited. There is no search function on the Web site and users must sift through the titles alphabetically to find what they are looking for.
Video Hybrid’s linked videos do not always work. This represents a problem on the part of Dailymotion and some of the other video Web sites but still reflects poorly on Video Hybrid itself.
Video Hybrid is an excellent site to check out as long as the desired video is moderately well known. Although the database is small, the material it does include is complete. An added bonus of the site is that it is ad free.
There are many more sites other than the few mentioned here. There is life beyond YouTube, but if it is the sheer quantity of videos you are most interested in, YouTube is definitely the way to go.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Jon Swihart at firstname.lastname@example.org