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Live Streaming Web Video Technology

YouTube Live Streaming Is Looking Good

I’ve talked about the YouTube alpha test of live streaming for some of their partners, and many people complained about the quality of video that was streaming. I’ve been watching some of YouTube’s Farmaid live stream and it looks significantly better than what I have been seeing in the past. I’m not sure if they are using someone else live VEVO, who they have used in the past, but I’m not familiar with the look of the player that they are using for the Farmaid live stream. I have seen very little buffering, and the macroblocking is some of the best streaming video I’ve seen.


If this is the quality of video and the sleek and simple player that we will see when YouTube live streaming rolls out to more people, than the other guys like Ustream and Justin.tv should be worried.

Categories
Live Streaming Web Video Technology

YouTube Live Shows Signs of Life

The long awaited YouTube Live streaming service that we have seen tested with the U2 concert last year and various White House events it starting a two day beta test in normal Google fashion. The two day long event gives some of the most popular YouTube partners to test out the new service.

Testing, testing…YouTube begins trial of new live streaming platform

From U2 to the Indian Premier League to the White House to E3, we’ve worked closely with our partners to give you a front row seat to a wide array of live events. Today and tomorrow, tune in as we open a new chapter of YouTube live streaming. Starting at 8:00 a.m. PT, we will begin a limited trial of a new live streaming platform in conjunction with four of our partners: HowcastNext New NetworksRocketboom and Young Hollywood.

This new platform integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels; all broadcasters need is a webcam or external USB/FireWire camera. Included in the test is a “Live Comments” module which lets you engage with the broadcaster and the broader YouTube community. For the purpose of the trial, this offering will only be available today and tomorrow. Based on the results of this initial test, we’ll evaluate rolling out the platform more broadly to our partners worldwide.

Check out all the live broadcasts via the interactive schedule below, and feel free to share this schedule across the web via the embed functionality. Bear with us as we test this new platform as there may be some bumps along the way. Please share your feedback in the comments section below (though note that the section is moderated due to spam). Thanks!

Joshua Siegel, Product Manager, and Christopher Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager, recently watched “Fun with Google Instant – We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

YouTube is the eight hundred pound gorilla when it comes to getting video onto the internet and their expansion into live streaming can only help assert their dominance. Hopefully there will be a stream recording feature much like that of Ustream, that provides better quality and will give content producers one place to manage all of their video content.

Live streaming video is a huge area of growth and this is a perfect time for YouTube to introduce this type of feature as many content producers are leaving Ustream over placing pre-roll ads on many of their live streams. Justin.tv has been the benefactor in this exodus from Ustream, but a cleverly introduced and useful live video product from YouTube could easily grab a large portion of the market share.

I’ll be watching closely to see where this goes and waiting until YouTube lets more people into their live stream beta. What do you think, would you switch to YouTube?

Categories
Video Editing Web Video Technology

YouTube Adds Online Editor


YouTube unveiled their new online editor that allows YouTubers to do simple edits and add music from the AudioSwap library of songs that YouTube has. The editors is very simple and has no transitions and I found it works best if all you want to do is splice together several videos you have already uploaded. YouTube has released it under their TestTube labs feature and no doubt they will be improving and adding more features to make the process faster and make the editor more useful. Watch the video above to get an idea of how to use and acces the editor.

I tried it with several videos that I had uploaded from my vacation and found the process very quick and useful if splicing together videos is all that you want to do.

Allows you to:

  • Combine multiple videos you’ve uploaded to create a new longer video
  • Trim the beginning and/or ending of your videos
  • Add soundtracks from our AudioSwap library of tens of thousands of songs
  • Create new videos without worrying about file formats and publish them to YouTube with one click — no upload necessary
  • Categories
    Making Money Web Video Technology

    YouTube Answers Questions About Their Partnership Programs

    YouTube in an effort to be more transparent and help cultivate the YouTube community has been asking for questions on various topics and then having YouTube employees answer them in video form. The first topic they tackle is on the YouTube partnership progam which is a revenue sharing program with big YouTube content producers and is currently in 14 countries. The program allows content producers to earn part of the advertising revenue that appears on and around their videos. Watch the video for some more details on the YouTube Partner program.

    Categories
    Live Streaming Video Production Web Video Technology

    Ustream.tv Announces Global Production Services

    Last week Ustream.tv announced that they are adding Global Production Services (GPS for short) to their growing list of offering. This is another tool in Ustream’s arsenal that is make Ustream the live stream provider the choice of more and more producers. They are offering three different packages to meet the different needs of many of the Ustream producers. The packages list base prices that don’t include travel or other costs that are based on the location.

    The Ustream backpack has gained a lot of attention while Leo Laporte was using it to live stream his coverage from this year’s SXSW. They are offering two different options with the mobile LiveU rig. There is the $3,000 a day rate that includes camera and technical staff and there is a month to month or yearly rental option to just rent the backpack equipment and includes 40 hours of streaming a month. Twit.tv and Pixel Corps have rented the Ustream Mobile Livepack and swear by it’s quality.

    Conference streaming has blow up in the past year or so, and it used to be really expensive and you had to deal with some hairy technical goo with distributing the video. That has changed with the growth of services like Ustream and Justin.tv that make the distribution easy. The conference level package includes 2 cameras, Tricaster Studio and all the staff you need to make sure the video go off without a hitch. With the conference and concert packages you have to provide a beefy enough Internet connection to stream the video to Ustream.

    The concert package is pretty close to the conference package, but adds a third camera and operator and a director to help give the production a coherent overall look. To note with both the conference and concert packages you’ll still need audio people and they will have to provide a audio feed to the Ustream production staff, which shouldn’t be any problem if you have competent audio people you’re working with.

    Categories
    Web Video Technology

    YouTube adds Unlisted Video Option

    Today YouTube rolled out a new feature that only lets people watch videos you upload to YouTube if they have the link to the direct video. It keeps it from being able to be searched in YouTube, but lets more than 25 people view your videos like what happens if you make a video private.

    From the YouTube blog:

    With this feature, you can mark your videos as “unlisted.” This means only people who have the link to the video will be able to watch it. It won’t appear in any of YouTube’s public pages, in search results, on your personal channel or on the browse page. It’s a private video, except you don’t need a YouTube account to watch it and there is no limit to the number of people who can view it. You’ll get a link when you upload the video and then it’s up to you to decide who to share it with. Unlisted is the perfect option for that class project, video from last summer’s family reunion or your secret Broadway audition tape.

    Nice feature if you want to share a video with people that follow you on Twitter, but not the whole world. What would you use this for?

    Categories
    gear Live Streaming SXSW Video Production Web Video Technology

    How a Toaster is Changing Online Video

    Since I was a kid, I can remember flipping through the pages of video production magazines like Videography and drooling over all the new cameras and gear that I wished I had.  One ad that would always stop me in my tracks was the ads for something called a video toaster. At first glance, it brought thoughts of the flying toaster screen-saver that was so very much the thing to have on your computer at work, but the Video Toaster was something far more cooler and powerful. The Video Toaster ran on the Amiga computer and consisted of a fairly cheap hardware and software combination to bring a powerful live switching / linear editing solution that was affordable. Later generations of the video toaster added more and more features and has become the Newtek Tricaster that we know today.

    1994 Promo Video for the Video Toaster 4000

    Live streaming video has come along way from the postage stamp sized video of NASA TV that I remember watching using real player on my 56K modem more than ten years ago. Watching high quality video is common place now and made possible by the increase in the availability in broadband and fast, cheap, computers. Streaming services like, Ustream, Justin.tv and Bit Gravity have made getting your video content out even easier. I remember days spent trying to get several servers to work together to feed a rtsp stream to a couple of computers across a LAN, and now anyone with a webcam can be easily streaming to an audience of thousands without the hassle of working out the back-end technnology.

    The Tricaster isn’t a brand new product, but has seen huge growth in sales with the rise of people creating live video content for the web. The Tricaster has a lot of bang for the buck, replacing hugely expensive satellite trucks with a small box that can be easily shipped and it price ranges from just under $5,000 for the basic tricaster to $15,000 for the new drool worthy HD Tricaster TCXD300. The new HD Tricaster is an extremely attractive alternative to other HD switchers in the market that generally start in the $100,000 range and the Tricaster has more features. The Tricaster has made online TV networks possible and affordable like TWIT.tv and ThisWeekIn.com.  When a normal TV studio would normally need a crew of a dozen or more, the TWIT live stream is controlled solely by Leo Laporte that switches cameras while hosting and all of the rest of the duties of head TWIT all while on air.

    Photo: © Newtek Inc.

    Newtek had a big presence this year at SXSW with the Tricaster equipped Mini Cooper showing up all across Austin as Newtek made it possible for companies such as SiliconAngle.com, TWIT.tv, and This Week in Startups, and Revision 3 to bring the SXSW experience into people’s homes.

    And its not just online video producers that are increasing using the Tricaster, more and more “old media” producers are integrating Tricaster into their productions for web content or video played in sports venues. I think this trend will only continue to increase as more people start creating live web video and old media looks for more ways to reduce costs and attract a larger audience.

    Categories
    video Web Video Technology

    The Not Ready For Prime Time HTML 5 Players

    With the iPad just days away from arriving at the doorsteps of nerds across America, the rumble of torch and pitchfork wielding nerds storming the Adobe castle is rising again.  There are two main camps in the whole Apple vs. Adobe battle. There are those who complain to Apple for not including Flash in the iPhone and in the forthcoming iPad and than there is the camp of people who at the wheel of the backhoe digging the hole to burry Flash in.  The Moses attempting to part the chopping waters of flash and html developers is HTML 5. HTML 5 is praised as the new upcoming web development standard that will bring unity and conformity to the web.

    Youtube and Vimeo have both started to dip their toes in the murky water, following HTML 5s lead, and have HTML5 video players in beta. If you are using a compatible player like Safari and Chrome, give the players a try for yourself by going to youtube.com/testtube and clicking on the try it out link for HTML 5 and there are links on compatible videos on Vimeo below the player to switch to the HTML 5 player.

    First of all, let’s start with the good, to me the quality of the video seems pretty good and jumping around videos in a little better too. You don’t have to worry about flash always crashing on you as it is built in as part of the HTML 5 standard.

    But, that’s about all that is good, at least yet. The main drawlback for seems to be the lack of the buffering bar at the bottom of the players that I have seen. This is especially frustrating when you have a slow connection or just youtube is slow for some reason.  Also not all the functionality of their regualr flash players haven’t been integrated into the HTML 5 versions, like with vimeo you can’t embed the HTML 5 version and you can’t watch the videos full screen; when you click the full screen button, the video blows up to take up the entire browser window. With youtube, videos that have ads, which is many of the videos from youtube parteners and youtube stars don’t work with the HTML 5 player, is reverets back to the flash player.

    HTML 5 is coming, but I’m not ready to bury flash just yet. Certainly web designers need to be thinking about their audience and what devices they are using. The days of the flash splash page are hopefully all behind us and the end of sites made entirely in flash is not soon enough. I think it will take the push of several large sites such as CBS has announced that they are moving to HTML 5 and for them to blaze the trail and fix the bugs for the rest of the internet to begin to make the shift over to HTML 5.