Video on the Web Revisited

Almost two years up to the day I predicted that video blogging/casting wouldn’t work. For two reasons: bandwidth and the fact that you needed two senses to consume it: sight and hearing. Both text blogging and podcasting only require one: sight for text and hearing for podcasting.

Recently, however, I increasingly started to see the power of videos on the internet. When websites like YouTube came around where you could upload your videos and they could be viewed though the webpage as a flash movie, that changed a lot. I always hated video in web pages that required either windows media player, real player or quicktime. These flash movies are, in fact, pretty neat. I’ve spend hours and hours watching youtube and Google videos.

Two years ago I lived in Holland and had to ride my bike to university for about half an hour every day (each way) so I had plenty of time to listen to podcasts. Now that I live in Dublin, I walk to university every day (well, used to be every day) which also takes about half an hour. Except here it’s really loud on the streets, I can’t listen to podcasts because of the traffic. So I stopped doing that. Instread I watch a couple of vidcasts at home. I’m not going to listen to podcasts at home because there’s no time for me to do that. I can’t do it while working because I would simply miss all of it (unless it’s a music podcast) and I’m not just going to sit there staring at my screen listening to a podcast. Very occasionally I listed to “Real time with Bill Maher” (which is a HBO TV show, but the audio is put up as a podcast) while lying on my sofa, but that’s about it.

I spend much more time watching vidcasts. I sometimes watch ABC’s Word News, which in itself isn’t great but it gives some idea of what’s happening in the world in a visual way (and tells you what the most popular google searches have been that day… very newsworthy, good job ABC). I also watch Diggnation which I sort of like because of its atmosphere. And then there’s some stand-up comedy from Comedy Central which is sometimes funny.

Unlike two years ago I now see a big future for video on the web. There’s more and more good quality content at there and acceptable file sizes. Yesterday I found out about NerdTV, terrible name, but seems to have nice content. Considering that they’re 1 hour interviews, the filesize (around 85mb each) is surprisingly small (and the image quality not bad at all). I think that in the future, video aggregators like iTunes and Democracy may actually become a real TV replacement.