Why YouTube beats your fancy video player

Posted by Bounceweb in Computer Advice, The Internet

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YouTube, otherwise known as ‘that brilliant idea that made a couple of guys an insane amount of money’, has become the easiest and most used way to share video on the web. It’s hard to imagine, but about five years ago, sharing video’s wasn’t as normal as it is now. Converting a video was a tough job, because you had to pick a format that was widely supported. Then you had to have a hosting account with lot’s of disk space, and the bandwidth to support all those people watching your video at your expense.

Then came YouTube, a free service that makes it very, very easy to upload and share videos, and, even more important, without the need to buy disk space or bandwidth. In a matter of months the video service became immensely popular and two years later, the whole thing was sold to Google (that’s what you do with good ideas nowadays; you just sell them to Google). They pumped in a couple of million dollars, and the service expanded, which made it the biggest online video service in the world (and I’m pretty sure in space too).

So YouTube is brilliant? The idea, yes, but it does come with some downsides. Videos can be no longer than 10 minutes and the quality is downright crap, sorry if I’m offending anyone. They made a cool new widescreen player last year, and there is the option to show videos in better quality, but still, it’s nothing compared to the HD players of, for example, Vimeo. That might be the case, but the brainiacs over at YouTube know what they’re doing. For example, Vimeo has brilliant quality, but lacks the user base that YouTube has. Therefore, YouTube gets away with the bad quality, and has time to slowly improve on that in a way that benefits both them and their users.

But you don’t want bad quality, you put effort in creating beautiful videos and you want that quality to be shown. So is it better to install your own video player? No! Even if you have millions of dollars to spend, you can’t beat the user base of YouTube. Think about what you’d rather have: ten people watching a video in the best quality there is, or ten million people watching a video that looks a little soggy, which doesn’t matter because everybody knows why that is the case. Do the math.

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