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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Flickr (Yahoo) Finally Launches Online Video Service- But Is It Worthy Enough??

Today Flickr (Yahoo) introduced its online video launching service, which allows its premium users to upload video clips of up to 150MB to their Flickr portfolio. Free members will still be able to view these clips, but will be unable to add their own, at least for the time being. Where YouTube rules the online video world, and Hulu providing a close competition, does Flickr Video have a chance at all?? Plus, it seems like its not a free service like the others, so will people actually pay to upload their "short videos only" when they have so many free options available? Check out what you can do and see for yourself!

Yahoo seems to have adopted a very different path with their video service, limiting user video clips to just 90 seconds duration. It's a far cry from the arms race of higher quality and unlimited length offered by services like Vimeo, Viddler, Hul and even YouTube to a certain degree. That's not to say videos will look poor and grainy, though. The system has been designed to scale any clip you can throw at it, including high-definition from high-end point-and-shoot cameras or your HD-capable camcorder. The frame rate also maintains 30 FPS, which is half the speed of video captured on most modern point and shoot digital cameras.

So why was Flickr Videos necessary?? What Flickr is trying to do with these small clips is provide a place for people to post and share the little videos they're capturing on their digital cameras, the tiny items that are still very watchable, but hardly worth spending the time to upload to a separate service. More as an accompaniment to Flickr Photos, photos and videos sit side by side in your album; Like photos, you can simply click on video thumbnails to go to the page that contains all the usual things like user comments, tags, and metadata, or you can simply view the video in its thumbnail size right in the stream, complete with player controls.

Videos can be uploaded at the same time and the same way you're used to uploading your still photos. The player is a modified version of the one found on Yahoo video with controls that fade away after a few seconds to reveal the full shot. Users can embed clips on third-party sites as they would anywhere else, and developers can pull in them in through the same data API that's helped integrate Flickr into all manner of third-party tools and services.

It has a whole lot of cool features like tagging the videos, categorizing them, direct upload from your camera phone, sharing clips and more standard features that you can check out on the Flickr site. But two things that will blow-off users: a $25 paid annual subscription and the time and size limit on video uploads (90 seconds long and 150MB max) Yeah, if you are into making short-length videos and just want to share it with public, Flickr might be an attractive option, but it surely cannot compete with YouTube in terms of ease of browsing. YouTube also includes pages of categories of similar videos for the users to browse, while there's nothing like that with flickr.

But then again, that was not what Flickr Video was intended to be! It knows it would not be able to compete with YouTube, so it created something a little different and a little more user-friendly. I hope at least a few of us would find it so!

Komeng Adul

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