Thursday, January 12, 2006

Go out and do something less boring instead

Video on the internet. Watched it a couple of times, not been that impressed. A few words spring to mind: tiny, blocky, stuttering, eyestrain, headache, homicidal rage.

So it was with great scepticism that we looked at Google's new video service. Our pessimism was partly justified - picture quality varies wildly, and the initial selection of clips is hardly groundbreaking. We counted 37 music videos ranging from Beyoncé to, erm, Destiny's Child.

Worse still, the service has already been swamped with geeks. Who wants to see speeches from IT conferences, or videocaptures of people playing computer games?

In the "most popular" charts you'll find countless inane viral videos, like that one with two asian students miming to the Backstreet Boys, or that other one where there's a ghost in a car advertisement. Our mum will love it.

The paid-for downloads aren't much better… Episodes of the Brady Bunch anyone? Anyone?

On the plus-side, however, Google's video player is a decent size - taking up around 3/4 of the screen - and there is almost no loading time. Even better, a lot of the clips can be downloaded for use on your Video iPod or PSP. Very cool.

Another feature we like is the ability to plonk any of the videos directly onto your website. Just to see what happens, we've dragged over a classic Richard Pryor sketch from Saturday Night Live.

Hardly a revolution in online video, then, but a step in the right direction.

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