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THE WORLD OF GOOGLE
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Video

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Google Video

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Google Video is a free Google service that allows anyone to upload video clips to Google's web servers as well as make their own media available free of charge; some videos are also offered for sale through the Google Video Store. Users can search and play these uploaded videos directly from the Google Video website, as well as download video files and remotely embed them on their webpages.

If a user decides to upload a video, it is saved as a .gvi file under the "Google Videos" folder in "My Videos" and reports of the video(s) details are logged and stored in the user account. The report sorts and lists the number of times that each of the users videos have been viewed and downloaded within a specific time frame. These range from the previous day, week, month or the entire time that the videos have been there for. Totals are calculated and displayed and the information can be downloaded into a spreadsheet format or printed out.

Competing services include iFilm, MetaCafe, Veoh, blip.tv and Outloud.tv. On 9 October 2006 Google agreed to buy former competitor YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock, but YouTube will remain a separate service under its own identity for the near future, though YouTube search results may include Google Video clips, and vice versa [1].

Video content

Google Video is geared towards providing a large archive of freely searchable videos. Besides amateur media, Internet videos, viral ads, and movie trailers, the service also aims to distribute commercial professional media, such as televised content and movies.

It should be noted that a number of educational discourses by Google employees have been recorded and available for viewing via Google Video. The lectures have been done mainly at the employee's former universities. The topics cover Google technologies and software engineering but also include other pioneering efforts by major players in the software engineering field.

Various media companies offer content on Google Video for purchase, including CBS programs, NBA, music videos, and independent film. Initially, the content of a number of broadcasting companies (such as ABC, NBC, CNN) was available as free streaming content or stills with closed captioning. In addition, the U.S. National Archive uses Google Video to make historic films available online.[2]

Video distribution methods

Google Video offers both free services and commercial videos, the latter controlled with digital rights management.

Flash Video

The Google Video Player displays a Flash Video (.flv) file in a supported browser, such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. The flash video file is in Adobe Flash format, and requires that the Macromedia Flash plugin be installed in the web browser (the latest version of this plugin is called Adobe Flash Player 9). The plugin is available at Macromedia's website.

The browser automatically caches the flash file whilst it plays, and it can be retrieved from the browser's cache once it has fully played. In Windows o/s variants this cache is typically located at "C:\Windows\Temporary Internet Files". This flash file will play in Media Player Classic (provided that ffdshow is installed), MPlayer, or in the standalone Wimpy flash player, amongst others.

Google Video Player

Google Video Player is another way to view Google videos; it runs on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The Google Video Player renders files in Google's own Google Video File (.gvi) media format and supports playlists in "Google Video Pointer" (.gvp) format. When users download to their computers, the resulting file will be a small .gvp (pointer) file rather than a .gvi file. When run, the .gvp file will download a .gvi (movie) file to the user's default directory.

While early versions of Google's in-browser video player code were based on the open source VLC Media Player, the current version of Google Video Player is not based on VLC, according to its readme file. However, it does include the OpenSSL cryptographic toolkit and some libraries from the Qt widget toolkit.[3]

GVI format and conversion

Google Video Files (.gvi), and latterly its .avi files, are modified Audio Video Interleave (.avi) files that have an extra list containing the FourCC "goog" immediately following the header. The video is encoded in DivX4 alongside an MP3 audio stream. DivX video players can render .gvi Google Video Files without format conversion (after changing the extension from .gvi to .avi, although this method of just renaming the file extension does not work with videos purchased with DRM to inhibit unauthorized copying). Among other software VirtualDub is able to read .gvi files and allows the user to convert them into different formats of choice. There are also privately developed software solutions, such as GVideo Fix, that can convert them to .avi format without recompression. MEncoder with "-oac copy -ovc copy" as parameters also suffices.

Very simple conversion with no program

1. It is simple to convert a GVI or GVP file. First, download file. Then open file with notepad. There will be a URL address. Copy the URL into your browser. You will then get a download window from a Google server for the file's real format; AVI, MPEG, WMV, ect. Also, the URL will turn blue.

2. An alternative way is to add the following text into your favourites/bookmarks:


javascript:if(document.getElementById('macdownloadlink')!=null){window.location.href=document.getElementById('macdownloadlink')}else{alert('Go to Google Video to download videos as AVI.')};


When you are on a page of a video, click this added favourite/bookmark. It will then ask you to open or save the download.

AVI and MP4

Besides GVI and Flash Video, Google provides its content through downloadable Audio Video Interleave (.avi) and MPEG-4 (.mp4) video files. Not all formats are available through the website's interface, however, depending on the user's operating system.

If available, Google's "save as" function for Windows/Mac will produce an .avi file, while the "save as" function for iPod and PSP will produce an .mp4 file.

The .avi file is not in standard .avi format. To play the file in a popular media player such as Winamp or Windows Media Player, the file must first be modified using a hex editor (for example the XVI32.exe editor) to delete the first LIST block in the file header, which starts at byte 12 (000C hex) and ends at byte 63 (003F hex). Optionally, the file length (in bytes 5 to 8) should then be amended by subtracting 52 (3F hex - 0C hex = 34 hex).

Winamp and Windows Media Player cannot play the unmodified .avi file because the non-standard file header corrupts the file. However, Media Player Classic, MPlayer and the VLC Media Player will play the unmodified .avi file, and the Google .mp4 file, if a DirectShow Filter such as ffdshow is installed.

An .mp4 file will play in Winamp if an MPEG4/H.264 DirectShow Filter such as ffdshow and an MP4 Splitter such as Haali are installed, and the extension ;MP4 is added to the Extension List in the Winamp DirectShow decoder configuration.

Third-party download services

Third party browser extensions[4][5], bookmarklets[6] and websites[7] facilitate direct and straightforward downloading of all available formats and offer access to users of operating systems not officially supported by the Google Video downloading system.

External embedding of Google Video files

Google Video allows select videos to be remotely embedded on other websites and provides the necessary HTML code alongside the media, similar to YouTube. This allows for websites to host large amounts of video remotely on Google Video without running into bandwidth or storage capacity issues.

Uploading videos

Users may choose to upload videos either through the Google Video website [1] (limited to 100MB) or alternatively through the Google Video Uploader, available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Major producers with a thousand or more hours of video can apply for Google's Premium Program.

While the Video Uploader application is available as three separate downloads, the Linux version is written in Java, a cross-platform programming language, and will therefore also work on other operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, without modifications, providing that the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed. Also worthy of note is the fact that this Java executable (.jar) file is a standalone application that does not require installation. Consequently, it can be run from removable media such as USB flash drives, CD-ROMs, or network storage. This allows users to upload video even if the computer terminal on which they are working will not allow them to install programs, such as a public library computer.

Market adoption

Despite availability of downloading in multiple formats, being less restrictive on video uploads, and google being a well known organization, google video has had little adoption from the online video market. According to one poll, Google Video has about 8%, while Youtube has about 27%[8]

Availability of service

While initially only available in the United States, over time Google Video has become available to users in more countries and can now be accessed from many other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and India.

Regardless of general availability, content providers are given the opportunity to limit access to video files to only users from certain countries of residence. However, methods of circumventing geographical filtering[9] exist.

Criticisms

Google Video has little organization of content and no noticeable pricing scheme[10][11]. However, pay content (available currently in the United States only) is arranged in a few categories. A video ranking in the form of a Top 100 has been introduced and the official Google Video Blog features "Google Picks" (videos considered noteworthy by Google) on a regular basis. "Google Picks" are currently also available via the Google Video homepage.

While the lack of a fixed pricing scheme may be perceived as confusing by a number of users, it does offer content providers a wider scope in terms of individual pricing. Whether this pricing concept will be accepted and retained beyond beta remains to be seen.

There has also been criticism regarding varying standards used by Google on evaluating the content of each video for suitability. For example, Google might accept a video featuring graphic violence and profanity, but reject a milder one, with no apparent means of objective analysis. [citation needed]

The video uploading tool also receives various complaints, due to its "Uploading failed" error message which seems to appear in random cases without any explanation why the upload was not successful. This message sometimes also appears when the upload was successful which can be problematic as the same video may be uploaded again. Google has not yet addressed this issue. [2]

Some users who have uploaded videos have reported that their viewing figures have been reset, most notably, Alex Jones's TerrorStorm and Loose Change 911. And the comments for such videos and videos pertaining to controversial subject matters are getting deleted.

Additional criticism of Google Video has been on a lack of end user tools to add tables of content and chapters to the videos, which make longer format videos easier to annotate, view, navigate and understand.

Notes

  1. ^ Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion
  2. ^ National Archives and Google Launch Pilot Project (...) (NARA press release, published on 2006-02-24)
  3. ^ Copyrights for Google Video Player, noting the inclusion of several open source libraries
  4. ^ VideoDownloader extension for the Firefox browser
  5. ^ Greasemonkey (an extension for the Firefox browser), with corresponding user scripts from zeekat.nl or userscripts.org
  6. ^ Google Video Download Bookmarklets (download Google Video files in FLV, AVI and MP4 format; does not work under Windows 9x or Windows ME.)
  7. ^ keepvid.com, javimoya.com, clipnabber.com, VideoDL.org (download helper websites)
  8. ^ [http://weblogs.hitwise.com/bill-tancer/2006/08/google_youtube_and_myspace_an.html Google Video, YouTube and MySpace Vids: An Update], August 16, 2006
  9. ^ Watch Google Videos in any country (bypass Google Video's geographical filtering)
  10. ^ Google Video: Trash Mixed With Treasure (a New York Times editorial, by David Pogue, published on 2006-01-19)
  11. ^ C|net Editor's Review For Google Video (Beta) (edited by James Kim, reviewed by Troy Dreier on 2006-02-07)

See also

  • Comparison of video services
  • iTunes Video Store (Video Store by Apple)
  • YouTube
  • vMix
  • GoFish
  • Metacafe
  • Youare.tv
  • Dailymotion
  • MSN Soapbox
  • blip.tv
  • Videosift

External links

Official Links

  • Google Video (Official Homepage)
  • Google Video Top100 (Official Ranking of most popular videos)
  • Official Google Video Blog
  • Source code for Google's changes to VLC Viewer.

Unofficial Links

  • Mobile Video Search how to search, download, and view Google Video on your mobile phone
  • Google Video Highlights, a video blog on Google Video
  • Google Video Converter a web based interface to Download Google Videos
  • Vewgle, an unofficial forum about the site
  • Search Engine Journal The importance of Video in Google's strategy
  • GVTV, a desktop interface to Google Video
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Video"