News: Google To Launch Online Video Playback This Monday

I've confirmed that Monday Google will launch an in-browser video playback feature based on the open source VLC media player. This is the logical next step for Google's video search and upload function, which began taking uploads from anyone who cared to submit back in April. Google will not…

GooglevideoI’ve confirmed that Monday Google will launch an in-browser video playback feature based on the open source VLC media player. This is the logical next step for Google’s video search and upload function, which began taking uploads from anyone who cared to submit back in April.

Google will not disclose the raw numbers of videos that have been uploaded to date, but the company will make all those which were tagged as “free” available for real time streaming through the VLC player, which Google has modified and will make available for download Monday morning. The company also intends to make its VLC code available to the open source community as part of their Google code project.

The video will be searchable via the meta data provided by the submission process (no, there’s no PageRank for video, yet).

Now, before we start discussing how this represents the Death of Comcast/The Networks/Windows Media Player et al, this is not quite that, but it is the start of something big. For one, it’s clear this will be integrated with the Google payment program which was revealed to be in process last week. Plenty of folks uploaded video to Google with a payment option, and that has yet to roll out, but you can expect that it will.

Secondly, this is a big deal for many institutions which do not have the ability to host and stream their own video, but would very much like to get their message out. In essence, Google is providing their infrastructure free of charge to let anyone upload video and have it be found. That’s a very big deal in and of itself.

Third, this is clearly a shot across Microsoft’s bow. The Windows Media Player is a standalone application, rife with its own DRM and entanglements with Hollywood. Many once claimed IE would never fall, but Firefox has shown what the open source community can do with some good code and the support of a dedicated user base. I’m pretty sure that once Google’s VLC implementation is stared at by enough folks, a stand alone player with hooks into Google Video search and many others will not be far behind.

Fourth, this will help the spread of an alternative universe for video distribution and playback, one independent of the walled garden business model in which video is currently locked. I’ve ranted on this before, but I do believe that the sooner independent voices have an outlet for their work, and a business model to pay for it, the sooner we’ll see content creators revolt from the hegemony of cable and studio models (and perhaps we can finally begin to have a cut and paste video culture….)

More on this as it develops…

Update: I neglected to mention that all the video in the “free” category has been “human scanned” for adult content and copyright violations, I’m told by a good source.

39 thoughts on “News: Google To Launch Online Video Playback This Monday”

  1. a stand alone player with hooks into Google Video search and many others will not be far behind.

    It might not be far behind at all…

    This sounds exactly like the kind of thing Participatory Culture Foundation is making. It’s a standalone, cross platform desktop app for receiving video RSS feeds… and it’s built VLC, the same open source video player Google is using.

  2. we have developed LULOP2 a server-side open source platform for video publishing and generally “media asset management” which is integrated with FFmpeg so that it gives publishers all video format options which are supported by FFMpeg (and they are all the kind of mpeg 1,2 4, DiVX, Xvid, FLV) to choose from, so videos can be repurposed automatically for different media usage once the master is uploaded on the server. Current beta platform supports Flashvideo for web previews, MPEG2 muxing and transcoding for broadcast usage, XVID encoding for TV quality with low bandwith usage. More actions can be configured: we can think of 3 gp encoding for mobile use, or H264 HiRes for cinema downloads, all things FFmpeg is capable of and just require an additional module.
    On LULOP2 roadmap there is also integration with videoLAN server in order to add the power of real Mpeg multicasting (also Live) to a simple open publishing tool. If you re interested to IPTV and video CMS, please download it and have a look, we are looking for betatesters
    PS apologies it this looks like spam 🙂

  3. What excites me about this is what it says for the future of online video (with a big question mark regarding Apple – their ‘iTunes for movies’ will set it’s own rules)

    1) No to DRM – hooray.

    2) No to bittorrent – unless Google set punative limits on filesize they’re going to make swarming irrelevant for legal files by giving out free backbone.

    Will Google say ‘upload files of any size?’ anytime soon?


  4. Yeah this is pretty much confusing for me. OK lets think its some other way suppose some one donwloaded some thing from the P2p network like a movie clip or so. Then tagged it as free. You know its not so difficult to hide the id in Cyber world. and he publish it with the names, spiderman 1, spider man 2, .. spider man x, HE can see the entire movie by juts downloading some 5/ 6 clips. So who is the one who authorise the version. How they know that its copy protected. Is there any some one knows this … Please help me knowing about it..

  5. Does this mean they will support x264, one of VideoLAN’s subprojects, too.

    x264 currently is the most promising H.264/AVC encoder and, of course, GPL’d too.

  6. It seems to be up and running. Difficult to scan through the mounds of transcript results for an uploaded video, but you can get a decent sample of them when searching for “uploaded” specifically.

    Player works good, but no video controls as of yet.

  7. Hi John,

    I think a true cross-platform video solution has been missing.

    Because of this, we’ve been continuing to improve our MPEG-1 (free of patent issues and most widely supported – runs on WiMP, QT and VLC) encoder. Check out the high-definition streaming video sample at our site – the file size/bandwidth requirements are competitive with both standard DVD and the H.264 samples on Apple’s site.


  8. They’re up! But damn, those videos are small. The content I uploaded was large, scrupulously encoded videos with LAMEd VBR sound. Sucks to see them reduced so badly in quality — it’s like traveling back to 1999.

  9. Re the update: of course, this begs the Q–how does a person scan for copyright infringement? Copyright infringement can be blatant–or virtually impossible to detect. Eric.

  10. It would be good if all the actual videos appeared first (or you could choose that as an option).

    There already is material that infringes on copyright. Do a search for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

  11. “Fee-enabled videos can only be viewed after paying.”

    that’s not DRM, because anyone can copy it after it’s been downloaded… the vlc player will never be drm-capable.

    the revenue generation for this business model has to revolve around video advertising at some point… no one will pay for a bunch of home video, and archived newscasts.

  12. Eric, Google allows you to report infringement via a “Problem with this video” link at the bottom of the video clip’s home page.

    They’re depending on people telling them about infringement, if they don’t catch obvious stuff before the fact.

    That’s actually more than they do with web search. With web search, there’s no scanning for infringement at all. For the US, complaints are all dealt with via the DMCA procedures.

  13. If Google has released MPEG decoders under GPL there are going to be some very interesting patent implications. Google may find that it has relicensed patents to anyone who wants to download and redistribute their code.

  14. The patent implications are interesting indeed. I’m sure the videolan and associated project developers are happy to have Google on their side, at least for now.

    I have only passing familiarity with the legal aspects of this situation. But from what I have seen, it seems that many of the VLC codecs (ffmpeg/libavcodecs) exist in a temporary window during which most European countries aren’t part of the WIPO agreements on software patents. If those patents come into force in Europe, then at the least the current hosting locations and development (e.g. the x264’s dev group in France) will have to be re-homed to somewhere WIPO hasn’t yet taken effect.

    But besides the European angle, Google is firmly in the US (a CA company?). These codecs are highly valuable and the patent holders aren’t small companies. Maybe they’ll “take the codecs public”, so to speak, by acquiring mass-public encoding licenses for all of the codecs. But it’s hard to imagine them not paying some amazing fee for this. Surely Microsoft, Apple and Real won’t let them have the keys to the multimedia kingdom for free, especially given google’s cash and market cap position 🙂

    Which brings up the interesting possibility that google won’t continue to use the patented parts of VLC, at least for encoding. There’s the patent-free OGG, Theora, Snow codecs.. maybe Google will get behind those, like RedHat did when it ditched mp3.

  15. I’m glad to see Google enter video search and have the guts to challenge entrenched interests in the courts and the courts of public opinion. I am going to start posting some of my personal videos of my son Alden in Steamboat Springs .

  16. nice…I have only passing familiarity with the legal aspects of this situation. But from what I have seen, it seems that many of the VLC codecs (ffmpeg/libavcodecs) exist in a temporary window during which most European countries aren’t part of the WIPO agreements on software patents. If those patents come into force in Europe, then at the least the current hosting locations and development (e.g. the x264’s dev group in France) will have to be re-homed to somewhere WIPO hasn’t yet taken effect.

  17. I am waiting for the first anti-trust case vs Google….at some poin the aggregation of the Database of Intentions with the vending of services and the access to information has got to infringe on third parties’ ability to compete on an equal plane….

    … least tell us what the ranking and filtering criteria are!

    All the best,

    James Haft
    The US Condo Exchange
    Come check out our revised site! 🙂

  18. Well it is 2007 now and Google video is still beta, which is sort of interesting, why is everything always beta no matter how much time passes? Is thre something to it? I find it uploading videos to google video and motiono is a pretty easy process and there is really nothing beta about it, it is straight forward.


    In the September 23, 2007 edition of the Herald-News on page A-8 was a picture taken by
    Herald-News reporter Max Hackett, a defunct radio disk jockey for WGOW in Chattanooga,
    Tennessee. Hackett’s photo was captioned “STALEMATE” and briefly described what few
    facts known by him at the time of an incident that involved a drunk man, a woman with a gun,
    the Special Response Team and the womans ultimate death. The incident was simplified and
    reported as a woman who went into a bedroom to kill herself, period.

    Since Max Hackett’s photo and partial report within it’s caption, many people of Rhea County
    were expecting a follow up story of this traumatic event that lead to the death of a Dayton
    woman. Incidentally, the Herald-News for some unknown reason failed to even print the name
    of the woman, the address where the reported “suicide” happened, the name of the man who
    was taken away, where he was taken to, what his name was, along with many other
    unanswered questions. All the public really knew was that it was one of the many houses
    located on Bluff Road in Dayton.

    In the September 26, 2007 edition of the Herald-News John Carpenter, editor took a photo
    and placed it on the front page with a caption of “AFTERMATH”. Ironically, in spite of this
    picture being taken on the same day that Hackett took his photo, Carpenter took his photo as
    well. So it is reasonable to assume that Carpenter as well as Hackett was privy to the events
    that happened that fateful day. It is now a question as to “why”they each refused to report it.
    No names, no tangible information or anything that could be surmised as news coverage was
    printed by the Herald-News. In fact, the headline story was “Graysville plans fall festival in
    midst of heat wave”. I find this an insult to Rhea County and a total lack of reporting
    professionalism by not reporting anything, not even the deceased woman’s name.

    Chattanooga Times-Free Press Staff Writer Cliff Hightower was contacted by an individual on
    September 28th to find out if he had any information about this “apparent suicide” in Rhea
    County. “I’m trying to find out information myself. Last Friday, I heard about the incident and
    no one returned my calls and I was abruptly told by dispatch that they do not give that
    information out, which I don’t understand since anything said on their radio system is public
    record.”, Hightower said. So now we have a Rhea County newspaper not printing the story
    and a Hamilton County newspaper getting blown off when asking about it.

    So the lack of reporting, the apparent secrecy along with virtually every public official
    involved not wanting to speak of the matter gave the public impression that what happened
    on Bluff Road stayed on Bluff Road. Well friends, Dayton is not Las Vegas and the days of
    the famous Rhea County suicides and unsolved murders must come to a halt.

    In any event, this “secrecy” promptly sparked an intensive and exhausting investigative
    research attempting to ascertain what really happened at the “secret” residence on Bluff
    Road that fateful day. Contributors to the RCN were summoned and within 7 hours enough
    information was obtained to give the following account of the event that resulted in the death
    of a local woman.

    For some unknown reason this suicide is being kept quite. Interestingly enough, Rhea
    County seems to be the ideal place to commit suicide. In the past Rhea County has had
    people shoot themselves in the back of the head, not once but twice. Another notorious
    suicide was conducted by a man who duct taped himself to a chair, shot himself in the head
    with a rifle and in spite of being basically “brain dead” he managed to hide the rifle under a
    bed in a totally different room.

    So, whenever one hears of a suicide in Rhea County perhaps everyone may want to question
    it. And when authorities clam up and refuse to talk about it and on top of that having the only
    local newspaper in the county not print the story, simply reporting what they are told to print,
    justifies suspicion. Accordingly, our investigative report found the circumstances to be rather
    strange in addition to many unanswered questions about this reported “suicide”.

    According to RCN investigation, the residence on Bluff Road was 148 Bluff Road. The man
    whose identity was kept secret is believed to be Mark Dale Comeaux. The woman who is
    reported to have killed herself is believed to be Kimm Messerschmitt. It is unknown at this
    time if these two people were married. Mr. Comeaux is no stranger when it comes to
    encounters with the law. Mr. Comeaux was/is the President of Interactive Products
    Corporation and filed a lawsuit against his partner in Ohio due to some sort of business
    dispute with his corporate partner W. Douglas Mayer of Ohio..

    Mr. Comeaux also has a rather extensive rap sheet in Ohio and was previously married that
    ended in what appears to have been a rather messy divorce. The divorce according to court
    documents show that Restraining Orders were issued.

    Although the Herald-News for some unknown reason neglected to even print any kind of
    informative story about an incident involving a drunk man, a suicidal woman, the newly
    created Special Response Team, the presence of District Attorney General Mike Taylor on the
    scene, along with the total confusion as to exactly how many shots were fired, who fired
    them and at what times, no story was printed at all.

    Also, questions arise pertaining to the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the Special Response
    Team and who shot tear gas into a bedroom where a suicidal woman with a gun was
    supposedly located alone and without hostages. It seems there are plenty of questions but
    no answers.

    One answer that has been found is that on the day of the shooting of “the woman” as the
    Herald-News calls her, Mark Dale Comeaux, the man believed to be the person who initially
    called the police was arrested and taken to the Rhea County jail on charges of public
    intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The Herald-News for some freak of
    nature didn’t even print that.

    So there you have it. An incident that involved an intoxicated man with a substance abuse
    past, an intoxicated man who called police reporting a woman presumed to be his wife was
    locked inside a bedroom alone threatening to kill herself, a shot being fired prior to police
    arrival, a subsequent second shot that was “muffled” and a dead woman. It isn’t clear if the
    muffled shot was from a .357 magnum or the sound of a tear gas grenade launcher. In any
    event, it does not seem to be a proper protocol for any S.W.A.T. styled police team to charge
    into a home with tear gas to confront or apprehend a woman thought to be suicidal and of no
    obvious danger to nobody else but herself.

  20. Herald-News: Suicide Policy or Smoke Screen
    Selective reporting at it’s best

    The Herald-News is considered to be the only hard copy newspaper in Rhea County,
    Tennessee and for years the newspaper has been pretty much the sole source of
    local news, information and gossip. However, for Rhea County it is not a good thing to
    have a general circulation newspaper that reports only the news it “thinks” people
    needs to know and simply withholds the rest.

    On October 3, 2007 the Rhea County Newspaper (RCN) broke the story of a suicide in
    Dayton casting doubt whether the alleged suicide as reported by the Herald-News
    may not have been a suicide at all. The Herald-News appeared to have wanted to keep
    this so called “suicide” a secret for some reason. The secrecy of this incident
    prompted a contributor of RCN to contact John Carpenter, editor of the Herald-News
    to inquire as to why no name, no location or even an account of the incident involving
    the death of a Dayton woman was not printed in the Herald-News.

    “It was a suicide. We chose not to publish her name because it was a suicide, and
    that’s our policy. You will find that most newspapers have a policy about not
    publishing the names of suicide victims unless there are extenuating circumstances”
    said John Carpenter on October 4th.

    In spite of Carpenter stating that it was the policy of the Herald-News to NOT print the
    names of people who had committed suicide, the Herald News has consistently
    printed the names of suicide victims in past editions. [click here to see the proof]

    So either John Carpenter is lying about his newspaper’s policy or he is attempting to
    justify not printing a story about a corporate president who may be golf buddies with
    someone important.

    Although Carpenter states that the incident that resulted in the death of a local woman
    was a “suicide” and that the subsequent arrest of her estranged husband for being
    drunk, disorderly and resisting arrest at the scene was obviously not news worthy,
    Carpenter simply blows this whole incident off as a suicide just because Mark Dale
    Comeax was the person who called the police reporting that “a woman had went into
    a bedroom with a gun and threatened to kill herself”. So much for “extenuating

    The Herald- News for some reason failed to report any substantial information about
    this incident. “The Comeauxs aren’t prominent people; in fact I’ve never heard their
    name before other than to occasionally put one of them in the Crime Blotter. The
    woman shot herself after her husband left the home and before the police entered.
    End of story.” Carpenter said.

    The Rhea County Newspaper turned up the pressure on John Carpenter given the
    fact that he is the news editor for the Herald-News and that the newspaper appear to
    have a history of reporting stories with it’s traditional “one sided spin”, even refusing
    to print letters to the editor that were critical of certain public officials in Rhea County.
    As if that isn’t enough, the Herald-News has even refused to print anonymous letters
    to “Sound Off” but would criticize the unprinted letter in it’s viewpoint section.

    “There’s no conspiracy; in fact, you’re beginning to bore me with this kind of stuff. I’m
    not sure what you hope to gain by criticizing me and this newspaper.” Carpenter said.

    EDITORS NOTE: What the Rhea County Newspaper hopes to gain is showing Rhea
    County that the Herald-News has evolved into not much more than an advertising
    circular disguised as a newspaper. The days of the Herald-News spoon feeding only
    the news it wants Rhea County citizens to know is over.

    Welcome to the Rhea County Newspaper!

    People will say, “Hey, Rhea County already has a newspaper called the Herald-News”. Well to
    those, I can’t argue that point no more than I can argue the point that a guy named Billy Ray
    Patton, a peanut vendor by profession, being the damn Rhea County Mayor. Next question

    The Herald-News is a newspaper that is perfectly fine for birthday announcements, obituaries
    and advertising, but as a news source it is as one-sided as a fiddler crab. So people around
    here on the local level only reads what the Herald-News decides to print and stuck with it. But
    that is changing as of now.

    The Rhea County Newspaper is quickly changing all of that. Thanks to the Internet, anyone
    from anywhere can read what is happening in and around Rhea County, Tennessee.
    Naturally, I figure that this web site will “piss off” a few public officials. The truth seems to
    always piss someone off it seems. To that I say, “so what”?

    The Herald-News has been the only county wide general circulation paper in Rhea County.
    The advertising circular disguised as a newspaper thrives on “spinning” events to promote the
    agenda of the Herald-News along with the agenda of the tight knit system of elected officials
    around here.

    The Rhea County Newspaper does not have a mission statement that includes acting as a
    “watchdog” for corrupt politicians and other scrupulous activities. However, one thing for
    sure, we do intend to saturate this web site with research tools, information, law, letters,
    news….you name it. But rest assured, if any public official thinks he/she can swear to uphold
    the constitution and then turn around and pretend no such constitution even exists, then we
    have a problem. I will burn their asses with the worst thing a politician wants, that is “PUBLIC
    AWARENESS”. A public awareness that reaches far beyond the borders of Rhea County.

    One of the mightiest tools we have until it is taken away (and it will be sooner than we think)
    is the First Amendment. The First Amendment is just as important as the rest of them. So in
    essence we will use the constitution that any person swears to uphold against them if they try
    to cheat and enhance their lives by virtue of their elected or appointed position. Long gone are
    the days of the Herald-News and it’s reporters sucking hickeys on each other’s ass just to
    keep so called people with authority happy.

    With that said, we envision this web site project quickly becoming the most powerful media in
    Rhea County, Tennessee by reporting and providing commentary on endless subjects. Almost
    10 years ago the Herald-News was slapped around by a new watchdog styled newspaper called
    The Mountain Morning News. However, the poor old Mountain Morning News was basically
    run out of town back after the 1998 elections. The MMN tried to compete against the
    Herald-News but due to a conspiracy styled pressure of the select few around here, the MMN
    went under. The MMN was basically destroyed by targeting of the MMN’s advertising. No ads
    meant no Mountain Morning News. No Mountain Morning News means no compitition for
    the Herald-News.

    I am the editor and webmaster of this web site. Once this web site is firmly established in the
    minds and computers of Rhea County and around the globe, then off to the presses we go. It
    is our vision to use this web site to give birth to a NEW hard copy newspaper offering FREE
    ADS and more interesting stories other than Billy Ray Patton or Jim Cobb all the time. So by
    giving away ads we will not become slaves or dependant upon them and can maintain a truly
    free press styled media.

    Sure, not selling ads may directly effect revenue, but why should a media dedicated to a free
    press be interested in making money? If we take money from anyone for advertisements then
    in a way we are beholden to them. If we were to piss off the advertisers then they would
    advertise somewhere else. With free ads anyone can feel free to place a free ad or not. In any
    event, it will be no skin off our asses at the RCN.

    Also, you will notice that the RCN does not regulate free speech in this website. We believe
    that profanity is only profane in the eyes of the individual. A sort of “One man’s garbage is
    another man’s treasure” outlook on free speech. So if a few cuss words upset you, then leave.

    We invite you to browse around in this web site. Fill free to submit any articles, thoughts,
    comments or anything of interest you would like to share. At RCN it is policy to not use real
    names and use pen names instead because we are very aware of the “good old boy” syndrome
    and threatened retaliation. However, threats and retaliation do not work unless you let them.
    So be as anonymous as you desire and say what is on your mind and whatever you guys
    submit will be considered as true by the RCN and printed it to this website. Only gross
    vulgarity will be edited or disgarded because a couple cuss words here and there ad to the
    expression. But to try to transform this site into some sexual, perverted or distorted website
    simply will not fly. After all, why be an editor if I can’t edit?

    The input of people with a common cause can learn some truth and not just the fiction
    writing slanted to serve the benefit of the few.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *