Like 70 percent of YouTube users, I don’t skip past the pre-roll ads on videos. That’s because until I read this article, I didn’t realize you could skip past the ads.
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Is YouTube about to make a major push into streaming Hollywood movies? I dunno, but it seems inevitable that Google will do so–sooner or later, one way or another.
While Roku doesn’t offer an officially sanctioned YouTube channel, many of us have been enjoying that content through a “private” offering created by The Nowhereman. In fact, he’s such an exceptional developer, Roku brought him on as an employee (where he’s known as Chris). Yet that puts them in an even more awkward position now that Google has taken issue with the unlicensed YouTube channel.
A blog comment tipped me off to the situation, that I confirmed on the forum… The YouTube channel remains functional for the folks who’ve previously activated it, yet no new subscribers are permitted. I reached out to Roku who also corroborated the situation, saying “we received a takedown notice from YouTube’s legal team and are in the midst of negotiations with them.” They’re hopeful of having more information to share with the community next week.
Looks like YouTube is set to take on services like UStream, Justin.TV, and the like — it announced its roll out streaming capabilities to its platform on Friday in a blog post. Simply called YouTube Live, it marks the first time that its technology would be used for live streaming outside of one-off events.
Now don’t dump UStream just yet: “certain YouTube partners” are the first to gain access. YouTube says that the service will gradually be opened up to more and more partners, although it did not specifically say whether or not consumers would be able to use the live streaming. I’d venture to guess this is in the works, but obviously YouTube will need to make sure their servers would be able to handle the obvious extra load above their traditional video business.
Al Jazeera English has already been using this technology for at least two months now, helping that channel further reach US audiences that so far are still shut out by cable companies from being able to watch it on their televisions.
If you’re interested in checking out some live video on the site, head over to this page on the company’s website. Nothing too interesting so far– let’s hope that the company attracts some more high-profile content providers.
After failing to become a hub for Hollywood content, Google’s YouTube may be spending millions of dollars on its own professional videos, without help from networks.
The Wall Street Journal’s unnamed sources say YouTube is planning a major redesign focused on “channels.” To that end, the company will reportedly spend up to $100 million to commission low-budget, professional content. Roughly 20 of the channels will host several hours of original programming per week, the Journal reports.
Remember this guy?
If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet in the last few years, you’re probably responsible for one of the 18 million (now approaching 19 million) views of his video, mashing together years’ worth of self-portraits into a few minutes of thrashing hair and regular shaving.
His name is Noah Kalina, he’s a New York-based photographer, and he has teamed up with some other people to create Everyday an iPhone app that makes it super-easy to create your own version of this video.
The app thinks about everything, so you don’t have to. It helps you line your face up in roughly the same position every time you take a shot. It reminds you to take your photos on a regular basis. It saves them all for you, and when you’ve taken enough, it automatically turns them into a timelapse video, ready for posting online.
Note the word “enough” there. This app is best suited to people who aren’t in a hurry. Even after a month of daily photos, you’re not going to have much to show. This app is making a big splash at launch – and deservedly so, because it’s beautifully made – but we’re going to have to wait about a year to start seeing good videos.
I’ll make a note in my calendar for March 22nd next year, and we’ll see.
(This post republished from Techland.)
[Update: The audio is back, and WMG’s copyright notice is gone. Original post below.]
Iunderstand that record labels need to protect their copyrights, but sometimes, they ought to make exceptions, as with this sign language adaptation of Cee-Lo’s “Forget You” (as the PG-13 version is known).
The YouTube video, put together by a college student named Anna, has been viewed over 1.3 million times since she uploaded it in December. As the audio track plays in the background, Anna delivers the lyrics with emphatic sign language.
Only now, the audio part is gone, thanks to Warner Music Group. In its place is a notice: “This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by WMG. The audio has been disabled.”
As Sony and Microsoft beef up the streaming video selections on their respective video game consoles, Google’s YouTube has been conspicuously absent.
But now, a Google job posting, spotted by Gamasutra, seeks an engineer to “build the next generation game-console-based TV experience with You Tube video content” and “integrate and optimize with distribution channels and devices including all major game platforms.”
In other words, we might someday see a native YouTube app for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and maybe even Nintendo’s Wii.
Like my colleague Ed Oswald, I’ve been marveling at Al-Jazeera English’s coverage of the protests in Egypt. Particularly, I appreciate how the channel is treating its journalism like a public service, with a free live stream on the Web and a Creative Commons license for other networks to use its footage.
But unlike Ed, I’m not lamenting cable companies’ stonewalling of the channel because, well, I don’t subscribe to cable. Still, I get the desire to watch Al Jazeera English’s coverage on a television, so I’m glad Roku has stepped in with a solution for its set-top boxes. Roku owners can now tap into Al-Jazeera English’s live feed through the Newscaster app in the Roku Channel Store.
That’s a pretty nice development for web video in general. One of the common complaints with cord-cutting is that you lose access to 24-hour news networks such as CNN or Fox News, who only make their feeds available to pay TV subscribers. Al-Jazeera English provides a good workaround, albeit one that won’t give you national news coverage if you’re in the United States.
In addition to Roku, YouTube is now running a live feed of Al-Jazeera English, potentially allowing the Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and other connected TVs and set-top boxes to access the channel. I’ll be able to test that out on the two consoles’ web browsers in an hour or so, and will update with the results. (Update: No luck with the YouTube feed on Playstation 3 or Wii, but I did get the feed from Al-Jazeera’s own website running in the PS3’s web browser.)
A recently released version of the DivX player comes with DivX HIQ, a plug-in that works with any browser. It’s a replacement for the Flash player that’s used to play videos on YouTube and at other sites–and boy, does it boost performance.
You’ll see the DivX HIQ option right below YouTube’s Start and pause button.
Among other things, DivX HIQ:
• Reduces dropouts indicated by that rotating circle you often see when Flash is downloading the streaming video. The stream is definitely smoother.
• Reduces CPU use, making it ideal for notebook and netbook users, because you’ll save battery life.
• Has a better looking maximized viewing window, plus a nifty, smaller pop-out window you can move to anywhere on your screen.
• Optionally saves YouTube videos automatically to your hard drive.
One thing not to try is DivX’s offer to permanently substitute itself for YouTube’s default player — at least until DivX HiQ is out of beta. For now, I’ve noticed that YouTube’s player sometimes starts first and runs for a few seconds before DivX HiQ kicks in.
[This post is excerpted from Steve’s TechBite newsletter. If you liked it, head here to sign up–it’s delivered on Wednesdays to your inbox, and it’s free.]