The battle for online cinema dominance has been heating up in recent months. YouTube, once a vast, wild West-style wasteland full of dancing babies and funny animal videos, is going in a more commercial direction with advertising and even full-length motion pictures and TV shows in an effort to compete with other free services such as Hulu.
Since Google purchased YouTube, the wildly popular video sharing site has endured a number of growing pains as it works to reinvent itself into a more commercial-minded portal. One of those pains came to light this week as YouTube announced it’s cutting off API access to at least one maker of set-top boxes tied to televisions.
YouTube announced that starting next week they will be adding support for full
1080p videos. "As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make
sure YouTube is the best home on the web to showcase your content," the
Vimeo has been a popular high-quality alternative to YouTube, particularly with content publishers and bloggers. Unfortunately, uploading videos to Vimeo has left one particular (and rather large) group of potential viewers in the dark: iPhones.
The iLife suite makes it easy to create a home movie, convert it to QuickTime, add it to a webpage using iWeb, and publish it for all to see. However, while the H.264 format used during the conversion process produces high-quality films, they can be quite large, especially compared to Flash videos.
You’ve finished your cinematic masterpiece and now you have to tackle the biggest problem facing filmmakers today: How do you distribute your video to the plethora of available outlets: DVDs, iPods, iPhones, the Internet, and God forbid, Zunes. Considering the number of codecs and video formats out there, getting your brain wrapped around all of them can be an exercise in futility. Don’t fret, future Antonioni, we’re here to weed out all the excess and you give you the information you need to get your film seen now without the need for a degree in video engineering.
While Apple has declared that I'd "be surprised by some of the stuff" I found lurking behind the YouTube button on my iPhone, I've mostly been frustrated by the videos I can't find. YouTube and Apple had promised to expand each week upon the 10,000 videos available at launch until the entire catalog is converted to the H.264 format this fall, but there remain glaring gaps in its current inventory, especially if you're looking for your friend's latest animation experiment.