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Top Ten Video Sharing Websites

How 45 of them stack up, from the point of view of someone wanting to post videos rather than just look at someone else's

Phil Harvey

August 14, 2006

36 Min Read
Top Ten Video Sharing Websites

Editor's Note: Check out our most recent video sharing survey: Online Video: Show Us the Money. Also, note that the Web Video Cheat Sheet has been updated and can be found right here: http://www.lightreading.com/videoshare.

Dear Reader: We've launched an entire new site tracking the video-sharing industry. Contentinople's Video Sharing Guide contains hundreds of entries and allows you to rate your favorite video sites!

Among other things, 2006 will be remembered as the year online video really became something you share, not just something you log onto and watch.

Sure, there will always be a place for viral videos that get emailed to dozens of friends and coworkers. I mean, who ever gets tired of watching a cat flush a toilet or seeing a skateboarder render himself infertile?

But the sheer volume of video sharing sites that have come online in the past 18 months suggests that the online video trend won't be confined to something people do to entertain themselves on a coffee break. To wit, hundreds of thousands of consumers are beginning to share video online, and that's having a profound impact on how much bandwidth is consumed and how broadband providers make money.

"HDTV, next-generation gaming, personal video, and digital photography will all contribute to the emergence of a new broadband gold standard of 100 Mbit/s symmetric over the next 12 to 24 months," writes Heavy Reading senior analyst Graham Finnie in his latest report on the fiber-to-the-home market. (See FTTH Hits Mainstream.)

Video sharing: the viral spiral
Bandwidth consumption isn't the only byproduct of the increase in video sharing. Content distribution networks are beefing up, and the companies in that space are thriving as Web-based services make it easy to exchange larger and larger files. (See CacheLogic Builds P2P Content Network and Video Caching Steps Into the Limelight.) Also, service providers like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) are pairing up with Internet TV companies like Akimbo Systems to make sure they can deliver, not just regular TV channels, but some consumer-generated content as well. (See AT&T, Cisco Elbow Into Akimbo and Will Telcos Want Their Dave.tv?)

Content makers and advertisers are seeking out online video sites as a way to reach younger demographics. (See Google Pushes MTV Video.) Even Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) says it won't be left out. "MSN is currently developing a user-generated/user-submitted video solution that will launch this year," a spokeswoman for Microsoft says. "The solution will integrate with Windows Live Spaces and across MSN.com. Stay tuned!"

The Top Ten
With all that going on, it's definitely worth looking at who stands out in this ridiculously crowded space. Since popular opinion does matter online – where the consumer experience is hugely important – we thought it'd be useful to rank some of the Internet's most popular video sharing sites by how they performed from the point of view of someone wanting to post videos rather than just look at someone else's.

Without further ado, here's our list of the Top Ten Video Sharing Sites

The complete rankings
Here are the video sharing site rankings, in full:

Table 1: Video Sharing Sites: The Rankings

Website

Ease of Use (30 points possible)

File Size, Storage Limitations (30 points possible)

Other Stuff: Format Flexibility, Editing, Distribution, and Privacy Options (40 points possible)

Final Score

Comments

30

30

35

95

Does everything imaginable with uploaded videos. Doesn't have editing features yet, though.

30

25

39

94

VideoEgg makes it so easy to push videos to other sites, and the videos look great when they arrive. By far, this was one of the most responsive services we tested.

30

26

35

91

Responsive site and very easy to use. Distribution options were especially nice, too.

27

28

35

90

YouTube is definitely the gold standard of video sharing sites. And, even though the site clutter is excessive and a few features need tweaking, there's definitely a reason why they're the one to beat.

27

30

30

87

Is this the P2P dream come true? Veoh's created a very solid, reliable video sharing experience sweetened by the lack of upload size restrictions. Bravo, Veoh!

30

25

31

86

Typical Google. Easy on the eyes. Easy to use. Limited distribution options.

19

26

40

85

A little confusing at first, but the service has lots and lots of functionality once you download the free software application.

30

10

40

80

The best online editing tools. Pity about the file size restrictions, though.

26

25

28

79

The VideoEgg technology makes uploading, trimming, and viewing easy. Distribution options are limited, and one set of embeddable links provided were full of HTML errors.

30

14

34

78

This site has some of the coolest editing features.

30

15

30

75

Very user friendly and family friendly. Sparse sharing options. No editing. But the site was only launched in July, so it's got lots of room to grow.

20

27

28

75

Another site that's pretty good, but doesn't really stand out in a crowd.

30

20

25

75

Another nice site. "Record" feature allows users with Webcams to make their own video on the spot.

25

15

35

75

Another nice overall site. Takes a while for video to show up, though.

30

15

28

73

Tom Green has a ManiaTV show. Why don't you?

25

20

27

72

A nice site that's easy to use.

27

15

30

72

Motionbox offers an exceptional feature that allows you to highlight specific bits of videos and share just the good stuff. Blog support and other distribution options are coming along. This site will definitely climb in the ranks as it matures.

25

30

15

70

What was all the hype about?

30

15

25

70

Slim sharing options. No video editing. And, as usual, there's a file size limit.

25

20

25

70

It's called Sharkle, but it doesn't sparkle.

30

10

30

70

Another winner in the "ease of use" category. The lack of viral videos on the site is nice, too.

22

20

25

67

Slideshow tools are nice. But this site's video sharing experience is only a little above average.

25

15

25

65

Supports RSS feeds, but other distribution options weren't apparent. Lots of contests that appeal to teens.

25

10

30

65

Like Phanfare and Fliqz, this one's family friendly and easy to use, but probably more appealing for photo sharing.

25

10

30

65

Not a bad starter site. But you should go fish for something better if you're serious about video.

20

25

20

65

This ad-free, clutter-free site was conceived around sharing, archiving, and uploading photos, so the support of video is sort of a bonus for existing members. Not really a place to start if you're serious about video.

20

30

15

65

We had a tough time uploading and converting a Windows Media file. Otherwise, the site's clunky design might be worth tolerating so long as it continues to offer more storage space than most sharing sites.

5

30

30

65

We could complain about the user interface and the lack of features, but why bother? The annoying Circuit City popup ads on every page will keep users away in droves.

25

15

25

65

Sparse and functional, like Google. But ugly, like something a novice would have built.

28

15

20

63

This site used to be good for seeing studio content and serious short films. Now it's also a "me too" in the viral video space.

26

15

20

61

A Revver-ish site with more community site features.

Atom Films (AddictingClips.com)

25

15

20

60

Supports all the right formats. No decent distribution options. Privacy options unclear.

15

15

30

60

Another photo site with bolted-on video features. Functional, but not impressive.

12

15

30

57

Nice software, but the company's video sharing, distribution options, and pricing model are holdovers from the days of videotape.

20

15

22

57

Where's the creativity? Yahoo is just doing a "me too" � and not a very good one, either.

30

10

15

55

A fine place to host small files for free.

Streamload's Mediamax

0

30

25

55

We couldn't get Streamload to upload! We've heard raves about the sharing service and registering was dead easy, but uploading wasn't possible � even after rebooting, turning off the firewall, and changing to a different Internet connection. Maybe you'll have better luck.

15

15

20

50

Hard to see why the world needs YouTube and Metacafe. During a test upload the site couldn't recognize the same Windows Media file that 40-something other sites had no trouble accepting.

25

5

20

50

Meow. Another copycat site with nothing new to offer.

15

10

20

45

Maybe instead of paying content creators, they should concentrate on hiring some good Web designers.

2

30

10

42

What a mess! The folks at Ourmedia are so inclusive they've managed to create a site that's cluttered, slow, and doesn't work � for everyone.

20

5

15

40

Viciously viral. YouTube's UK cousin, perhaps?

10

10

10

30

The site took forever to load, and our video never did appear. Looks as though they're going through some growing pains.

5

0

5

10

You can share videos here, but Yikers is mainly a place for folks who want to watch viral videos without ads.

Incomplete

Incomplete

Incomplete

Incomplete

This is a popular site, but we didn't rank because our ability to read French might've caused them undeserved ratings damage.

Sources: Light Reading and company data



The burning questions
Now that you know who the winners and losers are, let's get into how we arrived at our scores. It all started with the following blogs, which helped generate the list of 45 video sharing Websites that we went on to evaluate, and helped identify the issues that differentiate them:

  • Video Site Cheat Sheet

  • Video Site Cheat Sheet II

Each site was visited, used, and scored in three main areas that we felt would make the most difference to the largest number of people wanting to post videos for sharing with others:

  • Ease of use. Maximum possible score: 30

  • File size, storage limitations. Maximum possible score: 30

  • "Other stuff" including format flexibility, editing capabilities, distribution networks, and privacy options. Maximum score 40.



The scoring system aims to reflect the likely viewpoint of consumers who are relatively new to video sharing – folks more inclined to start out by just sharing video with family and friends. We also gave lots of consideration to content creators who are using the Internet as a cheap distribution platform. Hence the scoring that goes beyond ease of use to also look at costs, site performance, file size limitations, and distribution options.

The people whose needs we really didn't consider are the compulsive viral video posters looking for an "Internet hit." Chances are that group has found a handful of favorite sites already.

For the reasons behind some of the scores, check out Table 2:Table 2: Video Sharing Websites: Burning Questions

Website

Does the service offer video editing capability?

What's the file size limit?

How much does it cost?

Can I keep a video private?

Does it require a software download?

Yes, you can trim the video's length.

From the site: "To keep things manageable, the maximum video length has been set to 5 minutes."

Free

No

No

Atom Films (AddictingClips.com)

No

100 Mbytes. Clips must be 10 minutes long or less.

Free

Yes

No

No

There's no enforced limit. But the service "strongly recommends" files smaller than 100 Mbytes "for performance purposes."

Free

No

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

50-Mbyte clip requirement. Unless you ask for special permission.

From the Website: "The current Alpha service is free. But we may try to recover some of our costs through ads."

Yes

No

No

100 Mbytes, but you can upload larger files using a free software app; up to 5 Gbytes of storage

Free

Yes

No

No

150 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

The free version is limited to 500 photos and 10 videos. Photos can be any file size and any dimension. Videos can be any file size and up to 2 minutes in length.

Free

Yes

No

No

Videos must 200 Mbytes or less in size and 10 minutes or less in length.

Free

No

No

Yes

Max one-time upload limit is seven 50-Mbyte videos

Free

Yes

No

No

25 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

Yes

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

50 Mbytes

Free

No

No

No

None. From the company's user guidelines: "You can upload as many videos to Google Video as you like, without any size or length limitations." WOW! Note: Files over 100 Mbytes require a software app to upload.

Free

No

No

Yes

110 Mbytes

Free (for now)

Yes

Yes, for everything except tiny, tiny files.

No

1.2 Gbytes per upload, but there's no length limit.

Free

Yes

No

Yes

None

Free (share up to 5 hours of video online per month)

Yes

Yes

No

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

Yes

50 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

32 Mbytes with a free account. 100 Mbytes with a $14.95/month account.

Free, unless you become a Shareholder

Yes

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

Streamload's Mediamax

No

The site's free accounts provide 25 Gbytes of free storage for any kind of media files. Free users are also limited to 1 Gbyte of access bandwidth per month.

Free

Yes

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

Under 5 minutes in length

Free

Yes

No

No

None mentioned.

Free

Yes

No

No

100 Mbytes per file. 250 Mbytes of storage overall.

Free

No

No

No

Phanfare accepts video clips up to 5 minutes in length or 1 Gbyte in size.

$6.95/mo. for unlimited storage

Yes

Yes

No

Free accounts get 1 GByte of space and 10 GBytes of bandwidth per month. Video clips can't exceed 5 minutes each.

Free

Yes

No

No

50 Mbytes

Free

Not sure. The site's primary language is French.

No

No

25 Mbytes

Free

No

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

Yes

Yes

No

100 Mbytes

Free (up to 1 Gbyte of storage)

Yes

No

No

None. Movies can be any length and as high quality as you like.

Free

Yes

Yes

No

30 Gbytes of disk space and 30 Gbytes of bandwidth per user

Free

Yes

No

Yes. Same as with AOL � if a video is too long, you can use a preview player to trim its length and erase sections you don't want.

Videos must be kept to less than 5 minutes long. From the site: "While there's no technical limit to the length of video the Publisher can post, long videos are expensive to store and stream."

Free (for now)

Yes

Yes. The VideoEgg publisher is required, but it's just a tiny Web browser plug-in and installs in a minute.

No

No limit

Free

Yes

No

No

30 Mbytes a week

Free

No

No

Yes (For slideshows only)

200 Mbytes

Free

Yes

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

No

No

No

100 Mbytes

Free

No

No

No

Under 10 Mbytes

$4.98/mo.

No

No

No

None. From the site's FAQ: "Most videos on YouTube are under five minutes long. There is no specific length limit, but longer videos require more compression to fit in the 100MB size limit, and the quality will go down as the length of the video goes up."

Free

Yes

No

No

Under 10 Mbytes without registration. Up to 20 Mbytes with user registration.

Free

Yes

No

Sources: Light Reading and company data



This drills down on the following issues:

  • Video editing capabilities

  • File size limit

  • How much it costs

  • Whether videos can be kept private

  • Whether a software download is necessary

The fine print
One final thing we didn't grade, but users should watch out for, are the terms of use. Most free video sharing services, with few exceptions, grant themselves a license to monetize and advertise your uploaded content any way they can. And very few, if any, of the bucks those sites may make off of your stuff will ever reach your bank account.

Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), for instance, grants itself the right to use your videos "for advertising, promotional or commercial purposes, including without limitation, the right to publicly display, perform, reproduce and distribute Your Video Content in any media format or medium and through any media channels."

And Yahoo's terms are pretty typical. Another way to think of it: If you upload a certifiable mainstream hit, they'll make bank on the motion picture rights and DVD sales – not you. So there. You've been warned. Be careful.

Copping some traffic
So now we've covered our methodology, here are some final bits of information we picked up along the way that, while not critical to our rankings, do shed some light on the overall growth of the online video sharing market.

One item of interest: Not all the sites that stand out, performed well, and flourished in the rankings have managed to attract a massive online audience. Interestingly, only a few in our Top Ten List have what could be considered remarkable traffic numbers, but that's likely to change, considering how relatively new some of these video sharing services are:

Table 3: By the Numbers: Light Reading's Top 10 Video Sharing Sites

Light Reading Rank

Site

Unique Audience

Time Spent Per Person (hh:mm:ss)

1

**

**

2

**

**

3

515,000

0:06:25

4

30,541,000

0:26:07

5

1,011,000

0:03:21

6

9,348,000

0:06:16

7

630,000

0:02:06

8

**

**

9

**

**

10

**

**

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings � U.S. Home and Work Audience, July 2006
* Note: Because the audience measured for these Websites is smaller than the standard sample size, the projected audience figures for these sites may vary greatly from month to month.
** These Websites have insufficient sample sizes for reliable projection of audience size.



Finally, while we're focusing here on video sharing services, we thought it might also be interesting to see what online video sites are most popular in the U.S. and abroad. Relatively few sites have managed to pull off becoming both an entertainment destination and a user-friendly hub for video distribution:

Table 4: Top US Online Video Sites, Week Ending August 5, 2006

U.S. Rank

Name

Domain

Market Share of Visits

1

YouTube

www.youtube.com

47.70%

2

MySpace Videos

vids.myspace.com

24.81%

3

Yahoo! Video Search

video.search.yahoo.com

6.85%

4

MSN Video Search

video.msn.com

6.14%

5

Google Video

video.google.com

4.52%

6

AOL Media

us.video.aol.com

4.37%

7

iFilm

www.ifilm.com

1.74%

8

MetaCafe

www.metacafe.com

1.53%

9

vMix

www.vmix.com

0.45%

10

Daily Motion

www.dailymotion.com

0.37%

Source: Hitwise
Data based on Market Share of Visits, which is the percentage of all traffic to a particular Website.



Table 5: Top UK Online Video Sites, Week Ending August 5, 2006

UK Rank

Name

Domain

Market Share of Visits

1

YouTube

www.youtube.com

65.04%

2

Google Video

video.google.com

7.73%

3

MySpace Videos

vids.myspace.com

7.40%

4

Google Video UK

video.google.co.uk

6.18%

5

MetaCafe

www.metacafe.com

3.26%

6

Yahoo! Video Search

video.search.yahoo.com

2.36%

7

AddictingClips

www.addictingclips.com

2.14%

8

AOL Media

us.video.aol.com

1.85%

9

Break.com

www.break.com

1.40%

10

Singingfish

www.singingfish.com

1.35%

Source: Hitwise
Data based on Market Share of Visits, which is the percentage of all traffic to a particular Website.



— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

Next Page: blip.tv

www.blip.tv

Ease of Use: 30 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 30 out of 30
Other Stuff: 35 out of 40
Total Score: 95 out of 100

Simplicity rules at Blip.tv The site is supposed to be a spot where content creators come to start shows and, maybe, make money. But the site's big buttons, its responsiveness, and the impressive distribution options available make blip.tv a place for anyone to share video easily.

"Our job is a lot easier than other video sharing sites because we don't have to attract a critical mass of users… Our service is designed to distribute our users' video across the Web," says Mike Hudack, Blip's founder.

That attitude of being an enabler as opposed to a big entertainment destination helps make the service so simple and accommodating. The site isn't a mass market phenomenon, but the technology running it has mass market appeal.

That was evident on August 1 when the company announced a deal with CNN whereby the news giant would allow anyone around the world to send in footage shot on a cell phone, camcorder, or digital camera to CNN.com via blip.tv's software. (See Blip.tv Licenses Software.)

Blip.tv scored 95 out of 100, the highest score given in this ranking. The site's privacy features aren't fully turned on yet, but they're coming. And there's no online editing to speak of yet, but the company may soon partner up to make that available. So we only knocked them down 5 points for an otherwise superior video sharing experience.

Next Page: VideoEgg

www.videoegg.com

Ease of Use: 30 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 25 out of 30
Other Stuff: 39 out of 40
Total Score: 94 out of 100

VideoEgg is neck-and-neck with blip.tv for a very good reason: It, too, has an enabling technology that allows video sharing to be push-button simple on other mainstream consumer sites.

And, as the service is powered by a network of 18,000 geographically distributed Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) servers, the load times are delightfully slight.

Even though it is not yet a place to go watch videos, VideoEgg makes it easy to upload videos and post them on a plethora of other sites, and it provides links to uploaded videos for email and RSS feeds.

If the site is too simple for your tastes, you can experience VideoEgg's technology via AOL's video sharing service and OurStory's digital scrapbooking site as well.

We scored VideoEgg a 25 out of 30 for its restrictions on file sizes. Most of the sites that didn't have an all-you-can-eat policy didn't get perfect scores there, either. And we knocked off one point in the "other stuff" category because its distribution options, though robust, were slightly less filled-out than blip.tv's, but not much less.

Next Page: Dailymotion

www.dailymotion.com

Ease of Use: 30 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 26 out of 30
Other Stuff: 35 out of 40
Total Score: 91 out of 100

Paris-based Dailymotion pulled a bit of an upset over YouTube in our rankings because of the site's no-frills approach to uploading (you can send video via Webcam, mobile phone, Dailymotion's Website, or via email) and its plentiful (and functional) video distribution options.

There's a little bit of a mystery regarding the site. We're not sure how the site's backed, who's in charge, nor if it's even a viable business. But one thing is clear: Even with a French accent, video sharing can be a simple, painless process, and Dailymotion sets the bar pretty high.

The site scored perfectly in the ease-of-use department, but we knocked it for file size limitations, no editing features, and the fact that you couldn't keep a video private while sending it to a different site or blog – a feature other sites pull off. Nonetheless, as its rise in popularity in the U.S. attests, Dailymotion is an exceptional site.

Next Page: YouTube

www.youtube.com

Ease of Use: 27 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 28 out of 30
Other Stuff: 35 out of 40
Total Score: 90 out of 100

At this stage, YouTube Inc. is still the one everyone's got in their sights. And that relatively few sites have bested it in our rankings should say something about how the company has managed to keep itself from falling apart despite having what PR people would call an "Elvis year."

"If you have a video of your child's first steps or a video of your wedding, is YouTube really the place you want to put it?" asks Fliqz founder Benjamin Wayne.

Indeed, the critics' claws come out when YouTube is mentioned, but there's a good reason for that. Most are coming to realize that, even though YouTube is mainly known for its viral videos, the site does work well, and it remains one of the few sites where you can keep a video private on its site, while at the same time publishing it to a personal blog.

So your wedding videos may be safe on YouTube after all.

We liked YouTube's general functionality and noticed that loads of other sites use its menus and navigation as a template. We would have been harsher about YouTube's file size limit of 100 Mbytes, but the site does offer a "director" program for most kinds of content producers, where the limits are easily discarded. Finally, we love YouTube's user-friendly approach, but a little basic editing tool would boost the site's popularity and usage times even more.

Next Page: Veoh

www.veoh.com

Ease of Use: 27 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 30 out of 30
Other Stuff: 30 out of 40
Total Score: 87 out of 100

Breathing down YouTube's neck is Veoh, a solid site backed by the likes of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) and The Tornante Company, the investment firm run by former Disney biggie Michael Eisner.

Veoh's most distinguishing feature is that it has a brazenly generous upload policy, which allows for "unlimited distribution capacity for full-screen, TV-grade video content available to anyone with a broadband connection, including high-definition videos."

With some rudimentary editing functions and some cleaner distribution options (no one wants to just cut and paste code), the site's overall rating would have been slightly higher.

That said, the unlimited uploads policy rocks, and Veoh's responsiveness, even when watching a two-hour movie, is a testament to the company's proprietary P2P technology, which it claims to be more secure and better at penetrating firewalls than the likes of BitTorrent Inc. 's software and other popular P2P applications. It's worth noting, too, that other companies have designs on using P2P technology for video delivery, search, and all kinds of other applications. (See Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P.)

Next Page: Google Video

video.google.com

Ease of Use: 30 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 25 out of 30
Other Stuff: 31 out of 40
Total Score: 86 out of 100

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s video service is easy to use, but we found that the site's popularity may be adding a few dozen minutes to the time it takes Google to transcode its customers' videos. If you upload something, prepare to wait – they've got a lot of viral videos to slog through before getting to your stuff.

We liked Google's unlimited file size allowance, and it's apparent that they're one of the first to throw down the "no limits" edict, a step that was surely influential to a number of sites that have since embraced it. It was disappointing to see that Google doesn't allow visitors to push videos to other sites and blogs as easily as some of its competitors, though, and we nicked a few ratings points for that.

However, one of Google Video's most appealing attributes for content producers is the ability to set a price for its uploaded videos – with no minimum or maximum dollar amount imposed. Also, unlike a lot of places, Google Video lets content owners have the choice to offer their content with or without copy protection, so there's some feeling of distribution control.

All in all, Google is a nice place to share videos and, as the company has with its other software applications and services, it will only improve over time.

Next Page: Grouper

www.grouper.com

Ease of Use: 19 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 26 out of 30
Other Stuff: 40 out of 40
Total Score: 85 out of 100

Some good things you have to work for, and Grouper is one of those things. First-time visitors to the site should prepare to do a little browsing and a lot of reading. This site isn't one where you surf right in and start uploading. But, as our 40 out of 40 "other stuff" rating shows, that shouldn't discourage you – Grouper has lots of goodies.

Though it looks a bit messy, Grouper is a one-stop shop for media sharing and media file management. Yes, you have to download some software and take it for a spin, but the functionality and the P2P network backing it up are well worth the few minutes invested.

We dinged Grouper slightly for its limit on file sizes only because it has a 110-Mbyte cutoff for uploads to its site. But keep in mind, though, its software connects users to a P2P network, so once you've mastered that – and found a few friends to use the thing – there's really no limit to the amount of media you can share, be it photos, videos, music, or files.

Not bad for a site named for a fish.

Next Page: Jumpcut

www.jumpcut.com

Ease of Use: 30 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 10 out of 30
Other Stuff: 40 out of 40
Total Score: 80 out of 100

Jumpcut's approach to video sharing is not just to provide a functioning service, but to make it fun. You can remix other people's videos, add stock footage to your videos, lay down a different soundtrack on something that you've already edited... The list goes on and on.

Like the hip-hop milieu in which its founders probably grew up, Jumpcut encourages users to take the old and the new, the self-made and the borrowed, and mash it all up to create a truly unique digital work.

We were most disappointed by the file size limitations – with so many great tools, Jumpcut ought to make a "professional" version available for folks with longer movies (and pocketbooks too small to afford a classy software editing suite).

But they thought of everything else, and most people who use Jumpcut are going to be thrilled with the site's usefulness and whimsical approach to video sharing.

Next Page: AOL

video.aol.com

Ease of Use: 26 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 25 out of 30
Other Stuff: 28 out of 40
Total Score: 79 out of 100

AOL Video has always been a popular Internet destination, because the company and its parent, Time Warner, are masters at providing entertaining content online. But only in recent months has AOL allowed video sharing by way of the Uncut Video portion of its AOL Video portal. (See AOL Unveils Video Portal.)

So to score AOL in video sharing was a bit cheeky of us, because the site is changing nearly every day. Soon AOL's Uncut Video will include video search, mobile uploading, and plenty more distribution options than it has right now.

But as it stands now, we give AOL a 26 out of 30 in the ease-of-use department, because the video sharing portion of its site wasn't all that easy to find, and it required a few too many steps to get to where we could upload and see our own video.

We dinged AOL a little bit for storage limitations, though we suspect it will allow larger files as the site evolves. We also nicked it for poor distribution options and no privacy features to speak of. It's a bit weird, too, that AOL is using VideoEgg's software, yet VideoEgg's site beats AOL on a feature-by-feature basis.

But, again, AOL is really new at this, and it has a huge advantage in that it already has a massive audience of folks trained to go to AOL for interesting online content. The video sharing stuff is icing on an already huge cake.

Next Page: Eyespot

eyespot.com

Ease of Use: 30 out of 30
File size/Storage limitations: 14 out of 30
Other Stuff: 34 out of 40
Total Score: 78 out of 100

Eyespot is also in the game of making online video sharing at least as fun as it is functional. With the ability to add music, transitions, stock video, and effects, Eyespot prompts video sharers to send up their best work, remix it, and share it far and wide.

Like its close competitor, Jumpcut, Eyespot is a bit too tough with its file size restrictions, and its distribution options could include a few more of the Internet's most popular blogging sites. One plus: Eyespot is unique in that it lets you publish directly to Blip.tv and Veoh, a nod to the fact that those sites are content not to compete with Eyespot's elaborate editing features.

Speaking of editing, that's really where eyespot shines. The site has a set of editing features – for free – that rivals a lot of pricey consumer software video editing tools.

In a few weeks, Eyespot says, it will bring its ability to take raw footage, remix it, and republish it to that vastly expanding universe of mobile camera phones out there. The bandwidth gods couldn't be happier.

Back to the Top Ten List

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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