The Horror of YouTube

If you’ve watched a video on YouTube in the last few months, you must have noticed the new advertising system they integrated into their Flash-based player a while ago.

My guess is that the advertisement isn’t added to videos that were uploaded before it was enabled. So if you watch a fairly new video you’ll see it. For your convenience, here’s a picture of what it looks like.

YouTube advertisement.

YouTube advertisement.

See that? That thing slides up from the lower edge of the video – not immediately after you start the video, no no, but after a few seconds, right when you’ve let go of the mouse and started to sit back and relax as you watch the video. That’s when it comes up. And sometimes it covers a lot of what you’re trying to watch, for example if the video has captions or subtitles. So not only does it catch you off guard, but it makes you rewind videos! WHAT A STUPID THING.

I loved Google Video when it came out, and I love it today because the player and the whole thing is just a lot cleaner, and the player itself works better, than YouTube. Then YouTube was acquired by Google. Things started to change, and YouTube got a lot of enhancements, not only the obvious changes to the player in terms of style, buttons and recently the different choices of quality of the videos, but also more subtle things like (dis)agreeing with text comments by giving it a thumbs up or down, and other things that make the loading of content in general run smoother than before.

At that point, I really started to think about whether I actually favoured YouTube over Google Video… But, no. Forget that. Never. The player is still junk (seeking is HORRIBLE among other things, not to mention the ads), the pages are waaaay to over-loaded with moving images and content with different styles and colors, and there’s no intuitive way to download the videos to your own hard disk drive to view later or to put on your portable player for instance. And what are those stupid, annoying annotations anyway? Just put it in the description box, will you? If I’m not interested in reading your “LOL”s and your “LMAO”s inside the video, I shouldn’t have to! “But you can turn off the annotations by just by cli…” I KNOW THAT, but it’s ENABLED BY DEFAULT. And if you reload the page, IT COMES BACK ON. AND SOMETIMES YOUTUBE’S PAGE RELOADS AT RANDOM.

Google Video’s player, however, seeks beautifully, the pages are clean and contain barely anything but the video in a large window and the comments and other things to the right of the video neatly ordered in tabs, and you can download the videos. Even to iPod formats, so you won’t have to convert them yourself! Yet there are more features(!), such as choosing any size of the video by resizing the browser window itself, with the lower limit of the original size of the video. You can choose Original Size, Double Size, Fit to Window and Full Screen. There’s even a “Smooth Video” option if the quality of the video is too poor for the size at which it is being displayed! The latter in my opinion is a much better solution to the quality problem than “HQ” (High Quality) and “HD” (High Definition) options at YouTube.

And now I hear that Google Video is about to stop accepting new videos and Google is focusing all of its video efforts on YouTube. What a waste!

There are still great options for people who want to upload content to Google, and we invite them to explore YouTube’s dynamic global community or Picasa Web Albums.

HAHAHA.

We’re confident this decision is the right one for our users,

Not for me.

and we’re looking forward to making Google Video an even better place for you to search and find videos from all over the web.

Yeah maybe, if I could watch them using the Google Video player, that’d be AWESOME. Then I’d have all the videos from YouTube but in the format of Google Video’s player.

A man can dream.

Thank God for brilliant software solutions such as the YouTube plugin for Totem (the video player of GNOME).

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