Online Video

Now that we know how to create awesome videos, we need a way to distribute them. DVDs are nice, but they're getting old-fashioned. In today's world, the number one method of video distribution is online.  The king of all the web-sites for video distribution is YouTube, but there are several other sites (both for free and more professional ones that you need to pay for) available.

YouTube will take almost any type of video (they use FFMpeg behind the scenes) and display it on a web page for you. In addition to providing it at the resolution you send in to them, they will automatically create smaller copies for people with slower internet connections (or smaller screens) to watch.  The biggest limit is that YouTube only supports videos that are up to 15 minutes long.

You need an account to upload videos to YouTube (which you can create by clicking the button at the top of the home-page).  Once you have one, click the "Upload" link on the home page. Then you can select the file you want to upload. While your file is uploading, you can take a minute to fill in the details about it, such as: Title, Description, Tags, Category, and Privacy. 
The title should be short, usually only a few words. The description should be longer and describe what your video is all about. The tags can be different words that could be used to search for your video. If you're not sure what to put here, browse around the site and see what other videos (similar to yours) are putting for tags.  The category is simply selecting the best option from the list for your video.  Finally, you can set the privacy flag so that your video can be public for the world to see, or one of the other options. That's it!  Now you're video is live for the world to see on YouTube.

There are several other free sites that work similar to YouTube:, vimeo, revver, metacafe, flickrdailymotion, and even In addition to those sites, there are many more that offer professional, paid, service. Finally, there are free and paid players you can download and put into any website, allowing you to have your own video on your web page.

All the options we've talked about so far are types of progressive download video. In this system, you computer starts to download a file from a web-server (just like any other file on a web-page), but the player that is embedded in the web-page knows that after a certain percentage of it has downloaded (based on the speed of your internet connection) it can start playing and the rest will get there before it reaches the end. 

In addition to progressive downloads, you could have normal downloads. In this case, the user would download a video to his/her computer, then open it and watch it in the video player of their choice. 

Another technique that works similarly to normal downloading, is using a tool called Bit Torrent ( ) requires that the users wanting to watch the video download the entire file on to their computers before starting to watch.  However, when using Bit Torrent to distribute the files, the users all download small parts of the file from each other, instead of downloading the entire file from the server. This can make it faster for the users to get the whole thing and/or make it much cheaper to distribute. Many independent producers of video will distribute their productions (frequently several GB per file) over Bit Torrent, because it is very cheap whereas the costs of distributing a 5GB file to 1,000 people using normal downloads is somewhere around $750; to 10,000 people is around $6,000; to 100,000 people is around $50,000; and sending it out to a million people would cost around half a million dollars!  With Bit Torrent, sending it out to 1000 people could cost around the same as sending it out to a million people, if you wanted to you could do it for under $100.

The other option, aside from a download (either progressive or traditional) where the whole video file gets downloaded to the viewers, is a video stream. These were talked about in the audio section on streaming, so go back there if you want more details.  Three of the top sites are Ustream, Justin TV, Bit-Gravity Ustream and Justin TV are free, but Bit-Gravity is a bit more professional, and doesn't offer services for free.