Best practice in Web video publication

I’ve spent a lot of time recently analysing video on the Web.

YouTube and Google Video introduced what seems to be the standard now: videos get published on what I like to call a “host page”. This is one webpage completely dedicated to this video.

Why are there still so many videos out there that get published through a hyperlink behind two words of text instead of giving them proper recognition?

Think about it: the creation of a video usually costs a lot of effort and when it’s done, it needs a proper presentation. Hiding it behind a hyperlink is like putting your blog up on an ftp server in pdf format.

So, what information has to be on a video host page?

Best practice is to have an embeddable video player on the host page that displays a keyframe.

Other information that typically resides on a host page is a short textual description of the video, its duration, who published it, who created it, license rights (check out Creative Commons for this), tags & category attributions, comments from viewers, number of page views, and a description of how to use this thing in other environments, such as how to embed it in blogs or how to download it to the iPod or PSP.

We don’t need Google or YouTube to do this for us. We can publish video in that way ourselves. Well, maybe apart from the bit about transcoding to the iPod or PSP. Incidentally, is there any open source SW around to do that?

We can transcode our videos to Ogg Theora using ffmpeg2theora and then publish it with the embedded java theora player Cortado. Then we just need to create our own host page in html.

All we need now are a few more plugins for common Web content management systems like WordPress or drupal to simplify this process even more. Here’s your Friday afternoon challenge. 🙂