Tag Archives: YouTube

Annual Release of External-Videos plugin – we’ve hit v1.0

This is the annual release of my external-videos wordpress plugin and with the help of  Andrew Nimmolo I’m proud to annouce we’ve reached version 1.0!

So yes, my external-videos wordpress plugin is now roughly 7 years old, who would have thought! During the year, I don’t get the luxury of spending time on maintaining this open source love child of mine, but at Christmas, my bad conscience catches up with me  – every year! I then spend some time going through bug reports, upgrading the plugin to the latest wordpress version, upgrading to the latest video site APIs, testing functionality and of course making a new release.

This year has been quite special. The power of open source has kicked in and a new developer took an interest in external-videos. Andrew Nimmolo submitted patches over all of 2016. He decided to bring the external-videos plugin into the new decade with a huge update to the layout of the settings pages, general improvements, and an all-round update of all the video site APIs which included removing their overly complex SDKs and going straight for the REST APIs.

Therefore, I’m very proud to be able to release version 1.0 today. Thanks, Andrew!

Enjoy – and I look forward to many more contributions – have a Happy 2017!

NOTE: If you’re upgrading from an older version, you might need to remove and re-add your social video sites because the API details have changed a bit. Also, we noticed that there were layout issues on WordPress 4.3.7, so try and make sure your WordPress version is up to date.

Open Media Developers Track at OVC 2011

The Open Video Conference that took place on 10-12 September was so overwhelming, I’ve still not been able to catch my breath! It was a dense three days for me, even though I only focused on the technology sessions of the conference and utterly missed out on all the policy and content discussions.

Roughly 60 people participated in the Open Media Software (OMS) developers track. This was an amazing group of people capable and willing to shape the future of video technology on the Web:

  • HTML5 video developers from Apple, Google, Opera, and Mozilla (though we missed the NZ folks),
  • codec developers from WebM, Xiph, and MPEG,
  • Web video developers from YouTube, JWPlayer, Kaltura, VideoJS, PopcornJS, etc.,
  • content publishers from Wikipedia, Internet Archive, YouTube, Netflix, etc.,
  • open source tool developers from FFmpeg, gstreamer, flumotion, VideoLAN, PiTiVi, etc,
  • and many more.

To provide a summary of all the discussions would be impossible, so I just want to share the key take-aways that I had from the main sessions.

WebRTC: Realtime Communications and HTML5

Tim Terriberry (Mozilla), Serge Lachapelle (Google) and Ethan Hugg (CISCO) moderated this session together (slides). There are activities both at the W3C and at IETF – the ones at IETF are supposed to focus on protocols, while the W3C ones on HTML5 extensions.

The current proposal of a PeerConnection API has been implemented in WebKit/Chrome as open source. It is expected that Firefox will have an add-on by Q1 next year. It enables video conferencing, including media capture, media encoding, signal processing (echo cancellation etc), secure transmission, and a data stream exchange.

Current discussions are around the signalling protocol and whether SIP needs to be required by the standard. Further, the codec question is under discussion with a question whether to mandate VP8 and Opus, since transcoding gateways are not desirable. Another question is how to measure the quality of the connection and how to report errors so as to allow adaptation.

What always amazes me around RTC is the sheer number of specialised protocols that seem to be required to implement this. WebRTC does not disappoint: in fact, the question was asked whether there could be a lighter alternative than to re-use dozens of years of protocol development – is it over-engineered? Can desktop players connect to a WebRTC session?

We are already in a second or third revision of this part of the HTML5 specification and yet it seems the requirements are still being collected. I’m quietly confident that everything is done to make the lives of the Web developer easier, but it sure looks like a huge task.

The Missing Link: Flash to HTML5

Zohar Babin (Kaltura) and myself moderated this session and I must admit that this session was the biggest eye-opener for me amongst all the sessions. There was a large number of Flash developers present in the room and that was great, because sometimes we just don’t listen enough to lessons learnt in the past.

This session gave me one of those aha-moments: it the form of the Flash appendBytes() API function.

The appendBytes() function allows a Flash developer to take a byteArray out of a connected video resource and do something with it – such as feed it to a video for display. When I heard that Web developers want that functionality for JavaScript and the video element, too, I instinctively rejected the idea wondering why on earth would a Web developer want to touch encoded video bytes – why not leave that to the browser.

But as it turns out, this is actually a really powerful enabler of functionality. For example, you can use it to:

  • display mid-roll video ads as part of the same video element,
  • sequence playlists of videos into the same video element,
  • implement DVR functionality (high-speed seeking),
  • do mash-ups,
  • do video editing,
  • adaptive streaming.

This totally blew my mind and I am now completely supportive of having such a function in HTML5. Together with media fragment URIs you could even leave all the header download management for resources to the Web browser and just request time ranges from a video through an appendBytes() function. This would be easier on the Web developer than having to deal with byte ranges and making sure that appropriate decoding pipelines are set up.

Standards for Video Accessibility

Philip Jagenstedt (Opera) and myself moderated this session. We focused on the HTML5 track element and the WebVTT file format. Many issues were identified that will still require work.

One particular topic was to find a standard means of rendering the UI for caption, subtitle, und description selection. For example, what icons should be used to indicate that subtitles or captions are available. While this is not part of the HTML5 specification, it’s still important to get this right across browsers since otherwise users will get confused with diverging interfaces.

Chaptering was discussed and a particular need to allow URLs to directly point at chapters was expressed. I suggested the use of named Media Fragment URLs.

The use of WebVTT for descriptions for the blind was also discussed. A suggestion was made to use the voice tag <v> to allow for “styling” (i.e. selection) of the screen reader voice.

Finally, multitrack audio or video resources were also discussed and the @mediagroup attribute was explained. A question about how to identify the language used in different alternative dubs was asked. This is an issue because @srclang is not on audio or video, only on text, so it’s a missing feature for the multitrack API.

Beyond this session, there was also a breakout session on WebVTT and the track element. As a consequence, a number of bugs were registered in the W3C bug tracker.

WebM: Testing, Metrics and New features

This session was moderated by John Luther and John Koleszar, both of the WebM Project. They started off with a presentation on current work on WebM, which includes quality testing and improvements, and encoder speed improvement. Then they moved on to questions about how to involve the community more.

The community criticised that communication of what is happening around WebM is very scarce. More sharing of information was requested, including a move to using open Google+ hangouts instead of Google internal video conferences. More use of the public bug tracker can also help include the community better.

Another pain point of the community was that code is introduced and removed without much feedback. It was requested to introduce a peer review process. Also it was requested that example code snippets are published when new features are announced so others can replicate the claims.

This all indicates to me that the WebM project is increasingly more open, but that there is still a lot to learn.

Standards for HTTP Adaptive Streaming

This session was moderated by Frank Galligan and Aaron Colwell (Google), and Mark Watson (Netflix).

Mark started off by giving us an introduction to MPEG DASH, the MPEG file format for HTTP adaptive streaming. MPEG has just finalized the format and he was able to show us some examples. DASH is XML-based and thus rather verbose. It is covering all eventualities of what parameters could be switched during transmissions, which makes it very broad. These include trick modes e.g. for fast forwarding, 3D, multi-view and multitrack content.

MPEG have defined profiles – one for live streaming which requires chunking of the files on the server, and one for on-demand which requires keyframe alignment of the files. There are clear specifications for how to do these with MPEG. Such profiles would need to be created for WebM and Ogg Theora, too, to make DASH universally applicable.

Further, the Web case needs a more restrictive adaptation approach, since the video element’s API is already accounting for some of the features that DASH provides for desktop applications. So, a Web-specific profile of DASH would be required.

Then Aaron introduced us to the MediaSource API and in particular the webkitSourceAppend() extension that he has been experimenting with. It is essentially an implementation of the appendBytes() function of Flash, which the Web developers had been asking for just a few sessions earlier. This was likely the biggest announcement of OVC, alas a quiet and technically-focused one.

Aaron explained that he had been trying to find a way to implement HTTP adaptive streaming into WebKit in a way in which it could be standardised. While doing so, he also came across other requirements around such chunked video handling, in particular around dynamic ad insertion, live streaming, DVR functionality (fast forward), constraint video editing, and mashups. While trying to sort out all these requirements, it became clear that it would be very difficult to implement strategies for stream switching, buffering and delivery of video chunks into the browser when so many different and likely contradictory requirements exist. Also, once an approach is implemented and specified for the browser, it becomes very difficult to innovate on it.

Instead, the easiest way to solve it right now and learn about what would be necessary to implement into the browser would be to actually allow Web developers to queue up a chunk of encoded video into a video element for decoding and display. Thus, the webkitSourceAppend() function was born (specification).

The proposed extension to the HTMLMediaElement is as follows:

partial interface HTMLMediaElement {
  // URL passed to src attribute to enable the media source logic.
  readonly attribute [URL] DOMString webkitMediaSourceURL;

  bool webkitSourceAppend(in Uint8Array data);

  // end of stream status codes.
  const unsigned short EOS_NO_ERROR = 0;
  const unsigned short EOS_NETWORK_ERR = 1;
  const unsigned short EOS_DECODE_ERR = 2;

  void webkitSourceEndOfStream(in unsigned short status);

  // states
  const unsigned short SOURCE_CLOSED = 0;
  const unsigned short SOURCE_OPEN = 1;
  const unsigned short SOURCE_ENDED = 2;

  readonly attribute unsigned short webkitSourceState;

The code is already checked into WebKit, but commented out behind a command-line compiler flag.

Frank then stepped forward to show how webkitSourceAppend() can be used to implement HTTP adaptive streaming. His example uses WebM – there are no examples with MPEG or Ogg yet.

The chunks that Frank’s demo used were 150 video frames long (6.25s) and 5s long audio. Stream switching only switched video, since audio data is much lower bandwidth and more important to retain at high quality. Switching was done on multiplexed files.

Every chunk requires an XHR range request – this could be optimised if the connections were kept open per adaptation. Seeking works, too, but since decoding requires download of a whole chunk, seeking latency is determined by the time it takes to download and decode that chunk.

Similar to DASH, when using this approach for live streaming, the server has to produce one file per chunk, since byte range requests are not possible on a continuously growing file.

Frank did not use DASH as the manifest format for his HTTP adaptive streaming demo, but instead used a hacked-up custom XML format. It would be possible to use JSON or any other format, too.

After this session, I was actually completely blown away by the possibilities that such a simple API extension allows. If I wasn’t sold on the idea of a appendBytes() function in the earlier session, this one completely changed my mind. While I still believe we need to standardise a HTTP adaptive streaming file format that all browsers will support for all codecs, and I still believe that a native implementation for support of such a file format is necessary, I also believe that this approach of webkitSourceAppend() is what HTML needs – and maybe it needs it faster than native HTTP adaptive streaming support.

Standards for Browser Video Playback Metrics

This session was moderated by Zachary Ozer and Pablo Schklowsky (JWPlayer). Their motivation for the topic was, in fact, also HTTP adaptive streaming. Once you leave the decisions about when to do stream switching to JavaScript (through a function such a wekitSourceAppend()), you have to expose stream metrics to the JS developer so they can make informed decisions. The other use cases is, of course, monitoring of the quality of video delivery for reporting to the provider, who may then decide to change their delivery environment.

The discussion found that we really care about metrics on three different levels:

  • measuring the network performance (bandwidth)
  • measuring the decoding pipeline performance
  • measuring the display quality

In the end, it seemed that work previously done by Steve Lacey on a proposal for video metrics was generally acceptable, except for the playbackJitter metric, which may be too aggregate to mean much.

Device Inputs / A/V in the Browser

I didn’t actually attend this session held by Anant Narayanan (Mozilla), but from what I heard, the discussion focused on how to manage permission of access to video camera, microphone and screen, e.g. when multiple applications (tabs) want access or when the same site wants access in a different session. This may apply to real-time communication with screen sharing, but also to photo sharing, video upload, or canvas access to devices e.g. for time lapse photography.

Open Video Editors

This was another session that I wasn’t able to attend, but I believe the creation of good open source video editing software and similar video creation software is really crucial to giving video a broader user appeal.

Jeff Fortin (PiTiVi) moderated this session and I was fascinated to later see his analysis of the lifecycle of open source video editors. It is shocking to see how many people/projects have tried to create an open source video editor and how many have stopped their project. It is likely that the creation of a video editor is such a complex challenge that it requires a larger and more committed open source project – single people will just run out of steam too quickly. This may be comparable to the creation of a Web browser (see the size of the Mozilla project) or a text processing system (see the size of the OpenOffice project).

Jeff also mentioned the need to create open video editor standards around playlist file formats etc. Possibly the Open Video Alliance could help. In any case, something has to be done in this space – maybe this would be a good topic to focus next year’s OVC on?

Monday’s Breakout Groups

The conference ended officially on Sunday night, but we had a third day of discussions / hackday at the wonderful New York Lawschool venue. We had collected issues of interest during the two previous days and organised the breakout groups on the morning (Schedule).

In the Content Protection/DRM session, Mark Watson from Netflix explained how their API works and that they believe that all we need in browsers is a secure way to exchange keys and an indicator of protection scheme is used – the actual protection scheme would not be implemented by the browser, but be provided by the underlying system (media framework/operating system). I think that until somebody actually implements something in a browser fork and shows how this can be done, we won’t have much progress. In my understanding, we may also need to disable part of the video API for encrypted content, because otherwise you can always e.g. grab frames from the video element into canvas and save them from there.

In the Playlists and Gapless Playback session, there was massive brainstorming about what new cool things can be done with the video element in browsers if playback between snippets can be made seamless. Further discussions were about a standard playlist file formats (such as XSPF, MRSS or M3U), media fragment URIs in playlists for mashups, and the need to expose track metadata for HTML5 media elements.

What more can I say? It was an amazing three days and the complexity of problems that we’re dealing with is a tribute to how far HTML5 and open video has already come and exciting news for the kind of applications that will be possible (both professional and community) once we’ve solved the problems of today. It will be exciting to see what progress we will have made by next year’s conference.

Thanks go to Google for sponsoring my trip to OVC.

UPDATE: We actually have a mailing list for open media developers who are interested in these and similar topics – do join at http://lists.annodex.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foms.

WordPress plugin for external videos updated

Over the last weeks I’ve updated my “external videos” wordpress plugin. I’ve fixed bugs and added some new functionality.

List of changes:

  • fixed a bug in attaching blog posts to videos for link-through from gallery overlays
  • allow re-attaching a different blog post to a video
  • added a shortcode that allows to link straight through to video pages instead of the overlay
  • fixed a bug on retrieval of keyframe for dotsub
  • added option to add the video posts to the site’s RSS feed
  • fixed a bug on image paths for the thickbox
  • made sure whenever a user goes to the admin page that the cron hook is active
  • changed some class names to avoid clashes with other plugins that people reported
  • turned simple_html_dom code into a class of its own to avoid clashes with other plugins that use this code, too
  • cleaning up entered data from surplus white space
  • styling fixes to the overlay on gallery
  • shielding against a bug with no videos on channels to retrieve yet

Download the new plugin version 0.13

Note: there is something weird going on with the wordpress plugins site, which still shows version 0.7 as the current one, but when you download it, it gets the latest version 0.12. If somebody knows how to fix this, that would be awesome. I think it also stops people from auto-updating this plugin, which is sad with this many improvements.
(I think I fixed it by actually changing the version number in the external-videos.php file – how silly of me – and thanks to the WordPress Forum person who pointed it out to me! Download 0.13 now.)

My first released WordPress plugin

A screenshot of the gallery that the external video plugin creates

I’m pretty proud of this, which is why I’m dedicating a short blog post to it: today, John and I released my first WordPress plugin as open source to the WordPress plugins site.

It’s got the boring name “External Videos” and builds a bridge between your WordPress instance and videos of channels on a video hosting site – currently supported are YouTube, Vimeo, and DotSub.

It does this by using a brand-new feature to be introduced in WordPress 3: custom post types.

Check out the screenshots on the plugins page to see more – I’m unfortunately not yet running this Website with WordPress 3, so am not yet using this plugin’s features.

In the admin interface of WordPress, you enter the video channels that you want to pull videos from. Then it goes and pulls the videos with their metadata from these sites and creates video posts for them. That pulling is done once a day to update with new posts. The videos can be looked at in the admin interface under a separate video post section. They can be linked to WordPress posts and pages where the video may be discussed in context.

The video posts can be exposed on the WordPress site through a gallery, which is created by a short code, that can be added to any WordPress page. The gallery of thumbnails clicks through to an overlay with each video and its metadata as well as a link to the related WordPress post.

You can also add a widget to the side bar of the WordPress site with links to the most recent videos.

There are many more features that I want to develop for this plugin. I’d of course like to move it to HTML5 video instead of Adobe Flash. But for now I am happy with it.

I’d like to say thank you to John Ferlito, who helped with some of the coding, to Jeff Waugh for suggesting that it would best be developed using the new post types feature, and to Senator Kate Lundy and Pia Waugh at her office, who funded a part of the development. I am hoping they will find it useful to give their awesome collection of videos better exposure.

NOTE: you can post your issues with this plugin now to the wordpress forum at http://wordpress.org/tags/external-videos

View counts on YouTube contradictory

UPDATE (6th February 2010): YouTube have just reacted to my bug and it seems there are some gData links that are more up-to-date than others. You need to go with the “uploads” gData APIs rather than the search or user ones to get accurate data. Glad YouTube told me and it’s documented now!

I am an avid user of YouTube Insight, the metrics tool that YouTube provides freely to everyone who publishes videos through them. YouTube Insight provides graphs on video views, the countries they originate in, demographics of the viewership, how the videos are discovered, engagement metrics, and hotspot analysis. It is a great tool to analyse the success of your videos, determine when to upload the next one, find out what works and what doesn’t.

However, you cannot rely on the accuracy of the numbers that YouTube Insight displays. In fact, YouTube provides three different means to find out what the current views (and other statistics, but let’s focus on the views) are for your videos:

  • the view count displayed on the video’s watch page
  • the view count displayed in YouTube Insight
  • the view count given in the gData API feed

The shocking reality is: for all videos I have looked at that are less than about a month old and keep getting views, all three numbers are different.

Sometimes they are just off by one or two, which is tolerable and understandable, since the data must be served from a number of load balanced servers or even server clusters and it would be difficult to keep all of these clusters at identical numbers all of the time.

However, for more than 50% of the videos I have looked at, the numbers are off by a substantial amount.

I have undertaken an analysis with random videos, where I have collected the gData views and the watch page views. The Insight data tends to be between these two numbers, but I cannot generally reach that data, so I have left it out of this analysis.

Here are the stats for 36 randomly picked videos in the 9 view-count classes defined by TubeMogul and by how much they are off at the time that I looked at them:

Class Video watch page gData API age diff percentage
>1M 1 7,187,174 6,082,419 2 weeks 1,104,755 15.37%
>1M 2 3,196,690 3,080,415 3 weeks 116,275 3.63%
>1M 3 2,247,064 1,992,844 1 week 254,220 11.31%
>1M 4 1,054,278 1,040,591 1 month 13,687 1.30%
100K-500K 5 476,838 148,681 11 days 328,157 68.82%
100K-500K 6 356,561 294,309 2 weeks 62,252 17.46%
100K-500K 7 225,951 195,159 2 weeks 30,792 13.63%
100K-500K 8 113,521 62,241 1 week 51,280 45.17%
10K-100K 9 86,964 46 4 days 86,918 99.95%
10K-100K 10 52,922 43,548 3 weeks 9,374 17.71%
10K-100K 11 34,001 33,045 1 month 956 2.81%
10K-100K 12 15,704 13,653 2 weeks 2,051 13.06%
5K-10K 13 9,144 8,967 1 month 117 1.94%
5K-10K 14 7,265 5,409 1 month 1,856 25.55%
5K-10K 15 6,640 5,896 2 weeks 744 11.20%
5K-10K 16 5,092 3,518 6 days 1,574 30.91%
2.5K-5K 17 4,955 4,928 3 weeks 27 0.91%
2.5K-5K 18 4,341 4,044 4 days 297 6.84%
2.5K-5K 19 3,377 3,306 3 weeks 71 2.10%
2.5K-5K 20 2,734 2,714 1 month 20 0.73%
1K-2.5K 21 2,208 2,169 3 weeks 39 1.77%
1K-2.5K 22 1,851 1,747 2 weeks 104 5.62%
1K-2.5K 23 1,281 1,244 1 week 37 2.89%
1K-2.5K 24 1,034 984 2 weeks 50 4.84%
500-1K 25 999 844 6 days 155 15.52%
500-1K 26 891 790 6 days 101 11.34%
500-1K 27 861 600 3 days 17 30.31%
500-1K 28 645 482 4 days 163 25.27%
100-500 29 460 436 10 days 24 5.22%
100-500 30 291 285 4 days 6 2.06%
100-500 31 256 198 3 days 58 22.66%
100-500 32 196 175 11 days 21 10.71%
0-100 33 88 74 10 days 14 15.90%
0-100 34 64 49 12 days 15 23.44%
0-100 35 46 21 5 days 25 54.35%
0-100 36 31 25 3 days 4 19.35%

The videos were chosen such that they were no more than a month old, but older than a couple of days. For older videos than about a month, the increase had generally stopped and the metrics had caught up, unless where the views were still increasing rapidly, which is an unusual case.

Generally, it seems that the host page has the right views. In contrast, it seems the gData interface is updated only once every week. It further seems from looking at YouTube channels where I have access to Insight that Insight is updated about every 4 days and it receives corrected data for the days in which it hadn’t caught up.

Further, it seems that YouTube make no differentiation between channels of partners and general users’ channels – both can have a massive difference between the watch page and gData. Most videos differ by less than 20%, but some have exceptionally high differences above 50% and even up to 99.95%.

The difference is particularly pronounced for videos that show a steep increase in views – the first few days tend to have massive differences. Since these are the days that are particularly interesting to monitor for publishers, having the gData interface lag behind this much is shocking.

Further, videos with a low number of views, in particular less than 100, also show a particularly high percentage in difference – sometimes an increase in view count isn’t reported at all in the gData API for weeks. It seems that YouTube treats the long tail worse than the rest of YouTube. For every video in this class, the absolute difference will be small – obviously less than 100 views. With almost 30% of videos being such videos, it is somewhat understandable that YouTube are not making the effort to update their views regularly. OTOH, these views may be particularly important to their publishers.

It seems to me that YouTube need to change their approach to updating statistics across the watch pages, Insight and gData.

Firstly, it is important to have the watch page, Insight and gData in sync – otherwise what number would you use in a report? If the gData API for YouTube statistics lags behind the watch page and Insight by even 24 hours, it is useless in indicating trends and for using in reports and people have to go back to screenscraping to gain information on the actual views of their videos.

Secondly, it would be good to update the statistics daily during the first 3-4 weeks, or as long as the videos are gaining views heavily. This is the important time to track the success of videos and if neither Insight nor gData are up to date in this time, and can even be almost 100% off, the statistics are actually useless.

Lastly, one has to wonder how accurate the success calculations are for YouTube partners, who rely on YouTube reporting to gain payment for advertising. Since the analysis showed that the inaccuracies extend also into partner channels, one has to hope that the data that is eventually reported through Insight is actually accurate, even if intermittently there are large differences.

Finally, I must say that I was rather disappointed with the way in which this issue has so far been dealt with in the YouTube Forums. The issues about wrongly reported view counts has been reported first more than a year ago and since regularly by diverse people. Some of the reports were really unfriendly with their demands. Still, I would have expected a serious reply by a YouTube employee about why there are issues and how they are going to be fixed or whether they will be fixed at all. Instead, all I found was a more than 9 month old mention that YouTube seems to be aware of the issue and working on it – no news since.

Also, I found no other blog posts analysing this issue, so here we are. Please, YouTube, let us know what is going on with Insight, why are the numbers off by this much, and what are you doing to fix it?

NB: I just posted a bug on gData, since we were unable to find any concrete bugs relating to this issue there. I’m actually surprised about this, since so many people reported it in the YouTube Forums!

Google video: 2.5 years later, my predictions come true

When Google bought YouTube in October 2006, I wrote a blog entry about how Google video is a hosting site and that with the purchase of YouTube, Google has the opportunity to turn the Google brand back to video search.

Well, today, that prediction has come true and Google video has stopped hosting videos for users. So, things are now clear: YouTube is a video publishing site and Google video is a search engine.

Hold on: not so fast.

According to ComScore’s most U.S. search engine Rankings for August 2008, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Web, ahead of Yahoo. At Vquence, we explain to customers that many people now use YouTube search as their entry point into the Web. Video is their Web. And when it comes to video, it’s all about YouTube.

Because people search for videos on YouTube, most videos that get published will have a copy on YouTube. Thus, YouTube is the dominant place to find video – not Google video. Also, YouTube is turning more and more into a search engine like Google: just this week they published “featured search results“, making a YouTube search result page look almost identical to a Google search result page: there is some featured content on top of the actual search results and there are some paid-for ads on the right.

Since it has taken Google such a long time to move Google video from hosting service to search service, I wonder if it’s not too late for Google video already. It feels now just like an add-on to YouTube – a place you go when all other searches fail.

Yahoo video search was once the best video search around. Then came Truveo and blinkx and a whole bunch more. Now, nobody writes about them any more – everybody just goes to YouTube itself or to Google Universal Search to go and find a video.

It would be nice if Google video search stayed around – if only as a discovery tool for when Web video goes directly onto our TVs. But I doubt, Google will find a good way to monetize it. YouTube’s search will be monetized quicker and more effectively.