1. About Google Video
We are living in a digital world, where pretty much everything gets uploaded online. There are 80 million web hosts according to the stats made in 2006. The growth of the World Wide Web is obvious, it’s all on the web – companies addresses, documents, pictures, books, you can buy everything from cars to ships. But it’s not just documents any more, pages are far from stating these days. The web is now full with video clips being shared by millions of people around the world.
Google Video allows people to search for video files, download and play them on their computers. Although Google has not released an exact number of the video files available at their site, they claim there are several thousands and increasing all the time. The video material includes just about anything – TV shows, movies, amateur videos, commercials not displayed on US channels, etc. The files are either free of charge or must be purchase online from the Google Video Store. Google Video enables users from all over the world to upload their own content on Google Servers and share it with everyone. The files are in GVI, AVI, GVP and MP4 formats.
Google Video Player lets you watch videos that have been downloaded or purchased from the Google Video website, video.google.com. Google Video Player allows you to watch the videos in full screen as well as browse the video using thumbnails. It also uses OpenSSL Toolkit, QPluginLoader and QLibrary classes.
Some say that Google Video is just an effort of the search engine giant to enter the online video sharing, gathering up a rich archive of moving pictures to be accessed either for free or for pay. Market trick or not, Google Video is here to stay and this article will try to familiarize you with the technology behind it.
The Google Video Player is a piece of software that transfers the paid video content from Google’s servers to your computer. There is a version for MAC and Windows. Technically as a video player, it has some pretty cool features. It allows you to browse the scenes using thumbnails, so that one can easily find each and every moment.
The GV player has full-screen mode and the FTP portion of it is on a high level as it supports download resuming, automatically. This is a really nice feature especially for people on a dial-up or other users with a low and unstable connection. Perhaps the only strange thing about this application is that it is made to play paid-content, which is sort of useless, considering the amount of websites with video clips and all the video players, torrents and ftp clients.
The overall success of this software depends on the richness of the library. If it has a lot of interesting content, it will succeed even if the service is paid. But if the library is weak, then it doesn’t matter how smart and functional the player is, cause it just won’t matter when you don’t have any multimedia to play.
In the context of all that, it’s important to know that Google faces a strong competition when it comes to online video content, from the likes of YouTube, MetaCage, iFilm and several other websites with a pretty decent traffic. A lot of money are involved in this sector, so that’s a big opportunity for any company. The content available at Google Video is mostly amateur, because of the ease with which users can upload their files. Video files can be uploaded at the website video.google.com or with the help of Google Video Uploader, available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
But it’s not just amateurs that upload content to Google Video, television networks also participate by making whole shows available and Hollywood studios are also putting up some movie trailers. Because of all that, the video quality is inconsistent, depending on who uploaded it. There are all types of video files, copy-protected or not, with or without ads. Google screens out any sex related material, so Google Video is totally safe for the children.
The paid content is another interesting moment regarding Google Video. Amateur movies might be free, but episodes of Survivor or other TV shows cost $1.99 each, a price set by the producer of the given video.
2. System Requirements:
• For playing videos:
As mentioned, you can play the videos with your Internet browser or trough the Google Video Player.
To play videos through your browser on Google Video, your system must meet the following requirements:
- Adobe Flash Player 7.0+
- Microsoft Windows 2000 or higher, all updates installed
- Internet Explorer 5.0+, Firefox 1.1+
- broadband connection with 500+ Kbps for continuous playback on Google Video.
To play videos trough the Google Video Player, your pc must meet the following requirements:
- Intel Pentium III 1GHz
- 256MB RAM
- 16MB Video memory
• For uploading videos:
The Google Video Uploader has the following requirements:
- Windows 98 or higher, Mac 10.3 or higher, or any OS that has Java 1.4.1 or higher in order to install the Uploader
- broadband connection to upload video.
3. Installing Google Video Player and playing it
If there is a video you wish to view from video.google.com, then click the “Download” button to the right of the video, and if you don’t have the GVP installed, you will be prompted to do so. Of course, you can download the setup executable on your own from http://www.freesecuredownloads.com/free-downloads-download.html#video, or from the official website at [http://video.google.com/playerdownload]. Once you have it on your desktop, run the GoogleVideoPlayerSetup.exe application to complete the installation. When the installation is complete, the video you’ve selected will download automatically.
4. Finding videos on video.google.com
Google’s video library is expanding all the time. Considering the amount of video clips available, users often need an advanced search technology that will help them find what they are looking for. Google has responded to this need, by developing the Advanced Video Search available at http://video.google.com/videoadvancedsearch. On this page, you can specify all or just some of the words describing it; filter results by duration, price, and genre; language; duration; price; site domain. The Advanced Video Search will output results based on their relevance with the video’s title, popularity, and many other factors.
5. Buying Google Videos
Apple’s iTunes Store was the first that started selling videos online and from the day they started, internet exprets immediately understood it will be a great hit. TV fans from all over the world bought videos for about $8 million just in the first three months. Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and Google are the major competitors on the “download TV show for free” market. Google calls its system “the first open video marketplace” because of the idea that everyone is able to upload his content, from professional TV producers to neighborhood amateurs. Everything is available – complete NBA reruns, TV shows from CBS to family videos. This makes the whole market a bit chaotic, as there is a lot of contrast in terms of video quality. Therefore, some videos are copy-protected and require payment, while others are free for download and distribution. Google gets 30% of the fee you pay for a given video.
The thing about Google Videos is that some of them will self-destruct 24 hours after being downloaded, because you buy the rights just for that short period of time. That’s how we come up to the three basic categories established:
1) Commercial TV Shows – Star Trek, I Love Lucy, all games played in the National Basketball Association are available for download 24 hours after they are played, for $4 each. Sony Music Videos can be downloaded for $2 each.
2) “Pseudo-commercial” – concerts and third-tier stuff.
3) User submitted material – home movies, just like the ones you see on YouTube.com.
Videos that should be purchased have buttons saying “Buy High Quality” and “Day-Pass High Quality”. Buy High Quality is the best option, because the video doesn’t self-destruct and you can watch it whenever you want, directly from your Desktop. The Day-Pass High, are once again with high quality, but cheaper, because you must be online to view them and you got only 24 hours to do that. You must be online to view copy-protected content, because to decrypt those files, Google Video Player needs to communicate with Google servers over an active Internet connection.
To purchase Google Videos, you must create a Google Account, by entering your email address, password and payment details.
6. The GVI Format
The Google Video Player reads files in Google’s own GVI format. The Google Video Files – GVIs are a modified .avi files with an extra layer with additional information, about the type of the file – self-destructable or not. GVI video files are encoded in DiVx along with MP3 audio stream.
You can download a GVI2AVI converter from http://www.kultiras.net/programs.html. The program requires the .NET Framework.
Naevius.com is also a website from which you can download a GVI converter allowing to turn GVI into AVI and the opposite. It’s extremely easy to use, simple and clean interface.
For a fast and secure download of Google Video, go to http://video.freesecuredownloads.com