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November 26, 2006

What's the Best Embedded Video Player?

Life Goggles compares seven online video sites: YouTube, Google Video, MSN Soapbox, Revver, Blip.tv, MyHeavy and Vimeo. One video has been uploaded to all these sites and you can see the differences between embedded Flash players, the video quality and the information displayed next to the video.

The only players that offer some information about the video are: Soapbox, MyHeavy and Vimeo, while MyHeavy lets you rate the video from the player. If we look at the video quality, Soapbox and YouTube seem to be the best and also the fastest. Revver is the only service that shows ads at the end of the video and does a revenue split with the publisher. The easiest to share are the videos from Soapbox, MyHeavy and Vimeo, that lets you copy the code directly from the player. Google Video only wins at simplicity and design.

That means Microsoft's Soapbox has the best video player. For the moment, Soapbox is an invitation-only service.

17 comments:

  1. Maybe it's because I'm on Verizon FIOS and like to download everything for later viewing, but I still find the emergence of flash video everywhere to be annoying. Turning flash on in a browser makes a myriad of annoying ads become a regular presence, and the hoops you have to jump through to save the videos to your hard disk is a pain, not to mention that quality is generally never good.

    And having that soapbox watermark at the top of the video is lousy. They should have it down where the player controls are.

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  2. I should've known that earlier.
    Yesterday I uploaded my first video to google vids and it was not really goog. So now you can't read anything I recorded.

    Hmmm, thanks for the cool blog. It's very useful for me.

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  3. I think it is important to look at compatability too. For example Vimeo, Blip.tv, Revver, Soapbox, and MetaCafe all require greater than flash 7. This means that none of them will work on linux (unless you are willing to jump through the hoops to get flash 8 or 9 installed under wine), at least not until adobe releases a newer version of flash for linux.

    Please dont start using any of the above, it makes them inaccessable for people like me.

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  4. Adam, I didn't check the Flash version required for each player, but there's a Flash Player 9 for Linux (beta).

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  5. The player looks good to, though it has some usability bugs -- e.g. I can't seem to click on a point in the timeline, only drag-and-drop the slider to move there.

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  6. We need a universal embed-able flash video player. It would be possible if someone reverse engineer all the flash players out there. Anyone?

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  7. Universal embedable flash video player. What's that?

    These players are not quite rocket science. They get a FLV file as an input and play it. If you want to upload a video to say Google Video and play it anywhere (YouTube, Soapbox etc.), it shouldn't have to be very difficult. MyHeavy already does that (look at the URL).

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  8. Hi,

    I ran a similar comparison some time ago specifically for screencasts.

    Quality issues for screencasts are somewhat different from regular video, in the same way that jpg is better for pictures, and gif better for vector images.

    I ranked the sites on openness, quality and ease of use, and found Revver en Blip.TV to be the best.

    Have a look at my comparison of online video sharing sites.

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  9. Hi,
    Thanks for posting a link to my site, I thought you might like to know that the page you linked to now has 25 different video sharing sites on it. I've also recently posted a matrix comparing their features http://www.lifegoggles.com/?p=233 (which will appear in more detail in my eBook). If there is anything else you think it’s worth including then please let me know! Many thanks.

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  10. I've found a killer player - JW Media Player - but the only problem is you have to nearly be a programmer in order to figure it out (killing my brain) and their forum is a bunch of smug-ass, in-joke havin' PRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Have a google on this player and maybe HARASS the hell out of the creator (Jeroen Wijeren) to ultra-simplify it. I wanted to use it to embed videos on my Live Spaces page, but I could never get anyone to answer my questions even though I left detailed accounts as to the problems I was experiencing. Oh, well. I guess he doesn't want MORE customers who'd flock to him with ease-of-use issues having been tamed - STILL looking for a "brandless" player (don't want anyone's name on the player and I need the ability to incorporate a playlist function -which this does).

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  11. Take a look at Flowplayer (flowplayer.org). After visiting the site I bet your search is over. It's all there: streaming, plugins, impressive javascript API, forums, support, great looks and documented.

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  12. Hi,

    I recently bought best online video player from hdwebplayer.

    As a programmer, i am amazed with the features in the player which Built in flash version AS3 that supports all streaming servers with lot of features with instant support

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  13. Hi,

    I was looking for a video player that I could use it on my site, especially for YouTube streaming and I ended up using this one: http://www.flashxml.net/youtube-vimeo-player.html because has a nice look, you can create a playlist (this is essential for me, also) and has a lot of features. I highly recommend you to try it.

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  14. how do we use soapbox player? is there any developer site ? how can i learn to use it?

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