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November 8, 2007

YouTube's Bulk Uploader

YouTube launched a multi-video uploader that lets you upload videos that are up to 10 minutes in length and up to 1GB in size. You need to install a software (Windows-only, for now), but you'll upload videos from your browser.

The advantages are that you can upload bigger files, you can select more than one video (even all the videos from a folder) and it's allowed to leave the page while the videos are uploaded. The disadvantages: YouTube installs an application that runs in the background and automatically launches at startup. Youtubeuploader.exe uses a lot of memory even when you're not uploading videos to YouTube and also launches Google Updater.

Google Video has a similar tool, but it doesn't work from a browser and you can't enter the metadata before uploading your videos. On the other hand, Google Video doesn't mention any limits for your videos.

A blog post from March 2006 explains why YouTube decided to limit uploads to short videos. "We've gotten a fair amount of emails lately about the new 10 minute limit we've implemented for video uploads. For those of you not familiar with this change, we've always had a 100MB file limit for uploads. We also recently implemented a 10 minute length limit. This change won't impact the vast majority of our users. We know that over 99% of videos uploaded are already under 10 mins, and we also know that most of our users only watch videos that are under about 3 minutes in length. (...) We poked around the system a bit and found that these longer videos were more likely to be copyrighted videos from tv shows and movies than the shorter videos posted."

On a related note, YouTube introduced more categories from which you can select when flagging videos. "When users flag a video, it is reviewed by real-life humans at YouTube who check to see if the video should be removed, age-restricted or left alone," explains YouTube. I think it's hard to decide when a video infringes copyright or YouTube's policies, but it could be an interesting exercise to launch a new YouTube section that contains flagged videos, where "trusted" users could vote if the videos deserve to be removed.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.