Perhaps unsurprisingly given Google’s now somewhat defunct plans for GoogleTV, YouTube has been one of the glaring omissions from the Roku platform. But not any longer. Roku has announced that a YouTube channel is now available on the Roku 3 in USA, Canada, UK and the Republic of Ireland. Older Rokus will be getting the channel next year, though the exact timing is unclear. For non-Roku owners, a channel is roughly equivalent to an app on other platforms.
The YouTube channel supports full 1080p HD and the press release suggests that subscriptions will carry over from other platforms so that your favourites can easily be seen on the Roku. The new channel also features “Send to TV”, which after pairing, lets you send a YouTube video from your smartphone or tablet for viewing on the Roku.
As a Roku 2 XS owner, I’m delighted but will have to wait a bit longer until I get the YouTube channel on my device (unless Santa has a surprise for me). Sadly, it will be one less reason to turn on my Nintendo Wii, especially with the HD support on the Roku.
In the last couple of days there have been thousand of takedown notice issued involving gaming footage on Youtube. There are now a number of reports that both individuals and companies that upload gaming footage are being deluged with copyright claims. The claims don’t appear to be coming from the gaming developer in fact many of them including Capcom and Blizzard has offered to help those effected. Many takedown claims are being issued by the companies that own the copyrights to the background music for gaming videos, companies such as IDOL which is a music distribution firm and Bafta (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts). In fact to make things worse many of the take down notices appear to be coming from companies that don”t have the copyrights or companies that are no longer in business. The takedown notices are being issued through the Automated Content ID system, which was recently updated. The system is now flagging videos which previously had been missed. Most of these videos involve cut scenes, game play, outtakes and in-game music.
Many of the companies and individuals that are being effected including major player such as TheRadBrad, GhostRobo and Machinima depend on these Youtube videos for their revenue when videos are pulled no revenue is coming to them. While the takedown occur automatically an appeal can take days even weeks to be settled. The videos may still visible to the user, but the revenue is now going to the copyright holders instead of the individual or companies that uploaded and created the videos. Some people think that this is related to the changes that are supposed to be coming in January in relationship to Affiliates and Managed users and the monetization review process, although that is yet to be confirmed.
Google’s response appears to be less than adequate, basically stating if you don’t like it appeal. This is going to take a while to sort out, it appears there are very few winners in this story. The people who are producing the videos are losing revenue, the game developers are losing free advertisement and viewers maybe losing the ability to see well-developed and useful gaming videos. In my opinion this appears to be another case of copyright enforcement gone amuck.
Have you noticed an increase in the amount of spammy comments on your YouTube page in the past few weeks? You aren’t alone. YouTube has acknowledged on its Creator Blog that they have received a lot of feedback from creators about the increase in comment spam.
The increase in spammy comments began after YouTube decided to make new YouTube comments powered by Google +. The idea was that this would allow the content creators on YouTube to more easily see the comments from the people that mattered to them (like their friends, for example). Instead, something unexpected happened. The YouTube Creators Blog notes:
While the new system dealt with many spam issues that had plagued YouTube comments in the past, it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them.
To combat this problem with spam comments, YouTube is going to do some updates. The updates will include better recognition of bad links and impersonation attempts, improved ASCII art detection, and a change to how long comments are displayed. They are working on improving comment ranking and moderation of old-style comments. YouTube is also going to release tools that will allow creators to do bulk moderation soon.
Google has created a real identity mess. Between my original YouTube account and my main Gmail account, I have somehow ended up with two separate Google identities with no easily apparent way of straightening things out.
Of course I had a YouTube account long before YouTube was purchased by Google. Once Google owned YouTube, they seemed to merge my previously-existing YouTube identity with my main Gmail identity. Google seemed to have a single identity across all Google-owned properties and all seemed to be well.
What The$&!@%&)& Were They Thinking?
That is, until now. Somehow I now have two separate Google identity “channels” when it comes to both YouTube and Google+. Of course, the 236 existing videos I have uploaded to YouTube over the years were on my original YouTube sign-in. Maddeningly, if I now make comments with that original sign-in they DO NOT appear on the Google+ identity that I have invested my time and effort into since the inception of Google+ that seems to be tied to what I thought was my main Google identity.
Google’s very unhelpful “Help” suggests that the only way to correct the situation is to delete and re-upload the videos under the so-called “channel” identity I wish to use. Are they insane? Of course, I’m NOT going to do that.
If I post comments in YouTube they will go to the Google+ identity that will only receive YouTube comments, rendering my regular Google+ identity less valuable.
If I’m forced to keep switching back and forth between these two separate identities (that somehow magically share the same Gmail address and password) in order to make a post to the Google+ identity I’ve invested my time and effort into, the net result is likely that I will completely avoid the hassle of switching back and forth and just forget about posting to Google+.
The net effect is that I now have a genuine disincentive to avoid using Google+.
People are always going on and on about how smart the folks at Google are overall. Really? With this move, perhaps not so much…
Your Android and iOS apps are getting some interesting upgrades. Especially one that allows you to go offline and still watch the video.
YouTube announced a host of new updates on their official blog, as well as letting partners know of the upcoming changes:
We’re always exploring ways to bring more viewers to your content. As part of this effort, later this year we’ll launch a new feature on YouTube’s mobile apps that will help you reach fans — even when they’re not connected to the Internet.
This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.
This is part of our ongoing updates to give people more opportunities to enjoy videos and channels on YouTube mobile. Check out the YouTube blog when this launches in November for more details on how this will work for viewers.
The YouTube Team
Other new features include a new explorer feature: you can keep looking through YouTube while your video is playing in the bottom-right corner. You can also search and browse channels for playlists on mobile apps, then watch the videos back-to-back. Finally, Youtube added the Cast button so you can send your videos to Chromecast, PS3, Google TV or other devices that accept the protocol.
These options (other than offline viewing) are available with the update.
Virgin Mobile is running a new video on Youtube. It’s called “Blinkwashing”. You will need a webcam connected to your computer, which the YouTube page will calibrate your face and blinking. This will act as a remote control to switch the video up.
Every time you blink, the video changes. It doesn’t lose place in the video; it just moves to another video with the exact same script. Blink your eyes and you see two girls talking on the phone about Virgin mobile. Blink again and you see an aerial view of police cars and the script sounding like its coming from the CB. Blink again and two bikers are arm wrestling.
It doesn’t matter how many times you blink, the channel will change. If you don’t blink at all, the video will continue on. There is everything from a clown to a karaoke channel talking about Virgin Mobile.
When I tried this on my Macbook Pro, it worked like a charm. However, on my desktop sits an older Logitech 9000 webcam which brought problems. You won’t be able to do this on mobile devices.
Could this be the start of something new? There is a possibility. Other head movement instructions could turn Youtube videos into a “Choose your own adventure” video. Want to walk through a door on the left – turn your head to the left.
In the meantime, I think I’m going to switch over to Virgin Mobile now…
YouTube on Friday opened the flood gates to shows in good standing and are allowing shows with a minimum of 100 subscribers to get access to their Live Streaming Platform.
It has only been a couple of months since they opened it to shows with 1000 subscribers. We all knew this was coming but it is really great news for podcasters that are doing live shows.
Lets talk about the impact here.. Companies like Ustream have their ProBroadcasting services where you can purchase up to 100 ad free hours for $99.00. While YouTube does not guarantee ad free streaming, so far their ads have been non-obtrusive.
One of the reasons I had stopped using Ustream as a primary streaming provider was that the ads in their “free streams” became intrusive. No one minds a company making money when they are providing a free service but the ads on Ustream were driving my audience away and was the #1 complaint for months.
On YouTube partner sites get to share in the revenue of any advertising run which incentives folks to start using YouTube as their primary live platform.
This change has to impact the bottom line of companies like Ustream, how will these companies survive this is my next question. The provided production tools Ustream provides may help, but it is obvious that YouTube understands where the media space is headed..
The best part about the YouTube Live experience is that you get to promote it on your own sites with the video embed, and you can cross promote your YouTube Channel. This is a win for content producers. See the other announcements YouTube made as well
The Lollapalooza music festival has been around for quite some time, originating with Perry Ferrell and Jane’s Addiction. The concert series persists, and will take place this weekend in Chicago — in fact, starting today at 2:30pm CST, taking place from Grant Park and featuring more than 20 artists.
Best of all, those who didn’t, or couldn’t get tickets or travel to the Windy City need not worry. because sitting on the sofa will yield the same live action as the expensive tickets and trip to the city. Now the difficult part is up to you — spending your weekend being lazy! Personally, I plan to utilize my Google TV for the big screen experience.
It is the biggest time of the year for tennis fans, as the annual Wimbledon tournament has rolled around once again. This year the showcase of the sport can be watched, not only if pay the money and fly to England, not only on your TV, but also right on you computer — or a set top box with the right app.
Google, through its YouTube subsidiary, has announced that users will be able to “catch the key moments of the tennis, interviews, behind the scenes and press conferences throughout the Wimbledon fortnight. You can also relive all the glory days of Wimbledon’s golden moments, such as one of the greatest matches ever played”.
The action kicks off this Monday, June 24th, and will be free for customers. To pull this of, the video service partnered with Rolex to sponsor the coverage. Catch the action at http://www.youtube.com/user/Wimbledon.
Do you want to get a slow motion video of cars passing by but don’t have the special camera to do that? YouTube is helping you out on that one.
Today YouTube released Slow Motion – a new enhancement to slow a video down 50%, 25% or 12.5%. The only caveat – Your video cannot go over 10 minutes in slow motion.
As we start to use our YouTube Live Events accounts, we will need editing tools to clean up the picture and round the edges. YouTube has already added a Stabilizer, Instagram-type effects to add Sepia, vignettes, pixelation, cartoon looks and more. You can white balance, add fill light, reduce saturation and more.
It doesn’t replace video with a 240 or 500 frame per second high-speed camera – like the Slo-Mo guys use. It will smooth out the slower video so it doesn’t look jittery. YouTube needs to blend frames to make this happen. Even a GoPro Hero 3 might be better if you record at 120 fps.
Before – After using Slow Motion Enhancement tool on YouTube
First video – me playing drums, then slowed to 25%. Next video – a shot of Madison WI Capital, then slowed to 25%. All edited using YouTube editor.