I wanted to upload a 25 min/525 MB video to a video sharing site recently. I found myself out of options. Ever since Google Video stopped allowing new uploads, there is no other site where you could upload a video this long, at that file size, without having to upgrade to some sort of paid account. Still, there’s one site that gets my vote for being a whole lot friendlier to its users.
First, let’s look at what’s available.
They’re the giant with the huge market share. We already know we’re up against the 10-minute limit there, which can only be lifted if you’re some sort of government or news organization.
The nice part about YouTube is that they’ll allow video clips to be up to 2 GB in size, but I do wish there’d be a way to lift that 10-minute limit, at least for some of the videos we upload, say, something like 1 video per month can be up to 30 minutes in length, or something like that. There’s no Pro option at YouTube, although it’d be nice if there was a low-cost one that would have longer time limits for uploads.
Vimeo is up next. It’s a much smaller site than YouTube, but it’s geared more toward video pros and amateurs, people who tend to do more with their videos than just turn on a webcam and hit record. If you have a free account there, you’re up against a 500 MB weekly limit, which is generous, but in my case, it turned out to not be enough.
The Pro option at Vimeo is $60/year, and it ups the weekly quota to 5 GB (from 500 MB), with unlimited HD uploading. It’s pretty cool, but since I don’t work with a lot of video, it’s not the option for me.
SmugMug has NO free video uploads, but they offer that option to those with paid accounts (Power and Pro users). I have a Pro account with them, which lets me sell digital downloads and prints of my photos very easily. I appreciate that a lot. The Pro account also lets me upload SD and HD video, but the really annoying part, the part that gets me steamed up, is that I’m limited to 10 minutes in length and 600 MB in file size per video clip.
I’m sorry, but that’s even lower than YouTube standards! Why am I paying $130/year when the video uploads are so hamstrung? I don’t care so much that the codecs used for compressing the uploaded videos are better than those at YouTube; I happen to care when I can’t upload a video and have paid for a Pro account…
SmugMug should seriously reconsider upping their limits to 30 minutes per video and at least 1 GB per file. They’re behind the times.
I got a really pleasant surprise when I checked into Facebook’s video upload requirements.
They have a 20 minute limit and 1 GB file size limit per video clip. In my opinion, that’s better than what YouTube, Vimeo and SmugMug provide. The best part is that they’re free. As far as I’m concerned, they get my vote for the best online video offering. It may not be the highest-quality compression, and it may not be the biggest free offering, but I think they’ve struck a great compromise between video clip duration and size.
I should mention that WordPress also has a video upload option, which I reviewed recently, but have not included here because it’s tied into their blogging platform. They have no standalone video upload and share option.
There you have it. If you want to share larger videos online, use Facebook.