YouTube offers capture app


One of those things that you would’ve thought was out already: YouTube now has a new app with which its users can capture video that is instantly uploaded to the sharing site.

Of course this’ll mean even more shared moments that might best be kept private if the uploader took a minute or two to think twice, as well as embarrassingly long takes that could’ve benefited from just a little editing…

“Life moves fast,” the company says. “To speed up recording, enhancing and sharing videos with your friends or the whole world, you can now use the YouTube Capture app on your iPhone or iPod touch. YouTube Capture is ready to record as soon as you open it. When you’re done filming, write a caption, select which networks you want to share to, and hit Share.”

You can control who sees your video by setting it to private (only you can view it), unlisted (only people with a link to the video can view it), or public (to let it shine to the world).

Actually, some editing is allowed post-upload: color correction, stabilization, and trimming the length, as well free background music can be done on YouTube.

It’s now on Apple’s App Store, and Android version is in the works.



YouTube, Facebook lead in online video viewing

Market research comScore reports Google’s sites, primarily, ranked as the top online video content property in July with 157 million unique viewers, followed by with 53 million, Yahoo! Sites with 48.7 million, Vevo with 44.8 million, and Microsoft’s sites with 42.7 million.

The latest Video Metrix service also shows more than 184 million U.S. Internet users watched 36.9 billion online content videos in July. 85.5 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video. The duration of the average online content video was 6.7 minutes, comScore says.

Americans also viewed 9.6 billion video ads in July, with each of the top 4 video ad properties delivering more than 1 billion video ads. Google ranked first, followed by Hulu,,, SpotXchange, and TubeMogul.

The duration of the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes. Video ads accounted for 20.7 percent of all videos viewed and 1.6 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.




YouTube to blur faces

Online video leader YouTube now lets content uploaders choose to have the service blur the faces of people in the clip “with the click of a button.”

“As citizens continue to play a critical role in supplying news and human rights footage from around the world, YouTube is committed to creating even better tools to help them,” YouTube says. “According to the international human rights organization WITNESS’ Cameras Everywhere report, “No video-sharing site or hardware manufacturer currently offers users the option to blur faces or protect identity.” YouTube is excited to be among the first.”

When users choose the face blurring option, a new copy is created with the blurred faces. They can then choose to delete the original video.

“Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube,” the Google subsidiary says.


YouTube automating 3D video conversion

YouTube will now automatically convert standard flat 2D videos into simulated stereoscopic movies for 3D viewing.

Last year YouTube offered tools to convert videos into 3D with a click, and since then users have “converted hundreds of thousands of videos to 3D,” the site says. Now its expanding the beta test by adding automatic 3D conversion for short-form videos uploaded in 1080p.

Users can select “3D viewing” in the Quality settings on the YouTube player, don 3D glasses, “and see YouTube in another dimension.”

For the conversions, YouTube adds it looks at video characteristics such as color, spatial layout and motion to estimate a depth map for each frame of a monoscopic video sequence. Also, machine learning from the “true 3D” videos on YouTube understands video depth characteristics, and applies them in depth estimations. The generated depth map and the original monoscopic frame create a stereo 3D left-right pair, which a stereo display system needs to display a video as 3D. “With this broader knowledge of 3D conversion, we then apply cloud computing scalability to make conversion possible.”

More information is here.


Edit videos on YouTube

Google’s video service YouTube has added on-site editing tools.

Users can stabilize hand-held footage, rotate a video, and boost the contrast and colors, YouTube says.

“Until now, when you uploaded to YouTube, your video was hosted and shared, but couldn’t really be changed,” the company adds. ‘If you wanted to trim off the end, swap out the soundtrack, or add an effect, you had to edit your video using a separate program and upload again.” Now instead users can make those changes to the uploaded files, and so also maintain the viewed counts and other attributes of the original upload. Users can also revert to the original after making edits, or save to a new file to try out multiple versions.


Pixable sifts videos

“Hundreds of millions of photos and videos are shared every day,” says online imaging service Pixable. “It’s easy to miss out on the ones that matter to you, and when you do, you’re missing important moments.”

The company is now offering a free service that scours your network, including YouTube and Facebook, to find videos shared by friends. “You’ll never miss out on a precious moment in motion again,” it says.

More information is here.

Our interview with the company founder is here.


YouTube to support Nvidia 3D

No longer limited to red/green anaglyph glasses, YouTube will support stereoscopic 3D vision technology from Nvidia.

There are already more than 6,000 3D videos n YouTube, although in other format.

Nvidia 3D vision requires a specialized PC graphics card and active shutter glasses. Nvidia already has a dedicated site,

More information is here.



YouTube to offer live video

“With over 2 billion views a day, it’s easy to think about YouTube as a place to watch videos recorded in the past,” says Google’s online service. “Today we’re announcing the initial roll out of YouTube Live, which will integrate live streaming capabilities and discovery tools directly into the YouTube platform for the first time.”

The company says that, in order to “ensure a great live stream viewing experience, we’ll roll this offering out incrementally over time.”

It won’t be open to just anyone: the YouTube Live page will display “compelling live events,” streamed by “certain YouTube partners with accounts in good standing.”


YouTube makes videos without a camera

“No video camera? No problem!” says online video service  YouTube. “Create original videos with your own photos, clips or just an idea.”

As more than 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, the company says, “it’s hard to believe that anyone is left out of the YouTube experience. But the truth is, sites like YouTube do largely leave out people who don’t have a video camera.”

And so Google’s video service launched, amalgamating the video creation sites Xtranormal, Stupeflix and GoAnimate with which anyone can “make personal videos or animations.” GoAnimate and Xtranormal Movie Maker create animated videos with just a text storyline. Stupeflix combines images into a video slideshow.




Google acquire Green Parrot Pictures to boost video quality on YouTube.

Google acquired six-year-old Irish startup Green Parrot Pictures, a developer of video stabilization and enhancement tools.

YouTube, Google’s video service,  says it now “sees 35 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute from people all over the world,” and while “some videos are beautifully shot by professionals or aspiring filmmakers using the very latest in HD cameras and equipment,” others are “shot using low-quality mobile phones and video cameras.”

The Green Parrot technology can sharpen images, reduce visual noise, and render higher-quality, steadier video, Google says. The “cutting-edge video quality improvement technology has been used in major studio productions from Lord of the Rings to X-Men to Spider-Man. Their technology helps make videos look better while at the same time using less bandwidth and improving playback speed.”

Examples are here.





YouTube acquires web video production company

YouTube acquired original web video content producer Next New Networks for a reported <$100 million.

Next New Networks “has built a highly effective platform for developing, packaging and building audiences around original web video programming, attracting over 2 billion views and 6 million subscribers across their partner networks of channels and shows,” YouTube says.

Next New Networks was founded in 2007, and is based in New York.

YouTube says its Partner Program of video producers grew to more than 15,000 partners worldwide, and the number of partners making over $1,000 a month is up 300 percent since the beginning of 2010 “and we now have hundreds of partners making six figures a year.”

However, the company says, “hundreds making a living on YouTube isn’t enough, and in 2011 we know we can and should do more to help our partners grow.”

And so, Google’s video site will launch a new program of grants and training: “YouTube Next” will help video makers produce more professional content. “Being a great platform for creators also means helping our partners get the tools and guidance they need to develop higher quality videos and drive bigger audiences to their work,” YouTube says.

YouTube entertains viewers

54 percent of original web video viewers deem them to be just as, if not more, entertaining than what they view on traditional television.

That’s one of the findings from a study of online video viewership conducted for YouTube from May 18–June 4, 2010 by Next New Networks and Frank N. Magid Associates.

“The findings confirm what many have believed for some time now,” the firms say. “There is incredible content and talent available on the Web and viewers are paying full attention and tuning in regularly.”

The study also found:
60 percent watch Web original video content weekly.
58 percent see Web originals as providing quality entertainment whenever they want it.
More than 25 percent find Web original content to be more entertaining than traditional television.
Also, viewers are 2.5 times more likely to be fully engaged in online video than their counterparts who watch traditional television programming.

YouTube tests live video streaming

For two days last week, YouTube conducted a limited trial of a new live streaming platform.

“This new platform integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels,” the company says. “All broadcasters need is a webcam or external USB/FireWire camera.”

The test featured four partner content providers: Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood.

“Based on the results of this initial test, we’ll evaluate rolling out the platform more broadly to our partners worldwide,” YouTube says.

15 minutes of Youtube fame

Online video sharing site YouTube has increased the maximum length of uploaded clips from 10 to 15 minutes.

“The number one requested feature by our creators is to upload videos longer than 10 minutes,” writes YouTube product manager Joshua Siegel. “We’ve heard you, and today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve increased the upload limit to 15 minutes.”

Siegel adds Youtube users are “encouraged to take full advantage of this new time limit… Imagine that this video is all the world will ever know about you: what would you want to communicate?”

YouTube spent “significant resources” improving its Content ID system for copyright owners. All major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube, Siegel says.

YouTube crowdsources “Life in a Day” feature film

YouTube will combine short clips into a feature film.

YouTube is developing a collaborative video project that will utilize Hollywood talent — and the videography of just about everybody.

The company bills “Life in a Day” as “a historic cinematic experiment that will attempt to document one day, as seen through the eyes of people around the world.” The project aims to “collect all of these perspectives, to aggregate and mold them into the cohesive story of a single day on earth.”

The project asks participants to “capture a snapshot of your life on camera” on July 24, and upload the clips by the 31st.

Film director Kevin Macdonald and ten assistant editors will cut the most compelling footage into a feature documentary film, working with producer/director  Ridley Scott.

The film will premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, at which 20 selected contributors will attend.

All contributed video “will live on, on the “Life in a Day” channel as a time capsule that will tell future generations what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010,” YouTube adds.

Scott’s production company will reportedly distribute 400 –500 cameras in 20 different areas in which most don’t have such hardware.

YouTube revamps mobile video, eases desktop display

YouTube this week made three significant announcements: it has revamped its mobile video site; a beta “Leanback’ web design replicates the TV viewing experience; and the site now supported an eye-popping 4k video resolution.

Most significant here is the relaunched, the mobile video website. With this effort, parent company Google is arguing that Web-based apps such as the new site can better serve the viewer than local apps such as YouTube’s own app for the iPhone.

The new site will provide better video playback quality with H.264 and HTML5, as well as a new UI designed for touchscreens, “making it easier to access videos on the go.” The new mobile site will also allow for monetizing individual videos, and offer “an improvement for users who want a more consistent YouTube across many devices, no matter where they are.”

YouTube Mobile provides more than 100 million video playbacks a day, the company says, “roughly the number of daily playbacks that was streaming when we joined forces with Google in 2006.”

Next up: “Leanback,” a new Flash-based video interface to make watching YouTube more like TV, with full-screen video display.

“YouTube Leanback wants you to conserve your energy for actually watching more videos,” a company engineer jokes on the YouTube blog. “YouTube Leanback is all about letting you sit back, relax and be entertained. Watching YouTube becomes as easy as watching TV. YouTube Leanback is currently in beta.

And finally: YouTube now supports for videos shot at 4096 by 2304 pixels — more than four times the size of 1080p HD video, and currently “represents the highest quality of video available.” However, the company notes “watching these videos on YouTube will require super-fast broadband.”

YouTube shows 14.6 billion videos in May

comScore’s Video Metrix service for May 2010 reports 183 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 34 billion online videos — up from 178 million users in April.

YouTube pulled in most of those viewers of course, and had an all-time high of 14.6 billion videos viewed, with an average of more than 100 videos per person.

The complete breakdown of who watched what and where is here.