Dealing with independent video hosting and YouTube alternatives

I feel like we’re in some sort of rut with YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms being the only monopolies on uploading videos. There’s the option of choosing alternatives, but they all have flaws. Finding a PeerTube instance that’s tolerable or fitting is hard along with making one. Vimeo has such subscription plans on upload amount and file size most people wouldn’t prefer to use, and the site’s more for art/industry stuff. As for the other YouTube alternatives, they’re either very specific, lacking in features, likely to shut down early due to financial problems, or just plain bigoted. Hosting your own videos is also expensive as well for various reasons such as bandwidth, the servers, and such. And even with using file sharing services like MEGA or Dropcloud, you have to pay for more storage space each month or year. Even simple peer-to-peer file sharing has many problems to it.

There are many various issues that are either complex for people who just want to upload, or isn’t satisfying as they expected. Little to none of these problems happen when uploading or sharing in YouTube, but even YouTube has a history of problems that will never be even fixed, no matter how hard people try. Therefore, what shall we do with this giant situation?

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I just upload videos to my website, because they’re very short and don’t take up a whole lot of space (heck, some people’s images take up more space than my videos). I think that option works for many situations, as long as you pay attention to how the video is encoded and if it’s not super duper long.

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One that I’ve considered is:

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@Melvian

Regarding adding videos on websites, I have this idea of embedding videos from multiple filesharing accounts. Thankfully, they don’t take up bandwidth since the videos are not directly uploaded to Neocities.

MEGA would be my main account for uploading videos under a free plan. If I needed more space, I would have to create yet another account using my email again but with a plus sign to it (name+1@email.com, name+2@mail.com, and so on). MEGA seems to allow this, but there are problems to it. Once in a while I get an email that “MEGA misses you” so I have to go back to one of my accounts and add or remove a file before my account is removed for inactivity. It’s something I have to do occasionally. And as for the multiple email method, I feel a terrible presence that one day in the future MEGA may decide not to accept the same multiple email accounts.

Asides from MEGA, I would use https://filegarden.com/ for small videos under 100 MB, it embeds well, and it’s also free. Another option would be archive.org for long-term. I would make an account to store my videos in an archive item for others to see. The downsides of this is that you can’t make the item private or unlisted on your own, and there’s the possibility of one of the videos not being able to embed. And when it can’t embed, I’d either have to fix it or just shrug and have it be just a download link.

Whether if you want to pay for more storage or just make multiple free accounts, someone on reddit made a comparison table for cloud storage services. There are many services, but don’t use Terabox though, it’s bad. The creator of the document personally recommended Mega.io, Filen.io, kDrive, or Google Drive. And even if one or more of them don’t embed, a simple download link would be fine enough, almost like how internet users used to share videos before YouTube was made.

@arevakhach

I’ve heard about BitView before, but I was worried it was screwed over along with Vidlii. Thankfully by some miracle, BitView came back with a fresh start. Even the various videos listed are a good enough catalogue. However, some people may not prefer having to upload videos in low quality unless they get partnership to be able to upload videos in 720p. There is Vanillo to upload stuff in higher quality, but you have to pay for a plan to get some more features. Either way, one might prefer Bitview or Vanillo as a place to upload videos similar to YouTube.

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Same - compression is an art as well as a science. I’ve got 60+ videos that add up to a little under 2 hours, and they take up 280MB. I don’t mind taking the quality hit and I’m sure visitors don’t mind me using up a little less of their bandwidth than a YouTube or Twitch or whathaveyou.

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Hmmm… the only circumstances I can imagine in which a filesharing service would be advantageous would be:

  1. You can’t upload arbitrary files to your website.
  2. You don’t have enough space on your server.
  3. Video traffic is handled by a company with larger resources.

#1 is understandable if a website builder-based service is all you need. #2 can usually be solved with buying a larger plan, although it is often more expensive. Most people won’t reach a point where #3 is helpful.

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#1 and #2 are likely relative to why I wanted to use file sharing services to embed videos.

Another circumstance I can think of would be that if people are having trouble with the aforementioned bandwidth, the servers, or the encoding. The cost of self-hosting videos is another thing as well. Thus, the file sharing method would work for those who just want to upload their videos with less hassle.

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