YouTube offline – who cares?

(via AJCann) So YouTube are going to allow people to download videos. Some, eg Stanford, will be free, and others you can pay for. Viewing online, ie streaming is still free.

Isn't this a bit pointless really? I guess their model is iTunes, but I don't think people want to take their YouTube videos with them in the same way they do their music. And as I opined in a previous post, ownership ain't what it used to be – how often do I really need to access a YouTube clip but not have access? Not enough to make me want to buy anything surely? And it's not as if the trend is towards lower connectivity is it? There's nothing wrong with it, just seems a bit late in the day really.

All of which means this is a post to say 'nothing to see here'.

6 Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s pointless. I constantly get asked for “hard copies” of videos I give away freely online. YT is *the* video distribution channel. It’s the place where teenagers look for information – before checking Google or Wikipedia. It has an emerging community and culture (memes, etc). Pointless? Quite the opposite. It’s going to be what Google Video was always intended to be. The initial YT dl offering may not be faultless, but they’re in the testing phase. This has major potential. Movie distribution cannot be far behind.
    (Wish they get RSS sorted out properly though).

  2. I can see BobK99’s point about it being useful for teachers who’s school blocks YT. But I’m not convinced – why do people ask you for copies of your video that’s online? Isn’t that just an old habit, like asking for a copy of a paper? They’re not accustomed to it being online meaning they own it (in a sense).
    Film distribution? Maybe, although I’d argue iTunes is the main distribution channel. And, as I argued before – why own it if it was always available anyway? Maybe they’ll do pay per view, that I could see.So I disagree Alan, I don’t think it has major potential. Fight! fight! Fight!

  3. Connectivity, bandwidth and usage restrictions/caps/problems haven’t been eliminated yet and won’t be for the forseeable.
    So people who might care, off the top of my head:
    * Tube commuter who likes to look at videos en route
    (no connectivity underground)
    * Teenager using an Eee with a PAYG 3G dongle (more than happy to trade time fiddling on/offline versions for a few pence worth of download credit)
    * Home user with a cheapo ADSL account with very tight usage cap
    etc.
    Not a huge deal but a useful extra feature, I think.

  4. Bandwidth is an issue for some, but sense of “ownership” is the bigger issue, particularly when people feel they are putting their arse on the line by using technology, e.g. in a lecture theatre. (Can I say “arse” here? Arse. Seems to work OK). My point is that if download opens up the content to more people, that’s good. And there is clear evidence that there is a technophobic population for whom this route might ease their concerns.

  5. 1. The ability to download YouTube videos on a Creative Commons license lets people sample off of YouTube in order to remix something into their own original content.
    2. If you know you’re going to be without internet access for a prolonged period this allows you to stockpile some videos to entertain yourself.
    I think this is a good idea that they should have implemented a while ago.

  6. Martin, do you have teens? If so, think about how much video they (at least mine) rip to their iPods to watch on the bus or when they’re killing time.
    When you factor in how much time they’ll spend on Youtube on their computer, I actually think it’s a big deal.
    In the interest of OA, should some progressive educator make their lectures available on Youtube instead of something like iTunesU, then there might even be a big upside for mobile educational ends.

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