Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blog #6 - Patrick vs. Hulu vs. Youtube

For today's episode of "video websites", the role of the observer will be played by me. This is better than allowing the role to be played by any actor from Stargate, which I watched with my wife on Hulu. While the show was uninspiring and the acting worse, what I noticed was how the site feels very corporate, for lack of a better word. It is built on just watching a show, and looking for specific shows. Things are organized formally, by series or network, and there is no way to organize it other than ways handed to you. This somewhat makes sense, given the lack of user-uploaded content. The producers want and can provide a great deal of information and categorization.

Youtube, on the other hand, is almost overwhelming in the options available. I watched replays of a professional Starcraft tournament, as I am want to do. The initial Youtube page gives me a listing of the many channels I subscribe to, and unfortunately I subscribe to many different "channels" focused on Starcraft. This made it not as easy as I might want to find the videos I cared about, but I was able to. I was also able to find multiple other videos involving the same players in other games, so after I had my initial fix I could find more. While the interface for Youtube isn't nearly as clean or intuitive (making playlists can be infuriating at times), it offers a different vision of how online watching should be done. Its about the many ties between all content, instead of the more hierarchical.

One issue that arose for me on both was that videos would crash in both Hulu and Youtube when the flash plugin would just decide to die. This is tied into my use of alpha versions of Google Chrome, however, and not necessarily as a result of the site. It is quite disruptive and annoying, however, to watch videos that require watching an advertisement before the desired video loads when multiple reloads may be required. Seeing the same, unstoppable advertisement multiple times to only get a minute or so into a video is not what I would consider a satisfying experience.

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