Preliminary Review of Self-Published Media Sites

I've gotten a little deeper into sites which allow you to post video and images, or send all kinds of files. Some of these have commenting and ranking systems and various other community forums. I tried to be pretty exhaustive, but I may well have missed something late and great. Go ahead and share if you know of something I and others should look into. I'm going to select about five from this or my other list from a few weeks ago to send some videos from my public access center. Then I'll post all about THAT. Won't it be fun?

www.zippyvideos.com
This is the self-proclaimed "web's leading FREE video hosting community". It's free, has a 20 MB limit, and offers a community to interact with. Without an account, you can upload a 10 MB file as an "anonymous user". The more you upload, get viewers, leave comments, etc. you get more points and some potential to win prizes. There was a little stalling for buffering when I watched a video on my 2+ year old Mac, but a second time it played straight through. Other videos just weren't great quality (though interesting subject matter sometimes), even from users with very high points. And the user with the most points had some videos with "aphrodisiac" in the title, and many commenters asked him how to remove the "family filter". Inconsistent image and content quality.

www.jusspress.com
Site not available at time of review. They promise they're drinking lots of Red Bull and getting it back up soon.

www.audioblog.com
This isn't free, and I couldn't watch as a non-member. You can upload audio of up to 100 MB. It doesn't say what size limit for video. You get 5 GB of bandwidth for $4.95 and a buck for each additional gig you need.

tv.oneworld.net
This site isn't exactly up our alley, but is very interesting. It comes from an organization that promotes human rights and development. It seems to be high-quality video and a lot of written material to give context. This is basically educational and humanitarian content. Membership is open to people with relevant subject matter that want to "effect positive change through video", and includes organizations and individuals from all over the world. Non-members and members alike can watch all videos, and cross-posting is possible. There is not a lot of censorship. For instance, I watched a video about female circumcision in Africa and other parts of the world that was quite graphic. I'm not having any luck finding out the limit on file sizes. Membership is free.

www.outloud.tv
I saw somewhere that this Dutch site involves uploading video from internet to TV, or something like that. I can't get in. Hope this is the right site, I googled "outloud" and found this. It says it's loading "OUTLOUD! Crossmedia jukebox", which sounds right, but it doesn't load.

OK, found a bit more courtesy of Daniell Krawczyk's recent blog entry on 10speed.ltc.org (this is based at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation). Outloud is apparently the "World's largest local network, carrying 3 television and 6 radio channels" and it offers a large amount of community media. People can make videos under 3 minutes, upload them, get them ranked and have them put on TV. Outloud is run by some type of access center in Amsterdam called Salto, whose site is also down!

http://wearethemedia.com/
This blog calls itself a "news source for video-bloggers and grassroots media-makers". It links to sites of leading vloggers (referred to as "reporters") in the left sidebar, and it references a lot of new ones, too. It archives by the month and has good categorizations , such as "tips and tricks" or "interviews". I wonder how the "best posts" are selected, since I don't see a rating system. WATM uses WordPress blog software and the videos are hosted by blip.tv.

www.blip.tv
Blip is a free site for vlogging, podcasting and sharing. You can get automated uploading to Internet Archive if you choose. Blip is RSS-equipped, supports Creative Commons licensing and allows cross posting. They are a member of Video Vertigo, who is "brainstorming the future of video syndication." The videos seemed to be of medium quality. Commenting is enabled and posts are classified by keywords. Apparently this is still Beta, but it looks fine to me. I can't see what the file size limitation is. There's a wiki and even that doesn't say.


I found the following services on a site called Steve's Forums. They're for people who want free file storage for images and video. Most allow commenting and some have discussion forums of other kinds. The author of this list likes putfile and imageshack, and also recommends MSN, Yahoo and Kodak. It seems still images are his main area of interest. I reviewed the sites with posted URLs with regard to our interest in online video distribution of community media. My comments are after my initials, CTH, and other people's remarks appear in quotes.

http://www.myimagebuddy.com
5 MB upload
"the most reliable host on the net"
CTH: Images, possibly animations too. Don't think video, so not as interested. Didn't create an account yet, so I didn't get to check out what they had. Yes, this is free and hosts without expiration. The bit about ‘most reliable image host' comes straight from their site.

http://www.youtube.com/
100 MB upload
"best video site ever for free"
CTH: This is comprehensive. Videos don't look too bad at all and are sorted by factors such as most viewed, most commented-on and keywords. There's tons of dumb commenting, of course. There are quite a lot of commercial videos; I saw a bunch in sports from Nike or Adidas and SkySports, which seems to be a satellite network. Star rating system in place.

http://www.freevideoblog.com/
150 MB upload
CTH: That's a lot of MB! And yeah, it's good image quality. Takes just a moment for videos to start. Sorted by categories "Anime, Basketball, Cat, Dancing, Dogs, Drunk People, Extreme Sports, Fights, Funny, Iraq War, Kids, Music Video, Myspace, Paintball , School, Skate, Slideshows, Soccer, Star Wars, Video Game." There's a rating system and a place to leave comments.

http://www.yousendit.com/
free file site 1 G file direct send
CTH: This is a site where you can send a file to someone else directly. A gig is a whole lot. You file gets removed after 7 days or 25 downloads, whichever comes first. It claims to be a very fast and safe service.

http://www.putfile.com/
2 MB image load, 25 MB video load ("quick upload 10 MB")
CTH: Many of these videos aren't of high quality. I experienced problems with videos stopping to buffer, although this was on an iMac which may lack sufficient processor speed. There is room for comments and also some kind of voting scheme, because there are Top 50 lists for the current week and all time. The opening screen doesn't have clips, categories or explanation about the ranking; maybe you only get to see that when you register. But I think that's a bad idea.

http://www.imageshack.us
1025K image load
CTH: Hmm, this is still images, not video. Not so interesting to us.

http://www.clipshack.com
50 MB beta by OldHacer
CTH: This looked promising, half-decent clips on the "public" site. But they don't play well at all, even for a beta site. And more of the site's utility as it develops will be aimed at paying members, although some parts will remain public.

http://www.vimeo.com/
20 MB per week upload space
CTH: I like this one, although it lacks viewer comments or rating systems. "Friends" can link to each other. But there are interesting videos that play well. The guys who started it work for the company who does College Humor. I wonder if the most-viewed videos are most prominently displayed. I suppose some of this becomes transparent when you register. The beta version launched in February '05. I guess the testing's over if that's not plastered on the screens you see. It's still free, and the quality's very decent for clips of small size.

http://www.myimagebuddy.com
music for your editing
CTH: We don't need this...

http://www.freeplaymusic.com/
CTH:...or this.

http://www.megaupload.com
Max File Size: 250 MB (used to be 500 MB)
File deleted if not downloaded for 30 days
CTH: This is for sending files up to 250 MB. It's sponsored by Jamster and has a load of links to advertisers as well as banner ads from the sponsor, which can be a turnoff. I guess the warning means that people need to receive your transmission within a month or it won't be on the host site to be downloaded anymore. Don't know if that's typical.

http://www.turboupload.com
Max File Size: 70 MB
CTH: This allows files of up to 70 MB to be sent. That seems medium-sized.

http://www.picapic.net
Max File Size: 60 MB
CTH: The layer ads are a bit of a nuisance. The videos aren't bad. Recent uploads are on the intro screen; "most popular" uploads will be linked from a button, but the feature isn't enabled yet. Files are sorted into some categories by keywords, and viewing is tracked, but there isn't any ranking or commenting for viewers to do.

http://www.psychohost.com
Max File Size: 50 MB
Everything else unlimited.
CTH: This site had prominent web directory links and seems to be like a search engine. There's some kind of movie theme in the left sidebar, but when you click on Chinatown or Key Largo, guess what you get. Yeah, real estate sites. I'm jumping ship on this one.

http://www.freeuploader.com
Max File Size: 50 MB
CTH: This is pretty straightforward. It allows any files of up to 50 MB to be uploaded. They can be stored on dedicated servers. I don't see anything about expiration dates if noone downloads your files.

http://www.ushareit.com
Max File Size: 50 MB
CTH: Same as freeuploader.com (entry above this one).

http://www.wirefiles.com
Max File Size: 50 MB
CTH: This one looks a little different than the two previous ones. It may not deliver the promised 50 MB of storage. Intro screen suggests it's 5.72 MB. But it does offer file hosting. There are lots of Google ads here.

http://www.xshare.us
Max File Size: 50 MB
CTH: The domain's on sale for $200. It does link to other hosting sites and reviews thereof.

http://www.uploadhut.com
Max File Size: 50 MB
CTH: Same as freeuploader and ushareit, basically.

http://www.gigashare.com
Max File Size: 50 MB (multiple files upload option)
CTH: Images can be up to 2 MB and videos up to 50 MB. Multiple file uploads--no kidding! You can apparently send 25 files at once, and that's pretty cool.

http://illhostit.com
Max File Size: 40 MB
CTH: Someone claimed that you can upload 40 MB free, but I see nothing about free services on the site, which is pretty spare and lacking in detailed info. The paying levels are prominently featured, from a 400 MB Family Plan for $.99/month to Designer Plan of 7000 MB for $19.99/month.

http://www.filebuffer.net
Max File Size: 40 MB
Everything else seems to be unlimited
CTH: This is apparently a Bosnian site that allows files of up to 40 MB which can be downloaded unlimited times but apparently only up to two weeks. That's as much as I can decipher here.

http://www.35mb.com
Max File Size: 35 MB
Free registration required
Everything else is unlimited
CTH: This offers unlimited downloads and data transfer. Storage size starts at 35 MB, but can grow as large as you want if enough people download it. They add 1 MB to your "disc space limit" every time someone downloads your file.

http://www.swiftdesk.com
Max File Size: 30 MB
Free registration required
CTH: There is file storage for up to 30 MB on this comprehensive site of Internet services, which are mostly or all free, including e-mail and Web pages.

http://falcon.o-wh.com
Max File Size: 30 MB
CTH: The server can't be found on my browser. I can try again later?!

http://www.ripway.com
Max File Size: 30 MB
Free registration required
CTH: It's a Web hosting and file sharing service of up to 30 MB.

http://www.myfilestash.com
Max File Size: 25 MB
Free registration required
CTH: It's an image hosting and file storage site. You can get 25 MB of free file storage and 2,000 MB of monthly data transfer. The latter seems pretty high.

http://www.myfileshack.com
Max File Size: 25 MB
Free registration required
CTH: The shack is morphing into a hut. All users of FilePost.us, myFileCabin.com, myFileShack.com and FreeFileBin.com have to register with myFileHut.com and transfer their files. And it allows 250 MB for free. Hey, cool! That's one of the more generous free uploading/hosting deals. Hotlinking and storing is allowed. There are forums for discussion. Just to reiterate, that's myFileHut that offers this.