Using video is a great way to enhance your business’s Web site and reach customers online, but how do you choose from all the quality media players out there? To help you decide, here’s a look at the pros and cons of five popular video technologies.
- Designed to be used on professional Web sites
- Flexible advertising options let you set and manage ad polices, integrate with ad servers and networks, and determine which ads play and who they target.
- You can analyze video performance and usage metrics.
- Customizable players that can match your brand and embed in your Web site
- Supports foreign languages
- Search engine optimization features
- Delivers high-definition videos
- Free version comes with unwanted ads on your videos and channels.
- The price of Brightcove is a big secret. You can’t find it on their Web site, which can be frustrating. The price depends on what you need, so you have to speak with a sales representative. Some people have reported paying as much as $6,000 a year for Brightcove Basic, $20,000 a year for Brightcove Pro, and $50,000 a year for Brightcove Enterprise.
- Standard player is free; QuickTime Pro is only $29.99.
- QuickTime Pro lets you create 3G files and use 3GPP and 3GPP2 to deliver multimedia over 3G wireless networks. It also lets you format files optimized for iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and a variety of other devices.
- Broadcaster software lets you produce live events.
- No advertisements from third parties
- Uses H.264 codec, the new industry standard for mobile multimedia, MPEG-4 HD DVD, and Blu-ray. With H.264, video is more tightly compressed to create smaller files with better quality that’s up to HD resolution.
- Customizable skins can be assigned to individual media files.
- QuickTime sprites let you add animations, such as your logo, that prompt viewers to interact.
- QuickTime VR lets you add virtual reality files that can allow customers to get a virtual, 360-degree tour of anything you want to show them.
- Live streaming is sometimes slow. A common complaint among users is having to wait for rebuffering.
- Full-screen HD
- Animation features and effects
- Enhanced graphics such as 3D, pixel shading, and deep zoom
- SEO features
- Customizable player with enhanced controls
- Security features
- Can run on Windows Mobile smartphones
- Design tools such as SketchFlow and the ability to import Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
- Applications can run in or out of the browser, online or offline.
- The ability to write .NET code
- Security features can make it difficult to access local applications and files from within your intranet.
- Interact with your customers by posting comments and tags at specific points in the video, recording a video comment, or creating a special Digg button tab.
- Share your videos via RSS, iTunes, podcasts, an application programming interface, or your own customizable video player.
- Customizable player lets you replace Viddler’s logo with your own and change the player’s color to match your company’s color scheme.
- Player links back to your Web sites when it’s embedded on other Web sites.
- Share videos with the Viddler community.
- Viddler for Business provides hosting and delivery, security, analytics, advertising support (lets you control ad selection and revenue share), and supports international character sets.
- Viddler for personal use is free, but Viddler for Business will cost you: Prices go from $100 per month plus a $140 one-time training and integration fee for the Startup package on up to $1,500 per month plus a one-time training and integration fee that’s at least $400 (depending on your needs) for the Enterprise package.
- There are hidden fees within the Business account. Viddler claims to let you upload unlimited videos, but a closer look at their pricing shows that with a Business account you can end up paying as much as a $1 a gigabyte if you go over your package’s bandwidth or storage allowance.
• Upload your videos in HD.
• Create your own customizable widgets.
• Share videos with the Vimeo community.
• Analytics let you see individual and total video stats and trends.
• Basic Vimeo is free. For $59 a year you can get Vimeo Plus, which includes (1) 5GB of upload space per week, (2) an unlimited number of HD videos, (3) the ability to embed your HD videos, (4) priority uploading, (5) full control over player customization, (6) advanced privacy options, (7) unlimited groups, channels, and albums, and (8) no banner ads.
- Vimeo’s free account comes with banner ads, only 500 megabytes of storage space a week, very basic player customization, and doesn’t allow HD embedding. Another drawback is that you can only upload one new HD video a week; upload only 10 videos per day; upload videos to only one group and one channel; and upload up to three albums.
- Vimeo Plus only lets you have 5,000 HD “plays.” After that you have to pay for each additional play.