It’s been weeks since the Ice Bucket challenge went viral and became mainstream, but it’s still showing no signs of slowing down with more and more celebrities as well as thousands of common folks gleefully dunking themselves in frigid water to raise awareness about ALS.
Now, Sapan Diwakar from Switzerland has created a nifty website which catalogues all celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge videos. The website already has almost three hundred videos featuring a wide spectrum of well-known personalities including presidents, tech innovators, sport stars, athletes, and Hollywood and Bollywood stars. You can scroll through the list, search for your favourite celebrity, or filter by tags. The website is responsive and works well in various form factors. There’s also an accompanying Android app for those wanting their dose of Ice Bucket Challenge videos on the go. However, the app is simply a repackaged version of the website and doesn’t offer any additional functionality.
The Ice Bucket challenge was initiated to raise awareness about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Over the past month, it has managed to raise over eighty million dollars towards fighting ALS. This is massive considering that only $2.6 million was donated last year between July 29 and August 26. Right now donations are averaging $9 million per day. If you haven’t already, head over to alsa.org to learn more about ALS and contribute.
Every minute more than 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. With hundreds of thousands of videos vying for your attention, it can be challenging to find and watch videos that are actually worth your time. This is where video discovery services come in. Much like the portals of the olden days, these services scour the interwebs to identify and highlight videos you’d want to watch.
YouTube Nation is actually just a YouTube channel. Created by DreamWorks Animation, in partnership with YouTube, this is a 5 minute daily show which highlights latest viral and trending videos. Each episode is accompanied by a playlist featuring all of the content showcased in the episode. So, for every five minute episode, you often have an hour or more of associated content.
YouTube Nation is simplistic and impersonal, but I still love it because the content featured by YouTube Nation is almost always brilliant.
Reddit is often responsible for discovering fresh content and making them go viral. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, /r/videos is where you should head to. Reddit.TV is an alternate interface which makes it easy to speed through all the video shared on your favourite subreddits. However, Reddit can be very unpredictable regarding the topic and quality of the videos. If you’d prefer to only see a selection of some of the best videos, you can try Digg Videos, which is pretty much subset of Reddit’s /r/videos.
Frequency is a personalized video discovery service, which uses your social feeds as signals. Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, Reddit, and a host of other services are supported. There are literally dozens and dozens of channels. Subscribe to the ones you like, and remove the ones you don’t like to build your personalized video discovery service. If you don’t care much about personalization, you can always stick to the Top Picks section, which showcases popular videos.
BoxTV, a Times Internet service, offers subscription-based on-demand video streaming of movies, TV shows, short films, and premium video content. The service is available in India, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States aimed at Indian users or the Indian diaspora abroad. The service is conceptually similar to Hulu and Netflix in the US and fills a gaping void in India. Continue reading BoxTV: Great Idea, but Long Way to Go?
Keeping yourself updated on free-to-watch videos on the internet is quite different. You have to subscribe to different channels on different platforms, making it difficult to keep up with the latest videos.
YouTube India viewers can now purchase and download legal digital music content as the video streaming giant has integrated Flipkart along with Apple’s iTunes and Amazon’s MP3 store with the site. Viewers can simply click on the link provided in order to buy the music.
YouTube was selling content owned by EMI and Universal through digital stores like Amazon and iTunes prior to this. The iTunes integration has been there for some time, however, it’s only active with the EMI catalogue.
Free pirated music downloads are ever increasing in India and worldwide. Selling digital content in India is not just a difficult task, but a tricky one too. In the recent years, online music streaming services have seen rise in users in India. Sites like Gaana, Saavn, and Dhingana are some of the popular sites that provide free online music streaming. However, none of these offer a download/buy feature.
According to a survey by Google, almost one-third of the YouTube viewers in India access videos on their mobiles and spend over 48 hours a month on the website. Integration of Filipkart’s Flyte with YouTube is yet another route to gain traction for Flipkart.
Interestingly the download links are not just restricted to the official music channel. The links are available on music videos uploaded by any user. For instance, this song from the album The Great Ghazals – Pankaj Udhas by Pankaj Udhas was posted by a random user and is outside the official YouTube channel of Universal.
The story was first reported by Medianama earlier today.
A few days ago, YouTube released statistics for its biggest channels and it was seen that over two billion video views were missing from them. The worst hit group was Universal, which lost around 1 billion views, followed by Sony losing over 850 million views. However, the lost views were not all fake video views. This YouTube stats of two billion lost views included views from videos that were deleted over a year ago and moved to the Vevo channel instead.
Some people speculated that the real reason for these lost views was the Black Hat SEO that these music labels used to project a higher view count. However, the lost views from these channels must have appeared on Vevo, which was hosting most of these videos now. The matter was later explained by Alex Ham from Billboard, who reported,
For Universal and Sony, that meant thousands of music videos that over the past three years slowly have migrated to the VEVO channel, which is jointly owned by the two companies.
Vevo collaborated with YouTube back in 2009, and has been a major revenue generator for YouTube. However, it also caused a major change in the number of views of videos from major record labels. As the web is moving towards richer forms of media, videos have an important role to play and video views are an important factor in search ranking of videos.
Today, YouTube released a new app called Capture to make it easier for users to shoot and share video. The app offers quick and easy recording, basic editing with color correction, stabilization, trimming, and music tracks, as well as the ability to share videos on YouTube, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Once opening Capture, users can shoot new video or use existing footage from their camera roll; from there they can apply some automatic color correction filters, trim the video, and even apply a soundtrack. The app automatically starts uploading video as soon as you’re done shooting, and it also helpfully includes a landscape lock reminder to help cut down the blight of vertically-shot videos that are being taken these days.
YouTube Capture is a free download from the App Store. [Direct Link]
Google rolled out an updated YouTube layout a couple of days back. The new design makes YouTube more consistent with other Google properties. While the reaction to the new design has been mixed, one aspect of the new YouTube has drawn almost universal ire. YouTube is now left-aligned, much like Google Plus. On high-resolution displays this results in loads of white space on the right of the screen, and makes the YouTube surfing experience extremely jarring.
Fortunately, it’s rather simple to fix this design issue. All you need to do is install the “Youtube Center Aligned” user script. The script works on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. You can get the installation instructions for Firefox and Opera at UserScripts.com. To install in Chrome, simply download the userscript, open the extensions manager (Tools –> Extensions), and drag-and-drop the downloaded script onto Chrome. Alternatively you can install the Tampermonkey extension for Chrome, and then install the userscript.
Even with this script, there is a lot of wastage of screen real-estate. My favorite YouTube userscript is Unique Youtube Skin, which automatically resizes the video to make full use of your screen.
Google is now testing out a new design for YouTube, which seems to be inspired from its social networking site Google+. The company has always been experimenting with new designs and features on YouTube, however, it looks like it isn’t done yet.
According to a post shared by Chand Hamal Thakuri over on Google+, which was first reported by OMG! Chrome!, explained the new design with a screen shot of it. The new YouTube UI is user-friendly, elegantly neat with an improved navigation and tight integration with Google Plus.
The homepage (when not logged in) showcases the top most played videos. The dark menu on the left is replaced with a simple menu bar, with two options provided on the top – Now Playing and Recommended. Below that is the “Best of YouTube” in which the categories Music, Sports, and Gaming are displayed. At the bottom of the menu, there is an option to ‘Browse channels’ along with a tip that reads, “Sign in to add channels to your guide and for great recommendations!”
Once you login, it’s a different set of menu options that you get – Watch Later, Watch History, Now Playing, Recommended, and so on. On the right hand side, you will be shown a list of Recommended Channels based on your interests.
Here are some of the screen shots we managed to get:
How to Get New YouTube Design Now?
There’s a simple working trick that enables the new YouTube design right away. Although it’s a bit technical, it’s easy to implement the steps. To enable it, follow the steps below:
The war is officially on between Apple and Google with their competing mobile operating system; iOS and Android. Apple recently built their own Mapping system for iOS 6 and removed the integration with Google Maps. However, the most recent update to iOS 6 also drops the YouTube app.
According to The Verge, the removal of the YouTube app from iOS 6 was done because Apple and Google had come to an end of their licensing terms.
Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.
YouTube is probably the most popular app on the iOS operating system and Google will definitely come up with a replacement before iOS 6 is shipped to consumers. However, it looks like the default app will still be available on older iOS versions.
Apple’s decision not to renew the license for the YouTube app may be based on their thinking to get rid of as much Google dependency as possible. I won’t be surprised if Apple also decides to go with Bing as the default search engine in future. If that happens, it would be a huge blow for Google because they make a large chunk of their revenue from the search option in iOS.