Google "killed the video star"
April 16, 2011 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Google has announced that "on April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback". If you happen to have uploaded video on Google Video, you have until May 13, 2011 to download uploaded videos.
posted by Mike Mongo (148 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nooo! Not all the Hovind videos!

They belong in a museum! Where they show cavemen next to the t-rex!
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:16 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's sad that when I saw this new today on reddit with one of their typically altruistic "let's save the unique videos there, who know of any?" posts, the comments were full of things that weren't unique to google video. I'm sure we'll be losing a lot more than any effort could catalog.

Google, remember that motto you had about doing no evil? This is evil, no matter how much business sense it seems to make.
posted by Catblack at 9:20 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Relevant Archive Team page.
posted by feckless at 9:20 PM on April 16, 2011


Shamefully forgot the link.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:21 PM on April 16, 2011


I wish Google would at least be nice about it and either give the video files to the archive team, or, better yet, convert it to YouTube. I mean, they own YouTube, and this is content that could enrich YouTube.

Is there a legal reason they can't do this? Or are they just taking the path of least resistance?
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:23 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is a little awkward, but FishBike and I were collaborating on a much bigger post with backlinks to tons of old Google Video FPPs from over the years... Mike Mongo, would you mind if I posted that? It's almost finished.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:24 PM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


(Counting, I've got 37 posts outlined so far, can get the rest done in twenty minutes or so, and can add more from pre-2006 if I delay posting it until the morning, for some nice lazy Sunday viewing.)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:32 PM on April 16, 2011


Hey, Jason Scott, Archive Team Mascot, here.

Yeah, this one's pretty boner by Google's standards. Granted, not allowing further uploads two years ago was a "warning sign" of sorts... but then they do nothing with the data for those two years and essentially give people less than a month to get all their video off? And make it so things are unbrowsable within 2 weeks? Weaksauce with a capital Weak.

Good thing I was recently hired by archive.org as an archivist, specifically for this reason. I've been given access to, among other things, archive.org's vast storage capabilities to store anything the team grabs, while figuring out what happens next.

Archiveteam's got a bunch of people doing downloading. We can always use more. There's a number floating around that there's 2.8 million videos on there.

I've gone ahead and scraped the docids of 802 videos with the word "Hovind" in the metadata, and now have one of the scrapers downloading them. If there are other unique things I should be cherrypicking, let me know.
posted by jscott at 9:35 PM on April 16, 2011 [117 favorites]


Part of the Page reorg? Salar Kamangar was recently put in as head of YouTube reporting to Page, guess Google Video is an orphan. Wonder how many other products are on the chopping block. I am very curious as to how Google will fare after this massive shakeup.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:35 PM on April 16, 2011


It's a pity. Well before YouTube, they hosted much longer videos, and allowed downloading in an .avi-like format.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:35 PM on April 16, 2011


Rhaomi, do you mean as a comment or as a separate post? The second would require moderator assent as well, I assume. For my part, the very question I was about to ask was whether anyone had a good source for an overview of the really creamy-creamy-top stuff on GV.
posted by dhartung at 9:36 PM on April 16, 2011


I wish Google would at least be nice about it and [...] convert it to YouTube. I mean, they own YouTube, and this is content that could enrich YouTube.

My thoughts exactly, mccarty.tim. In fact, those have been my thoughts since the YouTube buyout.

Why the heck have YouTube and Google Video existed as separate entities for five years? That's just bonkers.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:38 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I could reformat it as a comment maybe. It's just that I had a lot of above-the-fold background attached, and figured a giant video linkdump would make more sense to post during the morning when more people reading would have time to watch than in the middle of the night (relative to the majority of the userbase).

This post seemed kind of thin, so it seemed alright to put up something bigger that was already close to done, if the OP doesn't mind.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:42 PM on April 16, 2011


There goes a good chunk of Something Awful Let's Plays from 2008. :\
posted by Redfield at 9:44 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there a legal reason they can't do this?

DMCA Safeharbor, presumably.

You post something that violates copyright to Youtube, DMCA indemnifies Google as long as it follows the Safeharbor provisions.

Google itself posts something to Google-owned Youtube, it's not user generated content, so no Safeharbor.

I guess. IANAL, TINLA.
posted by orthogonality at 9:45 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It seems to me (perhaps incorrectly) that Google loses interest in things rather quickly. They've let problems with Blogger linger for ages, and are now letting Google Video die an ignoble death.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 9:45 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rhaomi, why not just reformat it as a big comment? It would be a nice treasure for people browsing the post to find. :)
posted by zarq at 9:45 PM on April 16, 2011


(I'm basing that on what happened in previous thread collisions here and here and in various rushes to obit/newsfilter posts, FWIW, not presuming.)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:47 PM on April 16, 2011


Hey, Jason Scott, Archive Team Mascot, here.

I've gone ahead and scraped the docids of 802 videos with the word "Hovind" in the metadata, and now have one of the scrapers downloading them. If there are other unique things I should be cherrypicking, let me know.


Um, yeah, Jason.... I think the worry about the irreplacability of Kent Hovind's creationist nonsense was sarcasm.
posted by orthogonality at 9:47 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why the heck have YouTube and Google Video existed as separate entities for five years? That's just bonkers.

Probably because of the difficulties that would be involved in merging them, particularly in tying Youtube accounts to Google accounts for merging. Shutting down submissions two years ago was as good as sign as can be that they were focusing on Youtube's model, though.
posted by kafziel at 9:48 PM on April 16, 2011


Rhaomi, just go for it. This thread can be classed as "bitching about google" and yours can be a links-collating resource. Seems like time is of the essence.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:50 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


It seems to me (perhaps incorrectly) that Google loses interest in things rather quickly. They've let problems with Blogger linger for ages, and are now letting Google Video die an ignoble death.

They lose interest in uninteresting things rather quickly. The problem with Blogger is that it's really not in a very good field – there are fifty different free blog hosting places, and you can host your own for pennies per month. If it's not drawing corporate interest (and thus investment), it has to be able to draw individual developer interest in order to get "hobby time" invested in it.

You'll never get cream-of-the-crop software developers interested in blogs again; there's just not much new ground to tread.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:53 PM on April 16, 2011


Shutting down submissions two years ago was as good as sign as can be that they were focusing on Youtube's model, though.

I wonder now how many vids are simply forgotten now.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:56 PM on April 16, 2011


But couldn't they just add GV support to the YT UI without having to transfer or convert any files? It seems like it'd be a pretty trivial manoeuver. No?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:58 PM on April 16, 2011


They could do a lot of things but what they're doing is shutting Gvid down. Cry, whine, cheer or whatever you do. If there's something on Gvid you like, you better grab it.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:03 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


But couldn't they just add GV support to the YT UI without having to transfer or convert any files? It seems like it'd be a pretty trivial manoeuver. No?

I think it's doable, trivial or not. However, there might be a legal component as well, if the terms of agreement were different between GV and YT. A TC commenter suggested that it would be a trival task to throw up a checkbox page somewhere asking about new terms. I tend to agree.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:06 PM on April 16, 2011


There goes a good chunk of Something Awful Let's Plays from 2008.

Ah shit. I guess I should download them now if I want to watch them later? The Let's Play Archive is a great resource if you want to experience a game without actually playing it (not everyone has a PS3, XBox, etc.)

I think a few LP's are already hosted at archive.org. Jason Scott, more things for you and your team to download!
posted by MrFTBN at 10:06 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, at the time when Google bought Youtube, I was seriously perplexed. At the time, I felt like Google was better, although it tended to load slower. Google had a better looking and more intuitive interface in my opinion, and let you download videos pre-formated for devices. And not just the iPod, but also Zunes and PSPs, IIRC.

Of course, Youtube has gotten progressively better for viewing videos online in terms of interface. Not nearly so great for taking videos off the web, though. Although now you can pretty easily access Youtube videos from a smartphone (those weren't popular/YouTube capable when Google Video came out, IIRC), and often find higher quality videos of the same thing elsewhere for download. And if it's only on youtube, there's a bunch of tricks for downloading the video.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:09 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to recommend this for downloading: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4993105670382677553
posted by LSK at 10:10 PM on April 16, 2011


Yeah, the Let's Play Archive is a billion times more worthy than Hovind's videos. I like them for ironic humor value, but they're really not that great.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:10 PM on April 16, 2011


I will just have to get both, then.
posted by jscott at 10:12 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nooooo! Christ, they must know how many full length MST3K videos there are on those platters! Jam Handy! Men Who Stare at Goats! Creepy old public access UFO videos! This is a nerdpocalypse!
posted by loquacious at 10:12 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Victim of the Brain, a fine documentary on the ideas of Douglas Hofstadter (author of Godel, Escher, and Bach) is on Google Video and, I think, not really anywhere else.
posted by echo target at 10:12 PM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Google is evil, anyway. This stuff should be at Archive.org.

Hint, hint.
posted by koeselitz at 10:14 PM on April 16, 2011


[I messaged the mods for guidance; our bigger post will be going up on Monday with mod blessing as more of a Google Video FPP round-up extravaganza and video sharing opportunity, with this post serving as newsfilter/discussion of Google's shutdown decision proper. Carry on! (and sorry for the derail).]
posted by Rhaomi at 10:16 PM on April 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


Victim of the Brain, a fine documentary on the ideas of Douglas Hofstadter (author of Godel, Escher, and Bach) is on Google Video and, I think, not really anywhere else.

Grabbed. 211mb, not bad. Just to mention, the ArchiveTeam Google Video Project Page has all the tools we're using, so feel free to grab anything you want that interests you.
posted by jscott at 10:17 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is it me, or did all the audio on Google Video get squished to mono?

Also Centernetworks has some download tips that might make sense to someone:
If you want to download your videos (which is probably a good idea) and the download button isn’t visible, you can use the following link to download your videos. Just hover over the link “Edit Video Info” and copy the CID into the following link:

http://www.google.com/video/upload/DownloadVideo?cid=XXXXXXX&hl=en
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:27 PM on April 16, 2011


Nominated for saving - James Burke: After the Warming , a 1989 documentary on global warming.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:28 PM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Anyway, I respect Google's right to shut the video service down, but the whole thing feels rushed and the directions I've found slightly ill considered.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:44 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of the few things I know that's on GV and not YT (or anyplace else that I can find): Threads. BBC copyright, though.

You'll never get cream-of-the-crop software developers interested in blogs again; there's just not much new ground to tread.

In a lot of ways, that's a lousy model for consumer products. I'm reminded of Steve Jobs and John Scully: "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?" OK, well, your thing that changed the world has now become sugar water. Are you going to throw it away just because it is no longer the province of flavor designers and is now merely licensed and bottled? Where would Coke be with this model? (Yeah, New Coke, right?)
posted by dhartung at 10:46 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fear And Desire - The most uncut print of Stanley Kubrick's "lost" early film available. It features Paul Mazursky in an early role before he took up the director's chair himself.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:48 PM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


and are now letting Google Video die an ignoble death.

Google Video was tainted by the Google Video Marketplace fiasco. IIRC high profile partners pulled out almost immediately after launch because of what was perceived as an unfriendly user experience.

They have let quite a few things die on the vine. Froogle,Knol, Base, Foursquare are only few. I think the reorg will make people directly responsible for product groups and hopefully they can keep resources on a product after all the interesting bits are done.

Anyway, I respect Google's right to shut the video service down, but the whole thing feels rushed and the directions I've found slightly ill considered.

Marketplace shut down in 2007, they acquired YouTube how many years ago? Last week they announced that head of YouTube reports direct to Page. Step one of his plan was probably shut down GV and free up the resources.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:50 PM on April 16, 2011


You'll never get cream-of-the-crop software developers interested in blogs again; there's just not much new ground to tread.

Maybe hire some not so cream of the crop devs to maintain your products. You can't let your empire crumble around you as chase the hot new thing.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:54 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


the whole thing feels rushed and the directions I've found slightly ill considered.

This is Google we're talking about. Hasty decision-making? Collective ADD? Documentation that reads like it written by engineers on their breaks to satisfy a line manager? None of this should surprise you.

And now I need to scan my own archives for GV links.
posted by holgate at 10:59 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I just downloaded the 50 or so videos that I had posted there. You have to download every video separately, which made it a huge pain. Yes, they let you download the videos you had there, rather than just shutting it down, but the UI is really poorly done. I can't even imagine the hassle of downloading large numbers of files without some sort of script.
posted by gemmy at 11:07 PM on April 16, 2011


This is Google we're talking about. Hasty decision-making? Collective ADD? Documentation that reads like it written by engineers on their breaks to satisfy a line manager? None of this should surprise you.

And it doesn't, sadly.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:08 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just downloaded the 50 or so videos that I had posted there. You have to download every video separately, which made it a huge pain. Yes, they let you download the videos you had there, rather than just shutting it down, but the UI is really poorly done. I can't even imagine the hassle of downloading large numbers of files without some sort of script.

Google instructions through TechCrunch implied the presence of a 'video status' page where presumably all videos were listed with a download button next to each vid. Is this true?

And, ouch.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:10 PM on April 16, 2011


I would nominate this documentary about the famous English speaking bookstore Shakespeare & Company in Paris. Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man. Trying to download it myself, but not exactly sure how.
posted by Corduroy at 11:21 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's the one video on Google Video that I have bookmarked. David Attenborough makes contact with people from the deep interior of New Guinea who had never before had contact with the outside world.
posted by Flunkie at 11:29 PM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


MST3K is well archived in torrents. There's one 80G mega-torrent with everything.
posted by cj_ at 11:40 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This post seemed kind of thin, so it seemed alright to put up something bigger that was already close to done, if the OP doesn't mind.

I did a bunch of research before I posted. ("Thin"? Hello? Human ego here.) There is not much out there factually speaking except for rehash of the Google email. The reason I posted the first link is because the comments were the lengthiest of any I had discovered. And in this case, attention to this is relevant because Google is about to make a foible and has time to behave decently.

Sigh. Not that they will...

...in any case, maybe they will.

Rhaomi, just post your fpp. This is newsfilter for certain but it is important newsfilter in that any of us who have genuine concern for data needs to know this. A second fpp with links is complementary to this fpp. Just add a [previously].

I fpp'd this not in homage to the valued content on Google Video but rather to alert others particularly my fellow nodes on the hivemind what is being stated is about to go down. When I posted content to Google Video I did so with confidence that Google (of all groups) are considerate caretakers of data. I did not imaging this could happen.

I have videos that were posted with long-forgotten email accounts, one-offs of irrelevancy, which I will be unable to track down or figure out. Such content was posted as means of preserving it for reasons ranging for posterity to relevance to obscurity. How many artists find themselves in similar straits? How many researchers? Scientists? Travelers? Kids growing up? People on very extended walkabouts?

It is just wrong and it is my intent to bring attention to this problem in hopes that just some at Google will see the light in a manner which will be enough to hold off this mistake.

My intent was not want "a legacy page of links" to worthy videos for fear that they would disappear...while we are yet at the point that decision can be made that they remain without being swept away in consideration of the value of original components of the internet's original content. Think about the value of much of this content, say, one hundred years from now. It is possibly incalculable.

Anyhow, that's my thinking. This said, I am happy to sacrifice an fpp for the greater good if the greater good can increase the likelihood of preserving content and of preserving the presently-living timevault that is Google Video
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:45 PM on April 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I imagine the trick in archiving GV is figuring out what's most likely to be saved somewhere else, what's one of a kind, and what people want to keep. That said, one can never have too many Douglas Adams interviews:

ZDTV Big Thinker's Interview with Douglas Adams
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:47 PM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Clarification/should read:
My intent was not want "a legacy page of links" to worthy videos for fear that they would disappear...not while we are yet at the point when decision can be made that [the posted videos] may remain without being swept away, in consideration of their value of original components of The Internet's original content.
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:52 PM on April 16, 2011


Mike Mongo: “When I posted content to Google Video I did so with confidence that Google (of all groups) are considerate caretakers of data. I did not imaging this could happen.”

This is certainly an annoying way for all of us to learn a lesson, but at least it's a clear one. Google was never and will never be a safe place to store valuable information; they're a for-profit company, and the preservation of important media is not at all part of their mission.

Archive.org presents a valuable and worthwhile alternative: a not-for-profit organization whose explicit goal is the preservation of media.

From here on out, I know where I'll be putting video, audio and text that I think needs to be preserved.
posted by koeselitz at 12:15 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


From here on out, I know where I'll be putting video, audio and text that I think needs to be preserved.

General lesson seems to be to keep archival copies on your own computer when uploading, if it's at all important. Further, they have to be looked at every so often and migrated to newer media. On the other hand, human nature is to take things for granted.

When I posted content to Google Video I did so with confidence that Google (of all groups) are considerate caretakers of data. I did not imaging this could happen.

I wonder if Google wasn't being misleading, and it it wasn't too easy to jump to conclusions about them in general. They're relatively stable and consistent, and perhaps those attributes are given to services like Google Video without thinking.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:00 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the heads up, echo target! Anything I can do to better understand GEB is invaluable.

I get the impression that there was more full length material on GV than on YT, although I don't know that such an assumption is true. I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm having a hard time understanding why so many people seem angry or annoyed. I know there's a lot of material on GV, but is there any reason that it can't or won't subsequently be posted to YT?

For some reason this issue also made me compare GV to Google Books. Why hasn't google decided to post every single movie and TV show to a pay-wall protected YT and offer a percentage of the profits to the owner of the copyright? (Yes, it's kind of a rhetorical question).
posted by bigZLiLk at 1:08 AM on April 17, 2011


I know there's a lot of material on GV, but is there any reason that it can't or won't subsequently be posted to YT?

The impression I get is that Google isn't going to take extra steps to make it easy to transfer from GV to YT, and that they just want to get it over with as quickly as possible.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:22 AM on April 17, 2011


not exactly the best PR move from a company that would like you to keep your data in the cloud.
posted by 3mendo at 1:46 AM on April 17, 2011 [31 favorites]


They have let quite a few things die on the vine. Froogle-

Wait, what's this about Froogle?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 2:00 AM on April 17, 2011


Another worthwhile documentary that doesn't seem to be elsewhere except in excerpts, is the 1980's BBC Horizon episode on the Mondragon worker's co-operative.
posted by titus-g at 2:10 AM on April 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


Threads is on YouTube, there was an FPP recently...

I suspect Creationist nonsense is worth archiving as well, just to show what people in our era believed in (as sociology, rather than biology).
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:15 AM on April 17, 2011


If you can get a page with links to all your videos, JDownloader (cross-platform) can scrape it and automate the process.
posted by unmake at 2:26 AM on April 17, 2011


Google Video Closing Down, What You Need To Know

There is a free Firefox gizmo called Video Download Helper which you can use to download Google videos.

Am bereft not to be able to use Google Videos any more.

Gems worth keeping:

Adam Curtis documentaries in longer segments, not the YT snippets.

Quirky stuff like secrets_income_tax_free2.wmv

The documentary Earthlings

Documentaries
posted by nickyskye at 2:49 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to ask a dumb question: Google owns You Tube: why can't it migrate Google Videos to You Tube?
posted by MuffinMan at 3:03 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


A shout-out for Kin-Dza-Dza!, one of my favourite Mefi finds of 2008, and seconding the Adam Curtis documentaries, although some are available elsewhere (on YouTube or archive.org).
posted by rory at 3:22 AM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


orthogonality mentioned a potential reason upthread.
posted by juv3nal at 3:31 AM on April 17, 2011


I'm going to ask a dumb question: Google owns You Tube: why can't it migrate Google Videos to You Tube?

Google doesn't own (or license) the videos. See my answer above, about DMCA safeharbor.
posted by orthogonality at 3:33 AM on April 17, 2011


Metafilter FPPosts and comments with links to Google Videos.
posted by clarknova at 3:57 AM on April 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is just nuts. How much would it cost Google to keep GV going? It would seem to be marginal, in the overall scheme of things. It seems that Google does not really understand the value of archives and repositories as institutions in themselves. Neither does it understand how people make sense of and use objects in archives (see the Google Books metadata issues). All it's interested in is the database and algorithms, and how these can be leveraged for the business model.

This is up there with the nixing of Delicious by Yahoo.
posted by carter at 4:09 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nominated for saving: Video in which motivational speaker Joel Bauer describes the contents of his suitcase for 21 minutes.

It doesn't sound good, but it is. It's one of the most enthralling videos that I have ever seen.
posted by mnfn at 4:32 AM on April 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Why the heck have YouTube and Google Video existed as separate entities for five years? That's just bonkers.

Internal dev-team egos?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:01 AM on April 17, 2011


I suspect Creationist nonsense is worth archiving as well, just to show what people in our era believed in

It would also be useful for seeing how, over the years, their arguments... evolved.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 5:09 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Joel Bauer's delivery reminded me of Alec Baldwin's character in 30 Rock ...
posted by carter at 5:10 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the alternative though? How can Google possibly take those full Attenborough documentaries (which seem to me were put up there without any real rights to do so.. ie 'piracy') and upload them to YouTube?

IMO, documentaries like that are presumably actually archived by whoever made them, and will not be lost just because we can't see them for free anymore.

The real value would be in user-made content that does not exist anywhere else.
posted by Harry at 5:10 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the few things I know that's on GV and not YT (or anyplace else that I can find): Threads.

Oh go on, cheer everybody up.
posted by Artw at 5:25 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Orthogonality and Harry would seem to have it with regards to transfer.
posted by Artw at 5:27 AM on April 17, 2011


But ... but ... but ... 4 hours of Sifl & Olly just ... gone?
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:28 AM on April 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


To my mind, this is similar to Google's recent, and abrupt, shutdown of the (for me) very useful GOOG411 service. I'm sure that service cost them a little bit of nothing to run, but as it turns out it wasn't intended to be a "service" at all: it was just an experiment designed to train their text-to-speech program, and once that purpose was served they unceremoniously turned the service off.

For a company that wants us to give them our personal information for safekeeping in the cloud and trust our digital lives to their hands, this doesn't seem like the best move. But what do I know.

The lesson here for me is that Google is not interested in its customers, not really, and cannot be relied upon to provide continuity of service (or ample warning before shutting something down). I guess you get what you pay for.
posted by gd779 at 6:34 AM on April 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


It was last night when I posted (after a full-day in Miami representing for Key West...YAY GAY!) but I am indeed more than a little concerned over Google is making such a decision as this.

Google Video is an archive. Of course, I love archive.org and support it. (Now financially as well as by use.)

My brand-thinking of Google is 1) that Google is a brand and that 2) Google behaves uniquely to other brands. Which is why I consciously give it freedom in my appreciation of brands that is unique to how I ordinarily appreciate brands. In a sense, I give Google-as-a-company-or-group the freedom in my thinking not to be thought of as a lowly corporation. Google I think of dynamically.

The content is not being deleted. In the email/press release stating content stored on Google Videos "will no longer be available for playback" implies that while it will not be available for playback it will still exist. Which is interesting/nice/questionable/a bummer but interesting nonetheless.

So rather than allow for this sort of inconsiderate behavior on the part of Google, I believe we should save Google Video. I already tweeted just that: #savegooglevideo.

Google is officially and unofficially charged with a lot of responsibilities with our data. Obviously, maintaining it is one of them. Of course, on my gmail accounts I back up those files because data is volatile and fragile and anything can happen and I while I hold Google accountable for what happens with my gmail data it is more convenient for me to back it up via Thunderbird on to my harddrive.

But I do that because Google/gmail could lose my data not because Google was intentionally removing or hiding it.

This is a bad policy decision. Somewhere a group of managerial someone's in Google clicked in an consensual manner which has resulted in a Very Bad Decision getting through. It is clearly a decision which needs to be brought before a larger audience and the discriminating eye of more discerning higher-ups at Google.

I feel as if my kid had a bad day at school because of bad decision-making. I know he feels bad but if by addressing the issue with corrective influence tomorrow will be a better day.

Save Google Video, Google.
posted by Mike Mongo at 6:38 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Google is officially and unofficially charged with a lot of responsibilities with our data.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.

Google is a company. You are responsible for your own data. Google is responsible to the shareholders, and if destroying your data increases shareholder value more than retaining it, then they will do so.

If you expect party X to keep data online that you wish to keep online, you'd better have a contract with them. Note -- this will *not* ensure that it stays online, it will only give you a route to compensation if they fail to keep it online.

Google's only imperative is make more value for the shareholders.
posted by eriko at 6:46 AM on April 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Google is not interested in its customers, not really

Sure they are. But we are not the customers. Google is an ad company. Advertisers are their customers.
posted by heatherann at 6:57 AM on April 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well, they could conceivably find a way to make money of this as well. But they are not archivists. And their corporate culture can't see a way forward with this.

They should drop the "Do no evil" schtick, though.
posted by carter at 6:58 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.

Surely there was a more civil way to put this. Mike's already had to deal with a derail that basically involved asking him to petition for his own thread's deletion, and the Google Video shutdown is clearly an issue that matters to him. And this is how we respond to his lengthy and impassioned plea for Google to become better data stewards?

Disagree with him all you want, that's what the site is built on, but you don't have to get right up in his face and laugh mockingly until he's covered in a fine spray of spittle. "Oh, I couldn't disagree more" will do fine.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:05 AM on April 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


Thanks, clarknova:Metafilter FPPosts and comments with links to Google Videos.. Yet, since my FPP google video wasn't in the first 20 pages of that, I'll link it again.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:06 AM on April 17, 2011


From my gigantic Gay History Documentaries post, there are a small collection of videos hosted on Google:

Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag

Harry Hay interviewed about the Faeries

Lengthy footage taken at Short Mountain Sanctuary

30 Days: A Straight Man In A Gay World

The Lavender Lens: 100 Years Of Celluloid Queers

I would love to see these saved.
posted by hippybear at 7:12 AM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has anyone else tried saving any Google Videos yet without being the original uploader? Last night I tried downloading a few things, and they all came out the same. 320 x 240, mono at 22 kHz. Was using some paid software and a Firefox plugin.

I suppose I should be grateful that I could download at all.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:21 AM on April 17, 2011


Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.

Jim Henson's The Cube.

All six hours of The Staircase.

Kim Stanley Robinson at Google.

David Brent at Microsoft (1, 2)
posted by gerryblog at 7:28 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alternative search for Google Video content on Metafilter, using internal search.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:30 AM on April 17, 2011


I've gone ahead and scraped the docids of 802 videos with the word "Hovind" in the metadata, and now have one of the scrapers downloading them. If there are other unique things I should be cherrypicking, let me know.

Sidebar, please?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:31 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the few things I know that's on GV and not YT (or anyplace else that I can find): Threads. BBC copyright, though.

Similar, and similarly irreplaceable in the public interest, is The War Game, a 1965 mocumentary about nuclear war which is possibly the best film on the subject ever produced.
posted by Dreadnought at 7:35 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the alternative though? How can Google possibly take those full Attenborough documentaries (which seem to me were put up there without any real rights to do so.. ie 'piracy') and upload them to YouTube?

IMO, documentaries like that are presumably actually archived by whoever made them, and will not be lost just because we can't see them for free anymore.


I'd hope the documentary makers have saved copies. They won't be technically lost by being pulled offline, but access to them could be curtailed to the point where they might as well be. Having them online facilitated sharing them in posts and emails. Many of them are otherwise difficult to come by. Some are too controversial; some never make it outside their country of origin. Some have never been for sale, others are priced for educational and library use. Not every library will have access to every documentary either.

My point is that Google Video created and filled an interesting niche by allowing longer video content to be uploaded, not being particularly picky about content, and having a brand that everyone knew. Documentaries generally benefited from that.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:51 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


we are not the customers. Google is an ad company. Advertisers are their customers.

Good point, heatherann. I stand corrected.
posted by gd779 at 7:55 AM on April 17, 2011


There should be a museum of failed or shutdown google projects. For example, they probably couldn't figure out a way monetize the shockingly useful ability to see locations of real estate listings on google maps so it too is now gone.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:05 AM on April 17, 2011


koeselitz writes "This is certainly an annoying way for all of us to learn a lesson, but at least it's a clear one. Google was never and will never be a safe place to store valuable information; they're a for-profit company, and the preservation of important media is not at all part of their mission."

This is so true and the weakness of all cloud computing data storage. We've seen it repeatedly where services are curtailed with usually very little official notice (though like in this case the writing was on the wall) at the finacial whim of the service providers. Imagine how ugly it's going to be when the yahoos at Yahoo! decide to mothball and then discontinue Flickr.

koeselitz writes "Archive.org presents a valuable and worthwhile alternative: a not-for-profit organization whose explicit goal is the preservation of media."

Which will only last as long as they have funding.
posted by Mitheral at 8:06 AM on April 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


There should be a museum of failed or shutdown google projects. For example, they probably couldn't figure out a way monetize the shockingly useful ability to see locations of real estate listings on google maps so it too is now gone.

They probably get a bit of money linking to the sites that do do this, and from letting them use Google Map services.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:24 AM on April 17, 2011


Metafilter: nothing lasts forever.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:25 AM on April 17, 2011


To be clear, in my comment about the Let's Play Archive, I was being sincere. I really want that preserved. Hovind's really not a big priority at all. Sorry if I sounded sarcastic or ambivalent.

And I've only seen a small sliver of what Google Video has to offer. I imagine other people have much, much better suggestions as to what should be preserved.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:52 AM on April 17, 2011


> or example, they probably couldn't figure out a way monetize the shockingly useful ability to see locations of real estate listings on google maps so it too is now gone.

:-(

Ouch. I didn't know this.

I wasted over two years of my life on that project when I worked at Google. Dammit!

I do want to correct some misconceptions above, though. I certainly have my differences with Google in specific, and corporatism in general, but it isn't true that Google is entirely focused on profit. At least when I worked there, that wasn't too long ago, it was the only place that you could derail any meeting by bringing up moral concerns.

Regarding "Google works for advertisers" - there is a strict hierarchy of importance at Google. #1 importance goes to the users - the people who type queries into the search engine. #2 importance goes to the advertisers. #3 goes to the company. This has practical results - for example, there are all sorts of cases where advertisers get a little extra for free around the edges because it's impossible to be accurate (i.e. if your ad gets popular too quickly and Google overruns your budget, you end up with simply getting a lot of free ads - on the theory that ads that are popular are good for both users and advertisers).

The theory is that if Google gives the users the best possible experience, it will always benefit Google.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:02 AM on April 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Disagree with him all you want, that's what the site is built on, but you don't have to get right up in his face and laugh mockingly until he's covered in a fine spray of spittle. "Oh, I couldn't disagree more" will do fine.

Viciously mocking naivete and idealism on the Internet has become, by now, a well-worn tradition and the emotional dissonance caused by such mockery will serve, for a wary few, as an heuristic. If the worst that happens is laughter in response to someone suggesting a company owes anyone anything with regard to a free service (i.e. gathering data and selling it and its by-products to third parties), one has gotten a cheap lesson worth remembering.
Don't get me wrong. I think MikeMongo’s FPP and the motivations behind it far from laughable. I think the closing of Google Video a minor disaster. I think capturing the existing data in a truly open/distributed archive a worthwhile project. I wish Google would reconsider this decision.
I also think rhetorically mocking the symbolic figure of the aggrieved can be useful. It's an impolite (i.e. Bakhtinian) way of telling people to wake the F up and stop entrusting your data to unaccountable second parties.

Open and free data models require commitment of resources and if I were to get righteous about this I would scream that all of you who put your most valuable assets in and only in AOL, Facebook, Tumblr, MySpace, YouTube, etc. deserve to regularly have that uploaded content taken down and scrubbed to teach you why doing so is a really bad idea irrespective of the reputation of the entrusted but ultimately unaccountable second party.

I'm sorry some mistake the business plans of private companies as altruistically maintained infrastructure, some form of corporately sponsored digital welfare, but I'm not sorry when someone laughs in our rhetorical faces when, really, we all ought to know much better by now.
posted by mistersquid at 9:05 AM on April 17, 2011


I agree, I'd like to see a Google Graveyard. I remember when Google Accelerator came out. That was pretty disappointing, and caused a bunch of privacy issues, to boot.

Google Wave and Buzz seems less like a product that wasn't useful or didn't work so much as products that just didn't match up with the competition. Google Wave made simple web chat/message boards/basic social networking very complicated, and it was also quite buggy because it was so complex in how it tried to mix those things together along with a very ambitious interface. The thing is that IM works best when it's simple and non-confusing. Google Buzz, privacy issues aside (I think it would have failed even if it didn't automatically sign up every Gmail user), failed because it just didn't offer much of an advantage over Facebook, and the problem is that it just seemed like a lot of hassle to migrate your friends list to Google, especially since not everyone uses Gmail. Even on ideological grounds, like privacy, Google Buzz didn't have a strong case to make. People who worry about privacy are just as scared about Google knowing their personal info as they are about Facebook.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:08 AM on April 17, 2011


The "you should all have known better" argument tires me out.

I gave a presentation about the ideas behind Archive Team this past February. (audio, draft transcription).

Just wanted to let everyone know I have seen all the suggested Google Videos to grab, and I will be grabbing them all. Keep them coming.
posted by jscott at 9:34 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Threads is on YouTube, there was an FPP recently...

Oh, good, carry on then. I obviously remember the ... thread ... from when I watched it.

Interestingly, I did a "site:video.google.com" as a quick and dirty metric to see what videos had decent PageRank, and the first few pages were all in Japanese, with Russian, Italian, and other languages filtering in later. Many appear to be English-language music videos. The first page with text in English was Google Video's own help.

How much would it cost Google to keep GV going?

Not to mention how utterly easy ... in principle ... it should be to offer GV users the option to painlessly migrate their content to YouTube. Push a button, then select or create account. Usual copyright infringement caveats. That would go a long way to saving the user-generated content.

I had a client once who wanted all their customer data put into a new CRM package. Once and for all. The co-owner was a forward-thinking woman who had personally entered all that data into a program a guy wrote for her on an Apple II. And then an IBM PC. And then two or three different generations of Windows software. After 20 years, she was sick of starting over. While I give Google kudos for honestly warning people and ticking the clock down so they can deal with a shutdown more or less gracefully, it's still annoying to just have something go away and effectively erase all your work. I just get this feeling with a lot of Google projects that if somebody else comes up with something a little more interesting or a little more successful, they'll lose interest and *poof*.
posted by dhartung at 10:01 AM on April 17, 2011


I wonder what the chances are, after as much as possible has been archived from Google Video, and once people dig up the new archive links for old posts, whether we can have some kind of project to amend closed threads with the new links to the videos?
posted by hippybear at 10:07 AM on April 17, 2011


People upload vids to google and then delete their other copies? So that they then have to frantically copy their stuff back down when they get the it's-all-gonna-go-poof notice, or else they have no copies at all?

Whatever happened to the dead-certain knowledge that anything digital you hope to keep has to be backed up in multiple copies, preferably at multiple locations? I grasp that the piggie who built his house of straw probably didn't get the multiple-backups memo either, but how many of him are there? Lots and lots? Really? Oh, wee wee wee!
posted by jfuller at 10:30 AM on April 17, 2011


jfuller, I don't think anyone is claiming that's the issue.
posted by dhartung at 10:41 AM on April 17, 2011


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by wierdo at 11:22 AM on April 17, 2011


This is why we can't depend on corps to preserve our culture. For some reason a lot of my early posts to UseNet have gone missing on Google Groups, and there wasn't anything controversial about them, I certainly didn't request deletion. However, trying to find out what happened is impossible. Google doesn't provide any worthwhile support for Google Groups. Are there any other UseNet archives that are more complete? I wish I could grab a torrent of UseNet discussion up until 2000.

Google Video is a warning shot for everyone who depends on "the cloud" to contain their precious data. Keep original data backed-up on your own hardware.
posted by pashdown at 1:22 PM on April 17, 2011


There's a PBS performance of Sweeney Todd with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury that's on Google Video and not on Youtube. It was linked here a while back. I shall miss that.
posted by Tacodog at 1:35 PM on April 17, 2011


Oh I take that back. Looks like someone uploaded it to youtube. Nice!
posted by Tacodog at 1:42 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sweeney Todd on Google Video in 3 parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

It also turns out that it's on Amazon.com, and eBay too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:47 PM on April 17, 2011


Are there any other UseNet archives that are more complete?

Not that I'm aware of, unfortunately. Google was the last great hope for a free, publicly accessible Usenet archive, and I remember the stories of them hunting down tapes and whatnot to build up what they bought from DejaNews. On the other hand, UseNet was even more ephemeral then the web. Posts to it took varying amounts of time to get anywhere.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:58 PM on April 17, 2011


Google itself has a lot of in house content for the public on GV, stuff like an authors series, posted back in the day. I wonder how or if they'll migrate it to join their most recent content on YouTube.

Second, from zipping around and looking, it looks like they've compressed everything, and I'm not sure that the uncompressed originals are available to anyone.

Third, on reflection, multiple backups are one of those things that have to be learned. A lot of people aren't that tech savvy, or strategic in their tech thinking.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:19 PM on April 17, 2011


So mostly, people here are upset about Google killing off a service, the purpose of which is to house pirated copies of television shows and movies?

If there was massive amounts of "OC" on there, then sure, I get it, but that isn't what people seem to be upset about.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:38 PM on April 17, 2011


> jfuller, I don't think anyone is claiming that's the issue.
> posted by dhartung at 1:41 PM on April 17 [+] [!]

Then I don't grasp what the issue is. The announcement from google (emphases added by me) says:

> On April 29, 2011 videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be
> available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the Video Status new window
> page, so you can download videos that you want to save. If you don’t want to download
> your videos, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after
> May 13, 2011.)

If you didn't delete your local copies of your videos, then you really don't need to do anything. Pop a brew, watch your videos, chill.

otoh, is it that people want continuing access to vids that aren't theirs, to get which they don't need to do anything? I could understand that, if that's what the problem is, but it's gonna affect my sympathy level some.

If neither if those is the problem then please understand this thing to me.
posted by jfuller at 3:25 PM on April 17, 2011


PS, just so y'all know, yootoob is going to go the way of geocities too one day. Sooner if it doesn't start making a profit, later if it does, but web sites are inherently ephemeral. I hope this won't take anyone by surprise.
posted by jfuller at 3:35 PM on April 17, 2011


if it doesn't start making a profit

YouTube is making shitloads. It's chock full of unblockable ads now: Video ones that play before your desired video, text ones that pop up over it... Multiply that by over a billion hits per day, and ka-ching!

I don't see YouTube going anywhere for a good while.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:48 PM on April 17, 2011


Making shitloads doesn't necessarily mean you're profitable, if for instance you're also spending shitloads-plus-20% at the same time. As of last September YouTube was not profitable, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt. 2011 may be the year, but so far they haven't had the big press conference where the champagne flows like fire extinguishers, that I've noticed anyway.
posted by jfuller at 4:56 PM on April 17, 2011


There's a PBS performance of Sweeney Todd with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury that's on Google Video and not on Youtube. It was linked here a while back. I shall miss that.

Um - you can get the dvd on Amazon. Twenty bucks. Pretty reasonable, all things considered.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:59 PM on April 17, 2011


A Blank on the Map is an amazing documentary about searching for uncontacted peoples in Papua New Guinea in the 70's. Plus it stars David Attenborough. Save it!
posted by milestogo at 5:27 PM on April 17, 2011


I miss the St. Sanders videos, with the horrible guitar playing dubbed over live band footage. That was just some guy who didn't bother keeping around the stuff he posted, because he trusted Youtube. They got a complaint & deleted everything.


jfuller: If you didn't delete your local copies of your videos, then you really don't need to do anything. Pop a brew, watch your videos, chill.

It's been over four years (note to myself: whoa) since I started posting videos as a hobbyist freelance archivist / A/V geek. When I got a videocamera, Google Video was the way to go for long, serious subject matter. They just looked like they'd be around longer than Youtube, because Google the company was more diverse. While I expect that I still have everything in backups, it's going to take some time to verify that. And I'm a geek; I have offline, local, & cloud backups, & yet a couple of in-relatively-quick-succession hard drive failures are worrying me a bit. There are other people who haven't given it that much thought, or for whom a now-deceased loved one's mark on the earth will be abruptly diminished, & their unpleasant surprises don't make me happy.

I just (finally) paid up over at Vimeo, & I'm going to try to re-upload everything I had posted. It's taken hours to sort this out, it will take days to re-upload stuff, & then I get to fix my own links & nudge other people to fix theirs.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:04 PM on April 17, 2011


It may exist elsewhere, but the oft-linked Don't talk to the Police (Part 1
Part 2) should certainly be saved and distributed widely.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:09 PM on April 17, 2011


Metafilter posts tagged with GoogleVideo.
posted by clarknova at 8:25 PM on April 17, 2011


This is pretty short notice! Sure, they stopped allowing uploads a long time ago, but there was never any mention that the archive would be removed. What's wrong with Google? Certainly they can afford to keep running the archive. But no sense in trying to argue. I'm glad there is an effort to archive what's there and that archive.org is donating 100T for space.

There are a lot of documentaries-online sites that I visit and many of them point to Google Video. Some really good stuff.

Documentaries on Google Video, a link that nickyskye posted above. I'm going through them. Just watched a good one about the Fischer and Spassky tournament in 1972. It's a treasure.

But I think the best call so far has been about Google's touting cloud computing and trusting your data with them. I certainly wouldn't now. At least not my really important stuff.
posted by rmmcclay at 8:31 PM on April 17, 2011


Victim of the Brain, a fine documentary on the ideas of Douglas Hofstadter (author of Godel, Escher, and Bach) is on Google Video and, I think, not really anywhere else.

I was so excited to go and watch that, because I'd never heard of it before. Whatever it was, it wasn't a documentary, but it was depressingly bad.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:59 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are a lot of documentaries-online sites that I visit and many of them point to Google Video. Some really good stuff.

I used to have one or two bookmarked somewhere, but I couldn't find the link. I found a different one, Free University in Internet. It appears to be a parallel site to a German one, because all the video links seem to go to video.google.de . And they have a warning up too about GV closing down.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:38 PM on April 17, 2011


StreamTransport is also a decent app to run to fetch medial files from virtually any website (including Google).
posted by clarknova at 12:11 AM on April 18, 2011


I miss the St. Sanders videos, with the horrible guitar playing dubbed over live band footage.

Actually, what looks like a fairly comprehensive collection is available right here at his own site. Not relevant to the thread, really, but there you go.
posted by jklaiho at 1:57 AM on April 18, 2011


Yo jscott, I'll be joinin' the team and helping out in the next week or so, but in the meantime, if you could throw the "phototech EDU" series into the queue, that would be helpful for the DIY Book Scanner community.

http://www.dicklyon.com/phototech/ has all the links.
posted by fake at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2011


I would like to nominate this video for saving (jscott or anyone else looking to build a library of oddball video): Mrs. Cabobble's Caboose. Produced by the local PBS station in Nashville, TN in the early to mid-eighties, it includes early puppetry work and stage design by Wayne White (Pee Wee's Playhouse, Beakman's World, and now a known artist in his own right). Various clips of other shows are on the YouTubes, but this is the only complete show I'm aware of. I uploaded it back when I did a post about Wayne and completely forgot about it until I received the take down email last week. At the time, Google video was the only site that would host the whole thing, and now, well, it's there for the taking for whoever and wherever.

So long and thanks for all the weirdness to Google Video, I guess.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:28 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't forget Superman: the Musical!
posted by LSK at 10:19 AM on April 18, 2011


For example, they probably couldn't figure out a way monetize the shockingly useful ability to see locations of real estate listings on google maps so it too is now gone.

Dammit, that was really interesting.

I have a work-related account on Google Video, where I posted one of our TV ads a couple of years back, because I was having a hassle getting web video on our own server, and our nannyware still blocked YouTube. (It still does from time to time, which was extra-super-annoying when trying to watch a video about how to post better AdWords ads. ::shakes fist at nannyware::)

This morning I downloaded our and uploaded to YouTube, not that anyone will ever care. And I'm sure we still have another copy kicking around here somewhere.

As an uploader of video -- that one, anyway -- it would have been nice to have a "move my video to YouTube" option next to "download."
posted by epersonae at 10:37 AM on April 18, 2011


Google Video is a warning shot for everyone who depends on "the FREE cloud" to contain their precious data. Keep original data backed-up on your own hardware.

Not defending Google's decision here, I think it's silly and not being done in a friendly manner. But, you get what you pay for. This isn't a failure of "the cloud" it's a service closing it's doors.
posted by inigo2 at 11:51 AM on April 18, 2011


Also, anyone archiving should search for debates. (using the term "debate")
posted by LSK at 12:30 PM on April 18, 2011


Here's one of the reasons this is a loss. It's called Speaking Bubbles.

I don't know who made it. And when I could, I attempted to contact the person. (User names are no longer displayed.)

It is perfect. It is a tiny blip of perfect content, capturing an odd, out-of-context moment.

There is a future. This comes as a surprise to many of us it seems. But there much more than likely is a future. In that future, as we have seen in the past, bits and pieces of somewhat random cultural flotsam and jetsam take on values we here in the present are ill-equipped to predict.

This is why seemingly random content such as this is worth preserving. Because in the future it may well have a value that we presently cannot discern.

I have now downloaded Speaking Bubbles. (I used KeepVid and it worked great.) And I will do my part to save it.

But how many other Speaking Bubbles are there? To the person who put it up there, perhaps its true worth is lost. It may be completely forgotten. But that is one of the amazing qualities of everything on the internet: Others discovered what may have been lost.

How many writers and filmmakers are unaware of what it is that connects with their audience? How many think its one thing, only to hear again and again, it's another?

There is no good reason to shut off GoogleVideo. It was an experiment that succeeded and obviously helped pave the way for YouTube in many regards. In the very least, GV paved the way for Google to decide to buy YT.

Google Video should stay up. Google is different than any other company ever. And reminding Google of that is okay. This is one of those times where it is worth doing the reminding.
posted by Mike Mongo at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Google is different than any other company ever.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree. Whatever special qualities they used to have are being drained away amidst the building and maintenance of a multi-billion dollar advertising empire.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:02 PM on April 18, 2011


One other category and thing worth saving: amidst the many marching band videos there, there's a unique field level view of a pregame show.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:21 PM on April 18, 2011


How about Fantastic Planet scored by everyone.doesntexist for archive worthy greatness?
posted by Mike Mongo at 6:39 PM on April 18, 2011


This later posting of videos worth checking out on Google Video was really well done. However, I thought it better to post in this more relevant thread.

I am barely three weeks into my employment with archive.org and here we are with this whole Google Video thing. I figured I might as well explain what's going on at the moment.
posted by jscott at 11:11 PM on April 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


A little over 3 hours of MTV from 1983 on GV, Part 1 and Part 2.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:56 AM on April 19, 2011


So Jscott, based on your experience, is this harder or easier than "saving" Geocities?
posted by wheelieman at 5:32 AM on April 19, 2011


jscott - thanks for your hard work (and that of your team).

What I worry about, though, is all those little videos that people have put up there and forgotten about - family videos, baby's first steps, - moments people likely don't remember taking but put up to share with family or friends. These things aren't important to the "world" but they're important to the families involved, and at some point in the future they'll think - "we took video of Grandma's 90th birthday, of her playing with her great-grandson. I wonder whatever happened to that?" and be unable to find it and shrug, and say "oh well". But they've lost a piece of their family history. And that, to me, is sadder than the loss of all the stuff that is mentioned upstream.

And I'm sure nobody will be archiving that.
posted by anastasiav at 5:33 AM on April 19, 2011


What I worry about, though, is all those little videos that people have put up there and forgotten about - family videos, baby's first steps...And I'm sure nobody will be archiving that.

You know what Archive Team doesn't do? It doesn't decide what stays and what goes. Asking Metafilter and other sources about videos they remember strongly is just one piece of what we're doing; we're going after every single video we can. When Yahoo Video shut down a month ago? We think we got 99% of all the videos they posted on there. 3.8 million.

So no, we have that well at hand.
posted by jscott at 8:26 AM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wish I had known about this sooner. It's on multiple video sites, but after his Last Lecture, Randy Pausch gave a Time Management talk at University of Virginia in November 2007.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:59 AM on April 19, 2011


jscott, how will these videos get sorted out on Archive.org? Looking at some of these, they appear to be copyright infringements (Sweeney Todd with with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury, the videos within the Mtv retro set, etc).Will it be the original YouTube scenario, where everything is posted, then copyright holders can request for material taken down? And will the descriptions be saved along with the videos? Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 AM on April 20, 2011


Also: I know at least one torrent community that is focused on sharing old out-of-print laserdiscs and VHS, as well as old TV recordings of things like Mtv, and I just stumbled on that one. I'm sure more exist. I understand that the beauty of Google Video was that it was out there, streaming, for anyone to find.

So a follow-up question for jscott or anyone else who knows: will Archive.org be changing their criteria about what can be uploaded? If so, I'd be happy to upload the grey-area stuff I've picked up from the torrent site.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM on April 20, 2011


Update: Youtube Migration
posted by flatluigi at 4:05 PM on April 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Was just about to post that :) I'm sad we didn't have that ready at announce time but at least it's public now.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:19 PM on April 22, 2011


That update that flatluigi posted is incredible news: Google is presently not doing away with Google Video or the videos hosted on Google Video and has created the much-demanded "migrate-to-YouTube" button. It is incredible because it affirms my belief in the possibility of the uniqueness of Google.

Content and data as well as the subsequent informations sets are important and valuable, and terribly non-permanent.

Google is a caretaker of this valuable and terribly non-permanent datas and information sets.

In its intentionally or unintentionally designated role as steward of these datas and information sets, Google behaved a certain way. That behavior was incongruous with Google's position of stewardship. Consequent to this behavior—which was incongruous with its role as data and information steward—a number of outspoken individuals criticized this behavior in a (mostly) constructive manner. These outspoke individuals were influential in that they all utilized methods to communicate their criticism which brought attention to Google's poor choice of behavior by utilizing forums which elicited public discussion and further interaction.

This directly resulted in a corrected behavior on the part of Google.

Or else I am looking at it wrong. But I prefer to imagine Google changed its mind for all the right reasons. I prefer to imagine this because, unlike with any regular brands or corporations, I believe in Google.

So the video remains in place for the time being but with a life extension which is important considering all the linked to videos and the fact that so many of the videos are found uniquely on Google Video. Whatmore, the important of archive.org has been affirmed.

It is situations which resolve in this manner which continuously serve to give many of us hope for the future. We can work together. We can make mistakes and correct them. We can work together for the good of us all. We can have nice things.

Thanks Google, Metafilter, and Archive. org. You all are good and together you are great.
posted by Mike Mongo at 1:49 PM on April 23, 2011


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