Video Hosting: Take back your cinematic free speech!steemCreated with Sketch.

in technology •  19 days ago

decentralized-video-hosting.png

Over the past year YouTube has made changes that left many content creators up in arms. The good thing about the internet is that this kind of action will stir up a hornet's nest of alternatives. This is what we see for video hosting.

When centralized platforms become too large, they move away from what benefits the people who make the site great to the companies that pay them money. This makes sense though, everyone has bills to pay, and that includes big companies.

Below I picked three video hosts with the most buzz around my corner of the internet. All but one are decentralized and I'm sure you already know how I feel about decentralization. In case you don't go check out my post on the subject, it's the bee's knees.

Honestly, go learn what it is all about. I am on the train that decentralization will change the internet for the better. Making it more free (as in freedom) and content creator focused.

Vidme

Vidme is a centralized platform like YouTube. What is of interest is how it mixed in a Patreon like service where the creator can set a monthly price. They can upload videos that only their paying subscribers can see.

This is better than unlisting a video on YouTube since even if the URL gets shared out the person still needs to be a paid subscriber to view the video. Whereas there is no way to enforce that on YouTube.

I have videos on Vidme but am not in love with the platform like a bunch of other people. This is because it is a centralized service giving them the ability to delete any video they disagree with. Something similar to that happened a few months back.

There was a creator with a good number of followers who made a video criticizing the Vidme platform. The company left the video there but revoked his ability to monetize any of his content. No ads, no paying subscribers, no tips on a single video he ever uploaded. All from a platform that people call a "free speech" site.

I don't buy it...

dtube-logo.png
image from d.tube

Dtube

If you have been on Steem for a while you may have already heard about Dtube. This is a decentralized video hosting site. Well the site itself is not decentralized but the content you upload is thanks to Steem.

Dtube uses the Steem blockchain to store your videos. All you need to do is log in with you private posting key and you are ready to go! I hope they add the option to log in using Steem Connect in the near future.

Dtube, created entirely by @heimindanger and released it sometime around August 2017. From what I can tell it seems to do all the same things as YouTube with the added benefits of the Steem Blockchain. This includes upvoting, commenting, and the monetization that Steem is often famous for. I have yet to upload my videos here but plan on doing so when I find the time.

LBRY

LBRY is very much like Dtube because it is a decentralized medium sharing platform. The difference is that there is no limit to what type of content they will accept, much like a library. Their app is available on all major operating systems with relative ease.

The only downside right now is that you need the application to view the content and not just a web browser. This can cause a hurdle for some people but is not a steep learning curve at all.

You can do all the same things you can on YouTube and they too have their own way to make money on your content. Instead of relying on advertisers as on YouTube or people passing you an up vote as on Dtube; they allow you to charge LBRY credits to consume your content. This seems to be working well and many people enjoy the platform.

bitchute-logo.png
image from bitchute.com

BitChute

That leaves us with BitChute which has been my go to for video hosting at the time of writing this. It is a decentralized service that does not need a blockchain to do the magic internet stuff. As mentioned in the post about decentralization, not all services need, or should, be on a blockchain. Video hosting is one of those services.

BitChute is a peer-to-peer content sharing platform. Our mission is to put people and free speech first. It is free to join, create and upload your own content to share with others. - BitChute

The Bit in 'BitChute' does not refer to bitcoin but instead is a hat tip to BitTorrent. They are using WebTorrent to get the videos to your browser with the ability to stream them. Otherwise you would have to download each video and play them in another program. Which would be a complete hassle as you can imagine.

Anyone can set up a torrent server and tie into the network. The more the better! Each new server that someone adds to the network makes the decentralization stronger. This leads to a smaller the chance that a video would get wiped off the internet against the creator's will.

While setting up a node on the network is a nice learning curve, you can leave that to us nerds. Anyone can go to BitChute's site and watch videos just like they would on YouTube. This is peer-to-peer networking at its finest!

At the time I am writing this, BitChute does not have monetization, but they mentioned it on their about page as a future addition. That is the only downside to this site, and it is only for the creators. Everything runs great on Chrome and Firefox so please check it out. You can find my videos at /channel/jrswab.

Hey Thanks!

If you have any extra insight into any of these platforms please comment below so we all can learn more. Also if you have any questions feel free to ask and I will be happy to help out!

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hey @jrswab thanks for another great post! I didn't know about the other services you had mentioned in this post, but I have been looking in to D.Tube. I really like the idea of a decentralized video streaming service on top of the STEEM blockchain.

However, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the IPFS protocol they use to stream the videos. It sounds similar to BitTorrent, maybe you know more about it? I need to keep doing some research.

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I do not know anything about IPFS at this point since I have not looked into the technical details of how Dtube works yet. Much sorry mate.

Hey, thanks for writing this!

I was aware of most of these but am only really familiar with Vidme and just recently, DTube. Thanks for summarizing the differences of each.

I agree with you about Vidme. I'm not in love with it as much as some of the people on that platform, for a few reasons.

You already mentioned one of them and that is the fact that if you criticize Vidme, you run the risk of being demonitized. They have very thin skin when it comes to someone pointing out the problems of their site. How is that not worse than what people have been complaining about YouTube?

Of course, that's assuming you can monetize your videos in the first place. You can only do that once you get verified. To be verified, you must apply by email and wait for Vidme to approve you. If you think this is just a formality to make sure you are who you say you are, you would be wrong.

Vidme has said that it helps to have a presence on other platforms, such as YouTube. They even make it easy for you to transfer your YT videos to your Vidme channel by using the videos YT url.

I am verified on YT so I assumed verification on Vidme would be guaranteed.

The first time I applied, I was denied. I asked why and Vidme wrote back that they couldn't tell me why and to apply at a later date.

Instead of telling me what I needed to do to get verified, they left me in the dark to figure out on my own what it is I wasn't doing right. I guessed that it was because I hadn't uploaded enough videos yet. I guessed wrong.

I say that because, after uploading more videos, I applied for verification once again and once again I was denied. I asked why and once again they said they could not tell me.

By the way, this was long before Vidme implemented a requirement that you must have 50 followers to be verified.

It was then that I noticed that that other channels were being verified (then and now) without any videos uploaded nor any comments posted. Ghost channels were being verified instead of the people who were and are actually using the site!

There is no rhyme or reason to Vidme's verification process. It is completely arbitrary and on a whim.

Vidme's motto is "Creators First". I've yet to see evidence of that.

That's why I'm trying out DTube.

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Vidme's motto is "Creators First". I've yet to see evidence of that.
That's why I'm trying out DTube.

I really like how BitChute is doing decentralized video. If you have not uploaded there you should start. It is not much of a hassle to have our videos in more than one place.

Thanks for the awesome comment!

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Are you allowed to monetize your videos on BitChute?

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They are working on that still and is a goal of the devs but not a built in feature.

The only one I knew about was dTube, because I had seen it mentioned a few times in Discord and on other users' posts on Steemit. This was quite educational, as always! Thank you for always writing about stuff that really teaches me new information :)

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Thanks for taking the time to read!

I have never tried any but youtube. Great info on all!

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YouTube is still by far the largest but there are many great creators on all the ones mentioned.

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I have much to explore. There's never enough time!

I'm currently using Dtube right now. It's rather picky about the format, encoding, ect. of the video that you're uploading. I had to use certain specifications I learned from another Dtuber but it won't just take ANY video like Youtube. Still it's good to diversify.

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This is good to note. I even have issues loading the site sometimes.

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I've noticed this too. I think it was mentioned by its creator that MP4 is the acceptable format. Even then, I get errors sometimes and no matter how many times I try again, I keep getting the same result.

I end up giving up and trying the next day and then it usually works.

I think we can all expect growing pains with a new video platform and a lot of bugs still need to be worked out.

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

- Winston Churchill

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Thanks for the info , I heard some things about dtube like youdont get much of a payout compared to steemit posts. This was a whileback I could be wrong

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DTube has not been around long. Are there users who have been paid already?

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Interesting, thanks for the heads up!

i never known this thank you for sharing with us appreciate

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You are welcome. I am happy to have passed this information along to you!

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:fire:

Bro it is too good.Nice

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Thank you!

Two were completely new to me, thanks!!!

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No problem! Thanks for reading <3