Uploaded videos were saved as a .gvi files under the "Google Videos" folder in "My Videos" and reports of the video(s) details are logged and stored in the user account. The report sorts and lists the number of times that each of the users videos have been viewed and downloaded within a specific time frame. These range from the previous day, week, month or the entire time that the videos have been there for. Totals are calculated and displayed and the information can be downloaded into a spreadsheet format or printed out.
Competing services include iFilm, Metacafe, Veoh, blip.tv, IKlipz.com, and Outloud.tv. On October 9, 2006 Google agreed to buy former competitor YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock, but YouTube will remain a separate service under its own identity for the near future, though Google video searches include YouTube results as well.
Google announced on June 13, 2007 that the Google Video search results would begin to include videos discovered by their search crawlers on other hosting services, in addition to YouTube's and their own uploads. Search result links now open a frameset with a Google Video header at the top, and the original player page below it, similar to the way the Google Images search results are presented.
A number of educational discourses by Google employees have been recorded and made available for viewing via Google Video. The lectures have been done mainly at the employees' former universities. The topics cover Google technologies and software engineering but also include other pioneering efforts by major players in the software engineering field.
Various media companies offered content on Google Video for purchase, including CBS programs, NBA, music videos, and independent film. Initially, the content of a number of broadcasting companies (such as ABC, NBC, CNN) was available as free streaming content or stills with closed captioning. In addition, the U.S. National Archive uses Google Video to make historic films available online.
Google Video also searches other non-affiliated video sites from web crawls. Sites searched by Google Video in addition to their own videos and YouTube include GoFish, ExposureRoom, Vimeo, MySpace, Biku, and Yahoo! Video. It appears that Google Video is moving away from an online video archive and towards a search engine for videos, similar to their web and image searches.
As of August 2007, the DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program ended. Users who previously purchased a video from Google Video were no longer able to view them. Credits for users were made available as values for Google Checkout and were valid for 60 days.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=, and that page contains an embedded Flash Video file which can be viewed in any Flash-enabled browser.
Permalinks to a certain point in a video are also possible, in the format of
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=#XXhYYmZZs (that is, with a fragment identifier containing a timestamp).
The browser automatically caches the flash file while it plays, and it can be retrieved from the browser cache once it has fully played. There are also several tools and browser extensions to download the file. It can be then viewed in video players that can handle flash, for example Media Player Classic (with ffdshow installed), MPlayer or Wimpy.
As of August 17, 2007, Google Video Player has been discontinued and is no longer available for download from Google Video website. The option to download videos in GVI format has also been removed, the only download option remaining for iPod/PSP (MP4 format).
While early versions of Google's in-browser video player code were based on the open source VLC Media Player, the last version of Google Video Player was not based on VLC, according to its readme file. However, it did include the OpenSSL cryptographic toolkit and some libraries from the Qt widget toolkit.
The .avi file is not in standard AVI format. To play the file in a popular media player such as Winamp or Windows Media Player, the file must first be modified using a hex editor to delete the first LIST block in the file header, which starts at byte 12 (000C hex, first byte in file is byte 0) and ends at byte 63 (003F hex). Optionally, the file length (in bytes 4 to 7, little endian) should then be amended by subtracting 52 (3F hex - 0C hex = 33 hex).
Winamp and Windows Media Player cannot play the unmodified .avi file because the non-standard file header corrupts the file. However, Media Player Classic, MPlayer and the VLC Media Player will play the unmodified .avi file, and the Google .mp4 file. Media Player Classic only if an MPEG-4 DirectShow Filter such as ffdshow is installed. Most Linux media players xine, Totem, the Linux version of the VLC Media Player and Kaffeine have no problems with Google's .avi.
An .mp4 file will play in Winamp if an MPEG-4/H.264 DirectShow Filter such as ffdshow and an MP4 Splitter such as Haali are installed, and the extension ;MP4 is added to the Extension List in the Winamp DirectShow decoder configuration.
As of Spring 2008, the option to download files in .AVI format has been removed, and files are only available as Flash video or .MP4, while the same videos when accessed through the companion YouTube.com site are available only in Flash video format.
Changing the &num=20 part of the URL to &num=100 shows 100 results in the RSS feed instead of 20.
While the Video Uploader application is available as three separate downloads, the Linux version is written in Java, a cross-platform programming language, and will therefore also work on other operating systems without modifications, providing that the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed. Also worthy of note is the fact that this Java executable (.jar) file is a standalone application that does not require installation. Consequently, it can be run from removable media such as USB flash drives, CD-ROMs, or network storage. This allows users to upload video even if the computer terminal on which they are working will not allow them to install programs, such as a public library computer.
YouTube does report the total number of video views for each user, however, which Google Video does not. Although there is no option to download videos on YouTube itself, some download manager, such as orbit downloader,Moyea FLV Downloader allow the video to be downloaded as an FLV file, by simply copying the URL address of the video page and paste it in download Task dialog box
Regardless of general availability, content providers are given the opportunity to limit access to video files to only users from certain countries of residence. However, methods of circumventing geographical filtering exist.
Google Video has been localized for several countries:
The strategy for Google Video has shifted dramatically from an initial focus on digitizing offline content, akin to Google BookSearch, to then later focusing on fee-based downloads akin to iTunes, to then later focusing on social networking features akin to YouTube. Despite constant product development and business development churn, Google Video had never attained market leadership in the online video space at the time when Google acquired YouTube.
While the lack of a fixed pricing scheme may be perceived as confusing by a number of users, it does offer content providers a wider scope in terms of individual pricing. Whether this pricing concept will be accepted and retained beyond beta remains to be seen.
There has also been criticism regarding varying standards used by Google on evaluating the content of each video for suitability. For example, Google might accept a video featuring graphic violence and profanity, but reject a milder one, with no apparent means of objective analysis.
The video uploading tool also receives various complaints, due to its "Uploading failed" error message which seems to appear in random cases without any explanation why the upload was not successful. This message sometimes also appears when the upload was successful which can be problematic as the same video may be uploaded again. Google has not yet addressed this issue.
Additional criticism of Google Video has been on a lack of end user tools to add tables of content and chapters to the videos, which make longer format videos easier to annotate, view, navigate and understand. The reports page stopped working at some time in 2008, and Google has only remarked "we're currently aware of the issue and are working on it." And playback issues also appeared in 2008, leaving many users with the warning "This video is currently not available" in error. Many webmasters wonder why Google Video has been in beta for so long, and have begun to explore other sites such as Blip.tv for posting and embedding videos.