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Google Videos Going Offline; Time To Grab What You Want 131

Posted by timothy
from the when-it-clouds-it-pours dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I received this email this morning: 'Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we're removing the remaining hosted content... On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback.' They've added a download button for saving your content but it expires after May 13, 2011 and they encourage users to move the content to YouTube." Not all is lost, though. Writes reader none295: "If you want to help archive Google Video, get some Linux machines running and join us in IRC (EFNet #archiveteam / #googlegrape)."
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Google Videos Going Offline; Time To Grab What You Want

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  • The cloud. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GWRedDragon (1340961) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @12:34PM (#35840574)
    Yet another example for people who say that the cloud is a good place to permanently store their data....
    • You can't expect a free service to stay online forever.
      • Re:The cloud. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Osgeld (1900440) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @12:39PM (#35840614)

        you cant expect a paid service to stay online forever.

        if you care about it you have your own copy

        • by Threni (635302)

          it's swings and roundabouts, though. If you only have your own copy and it's not online somewhere, then you're at risk of theft, fire, flood, magnets, children pouring water on your pc etc etc. A professionally backed up cloud is way safer.

          It's safer to say "If you care about it you have your own copy AND a copy on the cloud".

          • it's swings and roundabouts, though. If you only have your own copy and it's not online somewhere, then you're at risk of theft, fire, flood, magnets, children pouring water on your pc etc etc. A professionally backed up cloud is way safer.

            It's safer to say "If you care about it you have your own copy AND a copy on the cloud".

            True. Or have your own copies in multiple locations. It doesn't have to be some buzzword-compliant cloud service.

            And if it is information that you don't want to disclose, take appropriate measures. For example, store the copies in encrypted form, and keep multiple, password-protected copies of the key.

            Also, make sure to regularly verify that your backups can be restored, and that this gives you everything you would need after a restore.

            Of course, all of this is covered in The Tao Of Backup [taobackup.com]

    • by Seumas (6865)

      You and Grandpa Dvorak.

    • Google is giving people time to save their content. There's a difference between data in the cloud suddenly and permanently becoming inaccessible and this.
      • Which doesn't change the fact that people have the chance to retrieve their data only because Google was accommodating. A scenario where nobody gets time to get their stuff out is not only plausible, but, in my opinion, inevitable in the long run.

        • Sure, something like that will probably happen at least once (if it hasn't already), somewhere--it's a big world. The GP was implying that this situation was a reason not to trust the cloud to permanently store data, which I think is a little harsh considering no data has been lost. That is, I agree with their overall point--cloud data could be lost, and if you really care about data don't just trust the cloud--but disagree that this case exemplifies it.
    • Who said it was a permanent place to store the data? There's no storage medium that will guarantee permanent storage of data. Everything ends or crumbles at some point. At least in the cloud, you get ample notification of impending shutdown before it happens.
    • You mean the 'free cloud' is not a good place to rely on. Paid cloud space is as 'permanent' as you want it to be.

      • Khm... AmieStreet. Bought up by Amazon, can't access my songs anymore.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        IIRC there were plenty of people that paid for a "premium" geocities account, didn't do them much good in the end. It all comes down to how much a corp can 'monetize" the service and whether they are happy with small chunks of change or only huge buckets.

        So I'd say the real problem is NO company will admit to how much monetization they require to keep a service. A service can be bringing in a million a month but if some mega corp doesn't think anything less than 4 million a month is worth messing with? Bye

      • Just like photos never get removed on paid Flickr accounts, or Microsoft never loses Sidekick data. Right?

        Oh wait...

        • Paid Flickr accounts run by people who read the Terms of Service almost never have problems.

          PS nobody ever claimed these were where you should store the only copies of your data.

    • Re:The cloud. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DarkJC (810888) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @02:15PM (#35841432)

      Here's what I don't understand: why can't they just move the Google Video content over to youtube themselves? They own both services. Why make everyone who wants to keep their video download it locally and reupload it back to Google's servers?

      • by TheLink (130905)
        Because the MPAA and RIAA will try to get lots of $$$ from them?
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Not if google buys and sacks the lot of em.

      • Why not indeed! Too much bother and expense I guess.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Here's what I don't understand: why can't they just move the Google Video content over to youtube themselves? They own both services. Why make everyone who wants to keep their video download it locally and reupload it back to Google's servers?

        I think there are a couple reasons.

        1. This gives them a chance to abandon a LOT of data that nobody cares about any more. These services get a lot of crap uploaded which ends up being completely forgotten about, and if it's not viewable by the public isn't doing anything for anybody. That still equates to cost in terms of storage space and processing times for backups, etc.

        2. They probably don't want to just create a shitload of new youtube accounts. They're hoping people either setup a new account (and wit

      • by Xest (935314)

        I wondered the same, but Google Video has always been much less restricted than YouTube in terms of content.

        Unless it's changed one example that comes to mind is that YouTube never used to allow the raw unedited footage of the Sknyliv airshow disaster, yet Google video did.

        So even if they moved it across I suspect there is some content that would be lost forever, which is bad news for anyone wanting to see what the real aftermath of a fighter jet crashing into a crowd is. You know, just in case you ever nee

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You say that in a way that implies that there is a good _single_ place to permanently store data? Would you mind sharing what that is?

    • Yet another example for people who say that the cloud is a good place to permanently store their data....

      Yes, but people will never learn. They'll always say something stupid like, "Well, you shouldn't have been using that service. Something like that could never happen to the service I use."

    • by GeorgeS (11440)

      Yet another reason not to use Google for anything other than what it is...A search engine.

  • by pasv (755179)
    Now I'll have to watch Interstella 5555 now in 5+ parts with advertisements rather than in 1 medium quality Google Video stream :-(
    • Fear not! We can all switch to MegaVideo. At least, you can [megavideo.com].
    • Youtube has a high-quality version. [youtube.com]

      I also got the content removal email, but my content was a promo video for an event that is long past, so it's OK by me.

      • Re:Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

        by simp (25997) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @12:57PM (#35840788)

        "This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

        Thanks for the notice EMI. Next time I want to buy audio/video content I will make sure to block you too. Just returning the favor...

      • by Seth024 (1241160)

        Yes you might not care about a single promo video anymore but think of all the information that will disappear from the internet, never to be seen again, if nobody uploads it anywhere else. If you no longer have the originals, you'll never be able to watch that video again.

  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Osgeld (1900440) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @12:40PM (#35840636)

    Why didnt they just dump it all on youtube in the first place?

    • Maybe the user agreement for uploading to Google Video wasn't flexible enough to allow Google to copy the videos to Youtube?

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Then they could give you a button that says "Migrate to YouTube" and be done with it.
        • by tepples (727027)
          Not every YouTube has earned the "upload longer videos" privilege, which would be required for migrating any video longer than 15 minutes.
          • by hldn (1085833)

            they could easily add an exception for videos migrated from google video.

            • Yeah, this smells of the Schmidt-era silos. "Oh, we're YouTube, not Google Video". I'm surprised this decision made it past the new Larry/Sergey management team. Maybe it was decided a few months ago. But New-Again Google should be agile enough to undecide things.

        • Then they could give you a button that says "Migrate to YouTube" and be done with it.

          This is obviously just a guess - but I wouldn't be surprised if, from a legal standpoint, that could open them up for lawsuits when an end-user moves copyrighted material from Google Video to YouTube.

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            I'm not buying that. They are already on the hook for as much as they are going to be for copyrighted material. If a disclaimer that the users is responsible is good enough, then it is good enough. A better guess would be that they don't think there is very much on there that anyone really cares about, so they don't see a need to migrate it. The way they are doing it, they can do their due diligence in regard to not being evil by letting you get access to the videos if you care, and they can dump anythi
    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Yes... What's more surprising than the closure is that it wasn't on YouTube.

      For some reason, I always thought that Google, years ago, decided to make Google Video simply mirror the contents of YouTube and vice versa.

    • by mark-t (151149)
      Almost every video that I've ever watched on google video was at least half an hour in length, often much longer. Youtube videos can't typically be that long without special arrangements being made. I can't say authoritatively that is the reason why they weren't using youtube, but unless I learn otherwise, I'd be inclined to think that it could have played a factor.
    • > Why didnt they just dump it all on youtube in the first place?

      Because youtube don't have "Download this video" button.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Most likely because username/password databases for both of them can't easily be merged and because google won't have a clue how to determine who is who on which site.

    • Because your Mom doesn't work there? Clean up your own mess. Why is it people think the other guy should always do what ever? It is a free service as is, they don't owe anyone squat.
      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        you mad bro? I currently have 1 video on youtube and zero on google.

        anyway its just a little blunt, and could be handled by a "yea move my stuff from one service to another" page along with downloads and "eh screw it"

    • Probably because my Google Video account is different to my YouTube account. What if I don't even have a YouTube account. Under who's name do they say the video is stored? Who is the "uploader".

      This also provides a good opportunity to clear out all the videos that are obsolete and of which nobody cares about enough to migrate them themselves

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @01:22PM (#35840998) Homepage

    I've been putting my video on blip.tv instead of YouTube. It's strictly a hosting and streaming service - no one will find your video on blip.tv unless it's linked from elsewhere. It streams nicely, though.

  • We've added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save.

    Google sent me an email to let me know. I don't see a download link where they say it should be.

    • If the "Download" button doesn’t appear, please follow the steps below to enable this option for your video.

      Sign into your Google Video account at https://upload.video.google.com/ [google.com]
      On the Video Status page, click the "Edit Video Info >>" link next to the video you wish to change.
      Click on "Advanced Options."
      Check the box beside "Allow users to download this video."
      When you’re finished editing your video's information, click the "Save Video Information" button at the bottom of the page.

      from here [google.com]

    • by grumbel (592662)

      After Google send the mail half my videos didn't have download links, now, a few hours later, all have them. Seems like the download feature requires some work on their side and wasn't instantly applied to every video.

    • by omglolbah (731566)

      If you want videos archived post the links and we'll add it to the central download queue for the Archive.org downloading effort :)

      --ksh @ #googlegrape EFNet

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @02:35PM (#35841570) Homepage Journal

    Why doesn't Google just make all the Google Video content available as YouTube videos instead? Why not even keep redirecting Google Video URLs to the converted YouTube version? It seems like a lot more work for Google to manage the shutdown than to move it to YouTube, to say nothing of the work by users and lost value when video doesn't make the transition.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think it's the law. When somebody uploaded vvideo to google videos they gave Google license to stream that video on google videos, for youtube you need to accept other using agreement or something.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If this were the main concern, Google could put up a simple checkbox "Allow this video to be transferred to YouTube", and save all the download and re-upload hassle.

        Certainly, the shutdown as implemented is less total work for Google, and makes sense if Google doesn't want the host the video anymore. But, since YouTube exists, and does what it does, one would presume that Google likes keeping piles of crap videos online.

        Most likely, the Mountain View Google Video team is getting shut down, and they don't ha

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          YouTube doesn't need any relationship with GV, or for a GV team to exist, to install a "transfer this video to YouTube" on GV videos. That doesn't seem to be more work that shutting down GV and operating the phase it's in. Keeping more video in the server storage is very little work for YouTube's people. The computers don't complain about the extra work, and the extra work gives more value to YouTube's users - the reason Google operates it.

    • It's possible that Google have looked at the Google Video stats and seen that only a small proportion of videos are actually watched. For them to assume everything is still valid, worthwhile content people care about and move it over is probably a decent chunk of work, not to mention all the resources it would consume to do so.

      So, putting the onus on the people who actually care about the video to do something with it is a pretty big cost-saver for them. I agree it would still be nice of them to do it thoug

      • by adolf (21054)

        For a company that gives away several gigabytes of email storage for free to anyone who bothers to sign up, who also keeps several copies in RAM of any document which they can manage to crawl across on Teh Intarwebs, and who is busily trying to photograph every city street and make the results available for free, I really don't think that the amount of space consumed by Google Video is really significant in any meaningful way.

        Just a guess, of course.

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        Google caches all kinds of content across the Internet, including media files, regardless of the frequency with which they're downloaded. I don't think the relative unpopularity of GV content determined its value in keeping. Especially since the primary factor in its unpopularity was being locked up in GV instead of in YouTube.

  • Personally I like the look and feel of google video better anyway. You Tube is way to commercial for me but I still use it...
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday April 16, 2011 @05:04PM (#35842836) Homepage Journal

    I went to check on one of the long videos I've recommended to folks and there was no download button. It seems that's only there for your own videos. Which seems odd, didn't Google Video used to always have a download button, for people who don't know how to find Flash cache files?

    Anyway, it wasn't clear to me from the summary that this is only for your own files. Abandoned videos will be abandoned, apparently.

    But, hey, good news, a better quality verison [youtube.com] was on YouTube. This might even be the longest video I've ever seen on YouTube. (p.s. good documentary for history and/or economics geeks).

    • by lerxstz (692089)
      I was scrolling through here looking for the easiest way to save the videos. I saw your link, and without knowing what video it was, clicked on it, and it was EXACTLY the video I was wanting to keep from google video. DoublePlusSpooky.

      I agree, it's highly recommended...for conspiracy theorists as well.

      Cheers for posting the link!
    • by omglolbah (731566)

      Post the google video link and we'll add it to the central download queue for the Archive.org downloading effort :)

      --ksh @ #googlegrape EFNet

  • When I click on the "Video Status" links, both on the linked page & in the email that was sent to me by Google, it takes me to a Google Accounts page which only says "Invalid Request". Is anyone else getting this?
  • I'm also surprised that it was pulled so fast. Google video had some nice features and was much cleaner than you tube. They initially got the social networking right and good videos showed up first. I would have thought, that only a bankrupt or sold company would trigger such a shutdown. This is a healthy company pulling content and there was no data disaster at work. I lost even more confidence in such free services. What will be tragic in the future that many organizations do not know any more how to be
  • Google is going to cancel one of the best video services on the internet because it doesn't have the same domain name as YouTube? There are lots of great videos which are on Google video because they are over an hour long. On Youtube they are broken up into many chunks.

    What is Google going to do? Erase them all? All they have to do is transfer the goddamn videos to youtube or let us do it at the click of a button. This on top of them forcing us to give them our cellphone numbers for authentication are two r

    • by belg4mit (152620)

      A) Nobody said anything about cell phones, they just asked for a phone number
      B) You don't have to give it. I left the filed blank without any problems.

  • I wanted to pitch in and help if I could, but didn't have massive bandwith or storage to offer - turns out you can help by scraping Google Video for links.

    Here's how:

    Note: This will only work on Linux machines with X running - you can't run it on headless servers due to phantomjs requirements.

    1 - Get and build phantomjs [github.com] (a headless web browser) by doing the following:
    - Install build-essential, git and libqtwebkit-dev if necessary
    - Create a directory

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