The Downside of the Cloud

by francine Hardaway on April 18, 2011

Dear Google Video User,

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. We’ve always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.

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 page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)

We encourage you to move to your content to YouTube if you haven’t done so already. YouTube offers many video hosting options including the ability to share your videos privately or in an unlisted manner. To learn more go here.

Here’s how to download your videos:

Go to the Video Status page.
To download a video to your computer, click the Download Video link located on the right side of each of your videos in the Actions column.

Once a video has been downloaded, “Already Downloaded” will appear next to the Download Video link.

If you have many videos on Google Video, you may need to use the paging controls located on the bottom right of the page to access them all.

Please note: This download option will be available through May 13, 2011.

Thank you for being a Google Video user.

That’s the charming notice I got on Friday from “Don’t-be-Evil” Google Video, which I knew was not taking any more uploads, but I didn’t know was planning to shut down entirely. I have 116 videos hosted on Google Video, which used to be the simplest free place to store video, especially if it’s longer than ten minutes.

I realized I was in for a real treat.

First I tried to select all and download, and found that wasn’t a possibility. Then I tried to download them separately, figuring I could download a dozen or so a day without getting in the way of  “real” life. After all, it took me three years to put them up there, so,,,

But I don’t have access to all the web pages, and about a third of the ones I tried so far cannot be downloaded by following Google’s instructions. The rest downloaded in .flv, a file format with which I am not familiar. My MacOS tells me I need some different software, but doesn’t tell me what that is.

This raises a question for me: when Yahoo shut down its photo sharing site after buying Flickr, it sent me an email asking if I wanted my photos moved to Flickr. I clicked yes, and the photos moved right over. Why can’t Google, which prides itself on getting the best engineers in the world, putting them through eleven interviews, and  distinguishing itself by the depth of its talent base, write a script that will do that for the poor fools like me who thought a free service could last forever?

Here’s the lesson we all should have learned from this: the dream of information stored in the cloud is, after all, just a dream. When you don’t have the information on your own server or hard drive, you run the risk of losing it at the whim of Wall Street, cyber-terrorists, or just plain change in strategic direction.

For years I have been a proponent of storing information in the cloud, and I have just been forced to reconsider. Google doesn’t care about its users, especially since we are not paying customers.



{ 1 trackback }

Google Video deletes all uploaded videos « BCmoney MobileTV
April 29, 2011 at 6:29 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

MikeO April 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Keep a copy yourself. You probably had it when you uploaded.

hardaway April 18, 2011 at 10:58 pm

No, because Ed uploaded them to my GoogleVideo account. I will have to find
his copies.

Merlin U Ward April 19, 2011 at 1:10 am

Google seems to be more an more out of touch with its users. I’ve seen little improvements in the main offerings and a lot of it’s stuff seems halfway done (poor U.I., missing options, bad navigation design). I hope this is just a sign it’s cleaning up to focus and then cleaning up it’s act.

Max April 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

told ya

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