Here we look at some of the unique features of blip.tv that makes it a much better destination for your videos than Youtube.
Support for video formats
Youtube lets you upload videos only in standard formats like the Windows AVI, MOV or the MPEG format. Blip.tv practically supports all possible video formats including the popular Flash Video (flv) format which offers better compression while maintaining the video quality.
Limitations on Video File Sizes
Youtube imposes a 10 minute or 100 MB restriction on files sizes but blip.tv has no such limitation. It is suggested that you can large AVI or MOV videos to FLV files locally and then upload them to blip.tv because FLV files are small in size and will upload very quickly.
Video Playback Options
Videos uploaded on Youtube are first converted to Flash Video and visitors can playback stuff only inside the Youtube branded Flash player. Blip.tv provides a host of options here - visitors can either watch videos in the default flash format or even in the original format that was used at the time of uploading the video.
Automatic Video Backup
What happens when you upload all your important videos to Youtube and the site breaks down for few hours because of a network outage ? Your video will remain inaccessible during that time but blip.tv has this useful option where your videos are parallelly uploaded to the Web Archives as well. So your videos are backed up without you having to do anything.
Video Thumbnail Image
A proper video thumbnail image is very important for grabbing the immediate attention of the visitor - looking at the content and quality of that tiny image, most visitors to video sharing sites decided whether they should watch the video or not ?
Youtube doesn't allow custom thumbnails and makes one automatically from the center frame of your video which may or may not be a good choice. Blip.tv lets you upload thumbnail images so that your videos look good even in the search results. Very cool.
Video Download Options
Youtube hates when people download videos from their site. Infact, they even sent Cease & Desist notice to TechCrunch for writing about a tool that makes it easy to download stuff from YouTube.
Blip.tv, on the other hand, make it very easy to download video. They also allow you download videos in the original format with the same quality - just right click the video link and choose save as. No confusing bookmarklets are required.
Detailed Site Statistics
Youtube shows content owners very minimal stats about their videos like what's the current rating, how many times the videos was played and which sites are linking or sending viewers to that video. Blip.tv provides detailed stats about your videos including how visitors found your video, what format they preferred and where did they watch it - in the feed, some blog or on the main blip.tv website.
Both Blip.tv and Youtube allow visitor comments but in Youtube one has to register before leaving a comment. How many times do you comment on a blog that requires registration ? Very rare. Same holds true here as well. The feedback is sort of limited with Youtube, blip.tv has word CAPTCHA to block spambots.
Video descriptions on Youtube are fairly limited to plain text and URLs but blip.tv supports rich text formatting for video descriptions like any other blog post. They provide a web based text editor like Wordpress and you can also put pictures in them. Again, this is essential to get visitor attention or to achieve good rankings in the search engines.
The most important part - Videos uploaded on Youtube are automatically compressed and resized to the 320x240 format. Blip.tv maintains the original quality of the video and they do not resize the video clips. They encourage content owners to upload different formats of the same video suitable for downloading, watching on the internet or on cellphones.
Conclusion: Blip.tv may not have the huge infrastructure as Google but for the content owner and the end user, that should not be a concern. And as their policy says - "you will always remain the owner of your content."
Blip.tv generates automatic feed enclosures for you RSS feeds. And wait, did we tell you that you upload videos to blip.tv via FTP. Go, give it a shot. You can even make dollars out of your videos.
Here's a sample video on Blip.tv starring my son. It may be tough to see this video quality on Youtube.