I stumbled across Vimeo recently and was pleasantly surprised.  I’m not one to upload commercial content (like ads and music videos).  I was looking for a site that offered fast service and limited compression for my personal DV projects.  Everything else, while important to consider, is secondary: interface, community, ratings, comments, etc.  Previously, I had used YouTube to host my video projects because I thought this was my only option.  I had been less than pleased with the compression as there was a noticeable drop in both video and audio quality.  Then I encountered Vimeo.

I played a few clips when I visited Vimeo’s site and thought the video looked great compared to YouTube.  I signed up for an account and immediately noticed a major setback: 30 MB upload limit per week.  I thought, “this is crap,” and uploaded one video and moved on.  Unless you’re uploading 2 minutes clips, the 30 MB limit might as well have been 5 MB for all I’m concerned. 

This past Thursday, they increased the weekly limit to 250 MB.  That’s pretty impressive.  YouTube doesn’t limit your weekly limit, but they only allow for 100 MB per video.  And while Vimeo uses Flash compression like YouTube, the video and audio are a lot less compressed.  Vimeo is clearly geared toward hosting personal video projects as they remove any copyright material.  From just about every video I’ve seen, the community appears to be pretty skillful at filmmaking as well, a far cry from the annoying 12-year olds that have populated YouTube.  One thing I don’t like however, is the ability for people to download your original clip.  Hopefully, they’ll do away with that “feature” soon.  I’ve uploaded the same video to both Vimeo and YouTube so you can compare the difference in compression for yourselves.  (Sidenote: To embed Vimeo clips in WordPress, you have to uncheck “Use the visual rich editor when writing” from the ‘Users’ configuration page and then just paste the code in the post editor that Vimeo provides)



UPDATE (10/24/07): Vimeo now supports HD video (1280 x 720) with a 500MB per week cap.  In addition, they’ve bumped up the resolution of non-HD video from 460 to 506 (horizontal) pixels, and the bitrate from 400 kb/s to 500 kb/s.  What separates their HD service from something like Divx’s Stage6, is that it runs using Flash player, so no software installation is required beyond flash.  Even my 4-year old laptop was able to render the HD videos in full-screen–very impressive.  The new HD service is currently being subsidized by Canon for the rest of 2007, with talks of it becoming a premium service afterwards.  Check out some HD videos in the Vimeo HD Channel.

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8 Responses to “Why Vimeo is Better than YouTube”  

  1. 1 Jakob Lodwick

    We’ll let you disabled original video-file downloading in the future.

    I can’t tell you when, but it won’t be too long.

    Thanks for the nice post.

  2. 2 cipura

    @Jakob Lodwick

    while you are at it, please consider the private video option too.
    thats my only con.

  3. 3 Grant PItel

    I have more faith that a company like Google, with its infinite resources, will win the “video wars” that have been developing. None of the companies have come up with a profitable business model, so I don’t see how these smaller video providers are going to survive.

  4. 4 admin at the a9

    Vimeo is superior, although Youtube have a better subscriber base, as was said before Vimeo has a different “Class” of user, videos are better, so its probably just as well that everyone is not flocking here as it may turn out to be the scrap yard that Youtube has become. Not that Youtube isnt a good platform, it supports “High quality” through the &fmt=a8 at the end of the URL, but its just not as nice as Vimeo, Youtube is clumsy and everyones place and Vimeo is for people who love to produce video and not just anything like Youtube.



  6. 6 ridz16

    One of the things I love about vimeo is:

    - the ability to re-upload the videos
    - no time limitation

  7. 7 Christian

    Thanks for the review, I was having problems with .mov files on youtube so I am considering vimeo. And the fact that vimeo allows people to download a clip isn’t so bad because, actually, just yesterday I downloaded something onto firefox that lets me very easily download youtube clips, or any other clip for that matter, all it needs is the link. Anyway, if that’s the bad side of vimeo then I’m signin on.

  8. 8 NBA

    Why Vimeo USED TO BE better than Youtube: I’ve trying to upload a 400mb video to vimeo for 3 days and if internet goes down for any reason there is no way to resume. Well, we have the desktop uploader which you can download and install. I did so, but this Air coded piece of garbage doesn’t work at all, when the video has been uploaded 100%, nothing happens!

    So, here comes in Youtube, with its aweful but functional interface. I select advanced upload and a java window opens up, no need to download and install anything, and works just as it should!

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