The End of Google Videos

Google Videos

Update: April 26th. From Google Webmaster Central Blog:

Last week we sent an email to Google Video users letting them know we would be ending playbacks of Google Videos on April 29 and providing instructions on how to download videos currently hosted on the platform. Since then we’ve received feedback from you about making the migration off of Google Video easier. We work every day to make sure you have a great user experience and should have done better. Based on your feedback, here’s what we’re doing to fix things.

Google Video users can rest assured that they won’t be losing any of their content and we are eliminating the April 29 deadline. We will be working to automatically migrate your Google Videos to YouTube. In the meantime, your videos hosted on Google Video will remain accessible on the web and existing links to Google Videos will remain accessible.

Well, that is a victory for common sense! Here’s what I originally wrote:


When Google Video stopped accepting uploads in 2009: they wrote:

In a few months, we will discontinue support for uploads to Google Video. Don’t worry, we’re not removing any content hosted on Google Video — this just means you will no longer be able to upload new content to the service.

That sounded like a promise, eh? But just a couple of years later, on April 16th, 2011, Google Video sent a circular to their patrons announcing that the service was being removed and that videos would no longer be available for playback from April 29th, just two weeks later.

That they should remove their free hosting service, if they so wish, is undoubtedly their right, that they should give just two weeks notice seems to me outrageous.

In the meantime I have in fact moved the videos I had with Google to the Internet Archive, which seemed like a good option at the time as regular YouTube users could only upload 10 minutes worth of video, and mine were longer.

(I am less sure now as the Internet Archive videos seem never to appear in the Google search engine results, no matter how relevant they are.)

However the big problem with taking down the site is that it will leave thousands of dead links all over the Net, as embeds no longer work. For sites like Top Documentary Films and Documentary Heaven, which I use a lot this will present a major headache.

On this blog I had nearly 30 videos embedded, some of which will soon no longer be available. Last night in a mad scramble I managed to replace 10 of them:

  1. The BBC’s Life of the Buddha
  2. Earthlings and Speciesism
  3. Amongst White Clouds
  4. We, featuring the words of Arundhati Roy
  5. Thangkas 1: How they are Made
  6. The Slow Poisoning of India
  7. The Emotional World of Farm Animals
  8. The Tibetan Book of the Dead – A Way of Life
  9. The Tibetan Book of the Dead – The Great Liberation
  10. The Lion’s Roar

But 17 are gone with no replacement, including two whole series:

  1. The Silk Road (12)
  2. The Miracle of Bali (3)
  3. Mysterious Mummies of China
  4. Kumbha Mela – The Largest Spiritual Gathering on Earth

I am leaving the posts up as they normally include reviews, etc. as well as stills and I am hoping that at some future time they will be posted again on YouTube or elsewhere, and I will of course then update the links, but from April 27th they will be dead 🙁


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