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Google launches Video Player for IE, FF


4:32 pm on Jun 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Users can now watch video from within the browser via a special downloaded player -- one that likely will enable pay-per-view in the future.

...But to watch video, users first have to download the Google Video Viewer, a free plug-in for Google video content only. (The plug-in works with the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers.)


...this is clearly a shot across Microsoft's bow. The Windows Media Player is a standalone application, rife with its own DRM and entanglements with Hollywood. Many once claimed IE would never fall, but Firefox has shown what the open source community can do with some good code and the support of a dedicated user base. I'm pretty sure that once Google's VLC implementation is stared at by enough folks, a stand alone player with hooks into Google Video search and many others will not be far behind.


3:17 pm on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If Google is planning a payment system, that simply means DRM (digital rights management) even if they don't use the term, so I'm not sure that the plugin is really any different from WMP. Why isn't the plugin cross-platform? Because Windows (because of the work put in by Microsoft for WMP) is the only platform where DRM can reasonably be enforced.

Of course Google is obliged to publish patch files as VideoLAN is GPL licensed - so it is much easier for someone with the appropriate knowledge to attempt to bypass the DRM mechanisms.

Couldn't have said it better. Spot on.

Robert Charlton:

> Google is totally focussed... They're just looking at a bigger picture than you might be.

I might not be as visionary as Google or you Robert, I just can't see the benefit of yet another media player besides WMP, QT, and Winamp ... I see what you're saying, though: "Video Playback + Payment = Pay Per View" but as encylco put it, this recipy is missing one important ingredient: DRM. And DRM is a matter of hardware and operating systems - neither is really a domain of Google. To me this is just a waste of time.

4:56 pm on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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which will be paid by advertising... that business model has already been proven to work, for a number of websites that are doing it right now... video advertising pays better than anything on a computer right now.

Such as? Got any P&L numbers?

7:32 pm on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> WMP, Take THAT!

*cough* *cough* [webmasterworld.com] It's not really about WMP or the other players. Not at all.

(December 7, 2004 - don't say I didn't tell you)

12:18 am on June 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Another player to install. Noooooooooooooo.

Why can't I use my existing player to play their stuff?
Why can't I use their player for all my existing stuff?

2:03 pm on June 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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From: 'DVD Jon' Breaks Google Video Lock [news.yahoo.com]:
Norwegian hacker Jon Lech Johansen has cracked the lock on Google's new in-browser video player.

Johansen, also known as 'DVD Jon' for his work on decrypting DVD security codes, has created a patch for the Google Video Vieweróless than 24 hours after the search giant shipped the video playback plug-in, a tool based on the open-source VideoLAN media player.

The patch ... effectively disables a modification Google made to the VideoLAN code to prevent users from playing videos that are not hosted on Google's servers.

For US residents, it's probably best not to download that patch, by the way... ;)

The current situation for copyright holders who wish to distribute their video via Google is that there is no digital rights management built in to the current Google viewer. There is actually nothing within the GPL free license which stops Google from adding DRM in the future, but the license obligation to offer downloads of the source code means that it will be much easier for a patched, DRM-free player to be built. It would be against US law to do so, of course, but it would be legal in most other countries (and the illegality of DeCSS didn't hinder its spead much either).

So how is Google going to handle this situation? Major content producers are still demanding DRM for their creations. Google doesn't provide DRM yet, and if it does so in the future it will be bypassed probably as quickly as the above modification. Can Google get away without DRM? If they want to have a payment mechanism, then surely DRM is obligatory?

9:47 pm on June 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now, since the last poster, wrote about it, I can write about it too.

1. The Google videoplayer builds on an open sourcecode, *********

2. The Norwegian boy John Johansen, called DVD-John cracked the Google lock. The same person that opened iTunes.

3. You find more info on his website.

4. Reminds me of what my math Professor said. If you need a tool and we don't have it, we make it.

5. Was it only a test?

6. As a previous central banker, I know, you always have to go behind the arguments (tests).

Make it simple, as simple as possible, but no simper.

2:09 am on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>>Such as? Got any P&L numbers?<<<

why would i want to do that? i think it's great that competitors don't understand the value of pre-roll :-)

>>>Norwegian hacker Jon Lech Johansen has cracked the lock on Google's new in-browser video player.<<<

that is a total non-event at this point in time... what IS very significant is the potential linux-based crack with wmv9 that he is apparently working on... the adult industry is currently making $$$ with wmv9 drm, how will that be affected? et al.

>>>>> WMP, Take THAT!<<<

the google video player doesn't threaten the windows media player in any way that i can see... it's irrelevant, because it has no drm, it is not bundled with any operating system that would give it market share, it's backed by a huge company that has zero web video player experience, etc.

we know that the only formats google is currently putting on the web are apparently generic, open-source mpeg4 video and mp3 audio... garbage-quality formats compared to wm9, h.264, real, etc... and we are talking about a google/videolan player that still doesn't even play back h.264 video correctly.

that's why advertising is the only current business model that will make google any money.

5:38 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A newsletter I subscribe to provided a tip to find a ton of video in the results. Search for DDR. I don't even know what DDR is, but a bunch of playable videos came up. Maybe it's related to dungeons and dragons. Sure were a lot of geeks in the result.
4:07 pm on July 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google can`t even handle their search engine properly and goin` into the real media and content market requires more that letting a good Algo run ... That "Bourbon" update shows, that Google is goin` JuNKwayz, ... sad though
1:54 pm on July 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I could never get the full download of the Google Video Viewer from their own site. In the end I had to get it from www.download.de if all places.

It appeared to install OK but whenever I try to play a video in Internet Explorer I just get a grey "G" in the window for a couple of seconds and then it stops and doesn't play. In Mozilla Firefox it gives a white window for a couple of seconds. Is anyone else seeing this or have any ideas?

I do have ADSL and I am in Thailand. Maybe they are preventing Thailand IP addresses from accessing the videos? It's important to me because I'm a video producer and I can't even check out my own video that I've uploaded :(

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