i'm sure you've been seeing these television advertisements all over for aol's new video service. they really have been pushing it a lot. the ad features ed bundy (c'mon let's be real you don't know his name either) in a public service like announcement...talking about how all this video on the internet goes unwatched each year. personally i think the approach is a bit tacky (a bit of a mockery for the charity foundations), but maybe that's because i first saw it while watching 'United 93' which was commercial free sponsored by AOL -- i just thought they might have thought of a better topic to display psa-like advertisements than the united movie.
all that aside, i couldn't escape the ads, so today i went for a look. now i've used google video once, but rarely went back. since then youtube has been my source for internet video (as i'm sure yours). soapbox has been winning me over to distribute my own videos, but i think it will take time to get there from a pervasiveness thing. i do think the quality of videos on soapbox is better (not the quality of the content, but the digital quality). but all that being said, this was my current paradigm.
so off to video.aol.com i go. ugh. horrible. the ad gave me the impression that it was youtube-ish. well kinda, but most of it seems to be centered around purchasable content. and crappy (or to be fair -- not relevant to me) content at that. here's this one with a title named "hidden camera reveals what buyers think" -- cool i thought i'd see some hidden cameras in some open houses with potential buyers talking crap about the home. nope, a list of "sell your house" videos. well the videos very well may have contained that content but at $1.99 per watch i wasn't going to find out.
the layout is horrible for me, and "too much" especially in this era of web <pick-your-version>.0. it amazes me that aol didn't take all the free research from youtube/google video/soapbox and implement the best product. (much like i would have hoped microsoft took all the free research about ipod and made a better zune) right now at best they are an aggregator -- even listing that their videos are coming from other places. for me, it is unusable. i'm sticking with youtube.
the only video i found beneficial was this jay leno episode (i would have embedded a player for you but didn't see that option).