Tag Archives: video-playback

The Final Word on Zango and Revver

Asi Behar from Revver has responded:

Revver is, and always has been, an open syndication network. Our platform – whether it be the API, widgets, RSS feeds, or direct embeds – was designed to offer creators and sharers of content a way to fully white label and monetize their video experience – a service offered to each and every Revver member.

In this respect, Zango is no different from any other sharer/syndicator on our network: they’re using our API, which every Revver user has full access to, to pull and share content. They earn the 20% syndication fee just as any other Revver user would for sharing and driving traffic to Revver content, and must agree to our terms of service in order to do so. As a result, they are helping creators earn money by exposing their content to their audience.

The openness of our network is both a philosophical and technical feature of our network. We’ve resisted numerous partners that insisted on partitioning off content; we feel strongly that the future of media, especially on the internet, lies in its ability to be freely shared and distributed and we’d really like to see this ideal succeed.

Despite our stance, however, we do recognize that some creators may not want their content distributed by Zango, so we’ll contact them to help remedy the situation. If you or any Revver member requests, we will contact Zango on your behalf and request they stop using your content on their site. Revver members can contact us via our contact form to request assistance.

We’d like to see an internet where content is allowed to roam freely while still earning money for our creators and sharers – so to that end we’ll be re-evaluating Zango’s use of the Revver API. I’ll keep you posted with any news on the matter.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance,

Asi Behar
VP, Software Engineering – Revver
asi {@} revver_com

As has Steve Stratz, Zango’s Director of Public Relations – albeit privately.

Bottom line: Zango is willing and able to remove videos from their index, and they’re not breaking any rules by using Revver’s API. They’re no more hijacking videos than you would be by embedding them in your own site, but that was never my issue with Zango forcing users to download software before they could view my content. Steve from Zango contends that their software is… not crapware. Whatever.

Revver is not doing their publishers any favor by continuing business with Zango, in my humble opinion (as a user, as a publisher, as someone who deals with people who have installed Zango’s software). Moreover, the “Zango” checkmark needs to be more readily accessible through Revver’s control panel.

Again, I do not challenge the video embedding or Revver affiliate model at its core – I do, however, challenge the need for Zango to force users to install software that is COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY FOR THEM TO ACTUALLY VIEW THE VIDEO I PRODUCED.

Zango is Hijacking Videos!?

Zango Hijacking Exhibit A

WTF is this!?

I do a Google search to find the link for an old recording, and in the results I find Zango search results. It’s not the search results with search results that causes me concern, so much as the search results are from Zango. Moreover, three of the top 5 links in the Zango results are links to former recordings of mine. Not links to our YouTube channel, not links to our archives

But if it weren’t Zango, I’d probably be thrilled. Why?

Zango Hijacking Exhibit C

Let’s look at what happens when you click through to on one of my videos on Zango.com. Instead of being directed to the actual video, you’re directed to an intermediate page with a “Unlimited Play – Play Now!” header right next to the thumbnail for the video in question. WTF?! It gets worse.

In order to play the video through Zango, the user must agree to a EULA and a checkbox that clearly states:

By clicking “Continue” I represent that I (1) am at least 18, (2) agree to the EULA terms and (3) consent to install Zango and play Accounting Software.

But that disclaimer and action item is sitting next to:

Zango Hijacking Exhibit B

Thanks to Zango, premium content on this and other websites is free, paid for by advertising. When installed, Zango software presents ads (based on keywords from your Internet browsing) in the Zango Toolbar and in a separate browser window that pops up on your screen. If included in this download, the Zango Outlook/Outlook Express Toolbar gives you access to free emoticons and other fun content from within Outlook or Outlook Express when you are online. Zango is always running and will upgrade automatically. You can uninstall Zango via Add/Remove Programs, but then won’t have access to most Zango content.

Now, unless I missed a checkbox somewhere, I don’t remember giving Zango permission to push crapware on my behalf. It’s the software installation part that has me queasy, especially given their questionable past. How many people have been duped into believing that they needed to install Zango before they could watch anybody’s video?

Don’t install Zango, people! You don’t need to install Zango to watch my videos, and I’ll go as far as to state that if you want to watch videos, the last place you’d want to watch them is on Zango or with anything they’d ever give you to install!!!

This is just… unacceptable. >:( If I were a lawyer, I’d file a lawsuit (class action?) tomorrow. They make it look as though the user needs to install Zango software in order to play back the content that I’ve already given to them for free.

Why hasn’t Google blacklisted these guys yet?

Media is Still in the Dark Ages

I’ve long believed that the future of media playback on the desktop (or mobile device) would ultimately pass through Flash. Why there hasn’t been a truly universal, codec-neutral media player released for any operating system is beyond me. Lockergnome reader Anthony Baker submitted the following, in respect to the future of the Windows Media Player:

From what I can gather, there are high playback error rates with WMP (around 10%) that aren’t found during Flash playback (drops to 1%). Doesn’t seam like the problem is with the Windows Media codec for video itself, but the player. Methinks that Silverlight will be the answer to this, as they get around a lot of the playback problems in inherent in the current versions of the WMP. You get the video quality (which is, frankly, very good for streaming video) and a good playback.

The problem, of course, is that Silverlight doesn’t yet have the kind of adoption rate you need to formally ditch WMP for WMV playback, so they’re either stuck with what they’ve got, or they go Flash. As I recall, with the new version of MSN Video, playback has gone ALL Flash for the time being — specifically because of the great kind of playback performance they’re getting with Flash Video.

I’m fully expecting there to be an iPhone firmware update in the next few months that will include a Flash player with it. In related news, I just had the sucker “black screen” on me while I was trying to set up voicemail. Had I not been streaming live, nobody else would have heard how it was bungling my custom greeting recordings. Media is still in the dark ages, my friends.