P2P Video Sharing – YouTube Alternatives

YouTube has recently taken down a lot of sites, many conservative ones. In general, Alphabet Corp., the parent of both YouTube and Google, has been on a Jihad against Conservative sites lately. Hiding them in search results and taking down their video channels. Folks need to know about the alternatives.

One of these alternatives is PeerTube. There’s a good write up about it here:

https://torrentfreak.com/peertube-a-censorship-resistent-youtube-alternative-180623/

PeerTube: A ‘Censorship’ Resistent YouTube Alternative
BY ERNESTO ON JUNE 23, 2018

YouTube is a great video platform that has a lot to offer to both consumers and creators. At least, those who play by the rules. For creators, there is a major drawback though, one that put a spotlight on the alternative ‘free-libre’ software PeerTube this week.

On Tuesday we reported that several YouTube channels had all their videos blocked worldwide. This included those belonging to MIT OpenCourseWare,’ the ‘Blender Foundation,’ and many others.
[…]
Luckily there are some alternatives that put creators in control again. PeerTube is one of these options.

When the Blender Foundation had all its videos blocked by YouTube earlier this week, a decision was taken to give this alternative a try. In a matter of hours, Blender had a fully operational streaming site, one which they had complete control over.

This prompted TF to take a closer look at PeerTube and what it has to offer.
[…]
Put simply, PeerTube allows anyone to set up their own video streaming site. This can run independently, but it can also be linked, or federated, with other PeerTube instances to create a broader reach. All with P2P steaming support.

The first version of PeerTube launched last year. It’s operated by the small French non-profit organization Framasoft, and thus far it hasn’t really broken through in English-speaking countries. The Blender Foundation’s problems, while very unfortunate, may change that.

“Blender’s example illustrates our main goal: autonomy, independence from external platforms. When you centralize videos and attention, you gain power over the users. Our approach goes the other way,” Framasoft’s Pouhiou tells TF.

PeerTube comes with built-in WebTorrent support. This means that viewers also contribute their bandwidth, which can come in handy if a video goes viral.

To ‘federate’ with other PeerTube instances, the software uses the ActivityPub protocol, which is also used by the popular social networking software Mastodon. This helps to grow the video library if needed, but it’s entirely optional.

Going to the PeerTube site:

https://joinpeertube.org/en/

Take back control of your videos
A decentralized video hosting network, based on free/libre software

There “how it works” page is here:

https://joinpeertube.org/en/#how-it-works

How it works

Everybody can host a PeerTube server we call instance. Every instance hosts its own users and their videos. It also keeps a list of the videos available of the instances the administrator chooses to follow in order to suggest them to its users.

Every account has a globally unique identifier (e.g. @chocobozzz@framatube.org) consisting of the local username (@chocobozzz) and the domain name of the server it is on (framatube.org).

The administrators of a PeerTube instance can follow each other. When your PeerTube instance follows another PeerTube instance, you receive the videos preview informations from this instance. This way, you can display the videos available on your instance and on the instances you decided to follow. So you keep control of the videos displayed on your PeerTube instance!

Why is that cool?

Servers are run independently by different people and organizations. They can apply wildly different moderation policies, so you can find or make one that fits your taste perfectly.

By watching a video, you help the hosting provider to broadcast it by becoming a broadcaster of the video yourself. Each instance doesn’t need much money to broadcast the videos of its users.

Basically a bittorrent for videos. Unfortunately, it would not work with the old (very old) version of Firefox on my Mac and suggested I use a newer one, which I can’t install on this machine. They do list many potential sites (called “instances”) using it here:

https://instances.joinpeertube.org/instances

Overall it looks like a nice way for DIY video sharing, but not a direct competitor kind of service for YouTube.

A Direct Competitor To YouTube

I’ve already posted some links from BitChute. It looks to me like a fair number of conservative folks, censored at YouTube, have already moved there:

https://mountainrepublic.net/2017/08/29/bitchute-launches-in-response-to-youtube-censorship/

From a year ago, so no doubt far out of date on the size of growth.

BitChute Launches in Response to YouTube Censorship
Posted on August 29, 2017 by Mountain★Republic

A new video streaming site called BitChute is being touted as the most promising alternative to YouTube. This year, increasing political censorship on YouTube has caused unease among its user base. Demonetisation and shadow banning has left popular uploaders with dwindling income and a bleak future.

Unlike YouTube, BitChute doesn’t rely on servers to store a huge amount of video data. Instead, BitChute uses a decentralized torrent based system, with users sharing streams from their own computers. The “Bit” part of the name is in honor of BitTorrent, and it’s the first torrent client that operates in an ordinary web browser.

Because BitChute avoids the huge overheads that YouTube is beholden to, it could be a very serious contender. In January 2017 they had 100 users. Now in August they have around 20,000. It may be inevitable that people migrate away from sites that are deemed to have a political bias. With existing platforms, search engines and sites now being owned by huge monopoly companies like Google, people with a desire for free speech are looking for the next big thing.

And that just might be BitChute.

Here’s the top page of BitChute. Lots of good stuff to choose from there already:

https://www.bitchute.com/

But is there more? Oh yeah.

There’s A Wiki For That!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_hosting_services

There’s a surprisingly large number of them. I make it about 56 at the moment, plus 8 X-rated sites. Then they list 2 providers of commercial video site building systems, then 16 “Enterprise Providers”

Enterprise providers

Listed here are video hosting providers exclusively serving businesses wanting to share video content internally with employees or externally with customers, partners, or prospects. Features may include limiting access to authenticated users, tracking of user actions, integration with single sign-on services and a lack of the advertisements normally present on public sites. Among sites in this category are:

Not much use for us non-business types.

And then 3 Open Source options:

Open source

GNU MediaGoblin (software)
Kaltura
Plumi (software to create video sharing site)

There’s also a link to a “comparison” page for video sharing options:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_hosting_services

The comparison page doesn’t attempt to compare most of those listed in the “list” page, so be advised it’s limited.

Clearly I can’t review all of them here. Heck, I can’t even visit all of them in any reasonable time.

Many of them are familiar names that have added video sharing or have been around but not dominant: Flickr (Yahoo), Vimeo, YouTube itself, Facebook, LiveLeak, Metacafe, Myspace, Photobucket, Reditt, Twitch and more.

The point here is simple: There are a LOT of already existing and already in use places to host a video. Plus a couple of P2P options (one of which seems to already be gathering critical mass as a censorship free zone).

So, OK, what to do?

Well, first off, I’m going to be hanging out at BitChute a lot more. I’ll not be bothering with the other “Corporate Left” sites like Facebook or similar as they have already demonstrated they are kindred spirits with YouTube in the censorship of Conservative and alternative views; plus I’m fond of promoting P2P as a more “tamper proof” alternative technology.

Second, I’m going to be looking over some of those other services. Leaving out the ones, like Aparat that are in other languages (Persian) that I don’t know and / or those that are housed in non-free countries (Iran).

Even with that, there are a great many sites to check out.

As anyone tries one and has an opinion, please feel free to let the rest of us know!

It is rather pleasant to realize there’s a huge number of options and a large variety of choice!

Subscribe to feed

Advertisements

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Tech Bits and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to P2P Video Sharing – YouTube Alternatives

  1. Tim. says:

    I’ve been using Vimeo for a number of years now. Only trouble with it is that Google blocks it heavily in video searches. And Mojeek doesn’t do video :-(

  2. H.R. says:

    Word will spread. Bye-bye, youtube.

  3. philjourdan says:

    Gab, mojeek, Peertube. The “masters of the universe” are going to find out they are masters of nothing. I have said many times that their policies of discrimination (which I support as they are private companies) are going to be their downfall. More and more will just move away where they are unfettered by arbitrary censorship based not upon content, but on politics.

    All the big companies got there by being as wild and open as the internet itself. But as soon as they started screwing their customers (or their products as the case may be), others will find a way to circumvent them. As is happening.

    P.s. The Twitter thing has crossed from being a private company into the public domain thanks to the idiot judge in NY and their own policies. The judge ruled that Trump cannot block people, meaning it is no longer private, but a public concern. And twitter, by shadowbanning conservatives while not doing the same to liberals, has violated campaign laws about in kind donations. They are going to find it much more expensive to be on the wrong side of lawsuits. That they will lose.

  4. philjourdan says:

    @Tim – neither did google until they bought YouTube. But like eating blue crabs, it is a lot of work, but well worth the effort! So too is using alternatives to the masters of the universe.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    Another one. DTube. A blockchain based video service:

    https://about.d.tube/

    Using the STEEM Blockchain as a database

    STEEM

    Because we want D.Tube to be truly decentralized, we cannot have a server running a database and use it to query things. Using a blockchain is a natural solution. STEEM has many advantages over other blockchains. It is fast (3 sec blocks). It is free, anyone can use it without having to deposit some form of currency, and transactions have no fees. Who would want to pay money to upload a video, comment a video, or even upvote? Nobody. As an added bonus, the STEEM blockchain already has a reward-earning mechanism.

    Any video uploaded on D.Tube becomes a STEEM content, that can earn rewards for 7 days. D.Tube doesn’t use either the title or the body of a content to store information, therefore if you don’t want your video upload to appear in your feed, you can edit or delete it, the video would stay intact on D.Tube. While it would be possible to display nothing on other platforms like steemit.com or busy.org, I believe the current behavior to be fine and will help the platform growth and the users rewards.

    Using IPFS as a static file storage

    IPFS

    IPFS is a protocol that enables decentralized file storage. The principle behind it is called Distributed Hash Tables (DHT). The same principle also powers the BitTorrent network. Just like how cryptocurrency uses asymmetrical cryptography, DHT networks will hash contents in order to be able to identify a file. The hash becomes the identifier of a file, and it’s as easy as re-hashing a file and making sure the hashes match to ensure the file that was sent to us is the original.

    Why not use Torrent then? Torrent arguably already has more content and is more mainstream. However, Torrent was not built for the web. Some implementations such as WebTorrent are trying to make it work, but it still requires some ‘hybrid’ clients that would act as bridges in order to transfer files from hard clients such as μTorrent to web clients that run in a browser. Not very convenient, even less efficient. I am sure a lot of you have used PopcornTime to watch some ‘pirated’ content and have enjoyed it, but building something similar that runs inside a browser without having to run hybrid clients to connect people, is sadly impossible.

    IPFS is a younger, open-source, and actively developed protocol. It has a bright future ahead. Using it as the main mean of storage for this project was a no-brainer.

    Interesting idea, but I have to wonder what adding all that hashing and distributed data transfers will do to the already high burden of video streaming, especially on light weight platforms like a Raspberry Pi.

    I think I’ll stick with BitChute for now and test Yacy on the Pi for search.

  6. Robert says:

    It will take a while for these alternatives to really have an impact – as need consumer bandwidth and storage to get cheaper to really make a dent in Google’s highly optimised and super-low cost information management and distribution systems. Guessing another 10 years (or more).

  7. beththeserf says:

    Valuable information for the open society.
    A pox on censorship. Thx E.M.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Dailymotion: https://www.dailymotion.com/

    Tends to look a bit comercial / slick (and not a lot of DIY homebrew video stuff) but not all that surprising given that it looks like it is created by / backed by a lot of commercial corporate types. Still, it looks to have some interesting things there to see. Heavy on the “tabloid” movie star / new movie advert stuff. Some news too. Other stuff too..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dailymotion

    Dailymotion is a video-sharing technology platform. It is majority owned by Vivendi. North American launch partners include BBC News, VICE, Bloomberg, Hearst Digital Media, and more. Dailymotion is available worldwide, in 18 languages and 35 localised versions featuring local home pages and local content. It has more than 300 million unique monthly users.

    Worth checking out their content to see if it is what you like.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Golly, one strongly oriented to Christian videos. Just in case you don’t already get enough on Sunday and / or don’t want to trip over bothersome stuff on your way to a hymnal…

    https://www.godtube.com/

  10. Tim. says:

    I’d be suspicious of Dailymotion with the BBC having a finger in the pie. In fact anyone offering a ‘free’ service needs to be looked at closely to understand their fundamental aims. Mojeek will be effectively advertising their cloud services through the search engine. Vimeo’s free service is limited, but good enough to entice users into paying a reasonable fee for a better service.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Based out of the UK, LiveLeak looks like CitizenTabloid Journalism

    https://www.liveleak.com/

    Intended to be news, it has things like police saving a lady who fell under a train, to someone getting a B.J.in a bank.. Plane crash.. Crashes and chases. Stealing a shark with a baby stroller.

    It’s an interesting idea… Wonder if anyone saw Elvis or captures space aliens over Las Vegas…

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    MeFeedia doesn’t have user upload, but instead uses RSS to collect video from commercial sites and video blogs. The “global warming” search on it looked evenly split between skeptics and the anointed.

    http://www.mefeedia.com/search/

    http://www.mefeedia.com/search/?q=global+warming

    Unfortunately, it wants Flash installed to play – a minor security risk and old tech.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Seems a bit commercial, but has a lot of “Aw Stories”, so for folks wanting that, it looks reasonable:

    https://rumble.com/

    Dogs sharing treats, snoring horses, strange things in the sea and bears chasing a kayak… all the usual unusual stuff.

    The wiki on it says:

    Rumble is a video sharing website headquartered in Toronto, Canada. It was founded in 2013 by Chris Pavlovski.
    The platform allows users to post and share videos, and aims to allow creators to monetize and distribute video content across the Internet. According to comScore, the platform is currently one of the top 50 most popular video sharing sites.
    As of September 2017, Rumble is said to attract over 250 million views a month from 100 million active users. The platform uses artificial intelligence to license and verify content before it is published, as well as distribute and monetize published content.

  14. ossqss says:

    I did a drive by on putlocker the other day to catch something I missed recording and didn’t want to pay for again. Worked well, once I bypassed the sign up and popup parts. I did not sign up and was able to view the item in full.

  15. Another Ian says:

    Around this area

    “What is the Only Major Network You Can’t Livestream (Hint: It’s the One Your Taxes Support)”

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2018/07/what-is-the-only-major-network-you-cant-livestream-hint-its-the-one-your-taxes-support.html

Anything to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.