You just cannot ignore Google. Last week, in a quiet move loaded with implications for the future, YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Google, began experimenting with a commercial service for downloading videos.
Last year, when I was tempted to watch YouTube videos in my living room TV set on a large screen. I downloaded some free and trial software on the Net and converted some YouTube videos into other formats (like MPEG2 compatible with DVD players) and used a USB drive on my DVD player to watch it.
That was fun, but there are problems in doing this thing. It is not cumbersome, not safe from viruses—and can be illegal if the video is copyrighted. Also, we need easier ways to watch any video we want, in size of screens, quality and purchase.
Now, YouTube could do to videos what Apple did to song downloads.
“Partners could choose to offer their video downloads for free or for a small fee paid through Google Checkout. Partners can set prices and decide which licence they want to attach to the downloaded video files,” YouTube said in its official blog.
The company did not reveal the names of the partners.
I think it is only a question of time before not only Google, but other sites offer commercially saleable video downloads. That will do wonders.