Video Essentials

Choosing a UGC Site, Part 2: Vimeo

Vimeo is a site created by filmmakers and video creators that generally caters to that community. Basic Vimeo accounts can upload 500 MB of video a week, with one HD video a week, and there is no time limit. Plus users ($59.95/year) can upload an unlimited number of HD files up to 5 GB per week, either one at a time or via drag and drop with the freely downloadable Vimeo Uploader.


Beyond normal copyright restrictions, Vimeo states “Do Not Upload Videos Intended for Commercial Use,” and specifically prohibits videos with advertisements, promotional videos, product promotions, and real estate walk-throughs. There are some exceptions, particularly for music and video professionals, but if your videos are explicitly commercial, you run the risk of getting tossed. For those of you not getting the point, one final quote from the Community Guidelines “Businesses may not use Vimeo to externalize their hosting costs.”

Vimeo's embed options

Uploading files with the free service can be frustrating, as Vimeo delays encoding for as much as 90 minutes, and taunts you with messages like “Vimeo Plus members are moved to the front of this line and never have to wait.” Fortunately, the wait is worth it, as video quality was quite good across the board, with the exception of the DV video file – you should definitely scale and deinterlace DV content before uploading.

Embed options are good; with options like size, color, and whether to autoplay or loop the video. The embed code is compatible with Flash and iDevices, and all videos played perfectly on my iPad.

In the interest of full disclosure, I use Vimeo Plus on Streaming Learning Center because the screencam quality was quite good, and I liked the ability to customize player size to fit my blog. The community is also well suited to the types of tutorial and demo videos that I produce.  Streaming Learning Center doesn’t currently have any third party advertisements, though perhaps it will in the future, which may cause me to get booted from the site. Note that I created a new, basic account for testing to help ensure that I didn’t confuse Plus and basic features. You can see the videos that I embedded below this article.

HD Test File

Vimeo HD Test from JanLee Ozer on Vimeo.

SD Test File

Video – Connie 640 from JanLee Ozer on Vimeo.

Screencam File

Vimeo – Tutorial from JanLee Ozer on Vimeo.

DV File

iPod Touch File

Whatley wants to go to Disneyworld from jan ozer on Vimeo.


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