Video Essentials

Choosing a UGC Site, Part 6: Metacafe

Metacafe is a general purpose site that prohibits copyright violations and generally offensive videos, but seems business friendly. Though many of the videos that display on the site are preceded by advertisements, none appeared before the videos that I embedded in my site, unlike DailyMotion. The only upload-related limitation that I could find was that videos can’t exceed ten minutes.

Metacafe produces in H.264 format exclusively, and encoded our 720p video into two sizes, 640×360@ 437 kbps, and 720p at 1875 resolution, which should be sufficient for all but the most high motion videos, but is much less than other free sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Users can manually switch between the resolutions via an HD button on the player.


The site produced our 640×360 video at native resolution, encoded at 433 kbps, well above Viddler and DailyMotion, but again behind other free sites like YouTube and Vimeo. The screencam video was encoded at a 480×360, with all other sites at 640×480 or above—not good. The DV source file was neither scaled correctly or deinterlaced, and the iPod Touch video was upside down—you definitely want to scale and deinterlace your DV footage before uploading, and re-render your iPod Touch video into a different format.

Metacafe’s controls

Metacafe’s embed options are limited to three sizes, with no custom sizing option, a big negative. The files I embedded also didn’t play on my iPad. While Metacafe may be great for reaching target viewers on the site, it wouldn’t be my first choice for embedding videos into my own site. Check out the embedded videos below.

HD Test File

Metacafe – HD QualityFor more of the funniest videos, click here

SD Test File

Metacafe – ConnieAmazing videos are here

Screencam File

TutorialFree videos are just a click away

DV File

Scale and Deinterlace TestingClick here for funny video clips

iPod Touch File


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