Uploading may not seem the most exciting link in the online video chain, but, let’s face it, without it there would be no video content available at all online. There’s nothing particularly interesting or complicated about uploading one short clip. But more and more video-intensive businesses are uploading longer-form content or uploading multiple videos in batches. Add to this the reality that no-one is sitting still at their desks with nothing better to do than watch videos slowly upload any more, and it’s not hard to see that the task of developing a brilliant universal uploader has become a lot more challenging. We discuss this further in the above video.
Having been designing and developing uploaders for online video publishers and educators for more than ten years, we’ve identified five key factors that most online video platform users should expect from their uploader.
There’s a surprise. However sophisticated an uploader is, it has got to be fast. No-one has time to spend hours with a project on hold while the content uploads. Plus, we all know, that with slowness comes the greater likelihood of failure and the need to start again. But speed is not a one-dimensional quality. Many publishers for example, upload videos “in the field” from mobile devices, with varying connection speeds. So super-fast uploading from their fibre-connected desk, may often have to be balanced with less consistent connections whilst “in the field”.
The days (that no-one remembers fondly) when there was a lot of hope and crossed fingers involved in setting a long-form video off for uploading are long-gone. But for most people, time is even more pressured than even a few years ago, and we can’t afford to have uploading failure. There are three predominant causes of failed uploads: a complete loss of connection; a change in the location of the person uploading (leaving the office, getting on a train or in a car, going underground), or; a user-triggered action (for instance deciding to add or remove some videos to or from the queue. Connection speed, quality and reliability are hardly consistent at the best of times, so, evaluating the robustness of the uploader while not the most obvious priority, can be the difference between heading off on-time or settling in for “another late finish”.
3. Progress update
This is critical for long-form content or for large batch uploads. One of the biggest frustrations is when nothing seems to be happening and having no way of seeing the status of an upload. Clear, useful, easily understood status or progress information is a must.
4. Pause and resume
If you have high quality, long-form content, such as feature-length films, you’ll almost certainly want to be able to reliably halt the uploading process and resume it again later. In a world of mobile/remote working and multi-tasking, the ability to “pick up where you left off” has become the norm. Whether you are a business owner mixing content creation with marketing and other activities, or are reporting from different field locations, you shouldn’t have to wait until you get back to your desk. You’ll want the flexibility to work “your way”, controlling when you stop and start the process in an elegant and reliable way.
5. The Right Interface
Some uploaders will have interfaces like the cockpit of a Dreamliner, while others may be not much more than the volume knob on an old hi-fi. People who want to upload content that’s of value to their business will want to find just the right combination of sophistication and ease of use that’s right for them and their colleagues. At the end of the day, no-one does uploading for entertainment; it should be something that is a natural and almost invisible task, but one that gives us all the control we need when we need it.