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What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?

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Bryan RobertsWhat's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 1, 2015 at 7:52:16 pm

Hi all. For about a decade, I've been sending links to QT cuts on the same server my website has been on. I'd just FTP in, upload a quicktime to a folder and then send a link http://www.MyWebsiteName.com/theprojectname . A list of the files in the folder is shown and then clients click a file name to have it instantly stream in their browser (I use apple compressor for my h264 quicktimes with autoplay on). Well as my work load has increased over the years and file quality gone up / file sizes gone up, I'm now getting told I can no longer use my site this way and must sign up for a cloud storage like Box, DropBox, Hightail, Google Drive etc. to send files. The biggest thing I've found over the years is that clients want their file to play right away (stream) in their browser. Asking many of these folks to download a file, find where that file downloaded to and then figure out how to play it has proved to be a serious issue in the past especially with studio execs. Is there any of these that allow the file you have sent to stream and play without recompressing the file in browser? Thanks!


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Vince BecquiotRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 1, 2015 at 8:04:08 pm

Hi Bryan,

The simplest would be Youtube/Vimeo which all support private links, and best of all, they are free, and you can easily embed them on your site if you want without using your bandwidth for viewing.

There are also some cool options with ProofHQ. It allows clients to leave comments at specific times in your video, and to draw/highlight over the video.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Bryan RobertsRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 1, 2015 at 8:10:47 pm

Thanks Vince...

My hosting company is fine with the clips on my website for my reels etc. and my traffic, they don't want me hosting cuts to shows and bigger files anymore. Problem with Vimeo / Youtube: First off, they recompress an already compressed file. I need to be able to send out a quicktime link that maintains the exact quality as what I'm sending. This way if I'm sending out a 20 minute long cut to a show, I could be uploading a much smaller file that's already been compressed than say one that was maximized for Vimeo streaming. Second, bigger clients strongly frown on youtube and Vimeo. They just don't appear professional. Finally, lots of times I need to keep things frame accurate to say 23.98 if someone is pulling a file into ProTools or a color session. Again because Vimeo / Youtube recompress your files, this would be very problematic.

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Vince BecquiotRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 1, 2015 at 8:46:01 pm

You could pay for a Vimeo subscription which would remove all branding and allow you to embed the file in your site pretty seamlessly, the frame rate should stay the same as uploaded. It also allows the client to download the original file if you choose to let them do so. No matter what, all third party services that I know of will recompress the content for preview since it has to be encoded to work with whatever particular player they are using and minimize server load.

You could also host your videos on Amazon AWS or similar cloud storage and stream on your site. It's would likely be cheaper than upgrading to a dedicated server since they only charge for usage.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Phillip HollwegRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 8, 2015 at 3:37:10 pm

I have good success with the performance, reliability and features of Wistia, although I am not sure if they support everything you need. You can set view only/download/edit permissions for each user in each project, and their embedded players work well, too. Users can download the original file as well as re-compressed versions.


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 9:19:12 am

Hey Bryan,

[Bryan Roberts] "Well as my work load has increased over the years and file quality gone up / file sizes gone up, I'm now getting told I can no longer use my site this way and must sign up for a cloud storage like Box, DropBox, Hightail, Google Drive etc. to send files. The biggest thing I've found over the years is that clients want their file to play right away (stream) in their browser."

I haven't tried the new service yet, but I am a long-time user of Hightail (Yousendit) and they are trying their best to give this a go:
https://hightailspaces.com/

A short User guide video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/129725644

My only objection to it, is that I can't find any pricing information before signing up for the trial.

Alternatively I would suggest looking again at Google Drive and see if Google hang-out spaces can do what you want it to do - although the danger there is, that the client might expect you to be working 25 hours a day...

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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Daniel WaldronRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 1:57:55 pm

We've started using Wistia. Even the free version has a lot of features. You can download the original file, or numerous compressed versions if you so choose.


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Alex UdellRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 3:01:49 pm

Frame.io looks promising...

https://frame.io

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX


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Bryan RobertsRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 4:30:24 pm

Thanks guys, these all look very interesting.

I ran a test with DropBox just to make sure it wouldn't work for me as their pricing along with Google Drive is very enticing. So I uploaded a cut to Dropbox and just wanted to send a share link and sent one to my wife's Macbook Air which she hasn't used Dropbox on. Sure enough I ran into lots of annoyances that kill Dropbox for me. First off, they present you with a screen that appears like you must sign up just to watch the files. Execs would despise that. Second, after realizing I could x the box and still access the file, I clicked the play icon in the middle of the frame grab to have it preview play in my browser (I wanted to see how their conversion looked). Sure enough, my wife's macbook air has flash autoblocked on all new sites. Click that pop up window to tell it to allow and remember... then sure enough, the video still wont play. I refresh the page and then even try re-clicking the link and it STILL won't play. This is exactly why Dropbox doesn't work for lots of video editors, it makes you jump through SO many hoops just to send a file share link to a client to watch. On the other hand, I did the same test with Google Drive and the link I sent opened right up on the Macbook air. No google branding, just a dark grey screen with the video preview and a download link option at the top. Their conversion was ok, not perfect but not offensive. The BIG thing I wish Google Drive had which almost all these other services seem to easily implement is password protection for a folder or file.

Frame.io looks awesome, love the hoverscrub ala Premiere over the preview windows, version comparison seems cool. It is pricier than Dropbox or Google Drive at $25/mo for the plan I'd need (over twice the cost for 1/20th the space) and since I'm a lone freelancer, $10/mo is pretty enticing for 1TB.

Hightail Spaces looks very cool also. The thing that scares me off of HighTail is I've been hearing more and more horror stories of slow client download speeds. I'm only assuming they're using their same servers for the two services so I worry the same issues would apply, especially if it's in Beta as they say on the site.

Hmmm... decisions, decisions. Thanks guys. Lots of amazing options here.

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Eric SantiagoRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 5:49:28 pm

Currently my 1TB Dropbox account is hope to a dozen clients.
I am going to try Frame.io with a new client soon.


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David Roth WeissRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 6:56:07 pm

Though I haven't tried it yet, I'm looking closely at GoDaddy Online Storage - it's only $2.49 per month for 100Gb, with a boatload of cool features including: Video Player, FTP support, iPhone app, etc.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Bryan RobertsRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 7:36:17 pm

I've heard GoDaddy can be slow with upload and download speeds since it's more value oriented... or perhaps that's just off base. I don't have any personal experience with them but yeah, 2.49 a month is pretty sweet. $10/mo I can swing though too. Without 3 kids in tow, I'd jump all over the $25/mo plan at Frameio but with bills and mouths to feed a factor more than ever, I'd like to keep it a lower monthly expense.

I just read the nail in the coffin for Hightail Spaces. On their Vimeo video which has comments under it, it appears people found out that if you send a link to a client who isn't a member of Hightail Spaces, it requires them to sign up for a free account in order to even view the files. A support member of Hightail Spaces confirms this and makes it sound like this is going to be something permanent that they as a team had already discussed. That does it for me, Hightail Spaces is out.

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 8:15:02 pm

Hey Bryan,

[Bryan Roberts] "I just read the nail in the coffin for Hightail Spaces. On their Vimeo video which has comments under it, it appears people found out that if you send a link to a client who isn't a member of Hightail Spaces, it requires them to sign up for a free account in order to even view the files. A support member of Hightail Spaces confirms this and makes it sound like this is going to be something permanent that they as a team had already discussed. That does it for me, Hightail Spaces is out."

Interesting, Thank You. As said earlier, I am a long time Hightail user as it allows me to track the videos that I send to my clients.

However, I do not like being offered a "trial" for 30 days where I don't know the cost of it once I commit.

In any case, I would expect Adobe CC to have that as an offering within the package. I know that you used to be able to send videos to clients for comments in one of the earlier CS versions, just haven't worked out how to do it in CC. But a qualified guess would be to embed the video into a pdf document. This method obviously won't solve your original problem of needing instant playback.

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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Bryan RobertsRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 8:23:10 pm

In the FAQ it says Spaces Pro is $15/mo. Not bad... if it didn't require clients to sign up for an account before they can view a file. Ugh.

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 8:27:03 pm

[Bryan Roberts] "In the FAQ it says Spaces Pro is $15/mo. Not bad... if it didn't require clients to sign up for an account before they can view a file. Ugh."

Thank you.

And yes, there seems to be a misunderstanding by some companies that anyone using a modern "app" will want all their family, friends, associates, clients, horse, dog, hamster etc to hand over their details too...

At least the main Hightail service does not suffer from the same issue as one can distribute files to anyone without them having to get engaged, be married and have children with Hightail - I shall have words with them directly.

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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David Roth WeissRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 8:36:26 pm

Hey Mads!

Believe it or not, my newest pet is a Preying Mantis. Do you think Hightail would require his/her contact info? I'm prepared to give them my dog's last three years tax returns, but I hadn't figured the Mantis into my fiscal 2015 budget.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 2, 2015 at 8:52:23 pm

Hey David,

[David Roth Weiss] "Believe it or not, my newest pet is a Preying Mantis. Do you think Hightail would require his/her contact info? I'm prepared to give them my dog's last three years tax returns, but I hadn't figured the Mantis into my fiscal 2015 budget."

I do believe, except it is disappointing that you didn't get two of them. However, I am sure that MBNA or Capital One will give your Preying Mantis a Credit Card, which should keep it happy viewing for the foreseeable future.

Although I am sure that the dog would prefer the National Geographic channel which should have much more animal-on-animal action in it...

Before any of the above can happen you must set up email addresses for each of the pets - and don't apply for anything else until you receive the $30 Million offer from a Nigerian Prince.

See what happened here? I just sorted your life out, and wasted everyone else's ;-)

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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Tim KolbRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 3, 2015 at 2:15:06 pm

I've used Dropbox for a long time...I have a paid subscription with a pretty hefty capacity.

I know some clients view the videos from the public link...most download them. Whether or not real time playback works seems to be a browser-related factor.

I'm not sure I follow the point about flash being blocked preventing Dropbox playback...are you using flash for your video format? Dropbox and Google drive are data pails...there isn't any video file conversion just to store a file on them.

I've actually moved GBs of production quality files from clients and collaborators using Dropbox without any issues I can recall.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Video Producer at I-CAR




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Bryan RobertsRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 3, 2015 at 4:33:54 pm

Hi Tim, Dropbox uses flash to load their video player which automatically is used when you send a public link to a client to a video file. I deal with all sorts of clients and it seems the further up the totem pole you get, the more propensity there is to not understand how to download a file and play it (no, seriously). It's been a big problem with any studio head folks or any brand people for commercials etc. Not only can they not handle figuring out how to download a file and then play it in quicktime, or itunes or just double click it (many of them are on outdated PC systems) but their IT departments can't figure it out either. They want to click a link and have a file start to play an they generally don't have the time to wait even a minute for something to download so it needs to be almost instantaneous. So I was looking at options which could start automatically streaming a file like it does when they click on a quicktime I've sent them on my website server. Dropbox uses flash for their in built video player and I'm finding in my tests that it trips up most newer Macs since Apple went on the whole anti flash campaign, flash is blocked by default. Google drive must use HTML5 for Macs as it doesn't seem to give newer macs any issue when pulling up their file to view. Both Dropbox and Google Drive offer the ability to download that file for my savier clients but again, most just want to click a link and start watching right away.

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Eric SantiagoRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 8, 2015 at 3:52:51 pm

I've tested Frame.io for a few weeks now on a current project.
Director and DoP love it.
Ive been using the FCPX plug-in and sending 720p to save on costs.
The collaboration and marking option is perfect for communicating.


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Adriano BlanaruRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:54:34 pm

Hi Bryan,

I'm a product manager at Hightail, working directly on Hightail Spaces since it started, and I wanted to address your comments / concerns (sorry it took us so long to see this thread!)

About the infrastructure, there are actually two pieces of good news on this front: First, the server infrastructure for Spaces is completely different than the one for "classic" Hightail. It currently runs on Amazon Web Services, which is pretty much the standard in the industry these days. Second, as for the speed issues around "classic" Hightail, we are actually in the process of revamping most of the storage and delivery infrastructure. The work done over the past few months has significantly improved speeds in some regions and, in the next few weeks, we should be seeing major improvements across the board.

About the need to create a free account to view files, that's partially true. Files can be viewed without creating an account or logging in - you only need an account to comment or download. There are two points that I'd like to make about this:
- First, since this is a product focused on collaboration/feedback vs. simple file delivery (even though you can use it to deliver the files as well), the decision to require signup was to make sure that the people were properly identified so that the interactions had all the context needed to be valuable.
- That said, we've been hearing the same concern around forcing clients to create accounts from other creative professionals as well, and it is becoming clear that we will have to try to find another solution that reduces the barrier for clients while maintaining value of the interactions.

I hope this addresses some of your concerns. Feel free to reach out if you have any other comments or questions, and please stop by to check the features released last week - Hightail Spaces is looking better and better, and we're moving fast :)

Cheers,
Adriano


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Bryan RobertsRe: What's the best cloud storage for editors who send links and want them to play in browser?
by on Jul 14, 2015 at 11:44:40 pm

Hi Adriano,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post, shows you guys must be pretty serious about the rollout. I'll keep a close eye on Hightail spaces. If the upload/processing speeds remain high and login requirements are resolved, it seems like a wonderful fit for my needs and I bet a lot of other freelance editors. Again, if one of your big target audiences is freelance editors, our clients often don't have the time or interest in learning a new collaboration tool, they generally just want a TC burn in and some prefer to do all notes over the phone rather than even an email. It's not the creative production companies or agencies, it's always when dealing with a Brand, network or Studio that we encounter ancient hardware or a general lack of interest in trying any new tech. However, a slick / professional interface and professional sharing tools like password protection, download expiration dates along with the ability to implement those great sharing tools with more adventurous clients would be wonderful to have in one place.

Best,

Bryan

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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