April 18, 2011 at 2:46 PM ET
Google Video is closing up shop.
What's that, you say? You've never heard of Google Video? Apparently, neither have many people in recent years. After all, YouTube — owned by Google — is where just about all of us go to post our videos, whether they're about babies riding Bumbos on Roombas or police being shown pepper-spraying a baby squirrel. Facebook, too, has become a huge cafeteria of video postings.
Starting in 2005, Google Video was a place for any Google user to upload videos. But then the search giant bought YouTube a year later, and the rest is history. Google Video stopped accepting new videos in May 2009, although the videos have still been available for viewing. That will end April 29, Google says, when it shutters that part of the site, not to be confused with Google Video search, which is alive and well.
Google's Video Team sent an email April 15 to users of Google Videos, letting them know of the shutdown:
On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)
We encourage you to move to your content to YouTube if you haven’t done so already. YouTube offers many video hosting options including the ability to share your videos privately or in an unlisted manner.
One of the benefits of using Google Video was it did not have the same kinds of time limits as YouTube, which late last year said it would start allowing individual video uploads of 15 minutes, up from the previous 10 minute-restriction.
There are 2.8 million videos now posted on Google Video, according to Google Operating System, an unofficial blog, and included is an "archive of high-quality videos: there are many documentaries, interviews, lectures and it's sad to see them disappear ... and it's hard to believe that all of them will be manually uploaded to YouTube."
ReadWriteWeb.com notes that there is "no push button to migrate to YouTube, no plans to move the videos en masse. There can't be, really, as there would be licensing and copyright issues galore with a merge of the two systems without verifying ownership."
However, the site also notes Google's Archive Team effort to help archive the video, as well as instruction for those who want to save their own videos.
And it sounds like the team effort can use some savvy volunteers for the archiving project. You can learn more here.