What is VideoEgg?
VideoEgg is a startup in a new category we could call the “picks and shovels business” for video on the web. Rather than trying to build a destination, like the other hundred sites out there, they are attacking a problem faced by every user of every user-generated video site. Namely, “how do I get my video off my camera and upload to site X?”
The basics are pretty well understood: 1)rip the video from your camera onto your computer, 2)encode the video from raw format into something usable, and 3)upload the video to your favorite site. However, lots can go wrong in this process. In many cases you’ll use two different desktop apps for steps 1 and 2, and then have to use whatever hacked up process your site uses for file upload.
VideoEgg starts by attacking each of these problems. Their product supports grabbing video off of a connected device (camcorder or web cam), encoding that video, and then uploading the video to a remote server. All of this is packaged in a browser control (supports FF, IE, Safari, Opera according to the FAQ) for web page integration. The control even supports basic editing like setting Mark In/Out.
I like the technical idea a lot, because I don’t see anyone else attacking this end of the problem. The browser plugin is cool once it’s installed, but I’m not sure how many people will be willing to install it locally. I think that’s a very big barrier.
For the business model, it looked like Video Egg was primarily B2B, meaning they were trying to license the plugin to destination sites. However, more recently it looks like they’ve started letting end users publish video to their blogs via VideoEgg directly, with VideoEgg hosting the video. They even will autoblog to your blogging site, which is cool, but right now they only support Blogger and Typepad – doh! I tried it out over at a blogger account, check out the results here.
I have to admit the experience was very smooth, and the results are very good. The ability to trim the start and end of the video without using a video editing package is itself very cool. My original video file was 5 times longer than what you see on the blog. If I wanted to start “video blogging” I could see this being invaluable.
I’m not sure whether VideoEgg intend to pursue that b2c blog utility direction over time, or whether it’s a way to prove the technology and user appeal to potential partners. Now if only they could get FF or IE to pre-install their plugin, then they’d be set.