Now that YouTube has gone out of its way to ensure crappy sound on uploaded videos, I’ve been investigating other sites on which to post Eponymous 4 music videos.

The major social networking sites — Myspace and Facebook — both support video uploads, as does, and all three pretty much accept the same file types: MPEG-2, MP4, MOV, AVI.

To test the capabilities of Myspace, Facebook and, I uploaded MPEG-2 and MP4 versions of my videos. The MPEG-2 files averaged about 150MB, while the MP4 files weigh in at about 36MB. The MP4 files have impressive picture and sound for their size, and I was hoping the encoding processes of these sites would maintain that quality.

Of course, not all video is created equal, and one in particular — "enigmatics IV" — poses problems because it was not "shot" as digital video. The footage is actually stop-motion animation from individual digital pictures. This video would prove to be the Achilles heel of all three sites.

On the whole, the picture quality of the videos was on par between the two formats and between all four sites. The MP4 files showed a bit more degradation than the MPEG-2 files after going through each site’s Flash encoding, which is to be expected given the amount of compression in MP4.

The more noticeable difference — still not by much — is in sound. The MPEG-2 files fared better than the MP4 files after the encoding. For folks who aren’t particular, uploading an MP4 on a high-speed connection gets the job done and produces fairly good quality. But if you’ve got an office T-1 connection, uploading MPEG-2 files is a better bet.

Here’s how each service performed.


The norm is to turn audio in video files to mono, but Myspace valiantly attempts to maintain stereo sound. Given the site’s reliance on music content, it’s a shrewd move to emphasize quality in audio. But the picture quality is incredibly impressive. Myspace doesn’t garble it as badly as YouTube, and of all the services, it rendered "enigmatics IV" with the best results.

The interface to upload videos is a straight-forward web form, essentially the same as you would find on other video sharing sites.

Myspace may still be clunky in a lot of ways — from where did that hellacious blog maintenance interface come? — but the site does video amazingly well.

View Eponymous 4 videos on Myspace


Facebook is incredibly sleek when it comes to interface, and the video upload form is both austere and versatile. While the video uploads, you can edit its information, which are separate processes on other sites. Facebook is also the only site to separate processed videos from processing videos, so you know much faster what’s done and what isn’t.

Facebook turns stereo sound into mono, but they don’t mess with compression or automatic gain the way YouTube does. Like before, the MPEG-2 files didn’t degrade as much as MP4 files, but with "enigmatics IV", the site doesn’t do a great job encoding it. In fact, the MP4 version of "Revulsion" also went through some bad degradation.

The one big criticism I have about Facebook video uploads is the lack of privacy options. If you want to run tests, you essentially have to do it in plain view.

View Eponymous 4 videos on Facebook (registration required)

The only file didn’t manage to process well is, of course, "enigmatics IV". In fact, it did a worse job than YouTube’s standard quality encoding. But it did all my other files amazingly well. In fact, there’s barely a difference between the MP4 and MPEG-2 in terms of picture quality. also maintains the stereo sound, perhaps even better than Myspace.

Of course, is a music site, and if the sound isn’t done right, there’s not point to supporting video in the first place.

The interface, unfortunately, needs a lot of work. Why put the form in a pop-up window? After a video is processed, a nice e-mail is sent pointing to the direct location of the video, but it doesn’t actually show up on an artist’s page till much, much, much later, sometimes even hours. also lacks privacy options for uploads.

View Eponymous 4 music videos on


I never thought I’d see the day I’d praise Myspace for anything, but of the three services, it managed to yield high quality results and to handle the thorny oddness of "enigmatics IV". and Facebook stumbled in that regard, but managed to maintain both picture and sound quality in encoding both MPEG-2 and MP4 files.

Facebook has the best interface, but the encoding quality does need more work.

None of these sites have the mindshare of YouTube, but they have significant user bases. and Myspace, in particular, depend on musicians for content. So it’s best not to put all the proverbial eggs in the YouTube basket, especially given its poor business decisions as of late.

Postscript: What’s wrong with YouTube?

What isn’t wrong with YouTube?

The encoding process uses old codecs which render even the best video into garbage. When users continually need to develop methods to work around these limitations, perhaps that means something is wrong with the process? The automatic gain control is also so severe, it too turns gold into lead.

Right now, the multiple video upload interface is absolutely useless in both Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 7. Some bad Javascript writing makes Firefox 3 believe fields aren’t filled out, even when they are, and in IE7, an error renders the form absolutely unusable. What’s the fucking point?

Every time I tried to do something on YouTube, I never got satisfactory results. I found the experience frustrating, I took down everything, even a video I uploaded in 2006 that went fairly smooth.

Do you smell the bitrot setting in?