google opens video store

You know how Google has been accepting video clips from users for the past few months for its Google Video service?

Well, just as they announced at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show, Google is going into video-on-demand in a big way. And now it’s official — they’ve announced the opening of the video store at the official Google Video Blog.

This means that apart from the free content uploaded by users, you can now buy high-quality video content from content providers such as CBS, which is making episodes of its shows such as C.S.I. and Survivor: Guatemala available for purchase online.

Not only that, but Google has also launched the Google Video Player. Unfortunately, they haven’t done a good job of making it easy for users to find the link to the player on their site. Some of the videos on the site can be downloaded — either for free or for a fee. You will see a Download button if the video is available for download. One of the most popular videos available for free download is Hurricane Katrina from Hurricane Katrina
Benny Chappetta, which you can download for your PC or Mac, video iPod or Sony PlayStation Portable.

It’s still too early to tell how this service will fare, but my first impression is that they rushed the launch of this online store, because some of the categories on the drop-down menu for videos available for purchase result in error messages.

The music videos that are available so far seem to follow the pricing model popularized by iTunes, which is 1.99 dollars per video. You can also buy videos of NBA games for 3.95 dollars a pop. Hmm, do you think the PBA is taking notes?

Also, I know that the strength of Google lies in giving us the ability to search for items, but right now the Google Video homepage just appears too chaotic, with different items being highlighted each time you refresh the page. Maybe they could learn a thing or two in terms of presentation from sites such as iFilm, now that they’re venturing into this new territory. I know, Google doesn’t want to be Yahoo!, but they have to consider the look and feel of the site now that they’re dealing with multimedia.

After all, as they become more mainstream and cater to consumer tastes, it won’t be enough for Google to organize the world’s content, but also to present it properly.

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