Monday, June 12, 2006
Watch It Now: YouTube 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
If you have a reasonably speedy Internet connection (if you don't, this qualifies as an excellent reason to upgrade) and some time to spare - run, don't walk - and check out YouTube, where thousands of rare video clips from around the globe reside.

Like me, you'll be ecstatic to discover fans and collectors from all over have rescued old television shows, news footage, music videos and concert clips from oxide-crumbling obscurity for your free, streaming enjoyment. Not to mention, YouTube's tag and search functions and personalized "favorites" folders make finding and bookmarking clips a snap. An example is the above archived clip of The Runaways performing "School Days" live on the Old Grey Whistle Test show in 1977 (click to view) - where else are you going to find stuff like this?

A caveat: there's scads of uploaded copyrighted material and unrated home video footage as well, so use your own good judgment, kids. I'm sure the copyright issues are too convoluted to imagine right now, but because the videos are streaming-viewer resolution only (and you can't record or save them without resorting to some video capture-app hackery, which I won't get into here) I think they're generally safe for now - but I wouldn't wait too long. Some DRM-lovin', industry-brown-nosin' spoilsport pol who'd rather have rarities moldering in a million attics than enjoyed royalty-free is liable to make it illegal.

While you're out Web surfing, check out the (hopefully) satirical Boneless Chicken Awareness blog.