Where / how (formats…) should we host videos?

We have an intro video for the homepage and may ever make others. Where do we host them? What are the costs/issues?

Relevant to https://git.snowdrift.coop/sd/ops/issues/32

Option 1: AWS S3.


  • We already use AWS
  • It’s what everybody uses
  • It’s designed for hosting web assets


  • I’m not immediately sure how expensive it is, and costs are functions of both storage use and network use (i.e. it scales with number of viewers).
1 Appreciation

For reference: I expect the one video on the homepage to be something around 3-4MB in size. That should not generate too much extra problems for now.

Hi, :slight_smile:
What about PeerTube?
It’s an FLO video hosting platform working like Mastodon (and using ActivityPub for the comments!) and using Webtorrent between the viewers to reduce the need for a huge server. (necessary if we want to replace YouTube)

List of instances to complete the one on the official site: https://instances.joinpeertube.org/instances

Example of a video I made: https://video.atlanti.se/videos/watch/25482225-47e3-43ff-99b0-33dfe35e3fb9

If it’s just a webm, is it an option to just throw it in a git repo somewhere, or would that be considered an abuse of someone’s git hosting service?

Otherwise, are there other options besides AWS or a video hosting platform (PeerTube or otherwise)? Cloudflare/other CDN?

The way we did it before was hosting it at archive.org — and that’s feasible though there’s some clunkiness.

Overall concerns:

  • do we want to avoid 3rd-party requests?
  • what is the cost of bandwidth if a 4MB video is loaded a few thousand times in a month?
  • Peertube seems neat, but is it really feasible or appropriate for this case?
  • pretty sure video hosting is not something, e.g. GitLab or GitHub or framagit would be okay with and it isn’t what we’d want long-term
  • We could actually use Vimeo or similar, but in that case I’d probably go with Archive.org

I think 3rd party requests are fine as long as there’s a fallback (which we’d need design specs for, should we go this route).

AWS S3 Pricing looks like 9¢/GB, so ~36¢ per thousand loads. I don’t really know what load to expect, though (eg, if we get the reddit/Hacker News hug of death).

So, we decided in the last meeting to at least post our intro video to archive.org for now. Well: https://archive.org/details/snowdrift-dot-coop-intro (interestingly, putting it in its own line here gives a wonderful in-line video):

But I uploaded a highest-quality VP8 WebM file around 29MB. Archive.org created derivates for mp4 and ogv that are 6MB and 4.5MB, but they killed the resolution for those, putting them at 640x360.

When I tried uploading my own mp4 export, it still seemed to adjust that down to the low-res from what I could tell, and it treated it like a 2nd track instead of just a derivative of the original.

So, this sort of works, and my high-res WebM is available there. But the quirks of Archive.org are quite unfortunate.

I think we need a better solid answer for the formats and hosting we’re going to integrate into our homepage.

There’s https://git.snowdrift.coop/sd/assets, which seems all right while in a single-tenant git instance, but might not be when moving to a shared instance.

A git repo is an intermediary measure though, and I agree it would be nice if videos were on a CDN. I’ve heard good reviews for BunnyCDN, for example. PeerTube potentially if the instance chosen will be around for some time and there aren’t a lot to upload (or otherwise make some financial contribution to the instance for hosting).

1 Appreciation

I support anything that moves us further away from Amazon.

Note that we are using the archive.org option currently (live on the homepage now), and that works indefinitely with the quirk that (A) we’re exploiting their services for better or worse and (B) as mentioned above, we haven’t figured out how to get them to serve a video that’s compressed but still high-resolution.

archive.org is okay for the moment, and it’ll be a good idea to add a video series there for historical and educational purposes.

The “exploiting” part shouldn’t be a long-term setup, it’s no substitute for a platform specialised in asset delivery. If the goal is to get more eyeballs, it might be better to put it on social media in parallel (where it’s usual for things to go viral) so people can comment and share it.

I think peertube would be awesome. To certain people that would tell almost as much as the content of the video itself. It would show that we are serious about stuff.

2 Appreciations

Since you now posted to peertube with links noted at:

Should we plan some time to test it, or should we go right ahead with switching the homepage to use that instead of archive.org?

There is one key point: there IS a quota…
I can see how we can eat this up quickly - unless there are many peers. So I propose we only test this locally and keep this as a plan B when we get lots of traffic that archive.org can’t deal with.

What happens when the quota is hit? And that’s a quota for a particular primary host? (Others might be different?)

I suppose the ideal future is one where a central host like archive.org actually uses peertube…

I guess when the quota is hit the server wont seed the video anymore. Since we don’t control archive.org we can only hope this happens some day. In the meantime, I’m not sure there are other peertube servers with substantially more bandwidth. I might be wrong though.