I hate just posting a YouTube video here, in part because it’s lazy and boring, but also because YouTube videos are liable to disappear at any moment, and even if they don’t, YouTube has to die someday, right?, whereas kbps will last forever, and then hundreds of years from now its YouTube posts will be inexplicably empty.
Part of what helped launch YouTube to the popularity it enjoys now is the ease of its player. Everybody has Flash, so while most video sites were making you do 30 minutes of work installing plugins to play a 12-second clip, YouTube just worked. The object that’s embedded on a YouTube page is an .swf (Shockwave Flash) file, a video player in which an .flv (Flash video) file is “wrapped.” So, in order to host a video yourself, you need these two components.
The .flv file — the video itself — can actually be downloaded directly from YouTube quickly and easily with the All-In-One Video Bookmarklet. Just put it in your links toolbar, then on any YouTube page, click it and follow the download link. Alternately, you can use the VideoDownloader Firefox extension.
You can’t similarly steal YouTube’s .swf video player, so instead, use the open-source Flash Video Player by Jeroen Wijering. It’s a .zip file with several readmes and sources, but all you really need from it is the flvplayer.swf file.
Upload flvplayer.swf and the .flv video file to your server, and use embed code similar to YouTube’s:
<embed src="http://www.yourhost.com/flvplayer.swf" width="425" height="350" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="file=http://www.yourhost.com/videos/skatebordinggirls.flv" />
Full documentation on the available options comes in a readme.html file. But essentially that’s all it takes. And of course, you’re not limited to YouTube, as there are plenty of software tools to convert most video formats to .flv, for example MediaCoder.
Here’s the result: