Getting annoyed by the fact that you can’t really find videos (and other copyrighted material) on YouTube anymore? Depending on how patient you are, we’ve got some good news for you. The Pirate Bay’s video sharing project, The Video Bay has opened up its beta version to the public.
There’s bad news, too: when we say beta, we mean extreme beta. To prove they aren’t kidding about the beta part, the folks behind the website slapped a big sign on it, saying: don’t expect anything to work at all.
What’s the point, then? Well, while the actual site is far from being a useful service (let alone a competitor to YouTube), some of the technology is up and running.
In practice, this means that the site will work only if you use a browser that supports HTML5, meaning one of the following: Firefox 3.5 beta 4, Opera 9.52 preview, Google Chrome 3 or Safari 4 or 3.4. Don’t expect too much, though: search doesn’t work and browsing is currently disabled without a username and a password. This functionality, however, was open to the public before, and hopefully it’ll soon get opened again.
For now, however, you can try the site out through a sneak preview: two clips, one audio and one video, are available for everyone to see. Nice, but not enough to satisfy our curiosity.
As far as the site actually being launched properly, TPB’s Peter Sunde doesn’t have much to say, jokingly claiming the launch date is within “a year…or five.” It’s true, however, that YouTube isn’t what it used to be, and its arguably biggest competitor Hulu, in terms of premium content, doesn’t work in most parts of the world. There are a lot of people interested in just watching their favorite videos, and – though its legality might be questionable – The Video Bay might be the video service to watch.
On the other hand, The Pirate Bay has been launching projects left and right in the last couple of years, many of them still unfinished; it’s possible that the Pirate Bay team has bitten more than it can chew, and that some of these projects – The Video Bay, which has been under development for two years now, included – will never see the light of day.