Buffering costs money! It costs money to the consumer (who conveniently close the video or move to another video) and it costs much more money to the publisher.
Before publishing videos on your servers, its very important that all videos are transcoded keeping the end consumer in mind. There are so many different mobile phones with different screen sizes, which supports different quality of videos. If you don’t support them all, you might lose a large audience who are interested in your content.
If you’re wondering what UnBuffer is, try reading it again, its Un – Buffer (this should remind you of that irritating symbol ‘BUFFERING‘ while watching videos online). Yes, even I found it very irritating to see it every time while watching videos online. And this might be the case if you are lucky to have a high speed internet connection, a fair amount of buffering and then video play smoothly with a few interruptions in between throughout the video.
But, if you’re like me, living in India, you’ll experience the real meaning of ‘buffering’, especially if you have low speed internet connection (most common is 2G networks, which also works out to be fairly economical compared to 3G). To put this in perspective, if you want to watch a one minute video with 2G network, it will take anywhere between 10 minutes to 12 minutes with all the buffering time. This is real sh*t! 10 minutes of freaking buffering to watch just a one minute video clip. Anyone who’s got this kinda patience must be really really really jobless in their life! (I will also be sharing in another post about an experiment we did to check the exact buffering time and this will surprise you for sure 😉 )
So, it was time for me to get some more insights about this ‘buffering’. Is it just us in India experiencing this due to low speed internet connections? Interestingly, anyone who watches videos online knows about buffering. Okay, this implies, we have at least a billion people worldwide who know about buffering! Wow ? Really ? There are millions of people, especially students all over the world cribbing about buffering every single day. And most convenient channel where people let out their frustration about buffering was on twitter. And this dude, Julian Smith even composed a romantic song on it. Way to go dude! \m/
Now, I know what you’re thinking. If buffering is due to the low speed internet, it won’t be a problem once our network upgrades completely to 3G (which is taking forever) and 4G. YOU ARE SO WRONG MY FRIEND! 🙂 You see, a lot of those frustrating tweets about buffering were not from India. In fact, most of them were from the most developed nations in the world. Even with a super high speed internet connection, people still experience ‘BUFFERING’ while watching videos.
So, now we knew we had a really big problem in front of us. Buffering! My next thought, How do we overcome that ? That is a million dollar question my friend 😉