PeerTube: federated (ActivityPub) video hosting free software (AGPL)


#1

Home page https://joinpeertube.org/en/ source at https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube or https://framagit.org/chocobozzz/PeerTube – the project is supported by Framasoft.

I’ve noticed this before and not even gotten around to a micro evaluation but am prompted to drop this here upon seeing a discussion on HN.


#2

I’ve read a bunch about how folks feel about PeerTube, so here is my take: it is the video platform I need.

HN skews towards, I don’t know, “Silicon Valley”-types? Everything is “technical elegance” versus “commercial viability” for them. But a project like PeerTube or Mastodon (or the swarm of projects they built upon and came before), it will never make those crowds happy, because the problem we are trying to solve is communicating with each other, without having to play a capitalist game.

For me, I need a way to produce and share my content, but unlike other sites, I can’t scale the storage and bandwidth needs for a multi-user, general-purpose video site, so it requires smaller sites talking to each other.

The project says it clearly in the README of the project:

We can’t build a FOSS video streaming alternatives to YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo… with a centralized software. One organization alone may not have enough money to pay for bandwidth and video storage of its servers.

I also intend to run an instance, as I did with MediaGoblin, and I am looking forward to seeing how PeerTube compares on the video uploading/processing portion; one of the difficulties in hosting MediaGoblin was processing videos (and other media) in a background process that shouldn’t affect the web server. I recall there being some discussion about processing video in PeerTube, but their MVP doesn’t include that, and that works for me! :slight_smile:


#3

You’ve probably characterized HN about 90% accurately, but decentralization and free software get play there far beyond any technical elegance or commercial viability they might have. Although decentralization and free software are constantly at tension with SV big tech, they’re also a pretty significant part of the SV culture, and I bet it’d be worse for all if that were not the case.

We can’t build a FOSS video streaming alternatives to YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo… with a centralized software. One organization alone may not have enough money to pay for bandwidth and video storage of its servers.

Wikimedia Commons and Internet Archive are suggestive that the above is probably not true. But I’m all for more and larger commons-based entities that can afford to provide centralized services, and for anything that makes it easier to run viable tiny-scale services, preferably both at the same time. Anyway, PeerTube is pretty exciting! :smile:


#4

We can break this off into another thread, but it might be relevant: how do I host things there? What am I allowed to host? What happens if I break the rules? What are the rules?

Asked rhetorically, and I am not suggesting those questions are automatically answered by going with PeerTube, but in my experience they are a lot easier to answer when I am setting it up.

The Commons and The Archive, as I will now be referring to them, evermore, are terrific, and I would love to contribute and use it for archiving my media, but I’ve had a photo deleted from Wikipedia because it wasn’t as relevant anymore, and IA’s TOS states in a couple places:

Access to the Archive’s Collections is provided at no cost to you and is granted for scholarship and research purposes only.

and

The Internet Archive (the “Archive”) is committed to making its constantly growing collection of Web pages and other forms of digital content (the “Collections”) freely available to researchers, historians, scholars, and others (“Researchers”) for purposes of benefit to the public.

I don’t know if the collection of the most adorable Clover pics truly has academic value or is of benefit to the public, though of course I have strong suspicions and will ultimately be validated by the jury of history. :slight_smile:

I am not 100% sold on PeerTube as the family video archive thing I am looking for, and I will need to run it for a couple of years before I can say, “yeah, this is a reasonable amount of effort and computing resources for folks”. But self-hosting seems easier to participate without joining bureaucracies, even if the “self” is a tribe or specific org.

Also, the same way Mastodon instances may have a focus, I think we’ll see the same thing here. I personally expect to find maybe half a dozen instances and that will be it, I won’t need more video than that, I’ll have my fix. It is a neat side-effect of federation.


#5

The key word is suggestive. Wikimedia and IA are suggestive that “[o]ne organization alone may not have enough money to pay for bandwidth and video storage of its servers.” They aren’t places to upload random media outside of the (already large and huge) scope of their collections. But their scale suggests that a centralized commons-based platform for random media could exist; it’s a matter of organizing such a thing. I agree with everything you wrote, was just picking at overstated claim in the PeerTube README.