I’m looking forward to storing and embedding videos on multiple ICP websites. The challenge is to make it performant and customizable for different devices and browsers. I feel like this should be a rather common challenge for the ICP ecosystem as more and more social media content goes to video formats. I would like to not reinvent the wheel with my implementation and would ideally use some out-of-the-box solution.
There are various dApps that use videos.
PortalDapp is perhaps the most famous and promising but their Twitter has been silent for over 6 months and their discord link is broken. I didn’t use it and at this point am cautious ofusing them.
Hot or Not stores a lot of videos but I am not too knowledgable whether they store them 100% on-chain and how are the optimizing the UX.
Civol.ai uses video format for shared sensemaking. Am interested to know more about that.
There are various file folders/ personal asset canisters that look promising but very beta and so not sure of the future. Also, they are not necessarily optimized for video.
I have heard of multiple other dApps that used video but at those times I didn’t need the video streaming myself and so didn’t look further. Now I do.
I would like an on-chain self-custodial solution (owned by the webapp canister). I have a hunch that there are different pieces or even full solutions out there. Does anyone know more? How could we make sharing video across ICP as seamless as possible? This (incl AR/ VR) is the medium of the now and the future.
You found one of the big areas that are still under construction I don’t know of an ideal solution, but I can give you some pointers about the asset canister.
AFAIK most services use the asset canister that is bundled with dfx when you choose canister type
assets. It is entirely self-custodial and is probably the most stable thing out there for now, but it still struggles with ‘large’ amounts of data (say >1.8GB of data in one canister), and streaming assets is not well supported. I don’t even know what happens if you simply try to load a 400MB video into it. It’s probably best if you simply try it
The other important thing you should know about the asset canister is that for anything that’s larger than a single message on the IC (2MB) certified (or ‘verifiably correct’) responses are not implemented yet. Because of that, your assets will only be available via raw.icp0.io and not via icp0.io I wanted to start a few months ago but then got pulled into more urgent stuff. If you would be willing to work on it (entry point is here if you want to have a look) I’d be very happy to help you with the implementation of certified streaming
Thank you for those thoughts.
I’m wondering how the various dApps have made this work? Some are I guess off-chain. But others claim to be on-chain. It would bring a lot of value to be able to leverage the work on the complexities of video optimization and not reinvent the wheel everywhere.
I’ve been working on a video solution using CanDB as my video canister and store the embeds as chunks of less than 2mb so i can reconstruct the videos in the front end.
i been trying to get the MSE js utility to work so that i can create streaming and not have to wait for my video to load all the chunks. probably just a codec format issue and not the data itself why MSE not working.
but yeah i think the biggest issue is probably canister size and indexing while managing a large video library would probably become nightmare.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I think there is a solution similar to the service worker. When you request a video, the gateway interprets if you are requesting the file or if the file is being requested from a web page.(maybe the referer header?). If it is a request from a known browser and it was not embedded in a page, then you can serve a simple HTML page with video.js as the only thing that serves up the chunks of your video. If it is a request of the actual file(referred from a page - probably embedded) then it can concatenate the chunks and serve it as one big file.
We have a plan to do something like this from the ORIGYN NFT, but it is a bit buried on our todo list.
Video optimization and embedding is clearly an important challenge that needs to be solved for the Internet Computer to reach mass adoption. Video is becoming the dominant form of content online. As more apps and services move to the IC, they will need performant video support to compete with traditional web apps. This is especially true for social media, entertainment and metaverse types of apps that rely heavily on video.
There are already several examples of apps trying to use video on the IC like PortalDapp ( now gone), Hot or Not( videos not the IC, and Civol.ai but running into limitations. The video support needs to improve to unlock the potential of these innovative apps. Large videos and files are a known challenge for blockchains generally. The IC has an opportunity here to develop an elegant solution for self-custodial, on-chain video storage and streaming. This would highlight its advantages over traditional blockchains lacking in this area. Also, each node on the IC has over 30 TB of unused storage space. What are we doing to improve these inefficiencies?
Without better video handling, developers will be hesitant to build media-rich apps on the IC due to UX concerns. And consumers won’t adopt apps that have a poor video experience compared to traditional apps. Video streaming at scale needs to work smoothly across devices and browsers. A fragmented video experience will quickly turn users off.
Seamless video support is a must-have for the IC to achieve mainstream adoption and compete with traditional platforms. The community recognizes this as an urgent gap that needs dedicated focus. Solving the technical challenges around video is key to unlocking many exciting use cases and applications.