YouTube Details Processing Speed Improvements


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No one could have expected that YouTube's decision to allow lengthier, higher-quality video clips would come without a price.  Specifically, it only made sense that it would take longer for the clips to go live.  But YouTube's made great strides in improving the processing and publishing speed for videos.

A post on the YouTube Blog explained late yesterday that one technique "is to overlap uploads and video processing without waiting for the upload to finish.  This results in a base quality version of your video going live very quickly after the upload completes, making the link to your video active and shareable."

Then, "The second technique, which we've internally codenamed Hydra (after Greek mythology's nine-headed monster) tackles this problem by leveraging Google's massive cloud computing capabilities.  We split a single video into small chunks and process each chunk simultaneously on different machines.  Hydra then reassembles all the processed chunks so that you see a seamless video, processed and published in a fraction of the time it would have taken to do it previously."

The results are hard to argue with.  Apparently YouTube now processes clips seven times faster than it did in 2008, and things have gotten four times faster in the last six months alone.

That means 60 percent of all clips now go live in less than a minute, whereas none of them beat that target last year.

The YouTube Blog post hinted that additional improvements could further decrease wait time in the future, as well.