What's the best way to share videos with friends and family, but not with the entire world? YouTube is a fantastic video broadcast service, but it's not so good as a private hosting service. There's a new site, Fliqz, that wants to be a YouTube counterpart: a video-hosting site for the files you want to share with people you know, but not with anyone else.
Fliqz is set up around that idea: there is a very clear navigational system that lists your friends, their video albums, and the media inside each of the albums. Videos you publish can have one of three access levels: public (your videos will be available to anybody on Fliqz.com), private (anybody you send URLs to will be able to view your video), or private plus password. It's nice to have that level of granularity for access to personal videos, although Fliqz doesn't go the final step and let you manage individual users' passwords.
Fliqz has no storage limit, which is a nice feature. But it does have a functional upload cap: you can't upload files larger than 100MB via the Fliqz site, a serious limitation for home movies (arguably, users can recode their videos using a tool such as Windows Movie Maker, but who wants that extra step?). Fliqz CEO Benjamin Wayne told me the company will give those who ask FTP upload access if they want to upload larger files, but that manual step strikes me as another roadblock. And I don't like the current Web-based upload utility. Not only does it not show a progress bar, which is a drag when you're uploading a large file, but there's no protection against navigating away from the page during the middle of an upload. Imagine the fun of being 90MB into a 95MB upload on a slow DSL uplink when you hit the Back button by mistake. A desktop upload widget (which hopefully will allow both larger file upload and batch upload) is forthcoming, Wayne told me.
Wayne sees Fliqz as a video shoe box, a place for people to store and share home movies. The site has some good thinking behind it, but free video hosting is not a unique service, and before I can recommend this site, its core upload utility needs work. Personally, I'm using VideoEgg right now to share videos with family, and I don't see a need to change, although VideoEgg doesn't offer a shoe box interface like Fliqz does.