Review of ClipBucket Video Sharing Website Script

by Jackrabbit-in-Chief

I created a YouTube-like website for a client and used ClipBucket as the framework. The bottom-line is that it's okay, but it needs a lot of work to get it running properly. This is not something I would recommend unless you like to program or you have the money to hire an actual programmer. Personally, I enjoyed the process of figuring out how to make it work, but most people don't have the patience. I am not a software programmer, and this is one of my first experiences with using open source software so take what I'm writing with a grain of salt. Also, I have not tried ClipBucket's competition: PHPMotion, Clip-Share, or Rayzz. I have no plans to do so in the near future. 

ClipBucket Review

ClipBucket Review

The Pakistani based company promotes its ClipBucket PHP script as being free, but this isn't entirely true. It's an open-source script distributed under what they refer to as an Attribute Assurance License. If you use ClipBucket's script the ClipBucket logo and url will be prominently displayed on your website unless you purchase the rights to install your own brand identity. 

ClipBucket promotes half a dozen server hosting companies on their website. The company I eventually partnered with was Pacific Host as they advertised  an easy installation of ClipBucket, and their rates appeared low at first.

It took about 3 to 4 weeks of work to get the website operating to my high standards. I also ended up spending several hundred dollars on add-ons to get the website to a point where I was proud of my video sharing website (customized logo installation, mobile support, and branded video clips). I ended up having to upgrade my server with Pacific Host several times until I was spending about $90 a month. The script tends to break if you don't have adequate hardware to meet the demanding needs of processing videos. The fact is the script will not work well unless you have a pretty robust computer behind it. 

There is a pretty robust community that functions as the de facto tech support department for ClipBucket. I was able to receive a lot of help from other people on the ClipBucket forums. You also can get tech support from ClipBucket itself if you purchase any of their add-ons/plugins, but their help doesn't extend very far beyond the specific problems of plugin installations. One of the constant irritations I experienced was that there were many essential code changes and updates that were buried deep in ClipBucket forums. I spent a significant amount of time hunting down solutions essential to the operate of the script that should have been pinned to the top of the forum or included in an updated version of ClipBucket.

The lack of order could also be seen in the support documentation which was poorly written and disorganized. Even the instructions for installing plugins lacked detail. There were many aspects of ClipBucket that simply did not work, or did not work as well as I expected them to. For instance, the default video conversion settings aren't set very high. My initial uploads looked pretty bad. The administration panel offered a variety of video conversion settings, but I did not get a decent conversion result until I did some additional coding.

I have very little experience programming, and I'm new to the open-source community, but to me ClipBucket felt half-finished. I feel that software that is designed to be open-source should at least get the basics right, especially a quasi-open source script that was released over 5 years ago and whose creator pushes a large assortment of paid add-ons. However, given the low cost of the plugins I think ClipBucket is still a decent deal, especially if you enjoy programming. ClipBucket's alternatives, Rayzz and Clip-Share can be expensive alternatives. As an example, Rayzz's templates are $750 each which are many times more expensive than ClipBucket's templates which range between $25 to $125.

If you decide to go with ClipBucket, or any video sharing script for that matter, do not use any of the hosting solutions they suggest. Video sharing websites require lots of processors, lots of bandwidth, and lots of hard drive space. You will waste a ton of money if you go with a standard hosting company. If you are interested in making money off of your video sharing website you'll need to do this thing in-house or with the assistance of a local company that can give you specialized attention.

Have you tried ClipBucket or any alternatives? What did you think?