Google Docs Gets Video Playback. So What About GDrive?

Google (s GOOG) launched video playback capabilities for Google Docs on Thursday, making it possible to upload videos, share them with your coworkers or watch them right within Docs. Videos can be up to 1GB, and the site supports various formats for upload, including H.264, WebM, FLV and WMW.

Users can share uploaded videos with coworkers in much the same way they can share documents, and the video source files can be downloaded from anyone who has access to the clip or had it sent to them as an email attachment. The new video feature even supports some rudimentary versioning, but only the most recent version can be played back online.

One interesting aspect about the video playback capability is that it’s using YouTube’s video player, but uploaded videos don’t make use of YouTube’s unlimited storage. In other words: Your uploads are limited to 1GB total if you’re using a free version of Docs. Want more? Then you’ll have to pay up and buy extra storage.

That’s a curious arrangement, especially in light of the fact that YouTube itself also offers a number of ways to privately share videos. However, one could make the case that these are two different use cases. Want to share a video with the world? Then upload it to YouTube. Want to work on it together with your colleagues, with access to the source video files? Then keep it in Google Docs, where it can’t be published accidentally.

Google has long been rumored to be introducing a personal storage product, dubbed GDrive or Platypus at one time or another. It looks like video playback in Google Docs could be one more step toward the launch of this type of functionality, but it also looks like we shouldn’t expect for Google to give us unlimited free storage anytime soon.

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