Thoughts on Amazon Video Review

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 10/12/2007

Though my problems with God's computer have not bee completely resolved, I have been able to upload the review of On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones.  Looking at the embedded Flash object that displays the video, it appears that they may be expecting video in a widescreen format.  That is fine with me, since I usually film in the wide format, in expectation that more and more televisions will be using that format.  I did not use it in this case because I was expecting the format to be similar to what Google Video uses.  This did not turn out to be the case.

The process for uploading a video review is simple, but the interface leaves some things to be desired.  Clicking on a tag while uploading the file brought up a message box asking if I wanted to navigate away from the page, so I do not recommend doing that.  One the file is uploaded, the user is expected to click the button to preview the video.  This is poor user interface design because when I first attempted to upload the video, I was unsure whether this was required or optional.  It turns out that it is required, so if you upload your own video, be sure to click preview. The first time I did this, Internet Explorer died a nasty death, but I do not think most people will experience this.  If you do, I hope that you do not have to reinstall your operating system, as I had to do.  There is one more step after you click preview.  Once the preview page is loaded, you will be able to look at a page with the text on it, but the video will not display until Amazon has processed it.  If you are satisfied, click the button to post the review, otherwise, you can click the edit button.

It should be interesting to see how many people make use of video reviews.  Most will probably be using unedited feeds from webcams rather than spending as much time on it as I did.  I believe that the reviews that will be the most useful will be those that show the product in use.  That is hard to do with books, but with other products people will have a better idea of what to expect if someone shows what happens when the product is used.  I expect to see more of these, but I don't think typed reviews will go away.