video share – Break

Break.com is a great website because it knows what it wants to be and sticks with it. While most other video share websites will take anything you would care to submit, Break has made a name for itself by committing to specific kinds of videos. The vast majority of the videos on Break are humorous, whether they are bloopers and blunders caught on video or scripted clips created by users.

Audience Features

The only other kinds of videos you will find on Break are related to sports, entertainment and the military. It???s easy to see that this site is aimed at a male demographic, but Break unabashedly hits its target, drawing in millions of viewers from all over the globe and most of them men.

Despite the predominantly male user base, Break has a lot to offer for anybody looking for humorous videos. Don???t come looking for how-to videos or recordings of fifth grade graduation ceremonies, unless something goes hilariously wrong. Frankly, that???s the main reason people look for videos on the internet, for a good laugh. So Break can actually provide a lot of videos you???ll like.

On the other hand, the Break community isn???t as useful as some other sites because there is such a gender divide. Comments are usually more antagonistic and ratings aren???t as objective because the majority of viewers are interested in similar things.

There are a lot of people who submit videos to Break, so the video library is pretty vast. There also seems to be a pretty good review and organizational system for the videos because there are far less duplicates on Break than on most other sites. This makes the site cleaner and offers a better selection of recommendations when you search for a video.

Overall, Break doesn???t have the same broad community or diverse demographic that you might find in YouTube or Metacafe, but it still has a formidable selection of funny and entertaining videos that make the site well worth your time.

Producer Features

If you are looking for ways to make your own videos, check out our rankings of the best camcorders and the best multimedia cell phones.

The Break user interface looks a little cluttered, even though it is still as functional as other sites. In fact, once you get past the design, you realize that Break is actually much easier to interface with than most other sites.

In the viewing pane, Break gives you far more viewing options than any other video share site. First of all, it???s nice to see both how much time is elapsed in a video and how much is left when a lot of sites only do one or the other. But Break goes even farther by offering easy keystroke shortcuts for all the common actions you take (play, pause, fast forward, etc.).

Then Break takes it even farther by letting you adjust color contrast and brightness right in the viewing pane itself. Not something the average user will need, but no small contribution nonetheless. You even have the option of turning slo-mo on and off, something we haven???t seen anywhere else.

Of course all this is trumped by the fact that you can play, pause, fast forward and rewind but simply clicking on the screen and moving the mouse back and forth. We had a hard time deciding which was more convenient, the mouse controls or the keystroke shortcuts. Giving this kind of control to the user is the real strength of Break.

The other nice innovation in Break is the user rating system. Instead of a series of stars like everybody else, Break uses a simple thumbs down, thumbs up system. You can vote thumbs up or thumbs down for every video (only if you are logged in, of course) and Break keeps a tally of just how many thumbs up a video has (you can???t have a negative score, if you keep hitting thumbs down when a movie has zero votes, it will stay at zero).

Content

We actually liked this system because it got rid of the arbitrary ???is it worth a 3.5 or just a 3??? business and simplifies it to a yes or no. If a lot of people have voted yes, chances are that it???s good.

Break offers users three different ways to upload content. You can use the upload page on the site, you can email your video to Break or you can upload it directly from your cell phone. You must be a member to upload any content.

Ease of Use

Break doesn???t have a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to uploading videos. The system is pretty simple and doesn???t really offer much in the way of editing tools. One advantage of Break is that you can also upload picture albums in addition to your videos.

You can get paid for putting content on Break???s site, but it isn???t as easy as it is on other sites. If the people at Break like your video enough, they will put your video on the home page, and you will get paid for having it there. They are pretty vague about just how much you???ll get paid, but it???s probably better than nothing.

As we mentioned before, the vast majority of Break content is humorous or has to do with sports and entertainment. Don???t go here looking for the latest episode of your favorite TV show.

Break will accept most major video formats, including WMV, AVI, MPG and MOV. You can also post photo albums with JPG, BMP or PNG formats. All video files must be less than 60MB.

Help/Support

Break is extremely easy to use because it offers you a level of control that most other sites lack. You can adjust the color, contrast and brightness of a video as well as watch it in slow motion. But Break makes the process even easier by offering keyboard shortcuts and the ability to control the video simply by clicking and dragging your mouse over the video viewing pane.

Summary

The uploading process is fairly easy, if not the most streamlined of all these sites.

Break is a little light on the technical support. There is a FAQ available that answers all the basic questions, but it doesn???t bother to go very deep into issues and doesn???t cover all the questions you might have.

You can also email Break if you need more help than the FAQ can provide.

Even though Break is pretty specialized towards humor and the male demographic, it still offers an incredible selection of videos that will keep you happy for hours, no matter your gender. The viewer interface is also one of the most comprehensive and easiest to use of any video sharing site we used.