It's been 24 hours since the Olympics opening ceremony. NBC started the broadcast early and I missed the fancy drums. So I went online to watch the part I missed. You know, go to Youtube and watch a crappy FLV version of the opening ceremony, broken up into easily sharable, easily linkable three minute segments.

Nope! Near as I can tell, there's no legitimate way to share a video experience of the Olympics online. Google's got Youtube locked down quite tightly, even if you fiddle your cookies. The NBC and Olympics sites seem to not have the video, although the sites are so awful I could have just not found it. I even checked Hulu, which apparently thinks Jimmy Carter's boycott in 1980 is the most relevant result for a search on "Olympics".

Of course there are torrents available; 5 gigs for a 720p copy, probably blissfully free of the American announcer stupidly bleating colour commentary. But that's a lot of effort to watch three minutes of video. And it's not really sharable with your friends.

So great job, Olympics copyright holders! You've made your production irrelevant to the Internet.

Update: ok, I ranted a bit too soon. NBC does have a lot of Olympics video online, including the opening spectacle. It requires Silverlight, and it's awfully hard to find things on the video site, but once you start watching something it's pretty good.
  2008-08-09 16:51 Z