Viewing Videos in Google Drive

If you’ve ever been frustrated by downloading a video file and then finding you don’t have the correct plug-in or application to view it, Google Drive might provide an easy answer.

You can search for video files in Drive using the improved search tools, described in this previous post:

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Click image to enlarge

Note that Drive will also offer you a preview of your selected video, along with some additional information, in the preview pane:

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Click image to enlarge

For any video file stored in Google Drive, you can play the video right there in the Google Drive Viewer:

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Click image to enlarge

Drive supports files in the following video formats:

  • WebM (Vp8 video codec; Vorbis Audio codec)
  • MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV (h264 and mpeg4 video codecs; AAC audio codec)
  • AVI (MJPEG video codec; PCM audio)
  • MPEGPS (MPEG2 video codec; MP2 audio)
  • WMV
  • FLV (Adobe – FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio)
  • MTS

Irrespective of the file format – the file shown is a .wmv file – the video will play in the familiar YouTube-styled player. The maximum resolution for playback is 1920×1080.

As a bonus, when you upload your video files to Drive, they inherit the sharing rules you’ve applied to their containing folder. So if you want to share videos only with specific collaborators, you can.

Finally, some organisations block YouTube, so their staff can’t view any videos you share with them via that service. Share those videos via Drive instead, and they will probably have more luck!