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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



AOL and Katie Couric

September 5, 2006 12:56 PM

Ever wonder why online video works “perfectly” for the companies who send out the links to reporters? But not quite so well for the average user?

AOL Video alerted the press that it had posted a posted a pair of exclusive, behind-the-scenes clips on Aug. 31 from Katie Couric’s preparations for her Sept. 5 debut on the CBS Evening News. I did a little story on it for TVWeek (http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=10662) and checked it out.

I clicked on the link in the e-mail sent to me that afternoon to check out the videos. Only four seconds of a two-minute clip played. Then the video stalled out and neither the pause nor play buttons on the video player worked. I went back to the e-mail, clicking on the link once more. The video launched in a new browser window and ticked past the four-second mark to about seven seconds, but froze again while Ms. Couric chattered about her new job and the traffic on 57th Street.

I decided to circumvent the e-mail link and see if I’d have better luck launching the video from an AOL site. I typed AOLvideo.com into my browser window, but didn’t see the videos promoted on the AOL Video home page. I asked AOL’s press department to send me the URL directly. The AOL spokeswoman also told me I could find the videos on television.aol.com rather than the AOL Video portal. I cut and pasted the direct link into my browser. And once more the video stuttered and stopped throughout.

I checked with one of my editors at TVWeek and he said he managed to watch the first clip, though the playback was sprinkled with several few delays throughout. But the second video got stuck for good, he said.

See if you fare better.

http://television.aol.com/news/article/katiecouric/_a/all-eyes-on-katie-couric/20060828152109990002#video

I tried the link again on Sunday Sept. 3 and it played seamlessly from start to finish.

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