It’s getting more and more common. Free stock photography is on the rise. We see new services emerge on a monthly basis. Mostly maintained by photographers, aiming to get more exposure or agencies, aiming to prove their quality of work, free stock photo libraries are a benefit for both sides. Getting more exposure and sympathy might potentially help to acquire more paid work, the philosophy of freemium. This assumption is valid and widely successful, so why should it not work for high-grade video content as well. That’s what the creators of Mazwai may have thought. And yes, why shouldn’t it? We all need free HD videos for commercial use from time to time…
Mazwai: High Quality Video Content Completely Free
The new project Mazwai offers a platform to strengthen the name recognition of ambitious film makers. At the time of this writing, the site offers 68 videos for free download and free use. Speaking in terms of design, Mazwai fully concentrates on moving content.
It already starts with the presentation. All available content is neatly aligned on a grid. Hovering any preview has it start to run. Clicking a video opens it in the full size of the browser window. Text, besides the name of the video, which is displayed to the bottom left of the video preview, is not shown until you click the download icon at the bottom right of the player window.
As you do, two things happen. First, the chosen video starts to download in the form of a zipped archive without further ado. Second, Mazwai displays an explanatory text telling you who created the video and what the conditions of use are. While there are several video makers to be named, conditions are always the same.
You are entitled to use all the videos on Mazwai freely, even for commercial purposes. As long as you stick to the conditions of the license CC BY 3.0. This license allows you to use, share and edit the material offered for any purpose as long as you give appropriate credit to the creator of the original works. This example backlink should suffice:
Inside the downloaded Zip you will find two files. The two files represent the two formats in which each video on Mazwai is distributed. The first, smaller file contains the video in the Google initiated format WebM (based on the codec VP8). The WebM variant comes in HD with 1280 x 720 pixels and is much smaller in size than the second variant. The second file sports the full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and comes in the format MP4. Depending on the length and complexity of the video chosen, between 100 and several hundred megabytes will occupy your local drive.
Mazwai offers a wide variety of topics. Ranging from videos that almost look like pictures, if it weren’t because of the slight visible movements, e.g. Zuerich Airport, to short films with that little bit more action, such as In Peace by Riot Media, lots of use cases will get satisfied. Most of the videos have a soundtrack, only very few are silent films.
If you are in frequent need of HD video content, make sure to keep Mazwai in your bookmark collection. If you create great video content and want to share it with the world, contact Mazwai directly (email link). Contributions are appreciated.
Dieter Petereit is a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called web design and has carried on ever since. Two decades ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. You can meet him over on Google+.