Unlimited Video Hosting with Airtable for Free! (With A Catch...)

Ok, so first up i love airtable and think it is possible the greatest app ever made, i respect airtable and greatly appreciate the free version that they have given to us, it is AWESOME.

I am not trying to abuse this generosity and i am not personally using this “Hack” as for reasons that will become obvious, the “Catch” makes it unusable for commercial use / the wider public. But works for personal uses as long as you are logged into the airtable account that has the videos uploaded. Same works for images and files i imagine.

The Process
Step 1: Upload video into airtable attachment field
Step 2: Open this video so that you can see it playing
Step 3: Right Click on the video and select “inspect” this opens up the coding for the website
Step 4: Locate the web link for the uploaded video file, should be close to where the inspect element has taken you (Or Ctrl + F and enter a distinct word from the video name)

Step 5: Share the base and grab the embed code from this
Step 6: Replace the embed code for the “src:” with the “src” of the video file hosted on airtable that you found in step 4.
Step 7: Embed the code on your website.

So this is unlimited because of the nature of Airtable free plan, unlimited bases with 2 GB limit. So make as many “Attachment Hosting” bases as you want, when the previous one is full.

Here is the catch and the reason this won’t work at scale or commercially. Using airtable this way will be notice by airtable and shut down eventually as streaming video from airtable servers would be hugely taxing. Secondly, you can only view the embedded video, document or picture this way if you are logged into airtable and has access to the base with these resources.

Haven’t figured a way around this, so it become unfeasible to share your attachment base with everyone, so alright for personal, but not public use.

Note: Those images were gifs, showing the process, however they have been converted to Jpeg by the forum :frowning:

Are you certain Airtable is actually streaming the video and not simply making the video available to download and view?

There are a few more catches.

  • The 2GB limit is per workspace, not per base. You can have unlimited free workspaces, but that really makes things difficult to manage.
  • I think there is a maximum file size limit on individual attachments. I don’t remember the limit off the top of my head.
  • Airtable has stated that they are not to be used as a CDN, and that they may change attachment urls without notice. (Although this is unlikely to happen soon, it could happen.)

By the way, I find the easiest way to get the url of an attachment is to create a formula field that displays the value of the attachment. If you want thumbnail urls, you can get them easily from scripting app.

Pricing - Airtable Read the pricing schedule. 2GB per base !

Okay, think that through for a moment. Imagine a business that allows unlimited bases and 2GB per base. Is that not the same as saying “unlimited attachment storage” per account? I have a hunch this is simply an imprecise use of words because I’m pretty sure 10,000 bases each with 2GB’s of attachments would kill the platform.

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I agree, there would be a fair use policy somewhere. Unlimited sms on my phone plan is subject to a 100 messages a day fair use policy

You’re right, it is 2GB per base, not per workspace. Still, managing a large number of videos across multiple bases would be a pain.

I wonder - has anyone actually tested this claim? That’s what it says, but is that how it actually works?

Imagine you’re providing a service with unlimited number of databases with 2GB cap per database, a serious exposure to functionally unlimited document storage. I think this policy will hold until it is abused and it most certainly will be abused eventually.

Are you asking if people have tested if the attachment space is per base or if people have tested creating “unlimited” bases?

I don’t think there is much point in testing the attachment space per base. The attachment space is displayed on the account page. And people have run up against the 2GB limit in free bases and gotten over limit flags.

It is also impossible to have an infinite number of bases, so “unlimited” actually has to have a limit. But that engineering limit is probably higher than what a human can reasonable interact with in the user interface. And thus far, the only way to create a new base is with human interaction.

Good to know, but have they successfully run up against the limit in multiple bases in one account? And by multiple, say - 10 bases each at 2GBs?

And why are we talking about 2GB when I actually see this? Is the 2GB ceiling old and the current amount is actually 20GBs per base?

image

Because this thread is about the free plan. The limit in free plans is 2GB.

I have no idea if anyone has tried to test these limits, and I have no plans to do so.

Ahh, of course. Thx. Regardless, I predict the other shoe will drop on this seemingly limitless document storage policy before Sept 2023. :wink: