Friday, November 18, 2011 Brings Back Video Watching As It Should Be

Amongst the children of the 80's and 90's, there is almost always one universal lament when the topic comes to music videos:  the demise of MTV.  The television network popularized the medium, and managed to do so while seeming mainstream and edgy at the same time.  They managed this balance for the better part of 15 years, before pop culture got the best of them.  Once that happened, they headed for a downward spiral of reality shows, and barely any of the thing that had made them great: music videos.

With the arrival of the internet, and real streaming video, there was a feeling that this didn't matter as much, because people could choose their own content.  Any video you wanted, any time you wanted.  But the fact of the matter is, that didn't help, because much of MTV's influence was curatorial.  What most people really want is to sit down and watch music videos they haven't seen before, and be exposed to something new and exciting. In short, the internet really only solved half the problem.

Enter  the new site is an attempt to harness the power of "any video, any time", and wrap it in the feeling of good curatorial sense.  The site takes on a fantastic full-screen experience and a minimalist interface to create an immersive, sit back and relax vibe.  The user can search's library of videos for new content, but really that's still the same old thing with a new wrapper.  The real fun comes when channels are used.

Channels are predefined by curators, or users, and consist of what are essentially video playlists.  However, as one watches videos, you can "love" them, resulting in a body of user metadata relating to video preference.  Then it's just one click to a checkbox, and starts "auto-DJ"ing for you. This is where it really starts to feel like the MTV experience:  new music that you've never heard, but with shared genre and influences.

Granted, there are still kinks to work out.  Video quality varies, ads sometimes randomly appear, and HD has to be toggled by the user.  But, for the most part, has nailed a new user experience (or rather, recreated an old one) in the online world. We've just started curating our own channel, and from there, the sky's the limit!  You'll be saying "I want my!" in no time.