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Video Pandora, Play-Forever-Lists: Other Things VHX is Doing You Don't Know About Yet (But Should)

12.13.12 @ 9:00AM Tags : , , ,

By this point, you probably know about what VHX has been doing for direct-release cases and various self-promoted media start-ups. It’s clear the project will continue to bring us a lot of great films directly — and a lot of success stories along the way. You may not, however, be totally in tune to the things the project is trying to do for video on the internet in general. There’s something to be said for socializing a video-based browsing experience — in a lot of cases, you may never easily find videos that captivate or interest you on YouTube or Vimeo, because unless they’re being shared on Facebook or Twitter by people whose tastes you trust, how would you come across them? This is just one example of why you may find yourself living in a very VHX future.


Community.VHX.tv

Upon launch, VHX was not the self-distribution service it is now primarily considered (at least, by this crowd of readers). Originally, it was a social-based video dashboard system, and it still is — an ongoing stream of videos shared by ‘curators’ who you follow simply plays upon startup — think of it as Twitter for video, wherein your feed is determined by what the users you subscribe to bring to the chatter table.

I joined VHX when I covered the project in general previously, and mentioned a bit about its social service (still growing — join now). It’s worth noting that as of now, VHX supports sharing of YouTube and Vimeo videos only — though I’m betting those places are where you’re getting the vast majority of video content anyway — shared to your VHX feed by way of a simple applet. Instant ‘re-blogging’ (with comments) to Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr is native. Support for other upload services is coming in the future. Here’s the launch video that illustrates what community.VHX.tv is all about.

To go ‘full disclosure,’ VHX has joined the ranks of the various tabs which open automatically for me upon launching Chrome — becoming a resource for both discovering notable (and of course, share-worthy) material and the type of stuff you stumble upon on the web at your luckiest and happiest moments — I think of it like working with the TV on in the background across the room. Some things rightfully catch your attention, and you’re glad they did. Again, like Twitter, your feed’s livelihood hinges on how many curators you’re watching, and how active they are. So, until you yourselves are using VHX, my own experience depends on what/which users share now — and don’t make my own shares fall on blind eyes, if you travel widely in web video, join up now and bring it to the community!

Show Me Nonstop This, That, or Some Other Things

I don’t even remember how I came across the VHX API page, but no matter — the apps this team are developing are so wonderful for web video you’ll be wondering how it’s possible they weren’t a feature of the internet-at-large to begin with. Get this — you input what type of thing you want to watch, and that’s exactly what you get, non-stop. Given the fact that witchcraft is supposedly not a real thing, I have no idea whatsoever how Nonstop (alternatively SHOWME x NONSTOP, whatever you like) works, but it sure does — give it a try now.

Lack of understanding about algorithms be darned — prepare, as it says in the launch video above, for your productivity to drop through the floor, suddenly and for an unexpectedly long amount of time.

Music Video Genome — ‘Pandora for Music Videos’

Music Video Genome is a similarly-minded application — in this case specifically building on YouTube, Last.fm, and VHX itself — in that you search for a musician or band, and what you get is a stream of fitting music videos that keeps playing long after you die (unless you halt it manually).

There’s also a feedback system going on here, in that you can ‘like’ videos (and just skip dislikes), plus tell MVGenome that what it’s providing you isn’t actually a music video, at which point it reaches out to you for one that is — it assumedly learns and uses this for future reference. I’ve found album-cover-only versions of songs to be a common ‘offender’ in this — not that I minded all that much. Again, beyond magic, I’m not sure how personalized, built-for-you playlisting is so easy — but I’m glad it is, and I’m glad VHX has delivered it to us.

The apps still seem to be works in progress, so don’t expect a 100% success rate on everything you try just yet — but I would be a bit slow to complain, given that these services are incredibly nifty, and offer direct-happiness-delivery in a simple and smooth way. Expect more from VHX that changes the way you do web video in the future.

So, are you guys convinced VHX is changing the world yet?

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COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • I like the basic idea behind services like VHX, and I’ll probably give it a try someday, but one thing that I’m apprehensive about is the possibility of being bombarded by marketing and videos that, frankly, I don’t like or don’t want to see.

    On the plus side, though, this is as close to online, 24-hour-a-day television programming I’ve seen, and I think it could best YouTube in some ways. I can take or leave YouTube when I want it, but it would be interesting to have a profile on a network that only shows media I care about. Definitely a step in the right direction.

  • This would be cool if all I wanted to do was watch videos all day… but I don’t, I want to get things done. It sounds to me like the pit of doom for the easily distracted mind (as is TV, I guess you could argue).

    Now when it gets to the point that I can play the stream on my TV rather than my computer, THAT is interesting indeed. I don’t see it mentioned in the article, but maybe that’s already a possibility.

    • I’ve found that the iPad has taken the role of my TV in this kind of “second screen” configuration. If I’m working on my laptop and I have the iPad playing videos, somehow that gives me a better separation of church and state than does playing a video in a smaller window in the corner of the laptop screen.

      Of course, in this setup, you are not 100% focused on your work, but some jobs require less focus than others…

  • I honestly don’t see much of a point in VHX at all…

    All the video playing platforms available now all have a social part to them. I can comment on youtube I can share to Facebook i can email the videos i can tweet about it. Why on earth would i want another 3rd party platform to see all my videos from?

    also the history feature…? umm youtube has that, as well as making playlists that i can share. Now I did give VHX a fair shot and I tried it out but i really did bore of it quickly. I just lost interest and didn’t see a point in it at all unfortunately. I’d prefer to watch movies and video directly from a streaming site like Hulu or Yekra sense they seem to have a better definition of what they are as providers. I feel VHX is all over the place and a semi mess. If i want to watch TV shows i go to Hulu and if I want indie and foreign films I go to Yekra its simple and i know what to expect.

  • I agree with DIYFilmSchool. I don’t want to be bombarded by marketing and videos that I don’t like. Also that app they have… its cool the idea of it, its like StumbleUpon but lame cuz i can’t even skip a video i don’t want to see. It reminds me of the free version of Pandora where i get an ad every time I hear song i hate.

    I’d have to agree with Carol a bit too, i rather go to a more reputable site like Hulu or Yekra cuz i know what i’m getting. I recently saw Happy on their own website and didn’t know that Yekra was hosting them. I thought it was a great film. I think they really pay attention to quality which I value. Its not always how flashy a site is which i feel VHX is doing. They are a bunch of flickering lights with no real purpose or direction, just a distraction from the fact that the content just sucks. I’d totally vouch for http://www.hulu.com and http://www.yekra.com for tv and films I’ve found what I need from them.

  • Thanks for posting about this!

    I do video/film work, but work heavily with music video.

    To have a constant stream of music videos, running on a second or third screen that I can glance over at would be ideal. I’m still longing for the old days of MTV, just long blocks of videos. Fuse does this, but the same 100 videos for twelve months.

    With the old MTV, we at least had Yo!, 120 Minutes, and Headbangers Ball. Giving us exposure to those artists we wouldn’t see in traditional Chart based rotation.

    Yes, VHX, and the like, are clunky stumbling newborns, but may be our next hope for creating music video channels that we might actually enjoy glancing at now and then.

    BTW, your site rocks!

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