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Heard of Google Instant? Well, I built YouTube Instant. (feross.net)
318 points by cristinacordova on Sept 10, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 71 comments

Why the shortened url? I thought HN had them banned for submissions. Full url: http://feross.net/instant/

Seems it's Facebook's shortening url, perhaps for tracking?

I made it while working there. It was originally for the twitter exporter http://twitter.com/search#search?q=fb.me

I don't know what else they're using it for now.

Apparently he got a job offer from YouTube: http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/10/youtube-instant-job/

Before this article even dropped off the front page, impressive.

Wow, what a brilliant concept.

Needs a keyboard shortcut for "give me another one with the same query", though. Then it would be both media bliss and a wonderful way to chill out.

By viewing the source code you can see that the author intends to add a "More Videos" features, but it's currently commented out. http://feross.net/instant/instant.js

I'd personally recommend not finishing this "More Videos" feature. I think the simplicity of just 1 video per search is awesome and creates beautiful serendipity. But, I know such a suggestion is very subjective.

Hi there Andrew, I'm the author. After reading the comments on HN and elsewhere, I'm surprised to see my hack being praised for it's simplicity. If I had more time last night, I would have implemented more features - I have a ton of ideas.

I guess it's good that I didn't. It looks like simplicity won.

Speed it up by not going through your server to get the query suggestions. You can drop the jsonp parameter and just eval the results. Or change the jsonp parameter and include it as a script tag.

I'm now doing everything client-side using JQuery and <script> tags to get around cross-domain XHR limitations. Now Google can't block it. :)

I'm curious: how do you get around crossdomain XHR limitations using <script> tags? Thanks!

<script> tags aren't subject to cross-domain restrictions. Think about it - all those website statistics scripts are hosted on external servers, but their Javascript gets executed just fine. By dynamically inserting <script> tags into the page, you can force Javascript from another domain to execute in your domain.

Got it, thanks. I finally got around to learning JSONP.

JQuery's $.ajax API handles it automatically for you too (if you use the 'jsonp' or 'script' dataType options), which is very nice.

They can block by referer, of which your domain is. Though I doubt they would.

Considering they offered him a job (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1680265), I don't think they'll block it.

I like the minimal interface. This website is perfect.

Your getting something unexpected stumbleupon style, but you are controlling the seed of randomness, making it more interactive and game like.

The funnest thing is entering random letters\nonwords. For example "rowlz".

Now there is somebody with short hair playing guitar coming up everytime exact video search is "undefined" because he has a song called "undefined"....

Glitch with "exact search"? It used to return different results last night like best match, but now seems to be literally searching "undefined"

edit: whatever the change was, this guy is going to get a lot more hits now and the site isn't quite as funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNR6aEdwRNI

edit2: nvm it appears to be fixed now.

It would be great if there was a stumble button that proceeded to next random video. I always thought there should be a stumble upon for video.

have you seen nowmov.com?

Endless youtube is another nice youtube hack. Just put endless before the youtube part of the URL, e.g.




It repeats the video, or a portion of it, and has a neat inline search facility.

Same strategy with http://youtuberepeat.com but you just get the repeating video, not all of the other stuff around the edges.

Is it intentional that there's no timeline / 'skip to' possibility?

Maybe not great for real uses as the top hit isn't always right, but I know of several parties where this on full screen would be an instant win at least.

I'd love to see every 5th response Rick Roll the user, but that's just me.

I like the serendipity of discovering stuff this way. The selection of videos is pretty good.

Feature request: a way to get to the original video so I can share it.

Got an awesome video for "doctor who", but I can't find it on youtube.com

click the "youtube" logo on the bottom right

Rather than a link to the current video, I'd like to see a list of history.

E.g. how do I get to what I saw two videos back? I started typing "drum video", saw something interesting as an intermediate result as I was typing, but as it processed more of my query, it had jumped to a new video before i could click.

Granted, I just retyped my query letter by letter to find what i was looking for ("dru"). But I don't know if a fixed query always bringing back a single result or if that's desired functionality vs limitation vs bug.

I don't know what I'm supposed to see or what it's supposed to do. I use Opera (just got the update this AM). I don't get Google Instant, either.

I typed in "marissa mayer laugh".

Listening to that makes me feel a bit sick. To restore your faith in Marissa, here's a clip of her being serious:


Holy crap! Brilliant video edit.

I tried that. I only got as far as "marissa " and didn't really feel a need to go further. (Note the trailing space)

I see.

Nice idea. However, for me it's currently too slow to be really usable (sorry!). Just goes to show how amazing Google Instant is, I think.

Update: it works much, much better (faster) now - good job.

Thanks for noticing! I re-wrote the data fetching to happen directly on the client-side without making a trip to my server.

Someone that study computer science or something like that and told me what is the big deal about this , what is the special thing about,? it is the backend algorithm ? maybe this have porcion of I.A or Genetic Algorithm or Probabilitys metrics?? I dont know. to me this is just make a request using ajax to the db youtube and search for the most relevant search recently made (maybe 1 hour o 15 minutes i dont know) 3 hours or less look a pretty razonable time to do this,.. but maybe i'm wrong about my conception, somebody could please give an explanation about this? what's the big deal ????

Cool. Would be better if it had a list of thumbnails to choose a different video.

That would break the minimalissimo.

Can you extend it to show other results below, too? Right now - as fun as it is - it seems more like YouTubeRoulette. (Yes, I'm in a pedantic mood today ;o) )

YouTube.com has this feature.

needs video controls also maybe some way to skip to the next video

At the very least, click to play/pause and a volume slider.

How do you do it,please help me built similar stuffs,I am in Silicon Valley.Email me to charlyms21@gmail.com I am looking for like minded individuals who would like to change the world!

Strangely enough (certainly just a coincidence), but the words "mov" (lead suggestion moives) and "drumm" (which leads to drummer boy) took me to the exactly same wild west view...

You should have the text field do autocompletion if you hit tab

Kudos. This is great. The only thing I'd like to see is a row of, say 5, related videos just in case the first isn't exactly what I want.

Then use YouTube.com


I love the single video. In my opinion, instant is far more useful here than it is for regular search. If only it were faster...

Here is my version of YouTube Instant.


Freaking awesome. Simply said, awesome.

…and there the minimalism went away. Tweet-links and Facebook-Likes galore. Sad.

Wow, that's great. More useful than Google Instant, in my opinion.

anybody has the instant.js file? the link for it does not seem to be working anymore:




This is incredible

suggestion for "monkey" was great

Down right now, any mirror?

Bookmarked. Nice project.

doesn't work at all on mac 10.6 with chrome 7 (dev channel)

The site went down earlier because Youtube blocked my server. I rewrote the site to use client-side JS so it should work for you now.

cool, seems to be working now, though I get a click hiccup on first page load, no video or text, but the search box

pretty cool app.

Mac 10.6 Chrome 6 beta, working here.

Works for "San Bruno"

well done! +1 for a button to go to next video

is it just me or is there no sound?

awesome feross!

I like it, fastest way to find music videos that I have encountered ever.

now a Facebook application on YouTube Instant : http://apps.facebook.com/ytinstant/

Check out Youtube-Links.com you will enjoy it! :)

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