Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
YouTube videos that have almost zero previous views (astronaut.io)
1362 points by monort on July 14, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 232 comments

Amazing concept. This was an incredible thing to uncover during my few minutes on the site:


It's a video of a woman reciting a poem that she wrote for her eldest son that speaks of her love for her son and her wish that he would get "off the streets". Emotional, honest, real. YouTube like I've never experienced. Brilliant.

This project is fantastic and has potential in bringing people closer together. I just watched a man propose to his girlfriend in another language. (I'm pretty sure she said yes!)

Then you get things like this: https://youtu.be/syiSYMPwFck

I couldn't even finish watching the video... once he said the letter "P" I switched off

But it got better at the end. Why did she say "do-da-didi-dam-di-doo"?

It wasn't for you. He said it was just for me.

He calls himself "The Bullshit Psychic". Looks legit!

Apparently this is some poor attempt at parody.


What a discovery. I feel a bit intrusive getting to experience it. I hope her communication succeeds.

~1 kiloviews now with 152:3 thumbs ratio, why would someone dislike this!?

I don't think I've ever seen a video with over 100 upvotes that didn't have any downvotes. That's just YouTube.

Clearly the OP knows this and is making a joke by adding a quintessential YouTube comment.

"Three people who *didn't make it off the streets disliked!!"

I found some obscure music video that had like ~200 likes with no downvotes but it didn't lasted long... not idea if it's bots that downvote stuff or just weird people (hate the word "haters" but that's what I mean)

Perhaps YouTube applies vote fuzzing similar to Reddit.

What's vote fuzzing?

It's when you change upvotes and downvotes so that the ration stays similar, but now you can't consistently find if your downvoting bot had any effect.

Why on earth would that be something a platform does?

>> but now you can't consistently find if your downvoting bot had any effect.

I'd say that's why. To deter dislike bots

I think some bots randomly upvote/downvote in an attempt to appear human.

Have you never been on youtube before? If you don't get the down votes don't read the comments.

Currently all the comments on the video are wholesome

I was thinking youtube comments in general rather than this particular video.

Nice to see you completely ignored my advice though :P

Who of us has never clicked the wrong button? Touch UI interfaces make it even easier

Pohl's Law: "Nothing is so good that someone somewhere won’t hate it."

This is a great find and a very somber video. It brings me a smile to know that this lady will wake up to her video having thousands of views and hundreds of likes, as well as many lovely comments.

Wow, very touching. I wonder if her son has seen this already.

This is... fascinating on a very personal level. I've never been a "YouTube" guy; I'd rather skim/read an article than watch a video. I've never binged, never clicked-clicked-clicked my night away on Youtube, and generally when sent a 17 minute video tutorial, ask/search if there's a 30 seconds writeup.

But this... this is mesmerizing. As cheesy as premise may be, you do feel a little like an outsider voyeur - not in a perverse sense, but in the having-no-expectations-or-context sense. Each video proves a gem, and timing is right. And knowing that you may be the only person who has ever seen it just adds to mystique... absolutely brilliant! :O

It's sort of like channel surfing all the "local access" channels in the world

It reminds me of the Adult Swim show "Robot Chicken". Not exactly in content but in format and style. Just random things, slices of life, from people across the world.

Absolutely brilliant point.

In the same vein of avoiding bubbles, I browse reddit by 'Top Of The Hour'. Filtrated enough to be decent quality, very fresh content, and not yet subverted by bubble affiliation or mind hiveing.

I tried that just now and it shows lots of memes. How do you do that and have it show regular content?

Based on my experience at Reddit, memes are the regular content at this point if you're looking at r/all.

I don't browse r/all, I use the front page with a curated selection of subreddits (programmer humor, aviation, android, various other interests)

Reminds me of a Youtube recreation of Vine's original incarnation, VinePeek.


The implementation here is somewhat interesting.

- Video IDs are spit out onto a Socket.io connection. (Another person claims it’s synchronized, which seems likely.)

- While one video plays, another player is in the background buffering the next video. Making it quite seemless.

- The code is from 2011, apparently, and it feels like it. You have code in script tags and plain old unminified JS, not to mention jQuery. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s almost nostalgic at this juncture.

So many of the videos it was pulling up had IMG/MOV/DCS in the title that I wondered if that was the strategy for finding unwatched videos, but I don’t think so, it must just be a consequence of many people uploading videos directly from camera files.

One remark I do have is that it seems to not be picking the most recent videos. There might be good reason for that (maybe waiting filters out bad content, or content that will have views?)

"These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views."

That is from the initial page load. So it would seem that the title pattern that you observed is intentional

It's probably a strategy to find videos that were recorded IRL by real people.

There's a ton of content on YouTube that's generated automatically, as well as marketing videos, screencasts, etc. but those are not going to be nearly as interesting as something that someone recorded and uploaded by hand.

There are plenty of videos without that format. Those titles are just sequential file names of many cameras.

This is a really weird premise for a site, but after a couple videos, all I could think was, this is an awesome glimpse at humanity.

And it makes me wonder about using similar approaches to break down the echo chambers we find ourselves in. We have a perception of what's normal based on what we see, but what we see is based on what we're already exposed to and what we ourselves do. Randomly seeing what a bunch of other people did this week? Great for that.

I also saw someone rave about "Donut" this week - schedules random 1-on-1's with people in your company to help with cross-pollination and bigger picture context. Chat Roulette and what a dumpster fire that is comes to mind, but I wonder if a LinkedIn-based service of a similar nature would be good just to learn about other companies, other corporate cultures, etc..

Your comment reminded me of interviewing.io and their strapline "chat roulette without the dicks" Similar idea but for engineering interviews and practice interviews

I work at a dumpster fire of a company, but Donut Buddies still shines through with benefits to me. I don't even think others are aware of its true value. I often will make cross-functional inferences about company level things, or will bring up strategy from a different part of the company in discussions, and I have other engineers kind of just stare at me and say ".... how do you know that?"

"from, get this, talking to my colleagues on a regular basis"

I wasn't going to click the link but your comment prompted me to.

Wow. It's a fascinating look at what likely makes up a large majority of YouTube content that I would otherwise never come into contact with.

I also love how the creator packaged it up as a though an alien visitor was using YouTube to sample our civilization. This is the 99%.

There's a subreddit dedicated to this sort of thing, check it out:


also /r/deepintoyoutube.

I just have views of a planet and some spacecraft flying above the surface. How can I get the actual videos to play? There is no GO button anywhere.

Disable uBlock Origin. I had the same problem

I didn't have to disable uBlock myself, only whitelist it in noscript. Then I hovered over the word Go and the Go button appeared.

I didn't have to do anything with ublock origin still on.

allow javascript and whitelist following domains: googlevideo.com raw.githubusercontent.com youtube.com ytimg.com

C'mon. You know you have to turn of noscript, etc, to get most sites like this to work.

That's like saying you need to plug the cable ;) Sounds more like some cross browser issue.

Tried that. Same problem.

I don't even get any animation, just the intro text. Guess it doesn't support IE11. :-(

Yup also no button for me. I am in a corp environment so possibly something blocked (youtube is for example, so am not expecting the site to work anyway)

I have the same issue with iOS Chrome

Interesting idea, but the “Go” button is not appearing for me on Safari mobile.

That's Apple trying to save you!

It doesn't appear for me either on Firefox or Chrome. Maybe too much traffic?

Working for me on Firefox for Android.

I kind of like the periodic switching and "hands-free" experience, but the idea itself isn't too original[0][1][2] and I am not a fan of the video taking up about 25% of my screen estate, the rest taken up by an unrelated, distracting stock space video.

0: http://defaultfile.name/

1: https://www.randomlyinspired.com/noviews

2: https://www.incognitube.com/

> but the idea itself isn't too original

It's not immediately clear which one is the "original one", but this one has been around since at least 2012[1].

[1] https://github.com/wonga00/astronaut/commit/a9bdaf0d00588b7a...

Press "F" to go to fullscreen :)

Video feed is synced across viewers. Even if you, as a user, click the button to keep watching a specific video, once you resume live mode, it's synced with other clients once again.

You can also see how many viewers are currently on the site, if you inspect the websockets messages.

I created a very similar app:


The titles of all the videos shown are random strings based on the default media file names of some popular devices, such as iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. Some examples of these titles would be IMG_8869.MOV, DSC 0711 or MVI 6710.

All the videos, requested in real time, are not more than one year old. They are almost undiscovered, usually with very few views (or not even one).

I'd like a back button, so the stream pause/resume isn't such a high cognitive load high-stakes high-regret "oh, that looks ... drat, too late" decision. Or perhaps a fade transition?

Left-arrow key goes back to the previous video, right arrow key takes you forward. Not sure if there’s an option for mobile.

For anybody else that thought this doesn't work, you need to first select the circle pause button at the bottom to put the controls in "focus"

Very interesting concept! I wish there were a bit more control, like being able to disable the automatic skip-to-next-video that happens after only a few seconds. Oh, you can, you need to press the round circle (which I mistook for a spinner-type indicator), icons that require you to first read instructions are bad icons. A button with a text on it, or a checkbox would have made more sense. But hey, it works, so it's cool!

Quoting astrocat from the previous thread:

PSA: Watch in an private/incognito tab/window. If you are currently logged into your google account, this WILL pollute your watched history: https://www.youtube.com/feed/history

Turns out, even before you click on "OK" to start watching, it's doing it in the background - my watch history is now full of hours of this junk :(

You can click X on them and quickly remove them. If there's truly way too many (you left it open for hours), you can go to your Google's Activity page, filter youtube and delete everything from today with a button.


Good idea to do a full reset periodically anyways to reset your recommendations.

Is it?

When I go to YouTube on a fresh device without being logged in, it's a pile of steaming clickbait and pop-internet-culture garbage. On my account, by contrast, YouTube is full of mostly great recommendations of high-quality content and I can pretty much always find several new and interesting things to watch should I feel like it.

(I watch stuff like Kurzgesagt, Smarter every day, AvE, Rick Beato, Today I found out, Wisecrack, Wendover Productions, Practical Engineering, Vox, Crash Course, SciShow... that's just from browsing my current recommendations. I would guess none of that shows up for fresh accounts)

The problem I have is that my recommendations are usually full of stuff I'm already subscribed to. Discovering new things is really hard and usually just happens by reading about it elsewhere.

Clean it of trash and you will receive less trash recommendations. Fully cleaning isn't effective as the average video quality is lower than most HN public would like to watch. Having mostly good videos you like makes it recommend more similar content to you.

It's not just average video quality, it's that (as far as anyone can tell), the algorithm optimizes for expected value of total watch time, as opposed to optimizing for just the likelihood of watching the next video. Basically, the recommendations behave as though they "hope" that you will go down a conspiracy or outrage rabbit hole and binge 12 hours of garbage.

For me it correctly "hopes" I'll go down science rabbit holes, which I do. I'm similar to the person above, I watch a lot of educational content, and I also get suggested great content.

Right now I see the follow up to the guy who build his own VGA card, video of someone building a camera that can see wifi, and a PBS video on the "quantum internet". All great suggestions.

Clicking X on them automatically adds your name and reference to the video into a bucket labelled "investigate further" :-)

Also consider using Firefox and enabling `privacy.firstparty.isolate`, which will separate the cookies for third-party embeds from their own domain, thereby preventing this (as the embed doesn’t see you as logged-in).

Or, just pause viewing history; YouTube has a control for that.

Will that pause recommendations and everything else with the already weak algo?

they probably log a 'shadow view' but recommendations seem to be directly based on your watch history since your recommendations are lost when you completely clear it.

That is a bit odd because I have had watch history off for years, but I still get recommendations that make sense.

Do you subscribe to any channels? Have you liked any videos?

Ah, yes, I have liked some videos throughout the years.

The recommendations will mostly be derived from the videos you have saved in playlists. And the front page will always shows Youtube Mixes about the last song you were listening to, at the time of turning off the watch history.

Do a significant amt of YouTube users use playlists? I’ve always assumed no. Unless perhaps they are doing it for music since you’re talking about YouTube Mix. And songs.

Why would someone who is concerned about their watch history have watch history enabled at all?

Some like me actually appreciate the youtube recomendations based on the previously watched content, but need to be extra careful when watching some kind of content that is likely to be weighted a lot by "power users". Example, I do not follow videogames, but I do enjoy watching speedruns of old games ocassionally, so I need to watch it on incognito mode so I won't have my recommendations flooded with videogame videos.

Ever seen Summoning Salt’s documentary videos? https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCtUbO6rBht0daVIOGML3c8w

Firefox containers are also a great way to manage the yt recommend list. (Just choose a different container and open the link in that)

Essentially with all that data, YouTube still hold a bad recommendation engine.

I'm currently unaware of any recommendation engine that's worth acknowledging.

Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, PornHub, etc... they're all accomplishing little more than "similar to the one, and only one item you last saw", with dramatic shifts in "profiling" from one or two videos.

Actually, Netflix acknowledges this and splits the recommendation into "because you watched X..", so at least it covers a greater range (eg last 5 things seen)

I'm damned sure they could be much more useful if they would let me tell them what I like, by implementing rating systems that are worth using (e.g. the ability to browse and edit previous ratings in a sane fashion)

but user-useful recommendation is not the actual goal, so really its just that our metrics are wrong. It's probably great according to view counts.

That's the bottom line right there: thinking that recommendations are useful to YOU is naive and missing fundamental things about the experience.

That said, you can indeed tell them what you like but by use of negative space. When you get bombarded with obviously horrible recommendations, do the two-step process of clicking 'Not Interested' (if possible without even watching the video, or you can check it in incognito mode, assuming they're not watching that even more closely) and then 'tell us why', and respond 'I'm not interested in this channel: "undesirable video maker".

That assumes you can be sure you want to nuke the channels and subjects in question, but when it's clickbait channels and/or alt-right propaganda it's generally easy to identify and not get wrong. I'm sure the same would be true for leftwing propaganda, but the stuff I don't want pushed on me has a whole language and lexicon that's easily recognizable by video title, channel title and attempted clickbait image. If stuff trips my sensors on those grounds, I'm generally comfortable nuking it unseen.

The only one I think is good is when I build radio stations off custom playlists on Google play music. Generally speaking, most of the songs are good, and like 40% will get added to the playlist as well.

I don’t use this, or Spotify, but those are the only two systems I’ve heard people give praise for the recommendation engine — I suspect that its because music playlists are almost equivalent to a rating system.

That is, the user is capable of efficiently informing the engine of their taste, and there’s significant incentive for the user to consistently re-evaluate their ratings (playlists), so it can be trusted as up to date.

Another very important aspect is that playlists are useful enough to the user that they actually want to maintain it.

For example, amazon, netflix and pornhub all have rating systems, but they’re not at all useful. The interface isn’t useful enough for reviewing and reflecting on, its not comprehensive enough to keep as a primary list (because it only covers what they offer, which is very limited) and there’s of course no impact on the recommendation engine (because the rating systems are not worth using; chicken and egg). No sane person would touch the things (beyond “upvoting”, which isn’t significantly related to taste)

Imo ratings are absolutely vital to useful reccomendation, but they’ve been totally neglected

The radio stations off custom playlists are indeed pretty good, but the recommended ones on the home page are often horrendous and very short (songs will basically get repeated after less than 1 hour).

last.fm is great for recommendations after you've been scrobbling for awhile. I've picked up so many artists from checking out recommended every once in awhile.

On this subject, clicking through to some of these videos in incognito gave me what I guess must be the "default" suggestions - which included not just beauty tips spam but far-right speakers and loyalist marches in Belfast. I'm guessing the latter is related to the date but it's not something I'd expect to be the default! Watching even one video then made it more normal, even when trying to generate recommendations based on the no view videos.

I find that it's pretty good.

Or potentially the recommendations are tuned more towards ad revenue than your personal interests?

Which from the user's perspective may be equivalent to "bad recommendation engine".

Or otherwise paid for (which I think still counts as 'ads'), or tuned towards engagement.

I think quite a lot has to do with machine learning working out that if you panic the human animal they pay attention to threats, and therefore to maximize engagement 'if it bleeds, it leads' (old newspaper maxim). Newspaper editors can (and might not) automatically apply a social-benefit heuristic or sense of social shame (not wanting to be a 'muckraker' or troublemaker), and machine learning may not even start with such a concept.

If engagement was maximized by turning viewers into cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers (CHUDs), machine learning would simply make note of that and run as hard as it could in that direction, since it doesn't have a larger context in mind unless programmed to do so.

(Such a larger context is actually sort of controversial: lot of people demonize the very concept of social justice, and without it you get these hacks to maximize engagement by tapping into really unmanageable human/animal behaviors)

I like YouTube's recommendation engine, it is the only good one I've used.

I disagree from my own experience.

I always watch youtube from a privacy window so most suggestions are related to what I'm searching at the time.

Because a lot of people care of recommendations? If you watch news on yt then maybe recommendations are garbage but if you watch videos related to some niche activity or music then recommendations are a godsend.

Because they want useful recommendations and astronaut is feeding Google bad data?

Oh, you think you can actually disable it? its just an UI setting, Google keeps tracking you anyway. Go ahead and try it, disabling does nothing to the recommendations.

Others are suggesting practical reasons for having watch history enabled, but I would think that the vast majority have it enabled simply because that is the default.

In the same way that most people have a nose because they're born with it. It also happens to be useful.

reaching af

history augments memory when searching for specific things one remembers. having it polluted by random videos embedded on third party might not be great. history also drives recommendations, so again having random video views will ruin coherence of the home page suggestions

I wish you hadn't told me that. I thought I saw something suspicious when I resumed switching and yep, that's a bunch of topless elementary schoolers at a pool party. I suppose it doesn't technically violate YouTube's policies but jesus I did not want to see that.

Interesting, it didn't add anything to my watch history on Safari; is this a browser thing?

Really like this! I remember the musician Burial would sample covers on YouTube of songs he wanted to sample with next to 0 views. So you had this double whammy of getting the vibe of the original song and the intimacy of a bedroom recording wrapped into the sample. Feel like there's so much potential to get neat stuff outta the onslaught of personal footage on youtube.

I guess on one level it's invasive as hell but in an increasingly streamlined online experience it's nice to get glimpses at all the other stuff that's going on out there.

I love the perspective this gives you. You watch for a few minutes and remember how many things are going on outside of your own little world.

Does this respect the 'unlisted' setting for a video? I recently uploaded some videos and set them all to unlisted, and yet some of them received views despite me not viewing them or handing out a link. I meant to dig into that more but forgot after getting distracted. Can unlisted videos be found by a program like this, which I assume is using the API?

We [0] index YouTube actively and see way over 5.5B videos [1] at this point. We catch a lot of unlisted videos and we did try to figure out how is that possible in the past.

It seems that a lot of users will upload video which is by default published with the default settings and thus is visible from the outside. Even if they change the settings fairly quickly, automated systems like ours will already know about the existence of that video.

There could be other reasons but this seems the most likely, especially as a video that is being uploaded can be published fairly swiftly.

[0] https://pex.com

[1] https://blog.pex.com/what-content-dominates-on-youtube-39081...

It sounds like you are aware that you are scraping videos that are later re-labeled as "unlisted", but you don't mention what you do to mitigate this problem.

Even if it may not be illegal, at the very least it would seem un-ethical to link to private videos like this, and it would seem trivial for you to "re-scrape" your database every now and then to check whether any existing videos have changed from listed -> unlisted, and if they have, remove them.

This logic would require them to re-scrape every video forever, which is unreasonable.

I think a better approach for everyone involved would be to only store references to videos which were posted more than x minutes ago. I'm not sure if they have that information when scraping though.

GP said:

>It seems that a lot of users will upload video which is by default published [and then they change it to private] //

So to avoid that sort of unexpected public-ing (ie publishing) only one extra scrape would be needed. Or, if they knew the period over which the setting was normally changed then they could just delay the scrape until most would have already been changed.

I imagine though, in part, the 'fun' is catching inadvertent publication and morality is no t considered.

It actually has nothing to do with "fun". As I mentioned in my other comment, we don't expose our database publicly and nobody but us can see that a video is unlisted.

It would beat the purpose of our service would we delay our identification, and it would actually require some significant engineering efforts in order to introduce such capabilities into our system with significant economical impact on our business.

We don't expose our database publicly and we have no discovery mechanism.

Also I don't believe unlisted videos are considered to be private. There is a private setting which disallows for public to see such a video.

And finally, it's not very trivial to touch 5.5 billion videos often enough to see if any of those became unlisted.

Has "unlisted" ever been known to mean "private"? I never assumed it was - rather it was just a video that would not appear in searches or recommendations on YouTube.

That blog post is missing most of the images, by the way. It makes the post a little difficult to understand as most of it is referencing the graphs!

Checked in 4 different browsers and images show in all of them. Maybe your adblock is removing them?

If one is added to a playlist they can, at least.

No they will not be listed when the user searches for them.

> These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen (by anyone but you).

How does it work, technically? Is there an API to pull videos with a certain title format within a certain range, and then are the sections of video randomly chosen?

Edit: Found this https://github.com/wonga00/astronaut - answers some questions:

> The server currently pulls in videos daily from youtube. Search criteria is [TAG]XXXX with upload time this week, where TAG is a raw video prefix such as 'dsc' or 'img'. This search turns out to be a good approximation for the data set of home videos created in the last week.

Reminds me of Forgotify: a website that displays songs that have 0 plays on Spotify: http://forgotify.com/

Fun fact: if you listen to a song returned from the site it'll never be seen on the site again (as it would have >0 views)

Interdimensional cable, Morty.

For me the first video result was, what at first glance appeared to be a robot welding a barbecue.


Pretty good find, looks more like an excavator bucket, not a barbecue though.

Check this subreddit for a similar and a bit weirder experience


A somewhat similar "sampling" experience is searching for a high-frequency term like "a", and filtering for an upload date of last hour or day[1]. Non-English terms and time of day bias on geography.

[1] "a"/"last hour": https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=a&sp=EgIIAQ%253...

No stop words, that's curious?

http://www.petittube.com/ is 100 times better

Yeah can confirm this is a new way to not only experience Youtube, but the internet itself.

This was one of the first few that popped up for me, a cyberpunk/Terry Gilliam reality thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPyfqim1KA8

This is the same search method I use to continuously play back YT videos on a dedicated small screen connected to a raspberry pi in my apartment. Definitely shows an amazing cross section through humanity. The great thing about the camera file name is it’s language and region agnostic. So you really get everything.

LOL - found this diamond in the rough. Not sure if creepy dude filming women or actually his job? https://www.youtube.com/user/federicomarocchio/videos

Most of them seem related to beauty pageants, and the others are cosplayers, probably showing off their costumes.

Awesome. I've been trotting this idea out for years as an interesting but silly website I should make: videos even the uploaders didn't watch. I'm so excited to see it at the top of HN. This might inspire me to execute on one of my other absurd ideas.

this is an awesome idea, for a handful of different reasons. "A feed of the present". The post got my attention because of the domain name. Perhaps including your description "A feed of a present" would get more deserved attention

One minute in and I saw a video that appeared to show an older guy secretly recording a girl playing hopscotch.

The concept is great. It's real, and that's amazing, but it's also a reminder of how terrible people can be.

No matter where you look on YouTube, there always seems to be a pyramid scheme to hop onto:


I hope he was able to retire after all!

I love this, what I really need is a back button or history though, what if i see something I love and then it switches before I think to hit the freeze button? It is gone forever? (As far as I'm concerned)

The site logs each video to your browser's console in the format `Playing {0} in [object Object]`. You can rewatch by visiting https://youtu.be/{0}.

I think the videos are fleeting by design

I have regularly been doing these kind of searches for years and have always loved the spontaneity of the results I found.

We are far from the "SHOCKING: A WHALE EATS A BABY LIVE!!!" with the red circled preview image.

Absolutely incredible. I felt like I had a bird's eye view to humanity.

I think this is an amazing way of both estranging us from humankind by viewing our world from the outside as if we were aliens, and of widening our horizons by giving us access to the immediate experience of people from all walks of life, all over the planet.

My only worry is that it selects for people who don't know or care to properly name their youtube videos, e.g. after watching for ten minutes, I'm yet to see a young person from the West. Though this is probably one of the reasons why, for me, the videos are so strikingly unfamiliar.

These should just be running 24/7 in a lobby of a building somewhere

"Go" button is missing on Chrome and Brave, background video doesn't work on Brave. Cool website though, I could watch this for hours.

I don't see any buttons on FF 68 either. I was able to just click around for the first one.. can't find one to get videos playing.

My anecdotal observations are that the lonely, unloved videos typically consist of home movies, personal vacation videos, children's sporting events, and group exercise. Except for the exercise, it seems like the kind of stuff you'd find on any family's VHS tapes from the 80s and 90s.

Can anyone explain the prevalence of group exercise videos? Has anyone had radically different experiences?

Are these curated? Or is it truly just new things?

This kid is awesome


I like the concept and it looks good. Some criticism: After pausing a video, it still goes to the next video after a couple of seconds. I'm also seeing way too many XHR requests on a paused video. It's like the next video is already playing but invisible? The network tab just looks way too messy.

It's pretty cool that the first video that I got was on my language and one of the more classic songs about the struggle against oppression here.


Wish this had a better UI on mobile

FYI. When you share the link on Facebook no description or picture is added. Cool site

I recall being told at one time that the great majority of youtube uploads are never watched even by the person who uploaded them. This fact figures prominently into how they decide to transcode, store, and distribute uploads.

Not really being serious: Are we inadvertent being hooked into an attempted YouTube DoS by resource exhaustion?

It works go something like: System transcodes when demand is applied; normally demand misses 90% of videos; demand surely focuses only on unprocessed videos; 'attack' diverts resources to processing videos that would otherwise have never required processing.

Is this a joke? Whenever I press the button it skips to the next video instead of preventing it from switching. So the ones I want to see are immediately stopped. It's quite frustrating but I guess that's the point?

I can see how this could be confusing. If you click it once, on a fresh log in, it will stop switching. When you press it again it will resume switching.

If you like this, you might find this interesting as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/DeepIntoYouTube/

This shows how much YouTube could benefit from a "I'm feeling lucky" button. No algorithms (except for flagging inappropriate content), no filter bubbles, just a random video uploaded from another human.

Wow, incredible. I feel like an alien watching this strange planet called earth.

I'm flabbergasted. Such precious, rich, true and amazing moments of life.

I recently put forward the idea there's enough music in the world already[1] because millions of songs on Spotify have never been heard[2]. And of those millions of unheard songs, many are probably not by musicians but by "poseurs" who don't care about the craft of songwriting.

Perhaps we need something like Astronaut for Spotify?

[1] https://write.as/poseur-to-composer/poseur-approach-to-makin...

[2] https://tonedeaf.thebrag.com/spotify-turns-5-reveals-theres-...

I really love the way it connects people, but...

Doesn't anyone question that youtube is basically run by an ad service? If you really want to connect to people then why does "company x" wants to know and keep tabs?

Why is there a thumbs up or down in the first place? Or even, why doesn't the number of views matter to you in this case. "company x" had a great search engine but now it seems crippled by the fact you can't say: "exclude the top x percent popular results"

I'm writing this because when I searched for something obscure, I go to page 8 of the "company x" results and got slapped multiple times with "suspicious behaviour" notifications and had to wait or solve a captcha.

Agreed. The especially weird thing for me is that when I suggest ads are perhaps not great, I get energetic replies along the lines of "why do you hate newspapers/TV/video and want to kill them!1!"

I think of the ad ecosystem as like a tree that has grown so tall and dense that little can grow beneath it. If that tree weren't there I don't think we'd have nothing. I think we'd have a richer ecosystem with many more things growing.

Not just an ad service. Google is a content publisher, as revealed recently in the leak of the "ML Fairness" documents. And this website loads over "http" for maximum cookieage. Enjoy a 5MB+ "GO" button? No thanks. You?

Lets at least try to be fair here though: hosting the amount of content YouTube hosts, and delivering it to viewers, is not inexpensive.

What alternative funding model do you propose?

You're right, it's expensive and needs to be funded.

Suppose I had an alternate funding model. Also suppose I wanted youtube to change it (note: I never said that). How does that invalidate the bad things I pointed out with the current model?

You never said whether or not you agreed with my original points.

It definitely doesn't invalidate the problems with the current model, I'm just saying that for all our talk of how bad YouTube is, no one has yet come up with a way to fund an alternative that keeps the good qualities without the bad ones.

So the question really just becomes: is the good of YouTube worth the bad?

What is filter criteria except zero views? I had think finding gems in this set would be much harder but this site is somehow popping up lot more good than junk.

There is also a similar website called http://www.petittube.com/

There's also http://www.youhole.tv/ which is pretty great

Not a good name, at first glance 'petite tube' sounded like a porn site.

This is interesting and also worrying. The first video it found for me featured a medical patient giving away their full name and date of birth.

This can be found on many social media profiles. What’s the concern?

Those aren't usually connected to the person's medical problems.

That said, the "patient" may not be one; lots of trainee doctors and nurses use YouTube to show their abilities, using mock patients.

I got that one too.

Sorry to hijack, but I am trying to find any contact information for the creator. Can anyone help me with that? It's very positive.

Try commenting on the video.

Generally speaking, asking for help doxxing someone isn't considered kosher.

Ok. Well Id love to chat with him about @bksenior on any social platform. Thanks for the help. His idea is great.

Are you asking for information about the creator of astronaut.io or the lady reading her poem?

Creator of astronaut.io

The creators' Twitter:

  - https://twitter.com/@wongavision
  - https://twitter.com/@astrojams1

Originally posted here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13413225

What a great experience, I really like it withe the sound off, it becomes very dreamlike and I feel even more like an astronaut.

I'm a little disturbed that it appears to have started playing immediately, but with the text and go button as an overlay.

This is such a brilliant idea. Wish YouTube made something like this to improve discovery. I am already a fan.

How does someone create something like this? Is there a reverse sort by view count or something like that?

Pretty nice concept ! I don't get the "astronaut" part, though. What am I missing ?

Maybe because you're looking from the outside in, into regular people's lives?

Or maybe because an astronaut explores the space between the stars, and watching unwatched videos is exploring the space between YouTube "stars".

Great, my first video was a group of cosplayers dancing to music from "THE IDOLM@STER".

Brings back memories of the Hare Hare Yukai craze.

I'm trying to find any contact information of the creator, can anyone help me with this?

Here's the GitHub repo for the site: https://github.com/wonga00/astronaut - I'm sure you can go from there. :)

Awesome concept, great execution. Great thing to stumble on at the beginning of the day!

Well, I didn't expect to find something like this today! Pretty damn cool.

this made me lol.. still laughing at this tho https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhpzNDwm6H4

This was surprisingly satisfying to watch. Thanks for doing this

This is super cool! I spent like 30 minutes whatching it

Very nice, reminds me of the old internet. :-D

It needs an "upvote" or "downvote" button so people can filter out the better videos that others should watch.

But... That's literally the rest of YouTube, no?

The entire value here, for me at least, is a) randomness an b) fact they haven't been watched before.

There's so much curatrd stuff (which is great), and all tech companies are trying so hard to send me what they think I'll like / agree with, it's refreshing to step out of that box.

Edit: apologies if, perchance, I missed some subtle sarcasm btw... You never know on them interwebs

That seriously defeats the purpose of the site: unflitered discovery, nonjudgement, kismet, etc. Our global culture is deviating towards the norm because our tech encourages that behavior. I love it for what it is.

That's exactly what it shouldn't contain!

so amazing, thanks!, is there something similar about instagram stories ?

Try pressing the spacebar.

This functionality is broken in Safari for me. Works in Chrome.

Great use of search

Thank you for this.

This is fantastic.

This is awesome.

Github this!


I actually like that feature. It forces you to see the video as the author intended, kind of like watching live TV.

Yes, but I can't adjust the audio level.

<[Astronaut.to]> The nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever, so you can rest medicine.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact