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Show HN: Vinepeek - watch the world in realtime in 6 second snippets (vinepeek.com)
286 points by jalada 1610 days ago | hide | past | web | 120 comments | favorite

This is seriously fantastic. I saw Vine yesterday and thought it was a cool concept but didn't try it, after watching this I've downloaded the app and shared it with a bunch of friends and they're now downloading the app too! Such a simple and brilliant idea, Vine should add this to their homepage.

edit: I've now been watching this for 40 minutes... why are the banal acts of ordinary people so interesting?! Maybe it's the promise of a brand new thing in 6 seconds that keeps me watching.

I'm surprised vineroulette.com wasn't the chosen URL for this

Considering the content of chatroulette, I think it's a wise decision not to use a name that conjures up those images.

I couldn't resist and registered the domain name.. Hope you don't mind :) Will put up a mashup there soon and Show HN!

Here we go: http://www.vineroulette.com - it allows you to search for any topic, or 'go random'. It combines all latest Vines in a full-screen visualization.

Edit: Discussion @ http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5124795

One up. I was thinking the same name too!

Isn't there a potential challenge for vinepeek? How would you prevent pervs streaming penises and see-me-jerk-off clips? Especially, when this thing grows in volume.

Actually, this would be a fairly solvable problem: only show Vines from users with 400+ or more followers and older than a year (you may have to refine this metric to also examine the validness of their followers' accounts). Presumably, people with Twitter followings to care about won't just flash their junk...though maybe once in while, you'll get an Anthony Weiner.

In fact, you could probably get a certain class of videos by only showing Vines in which the tweets are directed at people, to catch the folks who forgot that @-mentions != DM (ala Anthony Weiner)

Defer the problem to Vine, surely?

They could hand curate the stuff that goes into the vinepeek pool.

Ah...the results of the race to be the "Instagram of Video".

Vine is no different than any number of recent video sharing apps. Vine does nothing new but sets new arbitrary time limits on the videos they support. Just like the others Vine will try to convince you that through focus groups they have found "3 second" videos will revolutionize video sharing and discovery, but this is nothing new.


Threadlife: Supports 3 second videos Viddy: Supports 15 second videos Animoto: Supports 30 second videos Klip: Supports 60 second videos

now Vine and its 6 second videos.

I am left wondering, what problem do all these video sharing apps think they are solving by setting arbitrary video time limits? Short videos might increase likelihood a user will sit through a whole video, but contrary to what these apps want you to believe they are not improving content quality through these arbitrary time limits. Further, time limits do not help users discovery quality content, so what problem have any of these apps solved?

The company that is dubbed the "Instagram of video" in the media is going to do the same thing Instagram did, improve content sharing and discovery. Of course, I hope my start up is that company, but even if not I think it is safe to say the company who deserves this title will not get it for setting video time limits as a result of focus groups.

Disclosure: I founded my own video sharing website with the goal to address the current problems with video sharing and discovery. I have done this by making Google Earth the UI for discovery of video content.

Result of artificially constraining an activity by arbitrary parameters can be wildly creative, not to mention hugely lucrative. Think of something like Bollywood - get rid of serious, credibile drama, and replace with mindless 3 hour melodrama with 5 titillating songs per film, your film finds a guaranteed million plus audience, no matter what garbage you churn out:) Intellectual filmmakers in India who fight this market and mindset with "improving content" are very quickly driven to bankruptcy & become Roger Eberts for the local trade publications :))

Programming languages are ultimately an exercise in artificially tying up your arms & asking you to type with your left toe. Try coding a naturally recursive catamorphism in a language that doesn't support recursion. Try storing a billion emails under a megabyte with clever supercompact data structures. Try coding functionally in imperative C. All of these things can & have been done. Why do people do these things ? So also Vine.

Just like I've never been on Instagram, I have no urge to join this site, but your criticism is still misguided.

Placing a constraint on a creative endeavour is a old and time-tested way of tickling creativity. Pre Twitter, people didn't think they could have any kind of meaningful conversations without at least a paragraph of prose. Sure, it's a strained at time, but there's little denying that Twitter has taught a lot of us a lot about getting to the point, quickly.

> people didn't think they could have any kind of meaningful conversations without at least a paragraph of prose

Still can't. (Oh, the irony!)

> Pre Twitter, people didn't think they could have any kind of meaningful conversations without at least a paragraph of prose.

People didn't text and IM before Twitter?

At least, they didn't do in public. IM is also a one-to-one conversation, unlike Twitter.

> Vine does nothing new but sets new arbitrary time limits on the videos they support.

Imposing arbitrary contraints is very common in poetry, which often requires the writer to use a particular verse form, and other creative endeavors[1]. So even if that's all they do, it could be worthwhile.

[1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constrained_writing

I had a similar conversation about this with a friend yesterday instead of comparing it to Instagram - he compared it to YouTube.

I believe the difference between other apps etc is instead of capturing one continuous shot, Vine allows punctuated recording. In other words you can collate a selection of a few snips of video which Vine auto-generates into a longer combined version.

Sure you can do this and upload this to YouTube etc but I haven't seen anyone execute that as well as the Vine team.

However, for it to be successful Twitter (which acquired Vine before launch) doesn't need Vine to have users.

What Twitter needs/wants with Vine is engagement on Twitter (it doesn't necessarily need engagement within Vine, if it does that a bonus) because if there's engagement brands will create Vine's - which Twitter can then monetize.

Sure the app can share to Facebook too, but Twitter's goal with that is to grab your social graph (hence find your Facebook friends which has since been blocked) which then encourages users to "follow" each other on Twitter - again helping it to monetize with advertisers.

Twitter could have done this through encouraging advertisers to create short video ads on YouTube etc instead of Vine but then there is no value for Twitter as they can't tell advertisers how many people saw the video organically or because of the ad.

That's the real goal of Vine, users are just a "bonus".

Although technologically these are videos with a time limit, in terms of how people are using them, I think they're closer to the aesthetic of animated GIFs. If you wanted to recreate what people are doing with animated GIFs (short, looping videos), but with smoother playback, Vine isn't a bad approximation. I forget where I saw it, but someone called it "gifboom for adults" [1].

[1] http://gifboom.com/, a mobile app for taking short videos as animated GIFs, popular among Tumblr users

Yea, well, I really liked this, and I think it's something that I may go back to as a voyeristic peek into the lives of people I will never meet. It feeds these 6 second videos into my brain without me thinking or installing the google earth plugin. I have no interest in seeing 5 minutes of crappy video of someone's boring life, but a 6 second peek is pretty engaging.

> I am left wondering, what problem do all these video sharing apps think they are solving by setting arbitrary video time limits?

Here's a Forbes article on the subject: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2012/11/29/constrai...

(Meta-)quote: “Recent studies offer evidence that, contrary to popular belief, the main event of the imagination—creativity—does not require unrestrained freedom; rather, it relies on limits and obstacles.”

Another example: TED Talks, which are maximum 18 minutes

If anything needs to grab my attention, 6 seconds is probably overkill. Twitter did it with 140 chars - they're doing it with 3/6 secs whatever.

Hell, C pointers have been doing it with 4 and 8 bytes for ages! :)

The limits do have a big effect on quality, and ease of use of these micro video apps. The idea is to share a quick video, not spend a ton of time filming, uploading and formatting.

And here I was thinking YouTube was the Instagram for video...

iambic pentameter

One suggestion: below the fold, show a list of the last 5 vines, just in case I want to rewatch or bookmark them, because I envision myself just sitting back and occasionally jumping to the keyboard/mouse when something really interesting comes up and then disappears

Good idea, thanks!

seriously, i am loving this app

YouTube for the Attention-Deficit Generation?

I unfortunately find watching these jumpy snippets jarring. I can see the appeal for getting tiny slices of someone's day, but I'm finding it hard to enjoy it.

Thank god there is another sane person like me. I too find it difficult to make sense or enjoy just 6 second snippets. Conveying a sweet short targeted message for a specific someone with just a 6 second video itself is so hard, let alone be able to generate a 6 second content that is of meaning/relevance to a much broader audience. Just a novelty that will fade off. I cant see any useful purpose for 6 second clips in a social wide audience context.

"Thank god there is another sane person like me." Check your ego, please.

"I cant see any useful purpose for 6 second clips in a social wide audience context."

"I can't see any useful purpose for 140 character blurbs in a social wide audience context."

Just because 140 char limit worked for a text media does not guarantee that very short length works for every media. What next, 5 second podcasts? Or should we call them 'shoutouts' rather??

Even with 140 char twitter, unless a very strong opinion by an important person is being conveyed succinctly, most of the (useful) twits exist to give a short opinion on a larger piece linked to by a shortened url. The rest are your standard "I brushed my teeth, I just got of my car etc..." stuff that I leave the usefulness of for YOU to judge.

My point is that your personal opinion, as highly as you might think of it, is actually irrelevant in determining how successful a service will or will not be. You can pander all you want about how Twitter is useless except as a link-sharing service, but the reality of the situation is far different.


Just a novelty that will fade off. I cant see any useful purpose for 6 second clips in a social wide audience context.

As much as I dislike them, I also think they'll take off.

I can see them as another Instagram-like "useless" thing that is none-the-less popular because it's quick, illustrative and requires little effort. Think an animated GIF-like snapshot of your day.

(Bah humbug, etc.)

'Animated gif like snapshot' is certainly a more attractive option. But most of the funny animated gifs out there have some sort of 'continuation' or 'smooth transition' that for some reason is not coming thru from the Vine video snippets. May be the app (incorrectly) provides a feature that lets the users (jarringly) jump from scene to scene or may be more features/filters have to be added to coerce the users into creating a nice 'animated gif' like smoothly transitioning video. If its left to the talent of the normal day-to-day person, then a majority of the videos that will be uploaded will be jarring ones.

Left this on my second monitor while I work, so mesmerising . I didn't think Vine would be this interesting when I first heard about it.

Maybe they've found mobile videos sweet spot?

You think this would make for an interesting Roku channel?

This is beautiful. It fulfills the promise of worldwide webcams (being able to easily peer into different parts of the world) with better quality, better interface, and mobile.

I tend to get overly moony about things like this, but I think this is one of the things that makes the Internet really great. It's a window to the world, the world seen by people not sitting at their computers but walking, talking, participating.

I really really like this, great job.

This is going to blow up. Coolest thing I've seen in quite some time. I love how there's no wait and it jumps from clip to clip.

PG has talked about how "real real life" aka Justincam type things were coming for TV. This is literally a video based channel that I'm going to come back to and watch pretty consistently if it stays active and this interesting.

Vine is clearly a big idea and vinepeek is awesome.

This is pretty awesome and I can't quite explain why. It seems to have a similar quality to the things the people in /r/asmr like.

The only thing I miss is the ability to view more if I find something interesting. Perhaps this restriction is exactly why its so effective, though.

This is far too loud and random to be similar to /r/asmr. Those videos need to be > 5 minutes and much quieter.

I meant they're similar in the way that it's able to captivate someone, despite being not really exceptional. I should have worded that differently.

Fantastic idea!

Broadcast TV distorts our model of the world by showing us only the extremes. Vinepeek puts normality in its proper place.

There appears to be no way to enable the Flash applet when viewing the site with FlashBlock turned on. Is it under some sort of transparent overlay that doesn't pass the right clicks to the applet container?

Instead of using flashblock, turn Firefox's native click-to-play in about:config by setting plugins.click_to_play to true.

EDIT: then you don't have to click the item. You can click the icon in the address bar and enable flash for that site.

Consider it a bug report. I can work around the problem by whitelisting the site. And, btw, the built-in click-to-play blocker is really annoying.

Exact same problem, can't click it.

Not acceptable.

Got a similar problem: With Chrome’s built-in click-to-play, I cannot click.

I find the "shift" from traditional "scripted" TV to more home made videos vert interesting. I must say that the appeal escapes me.

I don't watch a lot of TV, but personally when I do I do it because it's a way to either: 1. escape 2. become informed

I can't imagine turning this on while I have breakfast, or "for fun" on a bus commute. I see the appeal in sharing snippets of my live in video format with people that may care about the banal day-to-day things (I think this is why I like Path so much - those closest to me may actually be interested in where I went for lunch today), but I don't understand the "hours" of "brilliant entertainment" that some people seem to get out of this.

I think many people watch TV because they need to unplug from their "normal" existence. Or because they seek to see something interesting, funny, or learn something new. I watch The Daily Show because it's funny, I watch BBC because it informs me, I watch Bloomberg because I learn something new. I don't see these need being replaced by vine.

Maybe I don't get it.

I think maybe you just need to bring a different perspective/expectation to it? I mean, I couldn't have imagined three years ago that I would choose to spend time browsing 140-character missives...why do that when I can read blog posts? And before that, why read blog posts when there are newspaper and magazine articles (online and off)?

Maybe the medium, which is just a couple days old, has rough content now, but its format and contraints will likely create a new field of creativity. I personally don't like watching video streams because they're...boring. With Vine, and vinepeek, the banality only last six seconds. And some people are already mindful of the creative process they can apply (I saw a pretty cool taxi cruising down Tokyo in the night, as interesting as any movie scene).

But frankly, I like the banality. Sure, I see banality through my own eyes every day...but seeing "normal" as it exists for a Midwest mom getting ready to go shopping, a 20-yr-old dude wrapping up a joint, a 50-year-old guy watching Saturday morning cartoons....I dunno, this is just a few steps from being a very cool (if pretentious) modern art presentation.

As a photographer, I'll admit, I've never understood the appeal of video snippets (outside of those that show earthsattering news events, such as the snippets from the Arab Spring) over what can be conveyed in a split-second, defined image. But for the first time, I'm kind of seeing how much more potential expressiveness there is in six seconds of "moving" pictures.


I suppose if we look at it as a medium for art than it's different. I saw a lot of what I described as utilitarian.

I use Twitter in the same way - it serves a purpose: I can connect with people or groups I need to ask questions of. I can share interesting stories / ideas that I find. I use it as a portal to those blog posts you mentioned, not as a replacement for them.

Outside of the art angle, I don't see myself "tuning in" to thumb through random 6 second videos. The Tokyo taxi scene isn't very interesting to me outside of context within a larger story, EXCEPT as a piece of art I can perhaps appreciate for 6 seconds and move on.

Like I said before, could be just me, I'm glad people are finding and enjoying a creative outlet that clearly speaks to something they enjoy doing :)

If you're into new ways of watching the same minutia people post on facebook and twitter: people feeding their babies and making breakfast. Sorry, but that doesn't qualify as earth-shattering.

You must have hit a bad run, I was impressed of how few breakfast & baby clips showed up!

This project has really shown me what Vine is all about! Good stuff!

A "pause" button would really improve this project. Not for the video but for the transition between videos. A 5 Tweet buffer and a back button would be even better. That way, if I see a Tweet that I want to look at more closely, I can go back to it.

Is it weird that I am fascinated by the fact that people are experiencing completely different realities in different parts of the world while I am experiencing mine?

I just keep being shocked by scenes of winter.

I'm going to guess you live in the Bay. I do.

Having to constantly remind yourself that, more or less, "this is happening right now" is a surreal experience. It feels like the cheesy curated montage at the beginning of a smarmy independent film - but it's not. It's just random, unfiltered views into things people are filming all over the world.

I had no idea how many of us could connect over our love of filming coffee preparation, or cats, or traffic, or terrible attempts at stop motion. Hey look another magic trick!

Seriously though. Fascinating and, for now, quite engaging. I vote against re-wind or links to previous clips though. Keep it ephemeral and impermanent. Like real life - a moment is here, then it is gone.

Maybe a ranking mechanism? That way you can knock out a "bestof" section for the day, week, month and so on.

Amazing idea.

YES. I would love a weekly bestof

Why is this so addicting to watch? I just watched random videos for at least 20 minutes and I don't know why I like watching them. Most aren't special in any way :S

Looks like youtube finally have something to worry about...

That's an insane thing to say! Vine will be forgotten in 2 months.

Just like a 140 character messaging system, it has no future.

IMO neither of these is true. Vine can't replace YouTube in any meaningful capacity, but it will change the way we think about video on the internet on a very fundamental level.

So what is it? I don't understand what making vines or a scene are, and don't want to download an app to find out.

First interesting thing I've seen in a while. It works.

Reminds me vaguely of the videos in William Gibson's Pattern Recognition.

Yeah, watch this for a few minutes and you really get a sense of a planetful* of people doing stuff

*=ok, the smartphone owning subset of the planet, but thats growing.

Can you add a thumbs up/down button? And show the thumbs up videos more then the thumbs down? Some videos are really cool and deserve to be seen more, while others are literally a video of someones feet. I think this is the killer feature this app needs!

I'm wondering if there will ever be a way to categorize it by country or subject (/wtf, /aww). Also suppose some people will do vines stringed together where they'll tell a story via several vines. Surely some art will come of this.

Fans of this will probably also like the movie Life in a Day (full thing available on youtube) http://www.youtube.com/user/lifeinaday

Lovely. I installed Vine and created one (http://vine.co/v/b5LHKjOEbX2) simply to see it on there. It didn't disappoint.

This is great.

Quick suggestions: Put the video completely above the fold. Load in the next one (video and description) behind, then fade between them. The transition is a little jerky right now.

Cool! I think you should include the title of this post ("watch the world in real time") somewhere in the actual webpage. That's really what got me to click.

Watching these made me feel disgusting. Like I'm some creep going trough other people's laundry. Closed the tab and still can't shake off this feeling.

If you think the sociology of today's "visual social media" is interesting (whether or not you find it useful), I recommend watching "We Live In Public":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Live_in_Public http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0498329/

The art project it documents turned out to be quite prescient.

Cool minimalism. I wouldn't advise dedicating any time other than as a hobby on any twitter API though. I think we all should remember how Twitter treats independent developers who get in the way of "their" revenue.

The grammarian in me would change the statement at the bottom to "vinepeek is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by VineLabs, Inc"

Just like watching TV, except you don't even have to press to see the next channel. Also, no ads, no reruns. Great.

I completely adored this! Furthermore, I can't come up with any reason why the Vine datatype won't be huge. It's Motion Tumblr... it's an alloy of video and anigif... it's silent... it auto-loops... it's extraordinarily boredom resistant.

Silent? Vine videos have audio unless I have misread your post.

They do, but in many playback contexts they're muted by default. I haven't quite figured out the rules.

A little help please! so I have a vine link, say http://vine.co/v/b53lmWrxtQr.

How do I get the .mp4 link to the vine video itself? is there a vine api or do I hard scrape?

<meta property="twitter:player:stream" content="https://vines.s3.amazonaws.com/ videos/FED404A9-A4BE-4575-A73B-8542E146FA71-52962-0000207E5EF700D9_1.0.3.mp4? versionId=E5rpcmqj9ySK91RTSGuF3rjYuSPBOgzG>

I think maybe the Twitter api (what vinepeek is using) may return it, because it's part of a twitter card thing?

edit: no it doesn't, you'd need to scrape.

Looks like it would be easy to scrape, grab the src attribute from the video element.

If you want the timeline, just https://api.vineapp.com/timelines/global (you must have an authenticated vine-session-id cookie, of course)

Generally speaking, how was this done? Backend scripting or javascript? Not asking for code, but in plain-talk i would love duplicate the concept for a conference site i'm building.

pretty fun to watch. it takes a while to load the videos on my iphone even though i had wifi connection. Lightt delivers a much smoother experience and has a much more interesting interface since other videos load right away. The sound and the video recording experience really separate Vine from Lightt.

I would recommend telling the user to enable sounds their phones to use Vine. I keep my iPhone on vibration all the time, did not realize Vine videos had sound to it until I saw this link.

It reminds me of memories. Whenever I try and remember something from years ago, it comes back in snippets like this.

Sarcastically, "from the makers of twitter, information free video!"

I also didn't realize that vine was making real movies with sound, thought it was just animated gifs then someone turned on a blender in a clip and I freaked out, hah.

Clicking the link I thought it would be a website covered in video tiles showing everything going on at once. That would be cool, maybe add a second page for this?

Shouldn't it be possible to always preload the following video in order to have seamless play of all videos? Now there's always a little gap.

Perhaps skip videos by users who just posted one? Saw "duplicates" a few times where someone uploaded the same video more than once

Supporting a retweet or reply would be fantastic. Gives some kind of virality and sense of community for the vine yard :)

Vinepeek makes Vine just perfect. I see thousands of great shortmovies coming.

Vine is the first who does the 'Instagram for video' right.

Wow. I didn't think 6 seconds would really be long enough but this is definitely forcing people to curate and be creative.

And cats.

Yeah, the format really works! I saw a few really well done stop-motion clips just now, too!

Wow, surreal. Vine = immediately broadcast 6 second .gifs?

My brain doesn't really want to accept that these snippets are live.

Someone might wait a while before submitting I guess. These are just picked up as soon as they are shared on Twitter.

Live as soon as people share them, though many are roughly live.

I downloaded Vine a few hours ago - it's addicting. My personal favorite is viewing the #howto section.

Wow, this is incredibly addicting. I can sit here and watch this for hours.

Great work. Honestly didn't think much of vine until viewing them this way.

Transcode it out of Flash on the fly and you'll really have something!

Vine is great, and this is a really cool look into it. Mesmerizing.

Needs a loading image/animation between videos.

Pretty addictive though.

Try putting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvGRi_7DCiA on in the background while you watch.

Very cool! Nice use of the Twitter API for sure.

So many cats.

This should totally be named "Grapevine"

It's good to see yet another outlet for cat videos. Just what the world needs.

this shit is wayyy too fucking cool....next snapchat!

can't see any video, on firefox/linux - no flash.

Let's take the level of nonsense on the internet to a new level!

Any plans for an Android version?


Such fun to watch these lil videos go by. I love seeing people doing creative stuff with it —- so many fun stop motion dealies, like this one: http://vine.co/v/b5lTOtK3ELU

Before this, my basic reaction to vine was: "Oh great, another social network." But… now I can see why it's exciting.

The potential here for the cross-section of tiny slices o' life reminds me of the potential that amazed me about Twitter, which led to me designing Twistori:


You're on to something here. Leave it. I wouldn't even tweak it. Just let it go and get the word out. I honestly believe this will be huge.

Man, I love this.

The best answer to this is... Who cares anyway?

PS: In the end if this proves to be something user FB will buy it and then we'll have a change in the user terms, and... You get e idea.

Interesting that there wasn't an actual question.

  # Welcome to my mind.

  while (true) ...
      # :-P

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