Sunday, December 28, 2008

This should exist: Video-sharing chat rooms

Right, so while I was helping Charlie host her occasional Ustream (where she does all the Photoshop work on the next Templar, Arizona page), I suddenly hit on the idea that it would be awesome to have a chat-room-and-streaming-video thing that could stream from video files on your hard drive instead of just from a webcam.

Now, this might already be possible with Ustream and other webcam sites: Charlie has a bit of software that streams video of her desktop while she works, and Ustream doesn't know the difference between that and a cam stream. So maybe all I need is a piece of software that can play an AVI or whatever and turn it into a stream. But, really, I'd much prefer a site that's based around the whole idea of sharing video clips. It'd be especially cool if a room moderator could let other users play their own clips, instead of everything coming from just one person.

Maybe everybody who wants to show something just cues up their file, and the server buffers a little bit of video and creates some little thumbnail screenshots from various points in the file. Then the room moderator sees a little "I've got a video to share" icon next to everybody in the chatroom who wants to contribute, and can mouseover each of them to see the video's filename and thumbnails. Then he or she can click something to add the video to the queue or tell it to play immediately (or something to stay "Video rejected; pick something else", of course).

I know this kind of thing would be a magnet for porn spam and worse shit, but keeping your room unlisted from any public directory would probably prevent that (or password locking it would definitely work, if that fails). I'm kind of torn about whether I'd want the site to allow totally anonymous contribution or not.

So does this exist, already? Anybody know? Because I ain't gonna make it. And I've got a whole pile of animated shorts and other crap I'd love to show off to my Internet friends.


Anonymous said...

I love the idea of this, especially because it'd encourage a lot of 'round-the-table idea sharing that tends to benefit most artists. I'm so game for this if it goes down.

Matt Sheridan said...

Hm, I hadn't even considered its potential for animation students showing off their stuff--mostly, I'd been thinking about showing off stuff I've collected like "House of Cosbys" and various Brad Neely cartoons--but that would obviously be a perfect use. I do know (or tangentially know) some animation students, too.

Another obvious use would be doing MST3K-style movies-plus-chatroom-mockery fun. That's another thing I've already hoarded a pile of: terrible old sci-fi and horror flicks.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't even thinking about animation, ether. Wow. That'd be awesome. It's blown out of the water by the idea of Misty-ing with anyone from the Sideshow, or like minded individuals...

Anonymous said...

This idea is pretty neat, and painfully feasible in that it is pretty annoying that no one actually implemented it so far.

Beatriz said...

Gerry told me about your idea when we watched some episodes of Masters of Science Fiction. We've been watching shows together for years, one window being the player, another the chat window. (Although I think he burns his to DVD sometimes.)

Netflix should totally implement this on their streaming movies. Private rooms, public rooms, wanna be film critics... better than the ad hoc way Gerry and I have being doing it.

Matt Sheridan said...

Man, good idea about Netflix. Even if they made you pay extra to "rent" the movie for multiple viewers or something, that'd be really cool.

But also, Gerry found something which might be almost exactly what I was hoping for: I'm still checking it out, but it's definitely looking good.

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