YouTube has got a new layout. They have had a complete revamp based on Cosmic Panda. I vaguely remember that last time they had a major update nobody liked it at first and then everyone got used to it.
I like it but I don’t like all of it. The new layout works but it feels like they want to me to be as social as possible – there are Google+ and Facebook buttons everywhere. The new video watching layout is absolutely fine because you can make the videos take up a comfortable amount of room and with AdBlock+ you actually get quite a nice view.
The colors do seem a little weird though and I have noticed the icon has changed slightly. I don’t really have too many complaints, I just don’t think it is great.
I was in the Apple store and I’ve been meaning to film this for a while. I used iCal to set an event on each of the MacBook Airs to play a random song (incidentally it was the first song by the first artist I could find) at the same time. The video isn’t great quality and it is a little difficult to hear because it is so loud in the Apple store, however you can tell to a certain extent that they are playing the song in sync. These MacBook Airs were at 90% volume, however it is theoretically possible to set this up on all the Macs which might be a future project. Enjoy anyway…
YouTube has loads of rubbish on it and I have now found something worse than cat videos: unboxing videos. If you search for ‘unboxing’ on YouTube the first few results have over 20,000,000 views between them. I don’t get why. We’ll look at the video above. All I can gather is that this guy has gone and bought a limited edition of Modern Warfare 2* and he is going to film himself taking it out of the box. Excellent. So he takes it out of the box. He shows us that there are some discs in the box and how they are really cool. For god’s sake, he is opening a box and taking stuff out of it.
But apparently this works. People get a kick out of watching other people take stuff out of boxes. I don’t think that I will ever, ever understand it. I guess it makes sense if it is something expensive and incredible like a Mac Pro and you might want to be able to prove you’ve got one, but surely it is more logical to do a review video and not a video that probably runs a bit like the following:
“So, I’ve got the box”
“I’m gonna take it out the box and show it to you guys”
“Man, there’s some strong tape on this”
“You’ll need scissors or a knife for this part. Make sure you don’t cut yourself”
“So I’ve got the box open”
“There’s a load of packaging in this. We’ll keep that for later.”
“So you’re just going to slide off the first layer of polystyrene”
“Be careful not to damage it because this is so cool and I need to collect everything I get from Apple”
“I bought this off of Amazon.com by the way guys”
“And now we get to the actual computer”
“You’ve gotta slide this thing out real careful”
“If you aren’t all muscular like me you’re gonna need some assistance”
“Its wrapped in plastic to keep it safe. Make sure you don’t tear it too badly”
“And now I’m going to take out the computer”
“OMFG! Its scratched”
“I’m kidding. This is Apple. Apple doesn’t scratch stuff”
“Got the computer on my desk”
“Plugging in the power”
“Now I’m going to plug in the screen”
“I’m going in for the first boot”
“This is frickin’ awesome.”
Or at least that is what I can gather. If you are one of the weird people that makes/watches these videos could you please explain why in the comments.
*Note at this point I should point out at this stage I’m not a gamer.
I was discussing with a friend earlier what YouTube will be like in ten years time, because the future certainly is uncertain. The site, currently owned by Google, is making losses of almost half a billion dollars a year and clearly Google needs to fix this to maintain the site, especially considering the only reason they can keep it up is because of profits from all the other Google services.
But what if Google did have to sell out YouTube? Could YouTube survive on its own? YouTube is certainly a very capable company, or department, in its own right because it has completely revolutionized online video sharing like no other website, however it is dying from the inside. I would be prepared to predict that in the next five years non-partner accounts will start to have videos removed from them – but only older and less popular videos.
Of course, if YouTube does survive the financial crisis it will probably be very similar to what it is now. It will probably still have ads (and we’ll still block them with AdBlock+) and it will probably have a very similar UI on desktop, because there isn’t much that they can really change. Its like Google, Facebook or Twitter – you can’t really change the way it looks because otherwise it will stop being the way that it is.
The only major thing that YouTube really has left to do is to open up live streaming to all users via webcams, because they have pretty much everything that users have wanted changed in the past year, and frankly I am quite happy with the service as it is. YouTube might even get further integrated into Google, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a merger with Google+ within the next few years, which could make sense because YouTube is one of the most visited ‘social networks’ and combined with Google it definitely supersedes the user base of Facebook.
The RickRoll is probably the greatest of all internet memes, but internet, far too much time has been spent doing it. A good old Excel spreadsheet and a batch of YouTube search data has produced this:
That is to say that, incredibly, mankind has spent over 750 years being RickRoll’d. Basically its like Rick Astley’s face having been around since 1255. It really scares me. However, using the same approximation, Justin Bieber’s Baby has been played for 4000 years.
UPDATE: Haha, I’ve just calculated that the Nyan Cat has traveled around 500,000km based on it traveling 400 pixels a second on a 96dpi screen (this is an approximation).
For those of you who haven’t already noticed, Google has a completely different logo today to celebrate Charlie Chaplin’s birthday. There is a view from YouTube that Google has produced. You can see the video here. Unfortunately the video is both unlisted and doesn’t show how many views it has got, so it could well become one of YouTube’s most viewed videos, considering that Google gets two billion searches a day, Charlie Chaplin could easily become the most viewed viral video ever.
I most admit that I had to watch the whole video through once to figure out what it was, however something about it interested me: when it showed the search result page for Charlie Chaplin afterwards, Wikipedia came up first suggesting that Charlie Chaplin’s birthday would be tomorrow (16th April 2011), not today (15th April 2011). Not only does Wikipedia think this, but the official commemorative website does as well.
It may well be that ultimately Google leaves the video up as the logo for a few days, however they have only done this once before (with the Pacman game) so I would be very surprised if Google did that. The alternative would be that Google has made an utterly stupid error…
Interestingly, on Google trends you can see that the average number of Charlie Chaplin results are down…
UPDATE: On Google’s blog, they explained that they would be leaving the video up for 36 hours.