The “Watch Later” Project
In the talk I had with Scoble a few weeks ago, I said the following:
browser, anytime you e-mail me a link and I see it in Gmail or you pass
a link to me in Friend Feed or Twitter, or I see a link in Facebook, or
I come across a video, I just want to bookmark it. But what… I really
want [is] to … queue it. And then, after I get home at
night, after … dinner with the kids and homework, that
hour-long time that I have where I sort of lean back, linear video, I
just want to go to my queue which I've built up over the past day or
two and just boom, sit back and watch linear video, watch this video,
and then the next thing is some funny clip somebody sent me and then go
watch Charlie Rose …
[note – thanks to the simulscribe api for this transcription]
I've been saying this to anyone who will listen to me for the past six months. I've got Boxee on my big screen in our family room and when I am home at night, I'd like to fire up Boxee and watch all the video I've come across on the Internet but did not have time to get to.
The crazy thing is the same day the talk with Scoble was published, I got my wish (sort of). A developer named Monsur Hossain submitted a tool called BoxeeQueue to the Boxee App Competition. BoxeeQueue does exactly what you think it does. There's a bookmarklet that you add to your browser and you send video to a queue that is actually an rss feed in Boxee. I used BoxeeQueue over the weekend to watch some video and it works well.
But just as quickly as BoxeeQueue showed up, we've got a horse race going. My friend Daryn launched L8R which works via delicious. You simply tag videos with the L8R tag in delicious and they show up in a Boxee app Daryn built called L8R. I did not get to check out the L8R app this weekend, but L8R also has a web app and here are the videos I've queued up to watch L8R
But Daryn and Monsur are not the only people working on this problem. The comment thread to the Scoble talk mentions a few more and I'll be trying them out as they launch.
For the record, I don't think anyone has yet "nailed it" in terms of what the "watch later" tool should do. Here are the requirements as I see them:
1) Both a bookmarklet and extensions for the browsers that support extensions
2) You should be able to right click (or control click on a mac) on any link and have the video behind that link added to the queue. You should not have to click thru to the page to add something to the queue.
3) The queue should be available as a web app (as L8R has done) but also as an app on every media browser or media player out there. Boxee is a great place to start and I sure hope everyone starts there since its an open platform built from the ground up for something like this. But the queue should be available on xbox, playstation, wii, roku, appletv, windows media center, etc, etc.
4) There should be mobile apps for the iPhone, Blackberry, Pre, Android, Windows Mobile, etc. And it would be great if the mobile apps cached at least an hour of video so you can use the "watch later" app when you are not connected.
Since this "watch later project" is being done out in the open, I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on additional features this tool should have and also please let me know about any other groups, companies, developers working on this. I am sure there are a bunch out there. I'd like to compile a comprehensive list and publish it here.
Here is another service I learned about yesterday