Right now I see a lot of folks making light of Covid-19 by coming up with silly pun-based names for sites, groups, etc. and I totally understand why: Many of us (especially in tech, where layoffs have been less bad than other sectors) currently associate this event with staying indoors, being kinda bored, trying to find things to do to pass the time. People are intellectual aware that there’s a deadly virus out there, but haven’t really emotionally reckoned with it.
But I feel pretty confident that there’s going to be a whiplash change in public perception over the next month, as a large percentage of the population comes to know Covid-19 as the thing that killed friends or members of their families.
So if you (the reader, this isn’t necessarily aimed at GP) are considering naming something after Covid-19, Corona(virus) or the word “pandemic”: I understand where you’re coming from, but I’d advise you to think twice. You really don’t want your brand to remind someone of the month they spent tending to a loved one with fluid in their lungs.
I’m honesty quite fed up with how people are treating this like a fun vacation. I’m a wedding photographer. This is going to ruin me financially, the same year we were planning on doing IVF after trying for a baby for over two years.
In addition, my father is in his late 60s, has lupus, and recently finished cancer treatment. My mom has an “essential” job so there’s a risk of transmission from her.
In short, everyone please be aware of how this is affecting people. Don’t complain if you’re still getting your paycheck. It’s fine to make jokes, but for god’s sake if someone is talking to you about how it’s going to make life hard for them don’t say “yeah, it’s going to be hard on everyone.”
There are plenty of Hitler jokes out there, and a ton of hurricane jokes for every hurricane that blows through the US. Cancer patients are sometimes sardonic about their condition. I really don't think a death toll of 100,000 is enough to stop people from using gallows humor to cope. In fact, the higher the death toll, the more gallows humor you are likely to see.
Further evidence: Coronavirus jokes have not become taboo in China.
I love this. I still speak fondly of the early days of netlfix, when it first got into streaming on the 360. You could invite an xbox live party to watch movies on Netflix. It had a border you could enable that made it look like a theatre screen with seats, with your live avatars sitting in them, a la Mystery Science Theatre.
There was nothing quite like being in a chat party watching movies together. You could talk as loudly as you wanted while doing/eating what you wanted. Blew the actual theatre out of the water.
Really amazing experience that was killed off way too soon (greed, Netflix didn't want non subscribers to watch free).
Hopefully this is a road back there, definitely going to spread this around and show some $love
edit: not finding a donation link, but if you get a link up I'm happy to do so!
Still greed if you ask me, how would it be different from me renting a movie at home and having friends over?
I dread the day when we have forced ocular/ear implants that allow for the blocking of anything we dont have a license for.
Nonetheless I get your point, I just believe it's sad that for all the innovation a free market touts, all I remember are the cool/amazing/interesting things they took from us by stifling real innovation.
> how would it be different from me renting a movie at home and having friends over?
It would be different because Netflix has a contract to pay money for that licensed content, and sooner or later, that contract will need to be renewed. At that point, a Hollywood exec and a Netflix exec will sit across a boardroom table, and the Hollywood exec will say, "Your offer sounds OK, but we need to stop this watch party thing."
Whether that demand makes sense to your or I or the Netflix exec is moot. The Hollywood exec wants it, and it doesn't matter why, because they get to decide whether Netflix can keep licensing that content.
Or maybe Netflix could say "no this is a service we are providing to our users" and then the big "Hollywood exec" would be like "ok maybe we will not sit on the million dollars we get from our agreement" and that would be it.
Content is king; Netflix, as long as it doesn't have exclusive rights, is just a middleman trying to extract rents. As soon as technically competent competitors popped up (Amazon etc.) Netflix's margin on licensed content is liable to be squeezed.
That's why Netflix borrows so much to spend on creating its own content. It's not viable otherwise.
Technically, when you rent a movie, you are not allowed to invite friends over to watch it with you. By renting the title, you were granted a temporary private viewing license. Inviting people over constituted a public viewing. Copyright laws are ludicrous.
I’m not sure about the rental license, but copyright law says this:
To perform or display a work “publicly” means—
(1) to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
(2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause (1) or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.
Most movies are intended for personal, private viewing only. If you're watching a movie in a group with your family and friends in your home, there is no issue under copyright law. Similarly, if you rent out a space for a private party and screen a movie for family and friends, and the party is exclusive to your guests and closed to the general public, there will not be a copyright law violation. However, if your event was open to members of the public outside your small group, the movie showing might be considered a “public performance."
If the showing is considered public, you are restricted by copyright law. Typically, you can't legally show a movie to the public unless you obtain public performance license from the copyright owner. You can obtain a public performance license by either contacting the copyright holder directly or by licensing from entities set up specifically for the purposes of licensing movies, such as Swank Motion Pictures or the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation.
First off, great concept! I would like to try this at least once.
But second, is that really true? I’m actually curious. I can’t imagine watching a rented movie in a private residence would be considered a ‘public’ viewing. If that is the case, where do they draw the line? Is it literally only for myself, the one person who purchased the rental? How many other people can be in the room? One, two, five, before the terms of said private viewing license are infringed?
If anyone has any sources where we could read further into the legality of these types of things, it would be interesting to look into.
I don't believe it would be considered public. IANAL but "According to the U.S. copyright law (Title 17, United States Code, Section 110), a public performance is any screening of a videocassette, DVD, videodisc or film which occurs outside of the home, or at any place where people are gathered who are not family members, such as in a school, library, auditorium, classroom or meeting room. " https://www.prattlibrary.org/research/tools/index.aspx?cat=1...
As far as i know (form my college days in mid-2000s), we had this issue for setting up movie nights. Some people claimed that rented videos had an agreed-upon audience of (i think) 8 people. So to accommodate, let's say 100 people, we had to rent about 12 of the same videos.
Of course, we were in college and laughed and said screw it and just rented the one DVD.
My friends and I do this through Discord. One person shares their screen playing netflix/disney/whatever and then everyone just hangs out in voice and watches together. It's a really seamless experience and the re-encoding is usually not a problem, action scenes can get a little blocky but the quality is really pretty great.
It didn't seem like Discord sent desktop audio with the screen share. Does it do so, or did your friend do some magic to get it to work? I've read for ex you can use pulseaudio on linux to mix the input sources and then use that virtual output for Discord, but I'd be happy to find an easier way.
You are, and if you're in a big channel that brings a lot of attention and Discord notices it they'll probably shut it down. Same reason people don't just usually stream movies from Twitch. I've seen some Twitch channels that do, like the popular Bob Ross channel, but that's with approval of the rights owners who get a cut of the revenue.
Keep it small and intimate in Discord and it will probably be okay.
Yes, I actually helped make a clone of it for my final college project.
Since then the cocnept has sort of died. I'm a little surprised it's not something that Spotify did more with. I know they have a colistening feature but I have yet to have anyone want to attempt that. As far as I can tell you need to link up by Facebook to even attempt that.
I've used it some back when it was first introduced. Some people were just not ever able to sync with the stream sometimes, and also it was a bummer asking everyone to sign up for Spotify Premium to be able to listen. I don't know if it's better now but I personally would not recommend it to others.
plug.dj is the closest to turntable, in that they use embedded youtube/vimeo videos synced between all the users in the room.
Completely offloading their biggest cost (media storage/bw) into public video platforms -- genius.
I would honestly recommend jqbx.fm instead if you have a spotify premium account. plug.dj goes through constant ownership changes, prolonged site closures, and suffers from over gamification+monetization. JQBX is a much cleaner experience with much better support for mobile / streaming on different devices that are connected to your Spotify account.
I have a 15 year old and 13 year old at home, online with their friends basically passing the time in quarantine with Zoom on all day. I literally just told my 15 year old something like this needs to exist. Showing him now... he’s going to love it.
I am not shilling, I found the site just yesterday after much effort in searching and I am usually pretty good at searching. Learning it was basically a family effort: my brother and I have been online since 1993 and he has a librarian degree and I am a software developer / hacker and this combo has led to much expertise. My brother is better -- he can search in languages he can't read or write. It's like a magic trick.
It syncs the start time. As it works without a browser extension I can not sync the actual movie as I do not get the information.
What I am planing to do is to allow a later join into the movie night by calculating how much time has passed since the movie night start and then send the late attendee to that time code in the movie. Not supported by all services tough :/
Metastream already does this and it has to manually support a few hundred sites and the experience is truly awful. There are some sites where you have to manually enable autoplay but you know what? Most people will forget to do that. So now your little movie night is a major tech support waste of time. The need to constantly ask "are you synced?" Gets old pretty fast. Screen sharing is the way to go in my opinion but most capture programs capture the audio of the entire desktop. I have already created my own solutions for these problems.
I personally don’t like people talking when watching a movie or a TV show. It’s fine if they exclaim or laugh or gasp depending on the situation (and not being too loud), but anything that’s some kind of speech or commentary makes me lose bits of what I’m watching and want to focus on.
With streaming video, I can pause, rewind and then continue. But in this case, that would no longer be in sync with where the others are. The biggest advantage of streaming is being able to take breaks and continue at any point in time. I’m not sure how well this platform would work if there are many people and each one decides to take a break at a separate time (making others wait if they wish to be somewhat in sync).
This may work better if participants pre-decide how many breaks will be taken and approximately at what times or points.
Some friends and I have started doing this with terrible movies, straight-to-DVD Steven Seagal/Nicolas Cage style stuff. Problem is we're all starting the movie at very slightly different times, like within 15 seconds but still sometimes hard to guess what people are referencing.
Oh, and we don't use voice chat, it's just Whatsapp. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable piping up in a group of ten or twelve, some of whom I haven't met, I much prefer typing a joke, and am a fast enough typist that I'm not too much behind the action I'm writing about.
Feedback: I'd like a button that advances the 'start time' to "ASAP" -- I realize you're probably doing some NTP-like time syncing between clients, and "just start right now" maybe won't have everybody synced already, but if all my friends are already in the voice chat / already on the link, there's no need to wait for the appointed time.
edit: alternatively since the URLs are hard to guess, you could have the creator of the watchparty specify a "auto-start ASAP after this many people have joined" number, so once Bob and Carol have joined, it just starts.
Also, youtube ads are going to disrupt the synchronized start, since each person is going to see a different ad (or no ad), but I think you've said elsewhere in the thread that there's no way to get around this without requiring a browser extension.
Awesome! I love the "start after X people joined" idea.
What you are currently seeing is the MVP. I plan to integrate websockets for the communication between clients. So you just can hit "start now" and it would start (or after X people joined the websocket channel). This will take some time, as it is a lot harded to get scalable as the current (static solution is.
Yes, the youtube ads will be a problem that sadly can not be circumvented with my tech stack.
Thank you so much for this! I will spread the word and I'm sure it'll outlive the pandemic.
I was waiting for someone (even Netflix) to do this the last couple of years for Valentine's day (as I realized I won't spend the time on building it myself).
Being in a long distance relationship made me realize that this would be a fun way to nurture the relationship - watching the movie together, while apart.
So my movie nights with friends used to involve watching a movie(on some streaming service or from disk), and then queuing up a bunch of random YouTube videos over Chromecast. It would be great if this wasn't tied to a single URL, but instead we could make a room and add videos to a queue to watch.
Awesome feature idea! This is currently the MVP and a lot more is to come. Will be added to my list.
Does this require everyone to have an account for the paid services (Netflix for now)? Does this require anyone to have an account for the paid services if you happen to be able to get your hands on a Netflix URL?
does anyone know of a good website to do this but for music? Ideally I'd love to be able to create room where buddies can join, we can chat and take turns suggesting songs to play that we all listen to. I would literally pay money for that.
This is an awesome project ... my daughters have been doing this a bit just using group-chat on their phones but I'm going to propose our small prep school has a movie night. I guess that will test it at scale ;)
You can do this in Second Life, although only for non-DRM video. There are movie theaters and big-screen TVs in the virtual world.
You can watch with your friends, and talk or text to each other over the video.
I'm just confused. How is syncing supposed to work?
1. I start a "watch party"
2. I give the link to friends.
3. They click the button "Open the movie and check for autostart."
4. The video opens. At the beginning. Not where the other people are at.
What is "Autostart"? You mention to "Open the movie directly and ask in the voice chat what time you should jump to". How is this different than just sharing the link to the video and pressing play at the same time or having them skip ahead. I don't understand.
If for some reason somebody joins late / gets kicked off, and you're watching something on youtube, youtube supports time-index URL fragments like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4-SxcCO5d0#t=3m17s , and you could start a new watchparty with that URL.
It's heavyweight and probably better to just sync by somebody shouting a timestamp, but if you need things synced there you go.
I'm still wondering how people manage to get bored in today's age.
You have millions of journals, books, music tracks, tv shows, films and video games. You have tutorials on youtube to learn new skill, such as cooking, yoga, DIY, coding, etc. You can chat, phone or email to all your relatives and friends.
You can take the opportunity to produce something, write, build, create, imagine. Even without a computer you can write or draw.
You can take time for yourself, sleep more, meditate, rest, do things slowly.
Please explain it to me, I genuinely don't understand.
For those who prefer text-based entertainment, I run an email newsletter called Thinking About Things , which sends out a link to an interesting article every day. It's aimed at curious people who don't have a lot of time to read - each email has an extended quote from the article so that you can see if it interests you. It's gotten very good reviews from readers.