One of the most talked-about books in the last few years has been Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.” In short, his thesis is thus: the Internet’s wealth of information, delivered in a rapid-fire capacity, has altered our brain chemistry, shortening our attention span, and making us shallower creatures as a result.
I won’t comment on the chemistry stuff – I’m just an English major after all – but from experience, I can attest that my attention span has shortened (I’m sorry, did you say something?) But the fact remains there are still tons of interesting, compelling content out there; we just lack the time (and attention span) to absorb it all. Enter today’s feature, MyTube60.
MyTube60 provides more bang for our video-buck. It lets users create, watch, and share “powerhours” – one minute clips from Youtube videos edited and compressed into one easy-to-digest hour (that’s where “60″ comes from!) For example, check out their Top 60 – also see the screenshot below – which compiles the Top 60 YouTube videos crammed into one powerhour. It’s like watching a pop culture tornado unfold before your eyes. You can feel the brain synapses firing.
And this is where MyTube60 sings, by taking the hassle out of creating a powerhour. Think about it. Say you wanted to create a powerhour of the best Bee Gees video clips. You’re probably going to pull from a pool of at least 40 videos, all of which must first be downloaded to a computer or iPod. Then you have to edit them. Then you have to time them properly. It can really add up. MyTube60′s unique technology enables you do all of this without leaving their site. There’s a simple FAQ, a Login and Register page, and most importantly, a tutorial on how to build your powerhour.
So with the element of suspense efficiently set, does MyTube60 actually work? That is, is it easy to build one’s own powerhour? Glad you asked. I registered, logged in, and was prompted to enter the name of my powerhour video. Next, a screen popped up comprised of multiple thumbnails of Bee Gees videos pulled from Youtube. I could then drag and drop the videos I want, and select the video’s start and end time. I could also reorder the videos by dragging them around accordingly. Once completed, I could Save and Publish. This brings me to the Video page that I created. There are numerous sharing options including Facebook, Twitter, email, and an embed option as well. One thing I wished it showed was a dedicated url listed on the page though. I can copy it from the browser navigation, but it’d be great if it was on the page as well.
The logged in user has the navigation options of My Videos, Favorites, Watchlist, Account, and Friends. My Videos, as you can imagine, had my Bee Gees powerhour; from that page I could Edit, Publish, Delete or Copy. The Account page allowed me to fiddle with photo settings. That said, the page looked a little sparse. Noticeably missing from it is the ability to change your password. It’s not the highest priority, but eventually something like that is needed. When I find someone who’s power hours I enjoy, I can put them on my watchlist to check out their latest videos. Favorites is where I can keep a list of all the videos I liked the most. On each video page there’s a favorite button, and sure enough, it shows up in my favorites. Friends appears to be a function strictly for users who logged in with their Facebook accounts. I used the generic registration and thus, didn’t have any. But this brings me to one of my favorite parts of the site- that it’s integrated with Facebook. It’s always great when you can log in to a site using your Facebook account and make a few friends in the process. It just makes things so much easier. The only other feature I would have liked goes back to the Top60. When watching a video it allows you to skip each respective clip within the power hour, but I can’t skip the entire power hour and go on to the next. A simple Next or Skip function would be great.
All in all, MyTube60′s technology makes easy what initially seems like impossible: editing and re-arranging multiple videos in one screen. It’s also a great place to go listen to some video clips that someone else took the time to compile together. Come to think of it, I think I’ll go do that right now.