Justin Johnson has whipped up a highly addictive web video channel called YouTube Time Machine. Select a year and YTTM will randomly select a video from that year for your viewing pleasure; hit ‘refresh’ and you’ll get a new video from that year. It’s a bit like Tim Carmody‘s Showroulette proposal, under which serendipity plays a larger role in what you encounter than it usually does on the Internet, although unlike Showroulette, the video you watch is more likely than not a new and previously unwatched thing. Unless you’re in the ’80s or ’90s, in which case: Hey, familiar TV shows and music videos.
YouTube Time Machine is “still very very alpha,” in the words of the creators: This can become a little annoying when you refresh only to find that the video you’re looking for has been deleted, which, for me, happened more frequently when looking at earlier years. At that, when you fall into a rhythm (again, I had an easier time doing this in more recent years) it turns up unexpected surprises and doubles as a handy You Nostalgia, You Lose companion.
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