Lycos Cinema: Almost Cool Technorati icon

November 14, 2006 | Filed under: Internet TV

Reuters are reporting on the new Lycos web video play Lycos Cinema. I haven't tried it myself - something I will get to in a moment - but it is great to see new ideas like this emerge because they are post YouTube stuff.

Lycos Cinema already has full length features on there instead of the crippling limitation of 10 mins/100MB which shields YouTube from  financially bleeding to death and provides low-tech copyright filtering.

Its most significant feature is that users can watch videos together and chat at the same time. IPDemocracy reports:

"One section of the site lists movies that are currently “playing” and how much time is left in the film so that users can jump in and watch along with the other viewers. Up to 10 viewers can watch schedule a movie in advance and watch it simultaneously, and Lycos is planning to add voice chat to the service."

This is a compelling idea that could get lots of interest. The 10 viewer limitation seems to be a huge limitation though and p2p social video products like the forthcoming  Venice Project may wipe the floor wth them.

So why couldn't I try it myself? First run:

This is because I am using Firefox. So I tried in IE7:

But I have WMP 11. They lost me.

I tried harder than a regular fickle user would. This kind of thing suggests to me that they have got lost in the technology and forgotten their market. They are making it the user's problem and most users will simply choose not to resolve it. Knowing this is precisely why YouTube succeeded. They exploited the ubiquity of Flash and made sure that their content experience worked for everybody - first time. Users come for the content and to be with their friends and they care not about the technology. A site that depends on social network dynamics cannot have this kind of barrier.  

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