While there is no shortage of online projects that curate and package YouTube’s infinite depths into more snackable bites, most of them force you to passively watch while the algorithm makes viewing decisions for you. Enter WWWWWWWWWWWWW.XYZ, a new project from the design collective Point in Passing. The interactive web application allows users to choose a theme and then jump between specific moments in preselected, thematically similar videos.
Here’s how it works: the application relies on the design of the QWERTY keyboard to divide up videos. The keys 1 through 0 represent one video, Q through P represents another video, A through ; is another, and so on. Each video is divided into 10 parts; when you press a particular key, the video will jump to the segment that key represents.
By pressing the tab key, users can choose from themes like “the future,” “oopsies,” “pastel paradise,” and “commerce,” which will change the four videos in play on the main screen. Users can also turn on “cruise control” by tapping the space bar in a particular rhythm, so that the app will automatically edit between the four selected videos in that rhythm.
“We've been interested in finding ways to repurpose YouTube, something that people usually consume in only one particular context, and sculpt it into a creative tool. The site itself tries to emphasize the breadth of stuff you find on YouTube — strange, ugly, personal, beautiful — and create moments of contrast where you pair these dramatically different videos to create something greater than the sum of its parts,” designers John Soat, Eric Rieper, and Ross McCampbell told The Verge. “We tried tapping into what it felt like to swap VHS tapes of found footage or B movies, the discovery and mystery of that. Also, this thing is just fun as hell to play at parties.”
Oh yeah, that’s right — the designers recommend using this as a visual while listening to music. Think of it as a much cooler iTunes Visualizer for control freaks.