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Show HN: To fight quarantine boredom I build a site to watch movies with friends (bingetogether.com)
515 points by l1am0 15 days ago | hide | past | web | 203 comments | favorite





> To fight quarantine boredom I build a site to watch movies with friends.

I would call it "CoVid: watch videos together, remotely."


No doubts that with such a name this service will go viral

PS sorry, I couldn't resist


Almost as perfect as it is morbid.

The auction site for caskets?

CoVidBid?

Caskets are so Februaryish

And urns

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.


While that's true, very few successful products are Hitler puns.

Uber?

Sounds like an assassin sharing service or tool to promote your pop tune.

Yet. People will want to move on though.

Or even Covid.io (though that domain seems to be taken).

I like covidio.io.

Covideo seems like the obvious choice here

Hope folks will use it after corona as well, so no corona pun name for it xD

well, the name works outside of the pandemic and will get lots hits when covid-23 and covid-28 come out ....

CoBinge?

Kaz, you are the best!

If he names it Covid...that name will be one of the most used names for a few months, at least.

Can someone give a TL;DR on architecture of this and Netflix party. How is synchronization maintained ?

Syncronisation can not be maintained as there is no info bingetogether gets from the services at what time code the video is.

Playback control is currently not supported.


Is this just a chat web app then ?

No it synchronises the start of the video and allows to have a voice chat during the watch party.

So it's 1% as convenient as cytube.

But do you have the .com domain?

I'd call it "Pictures With Friends" (as opposed to Words With Friends).

While that certainly seems like a reasonable and legally distinct name to me, 'Golf with Friends' was forced to change its name by Zynga, so be careful with that.

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!


It's not greed, it's licensing. Copyright owners wouldn't allow it, facilitating copyright infringement isn't good business

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.


not exactly sure how to parse your wording for the Hollywood exec, but I assume you're saying Netflix has the leverage and the Hollywood person has to shut up and take the money?

that doesn't seem to be the case in reality. Netflix streaming doesn't really have a lot of big Hollywood movies.


How much content are you going to sacrifice to preserve a feature? Which draws in more customers, having good content to watch or the ability to do it in a party format?

Ideally you have both, but if forced to choose, you choose whatever makes sense for your business.


> 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.

What? The market brought you the personal computer revolution, the mobile phone revolution, the internet revolution, your Xbox, etc and “all you remember” is shared movie viewing?


Wasn't the internet a product of the US government?

No. At least not the one that has useful stuff on it. Companies selling it to consumers and consumers/businesses putting stuff on it is what made it such a resounding success.

The internet created by the government was just a network connecting research labs together.


depends on whether you think creating a small research network is a bigger contribution than the billions spent by the private sector to build it into what it is today.

having an idea or even a reasonable prototype is often not the hardest part of building something useful.


Greed enforced by copyright law is still greed. It’s ok to call it what it is.

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.

https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html

LegalZoom writes:

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.

https://info.legalzoom.com/article/copyright-laws-related-us...


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...

He's wrong. No one has, or ever will be prosecuted for renting a movie and watching it with their friends in their living room.

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.

But I never went back to check up on this.


So require that the other viewers also have Netflix accounts? But they don't do that either.

I don't know, YouTube does OK.

Thanks for all your kind feedback: Did not think of donations so far, but here is my paypal: https://www.paypal.me/51edpo

Binge Together, still needs everyone involved to have an account with the streaming services, thoug.


Wonderful, and awesome work! Saw the donation links up, came back to say thanks and good luck with future endeavors!

Hey is it working for you? After pasting netflix/youtube video link when I click on 'Create' nothing happens.

Would you be so kind and send me a screencast of what you are doing? For me it works, but I would like to fix your problem!

bingetogether@simon-frey.eu


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.

Whenever I tried this, HDCP or similar DRM kicked in and the video was blacked out. How did you get around it?

You need something else than the Netflix App or Edge.

Other apps/browsers are limited to 720P and don't use hardware-level Content Decryption Modules


I've never encountered this at all! Honestly I've never in my life had any problems with HDCP, guess I'm just lucky, I constantly hear about it being problematic.

You are probably not using Edge or the Netflix App. (1080P+)

>the re-encoding is usually not a problem, action scenes can get a little blocky but the quality is really pretty great.

YMMV. This usually barely works for me, I suspect you need a really steady, high-speed upload to make this work.


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.

Share the application, not the desktop. It will capture the application audio.

Not that this isn't a great idea and something I am now thinking of doing, but I wonder if you're breaking some digital rights law here (?)

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.


Anyone remember turntable.fm?

I know a bunch of replacements popped up, but nothing seemed to capture the same kind of magic...


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.


You can colisten to somebody's Spotify through Discord. Sadly it's a pretty obscure feature no one uses much, but it's worked well the couple of times I've tried it.

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.

It's not as easy as dropping a link in a server and saying, hey come checkout my turntable room. I know that some voice chats have a music bot that works similarly for youtube though.

After turntable.fm closed they briefly did Turntable Live.

Which was the coolest online concert experience I ever had.

I recorded a session. But sadly, not the system audio. But you can get a feel for the experience.

https://youtu.be/08SvwB9S53U


jqbx.fm uses only Spotify but has web, mac, android, and ios apps to sync Spotify listening.

The closest I've come is auxparty.com; the Spotify integration is great and being able to pull from your own playlists makes queuing tracks a lot easier.


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.

Earport.fm was something similar around 2014, but with YouTube videos.

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.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18123862 is great. Really, really great. No idea why it's not more widely recognized or used.

(also shilling)

Another similar site (that a friend of mine built) is TeamFlix. He built it to stream with his brother and didn't find any alternatives (this was a few years ago now).

https://teamflix.com/


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.

> he can search in languages he can't read or write. It's like a magic trick.

Have you ever tried to suss out how he is able conduct web searches so effectively? Would be interested in what you learned.


Also Togethr.TV (https://togethr.tv). Created by me some years ago! People can watch videos together and chat (text/audio) and some other features.

The one about works with local files. For my purposes it's much better than YouTube.

It works with local files as well using the Streamer (Windows only) and it works with many more websites than YouTube as well.

similar to netflixparty.com except:

- it also supports prime/youtube/vimeo

- it has an audio/video chat instead of a simple text chat

- it doesn't require a chrome extension

- it doesn't actually sync across the viewers? (start time, play/pause)

does it mean you can literally support other platforms without any integration?


>it doesn't actually sync across the viewers? (start time, play/pause)

What is even the point then? It's litearlly the only feature I expect from such service.


From the description on homepage:

> Wait until the countdown hits zero and your movie night starts

So it does sync across viewers (I haven't actually tried it yet).


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 :/


I agree and that's why I pointed it out. you could literally just put any URL to any website and call it a party if there is no sync capabilities.

As written ion the page, it would be able to support any website on the internet, as it does a simple redirect to the website on countdown 0.

What I want to provide is an auto start and a jump to timecode 0. All platforms that allow that via query parameters can be supported by binge together :D


I think there could be latency because of the buffering.

A solution could be to stop the movie for everyone, get the timecode. Send everyone the new timecode and start the movie from there after the countdown.

(heck, this could even be a sync/break feature. If someone’s internet connection gets disrupted everyone can stop and sync. Or if they want a movie break, they can do it like this.)


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.

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.


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.


It would be fun for stupid stuff though that doesn't really matter- you and your friends could chat and make fun of it MST3k style.

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.

My favourite thing is watching stuff with thousands of people in chat. Like Bob Ross or Mr. Rogers. The culture that emerges is magical.

Page <title> says "Bing Together"

We gotta stop the Google monopoly, right?

Love that one. Bing without e is fixed. Miss-typed it once and than copy pasted it too often.

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.


There's https://syncplay.pl/ for video files.

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.

The problem would be on how to start the next video, as it is a javascript redirect only, so I have no information when a video in the queue is finished. Maybe websockets and someone pressing "next" could be an option.


This is very cool but I worry about your bandwidth bill if it takes off. Does voice chat go through the server?

I static cache all /p/* site via cloudflare and the voice chat is via jitsi meet an external privacy friendly service

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?

Yes. Everyone involved need an account and needs to be logged in as well.

It works by basically redirecting to the streaming website.


It would be awesome if it worked also for people with a local copy of the movie so people with Netflix could watch simultaneously with people with a digital file or physical media!

There are a lot of these. A way to stand out would be to make it work with all the streaming gadgets like an Apple TV, roku stick or fire stick. Would be a killer app right now.

Who watches a movie sitting at their computer?


Would love that as well, but it is really hard to support even only chromecast with my tech stack.

For now I do not plan to support TV applications with Binge Together.


This is really interesting. A Seattle startup where I am friends with a number of the old staff: BuddyTv [0]

It makes me sad that the idea didn't work out and in times other than this... it still won't work out. But it's glad to know there are times when this absolutely valued.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BuddyTV


This is on my reading / testing list earlier today: https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/25/21191604/watch-movies-fri...

Will have to add this to the list!


Sounds a little similar to https://rave.io/ Nice job!

I couldn't get it to work. When I click "Join movie party" it just opens another tab of the party page with a timestamp in the url.

Also there appears to be a timezone issue? I have to input a time an hour ahead of what I actually want.


Was that a youtube link? That is fixed now.

Still working on the timezone. Some browsers are doing problems here.

If the problem still persists, would you be so kind and sending me a screencast on how the site behaves to: bingetogether@simon-frey.eu

Thanks so much!


It is not clear to me if everybody in the party needs to have netflix. (or whatever service was chosen)

Yes. Everyone needs to have an account and to be signed in.

Can you easily add the ability to share screen or application so I can watch a video file with a friend?

I assume they avoided that on purpose due to copyright.

I don't see how you could hold someone liable just for allowing you to screenshare.

I think it'd be interesting to accept file-based input, and stream via webrtc.


Yep. There are other services for that. (e.g. you could just use hangouts)

Does anyone want to babysit my kids remotely to fight boredom cause I'm losing my mind.

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.

https://cytu.be/ - works with YT, SoundCloud, and some others.

And also supports videos from various platforms and self-hosted content.

MPD can handle the streaming part for you but you have to have access to all the files.

https://musicpd.org/


If you pay for spotify, https://www.jqbx.fm/ can do that.


This site does that for Youtube: https://plug.dj/

watch2gether.com does YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and SoundCloud

your title attribute says "Bing Together", you're missing an "e"

Thanks!

I posted this link on my social media, and it got a fair bit of attention. Keep it up!

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 ;)

Really cool! How do you make the streams start the same time for everyone?

On the website it says that they figured out the autoplay feature on those sites.

I imagine when the countdown ends, it enables the autoplay and the movie starts.


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.

That sounds interesting. How do you find the places?

Look for movie theaters. Or buy a virtual big-screen TV for your virtual house and invite friends over.

Finally! A use for the lumens I got from the Keybase giveaway

This is great, I've wanted something like this in the past! Thanks for building. I'll be giving it a try for a watch party I was planning with friends.

Mind sharing how it works and what stack you used?


Awesome, hope it all works out.

Stack is quite simple: Frontend: Bulma.css, Vanilla Javascript, HTML Backend: PHP, MariaDB

It works by redirecting in the right moment to the streaming sites, via a JavaScript redirect.

The voice chat is done via https://meet.jit.si/

To handle potential big load, I force cloudflare to cache all sites under url /p/* thereby after the creation of the watch party, no request hits my server anymore :D


I'm guessing it doesn't handle people pausing the video like Netflix Party or SyncLounge does then?

No that is currently not possible, as there is no way of getting the information about the playback from the website.

To enable this feature a browser plugin would be required again.

With Binge Together I opted for not supporting that in favor of an easier use. (Not everyone included needs to install the extension etc.)


I would love it if https://web.microsoftstream.com/ could be added ( work related)

What is that? Can't even login

It's a corporate video sharing service in Office 365. Think Youtube for your company.

If you would be able to share a login with me, than I could check if it can be included. Login could be send to office365bingewatching@simon-frey.com

It's my personal work email and has company videos on it.

So I'm not able to share, sorry.

What information would you need for it? nico@sapico.me


Really cool! Growing up, my friends and I spend many nights self queuing or on similar sites. Out of curiosity, what's your stack? Also, are there any plans for open source?

From other comment: Stack is quite simple: Frontend: Bulma.css, Vanilla Javascript, HTML Backend: PHP, MariaDB

It works by redirecting in the right moment to the streaming sites, via a JavaScript redirect.

The voice chat is done via https://meet.jit.si/

To handle potential big load, I force cloudflare to cache all sites under url /p/* thereby after the creation of the watch party, no request hits my server anymore :D

Currently I have no plan to open sourcing it


There are already dozens of such sites (just search for alternatives to Kast or Rabb.it), why should we use this one? Are there any advantages over competition?

e.g. Compared to Kast it works directly in the browser without any additional software

I've entered a random youtube url, "open movie" test click worked fine but when the counter hit, it went to netflix... (Safari)

Oh wow. That was propably the dumbest bug I ever produced. Still hat my testing (netflix) url hardcoded in the countdown javascript.

Works now. Thanks for reporting.


Have you investigated what it'd take to addd Hulu support? I find majority of my shows are split between Netflix and Hulu.

Not yet as Hulu is not supported in germany (my home country). Will digg into it in the next few hours.

Would anyone be willing to share their hulu account with me so I can test it? bingehulu@simon-frey.com


Does this work with Chromecast? Netflix Party doesn't, and that's the main reason I don't use it.

No it does not, as there is no api for controling the playback on the chromecast

You should get Google Analytics installed, and AdSense ads... at the least.

No I do not want analytics. I use the privacy friendly matomo for that.

Ads are planed, but I would like to go with another path than google as well. Maybe some movie sponsors :D


I am not able to create an URL. Is it down?

But what if you have Netflix and your buddies have HBO Now?

Great idea!

My wife was just doing this with a friend in st Louis over text.


Now bingetogether.com has multi language support :D

I've been waiting for this product. Nice work.

What if someone is on a device like a Fire TV?

Currently this can not be supported with the tech stack I use. (As it uses javascript redirects to start a video)

the app is a 3rd party voice chat with a URL link and a countdown, I'm surprised it's so popular tbh

Nice, also compatible with bit torrent.

I've wanted this for so many years.

Any planned support for Plex? Thanks!

There is a similar product for Plex, I think it is called SyncLounge.

Yep: http://synclounge.tv/


cool project reminds me of rabbit.tv

What differentiates this and cytube? (https://cytu.be)

BingeTogether.com is legal ;)

What are you on about? There's nothing about cytube that's illegal.

What did you use to build it?

From other comment: Stack is quite simple: Frontend: Bulma.css, Vanilla Javascript, HTML Backend: PHP, MariaDB

It works by redirecting in the right moment to the streaming sites, via a JavaScript redirect.

The voice chat is done via https://meet.jit.si/

To handle potential big load, I force cloudflare to cache all sites under url /p/* thereby after the creation of the watch party, no request hits my server anymore :D


treesnetwork.com still exists

Sent it to my kids, thanks!

this is not intuitive.

What do you dislike about the interface? How can I improve it? Thanks for your help.

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.


Ah okay. So that button is to dominant Open the movie and check for autostart." is just the preperation to check if the video starts correctly e.g. if in firefox autoplay is allowed.

The actually watch party starts when the countdown hits zero, by redirecting everyone in the same moment to the video.

"Open the movie directly and ask in the voice chat what time you should jump to" is when you missed the start.

Syncing works via starting everyone at the same time in the beginning of the movie


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.


Awesome idea! I plan to implement that today :D

Just calculating from the start time at what point in the movie everyone should be. e.g. You are half an hour late, so the others are around minute 30 (Y)

No need to start a new watch party (Y)


Implemented :D

This is will be fun since the lockdown is currently taking place all around the world.

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.


We're social animals, this is hardcoded part of our brain. Managing solitude require training as anything else.

Solitude and boredom is not the same.

I understand solitude. You have a need. It's not fulfilled.

I don't get boredom: I see so many ways to fulfill this need.


People were busy with other things than youtube or TVs. If you suddenly destroy their routine they will have to discover the internet for the first time.

For those who prefer text-based entertainment, I run an email newsletter called Thinking About Things [1], 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.

[1] https://www.thinking-about-things.com/


Not the place for this, totally off topic.

I recommend adding an archive of the past emails so I can review the content before signing up. You also get web visitors that way, people that would rather read websites or via RSS.

That's really interesting. Was indeed in a need of one since a long time.

Already subscribed now and excited to review few emails and their content. Thank you for starting and maintaining something like this.




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