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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:00 AM   #1
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Rabbit: A Video Sharing and Chat Service Launching on the Mac Only




At one point in internet history, desktop instant messaging was likely the fastest growing segment of communication technologies. In 2002, even Apple introduced its own messaging client called iChat that was bundled with OS X. That growth, however, stalled significantly with the adoption of services such as SMS and devices such as the iPhone took hold over the past 5 to 10 years. Apple's own iChat has since evolved into Messages -- primarily, a mobile messaging service.

Today, a startup company called Rabbit is launching a closed beta of their "video chat and content sharing application". But the best way to describe it is a cool and very modern implementation of instant messaging.

The most compelling feature of the app can be distilled down to this: group video conferencing with the ability to screencast music, movies and applications from your Mac.

This means you can watch a movie from a service such as Netflix with your friends in real time. Or you can crop and share a specific part of your web browser or any other Mac app and broadcast it to your friends.

The app is a native Mac client (other platforms to come later), and offers the ability to video chat with an unlimited number of people. People are grouped into Rooms and presented to you in priority based on your own friends, and within each room, individual groups can participate in their own conversations.

Their promo video is clearly aimed at the teen audience, but starts by stylistically showing a user logging in, joining a room, playing/sharing a song, hovering (listening in) on a public conversation, and then joining that conversation. Later, it shows the sharing of apps and video as well as a debate on the relative strength of vampire-love.

Rabbit is launching in a "closed" Beta today. Interested users can sign up on their website, and beta invites will be sent out shortly. Once you are a beta user, you can then freely invite any of your Facebook friends to also become beta users. The service and download are free and requires OS X 10.7 or higher.

Article Link: Rabbit: A Video Sharing and Chat Service Launching on the Mac Only
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:04 AM   #2
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UI looks ... weird
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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Redundant in my eyes.

You already have a lot of more mature services like Facetime, Skype etc. on OS X.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:07 AM   #4
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Crashed every time I tried to open it. It may need a few more bugs worked out.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
But the best way to describe it is a cool and very modern implementation of instant messaging.
So they are making an app in a category nobody cares about for a platform that pretty much nobody uses.

I predict runaway success. Not.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:10 AM   #6
ka-spot
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awesome!

whats up with my new air 13 2013?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:11 AM   #7
thisisdallas
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Originally Posted by adder7712 View Post
Redundant in my eyes.

You already have a lot of more mature services like Facetime, Skype etc. on OS X.
No, it isn't redundant at all. When I went to college, that meant that all of my high school friends became long distance friends for the most part. We always watched some shows together beforehand, and we still do; the only difference is we have to use skype group calls. Do you realize how annoying and unintuitive it is to all load up the show/movie on hulu/netflix, wait for it to load, then countdown the play button and hope we're all synced up? It's too much hassle.

Honestly, this is the service I have always dreamed of having. The only downside is you have to have the camera on, which is a bit dumb, as we usually just voice chat; but that won't be a problem a simple ripped sticky note cant solve


Needless to say, I'm excited for this app!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
Crashed every time I tried to open it. It may need a few more bugs worked out.
It opened just fine for me without any issues on my ML MBP 2011.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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Video chatting has been given every opportunity to take off. People in my social group, at least, don't use it. It's been around for a long, long time, relative to the time other technologies have been available that have really taken off.

I think that the main unsolved problem with video chat is that everyone thought it would be cool to have a virtual presence, but in reality it's uncomfortable. When you sit with people in real life, you don't stare at them. But with video chatting, what other choice do you have but to stare?

Still, I'll try this app out. Video chatting still has a little bit of that Jetsons allure to it after all these years.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:15 AM   #9
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I'm pretty sure the sharing of movies from Netflix isn't going to fly - if that is indeed one of the functions. Cease and desist in 3..2...1...
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:16 AM   #10
thisisdallas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swingerofbirch View Post
Video chatting has been given every opportunity to take off. People in my social group, at least, don't use it. It's been around for a long, long time, relative to the time other technologies have been available that have really taken off.

I think that the main unsolved problem with video chat is that everyone thought it would be cool to have a virtual presence, but in reality it's uncomfortable. When you sit with people in real life, you don't stare at them. But with video chatting, what other choice do you have but to stare?

Still, I'll try this app out. Video chatting still has a little bit of that Jetsons allure to it after all these years.
Exactly! I think the concept of this app is brilliant, they should just have an option to eliminate cameras, sticking to only using mics and text chatting.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:17 AM   #11
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The UI looks pretty awful, but the idea is nice. Although, it exists elsewhere. Skype allows screen and file sharing too, why not just use Skype? What exactly does this service offer that Skype doesn't?

Of course, the iPod was not nearly the first hard drive mp3 player. Nor was it the cheapest, or the most well known, and we saw how that turned out. So who knows...

I do like the screen sharing feature. I use that in Skype a lot. I'm curious how Netflix/Hulu, etc. view the idea of screen sharing content. Logic dictates that those same friends could be gathered around the TV, but media licensing doesn't always use a lot of logic. (For example, I can watch some shows on my computer, but not my set top box on my TV! Yes, I know it's because of the chokehold from the Cable providers, but for the consumer, it's ludacris)

One example where screen sharing is nice, is with my grandmother who is always having computer issues, and lives 2 hours away. We get on skype, I pull up parallels running Windows 7 (same as her laptop) and can walk her through what to do, actually SHOWING her what to do. (She wants to learn, she always tells me, so she doesn't like remote desktop. She wants to follow along and do it herself!)

But... I dunno. It looks like Google+ hangouts with a skin. Or maybe skype.. with a skin. Again, aside from a cheezy ad that literally included the phrase "Vampire love is the strongest love", what does this offer to an already saturated and bloated market?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:18 AM   #12
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You had me at "relative strength of vampire-love."
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:22 AM   #13
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omg, future has come
too bad i dont have apropriate internet speed for that
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:37 AM   #14
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Well I am not a teenager so I will give this one a miss
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:40 AM   #15
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Wow this looks like someone has taken all the prejudices about Mac users and put them into a mocked up ad. Too bad this thing is acutally real… disgusting.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcraig View Post
I'm pretty sure the sharing of movies from Netflix isn't going to fly - if that is indeed one of the functions. Cease and desist in 3..2...1...
Agreed. I think most of the media functions may be crippled very soon.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:46 AM   #17
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The unfortunate thing is some creeper somewhere already has his pants down around his ankles waiting for his beta invite so he can start whacking it anytime someone tries to contact him.

PS: I am not wearing pants. I am wearing shorts
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:49 AM   #18
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This too shall pass.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by el-John-o View Post
The UI looks pretty awful, but the idea is nice. Although, it exists elsewhere. Skype allows screen and file sharing too, why not just use Skype? What exactly does this service offer that Skype doesn't?
Skype doesn't share the computer audio. Hence I share a movie on Netflix and can't hear anything because it's being piped into Skype through Soundflower.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:06 AM   #20
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How much money did you (MacRumors) get to promote this?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:07 AM   #21
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I don't get why companies keep trying to target video chat for social use...it's just never going to fly. This kind of thing needs to be focused on students for collaborative study, collaborative project development and telecommuting workers.

I like the UI, because I'm tired of everything on the internet always being square or rectangular, but I doubt it will look exactly like it does in the video on your computer since a lot of that stuff looks pre-rendered and comped together.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:08 AM   #22
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UI is 1998-era tacky. Functionality is a step in the right direction. The inclusion of voice/text-only will be an improvement.


...hopefully Apple is working on a VoIP service to round out its communications suite.

Last edited by annk; Feb 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Clean-up
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thisisdallas View Post
No, it isn't redundant at all. When I went to college, that meant that all of my high school friends became long distance friends for the most part. We always watched some shows together beforehand, and we still do; the only difference is we have to use skype group calls. Do you realize how annoying and unintuitive it is to all load up the show/movie on hulu/netflix, wait for it to load, then countdown the play button and hope we're all synced up? It's too much hassle.

Honestly, this is the service I have always dreamed of having. The only downside is you have to have the camera on, which is a bit dumb, as we usually just voice chat; but that won't be a problem a simple ripped sticky note cant solve
I don't know about you but this seems a little odd. You would video conf with friends to sit quietly in your own respective rooms to watch a film together. There is something incredibly lonely yet NOT, about that.

At the same time, that's friendship for you and it sounds impressive. You do better than me in keeping in contact with people!
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:10 AM   #24
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Wow, all of a sudden it sounds like a bunch of old, close-minded Windows users took over Macrumors...

First off, Skype told me I had to pay in order to have group video, then they said it was limited to a certain number of people...

I Love the UI. Instead if the same stale desktop/application feel, you can actually "fly" through the app and the different things going on. That's great! I'm tried of looking at basically fancy looking spreadsheets (iTunes included) at least this has some fluid motion to it.

I can see this being huge for collaboration purposes, especially the college set, where you don't have the money or patience for a "pro" level video conferencing solution.

But the best part is.... It starts out Mac only!! Ha ha Windows suckers! Looks like we get the coolest stuff first once again, and eventually you'll catch up. Who said its a dead platform no one cares about? Oh my! Were we visited by a Windows troll this morning?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:10 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swingerofbirch View Post
I think that the main unsolved problem with video chat is that everyone thought it would be cool to have a virtual presence, but in reality it's uncomfortable. When you sit with people in real life, you don't stare at them. But with video chatting, what other choice do you have but to stare?
Perhaps I'm playing with semantics, but let's make a distinction between looking at the person with whom you are conversing, and "staring". I look at the person when I am talking with them. A good friend of mine, who lives in the UK, and I talk by Face Time several times a week, and we don't feel uncomfortable while video talking.

Also, a picky note...the camera in my MBP is placed on the upper edge of the display frame. When I'm talking with my friend, I'm looking at the screen, so my eyes are not directed at the camera, but below it. I don't "stare" at the camera, I look at the screen.
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