MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.

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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
 

adder7712

macrumors 68000
Mar 9, 2009
1,923
0
Canada
Redundant in my eyes.

You already have a lot of more mature services like Facetime, Skype etc. on OS X.
 
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iGrip

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2010
1,626
0
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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thisisdallas

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2012
233
35
Cupertino, CA
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 :p


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

----------

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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swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
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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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,619
USA
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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thisisdallas

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2012
233
35
Cupertino, CA
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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el-John-o

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2010
1,510
663
Missouri
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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Vodka

macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2008
185
1
omg, future has come
too bad i dont have apropriate internet speed for that
 
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cmChimera

macrumors 601
Feb 12, 2010
4,032
2,916
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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kycophpd

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2009
776
891
Louisville, Kentucky
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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gadgetguy03

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2012
223
143
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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Imhotep397

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
254
1
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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ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,107
2,752
Milwaukee Area
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.
 
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johnmacward

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2011
206
63
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 :p

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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TheRealTVGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
678
1,094
Orlando, FL
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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Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,611
New England, USA
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.:D
 
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