Z-index - watch videos while working without sacrificing productivity

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sc3wnet, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. sc3wnet macrumors newbie

    sc3wnet

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    #1
    Hello guys,

    This is the developer of Z-index - a small Mac app that keeps videos from the web on top of other native apps in a nondisturbing way, so you can watch videos while working without sacrificing productivity.

    Here's a demo:



    I'm working on this because - I'm a nerd, and... - actually, I need an app like Z-index.

    Usually, I watch something on YouTube while I work. Keeping a full browser window in the corner of the screen eats up a lot of screen estate and when the browser loses the focus, it's always getting behind another window so I usually miss the most interesting part of the video.

    Z-index solves this by keeping the video on top of other windows and also provides a so-called see-through & click-through feature to control the apps behind the video.

    Here's how it looks like:

    macrumorers-z-demo.png

    If you find it interesting, Z-index is now available for pre-orders with -50% discount. The planned release date is at the end of October.


    Feel free to ask me anything and/or give feedback!
     
  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    In the middle of several books.
    #2
    Good idea for an app. I pre-ordered. Looking forward to trying it.
     
  3. sc3wnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    sc3wnet

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    #3
    Thank you, I'm glad you like it!

    Could I ask how do you plan to use it?

    I would try to optimize it for the needs of the users.
     
  4. xnatex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #4
    Seems interesting! Just so you know, you have a typo on your home page. "Becames" should be "Becomes".
     
  5. sc3wnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    sc3wnet

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    #5
    Thank you! :) I've corrected it.
     
  6. CostaMoses macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #6
    This looks great! I rarely watch videos while trying to do other things, but if I did, I'd get this in a second.
     
  7. sc3wnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    sc3wnet

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    #7
    Thank you! Yep, in that case, this isn't really useful for you.
     
  8. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #8
    Neat app, but doesn't it impair your productivity to work while watching a video at the same time? You're a dev so you code - doesn't that take all your brainpower?

    I'm not questioning your work methods, but I'd like to understand more about why you think watching youtube videos while you work benefits you.
     
  9. sc3wnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    sc3wnet

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    #9
    This is an important question, thanks for asking!

    As a developer, I found that many of us listen to music or watch videos while coding.

    When it comes to listening to music, most of us agree that it could benefit our productivity, especially when working from noisy environments, like an open-space office or a cafe. There are some studies out there confirming that certain music could increase focus and productivity.

    Videos are a bit different, and they could be distracting. But the interesting thing is that I know a lot of devs who are "going hard-core" on watching videos while coding, and they are between the most productive ones in their teams. Many of them use a separate monitor or an iPad/tablet on their desk for videos (I don't want to do that, that's why I build Z-index).

    As far as I know, there are no studies on how watching videos while working affects productivity, but based on my observations I think:

    • when working on easy/boring tasks watching videos doesn't affect productivity
    • when working on tasks with higher complexity videos could be used as music to eliminate environmental noise
    • also, when working on complex tasks and getting stuck, it's good to focus for a short time on something totally different, like a video and then get back to work (Z-index makes this easy)
    • sometimes following a coding tutorial or let's say, for journalists watching a press release video while taking notes is part of the work and it's easier with this app

    This is my opinion based on my observations.

    You might agree or disagree, it's totally fine. Everyone works differently :)
     
  10. idmean macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2015
    #10
  11. sc3wnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    sc3wnet

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    #11
    Here are some benefits:
    • it works with Chrome and Firefox, the built-in PIP works just with Safari
    • provides see-through and click-through features to be able to control the apps behind the video without moving the player away (see the pic. from the first post)
    • when the video isn't visible on the screen, it takes over the playback from the browser automatically - you don't have to click any button
    • you can enable/disable it easily on individual websites (e.g. enable on YouTube, disable on Netflix)
    Think about it like the built-in PIP with extras.
     
  12. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #12
    Thank you for your detailed response. It was very interesting to read your points and I won’t argue with them. As you say, everyone works differently.
     
  13. rpmurray macrumors regular

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    Back End of Beyond
    #13
    According to the email I received when I pre-ordered, this was supposed to be released on October 2nd. Since I haven't received anything (including an email saying it's delayed) am I right in assuming that this is a scam?
     
  14. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #14
    From the website: If I pre-order today, my card will be charged immediately?
    Your card will be charged when you get the download link and the license key for the app, however it'll be authorized for $10 when you complete the pre-order.

    From the OP post: "The planned release date is at the end of October."

    I do agree that communication from the developer would have been appropriate, seeing how their is a discrepancy with the dates.
     
  15. sc3wnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    sc3wnet

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    #15
    Sorry for the poor communication, the first version of the app will be released at the end of October, more exactly on the 30 of October 2018.
     

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