Mar 2

Weekend Project: VineBox

I made a VineBox last weekend.

Vine is a fairly new offering from Twitter that enables users to share six-second videos to the world through tweets. Like Twitter, these short videos are, for the most part, pointless and trite, but it’s kind of cool to see (and not just read about) what the world is up to in real time. I don’t have an iPhone, so I can’t create anything using Vine myself (although there seems to be an Android version in the works), but I do get a kick out of seeing how people are creatively using the service. It’s kind of like watching television in some ways: a lot of it is just noise, but occasionally you’ll hit something interesting.

That TV comparison is what inspired me to make the VineBox. I wanted to play around with the differences between traditional media consumption and the digital consumption of today, and I wanted to think about what “Reality TV” really means. I found an old analog television and hooked up a Raspberry Pi to it, and wrote some python code to download and play videos from Vine in real time. What you get is essentially true Reality TV: I’m seeing what’s happening to real people in the real world just as it happens. And it’s surprisingly addictive.

If you’re interested in doing this yourself, I’ve put the code up on github.
If you don’t feel like building something like this, but still want to see Vine videos in real time, online services like Vinepeek can help.

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