Kyte launched today, and as Rex Dixon pointed out, it has already been discussed ad nauseum. But never one to shy away from the latest hot trend, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Kyte is a media remixing service that lets anyone "create their own interactive TV channel," which basically means you can upload video, photos, and audio and mix them into slideshows that other people can watch.
Of all the comparisons being made -- and there are many -- SplashCast made the most sense; they appeared to be more or less the same application, so I initially set out to compare them. But after playing with both services for awhile, I realized that in terms of editing together media, there isn't much that either can do that more mature video editing services like Jumpcut, eyespot, or motionbox can't do. Video? Check. Photos? Check. Audio? Check. Text? Check. Create a channel, leave comments, share on MySpace? Check, check, check. All that, and with generally more intuitive editing tools, in my opinion. However, editing, isn't what makes Kyte compelling.
What makes Kyte compelling, are its mobile and social tools. The ability to watch TV from your phone (assuming your handset and service plan is compatible) is nifty, so is chatting with other users watching the same video and leaving in-video polls for real-time feedback. But what will really get users excited is that Kyte lets people broadcast live video direct from their high-end cell phone, which makes the service more like Twitter or Ustream.tv.
As Kyte says in their introduction video, if you want to do a live stream of the banana you're holding, you can. And I fear, that somewhere, someone will very soon being producing a live show of stationary fruit.
While I admit that the constant-blogging phenomenon is one that I don't really get (I lead a pretty mundane life; this video I made on Jumpcut this morning with my cell phone while playing around with various video editing services is proof of that), there's no denying that Twitter has struck a chord with users. And what's better than live blogging your location and thoughts in text? Perhaps, doing it in video.
User who are looking for a way to put up slide shows or edit videos for the web would be better served by more mature services dedicated to media editing, but Kyte might find a niche among people of the Twitter crowd who yearn for a more visual way to show the world what they're up to.
One thing Kyte needs to fix post-haste: the annoying noise that sounds every time a new users signs into the chat room. It is, well, annoying, and really distracts from the video you're trying to watch.