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In early 2017, myChan.tv started as a hobby idea, which is to make the subscriptions oriented YouTube viewer I always wanted, knowing that everyone who cared about subscriptions and supporting creators that I ever talked to wanted the same thing too. So I made it.
I was cautious about the idea of getting help to make this if it wasn’t going to work. So I spent between January and October last year working on a barebones prototype to prove that it was possible to capture, organize, and autoplay bundles of subscriptions. When we go this right and working, we set about building the beta.
Beta build started in January, and was ready for pre-launch on March 10. While it looked great and worked great, I knew that it was important on the first beta to get enough users to find all the big bugs I missed and to get decent feedback, but not have too many users because I didn’t want 300 people complaining about the same bugs, and people finding issues and getting put off from the site. Thanks to the site integration of Intercom, that allows you to chat straight to me while using the site and tell me what you like, what you’d like to see, what issues you are having, this meant I got a wealth of data on what were fortunately only a handful of bugs, and more importantly a bunch of requests and suggestions from users who wanted to see certain things to make the site better to use. I logged 58 requests, and after talking with the developers, these are some of the fixes and improvements we have implemented:
We figured out that you cannot use myChan.tv if your subscriptions data are set to “private” in YouTube privacy settings
We created a message and added instructions for users to change this subscriptions privacy setting if it prevents reading of subscription data
We figured out that your subscription count number in myChan.tv excludes suspended channels, so your count will always differ a little from the number in YouTube
We fixed the same channel being added to a bundle multiple times
We added a hover state over each clickable link
We improved the visibility of the top left navigation block
We improved the display of the site in portrait view on mobile
We added a filter function, and then improved it by removing case sensitivity
We added channel names to video names in the video playlist and the video player, so you could tell what channel the videos you are watching are from
We changed the bundle creation behavior to let you stay on the subscriptions management screen when creating new bundles and adding/removing channels to them
We improved the display of “loading your awesome YouTube Subscriptions” to stop the appearance of the browser freezing while loading data
We added the ability to edit and delete bundles in the left hand menu of the subscriptions screen
We made it easier for users to create new bundles on the fly, and add channels already selected to them
We added a filter to only display subscription channels not yet assigned to bundles
And a whole lot more…
New myChan.tv is ready for Open Beta. This means that I want everyone who reads this to get in and try out the site. The whole thing is free, but what I want your help with is (1) catch the remaining bugs and make any remaining necessary fixes, (2) consider what other features we can add to the site, and (3) figure out what we can do that would make it worthwhile for supporters of the site to have a “pro” tier to keep the site running, while letting most users enjoy the basic functionality for free. I really would love for you all to try the site, and feel free to use the Intercom chat icon to drop me your feedback and suggestions. If you are lucky, I’ll be able to join you for a chat directly online.
I already really think that this site is the best way to watch YouTube subscriptions. I watch it all the time, and it has turned YouTube for me into a customized cable box of music, comedy, news, and the awesome vids of creators I love and want to support. With myChan.tv, the only algorithm deciding what you watch is YOU. You pick the content, you organize the bundles you want to make into TV channels, and we turn it all into always fresh playlists of just the content you want to watch. Sit back and enjoy…!
Open Beta is LIVE.