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Some web apps are so useful it’s a wonder they’re not built into the services they supplement. VidScan is certainly one of those. The idea is elegant and yet useful: all comments are instantly searched for references to an individual time in the film, letting you know when cool stuff will happen.

Suddenly the wasteland of uselessness that is the YouTube comment system has a purpose: pointing out when the good bits are in videos. This is very useful for long lectures if you’re looking for a particular part, or for finding funny visual cues you’ve never noticed before in familar online videos.

timeline videos

Here’s how it works: you paste the URL of any YouTube video and click “View.” You’ll then be shown all comments that reference time under that video. This can be useful, or just plain fun, depending on what you do. You can also find a collection of popular videos on VidScan’s homepage, a good place to start if you just want to see what the service does.

I highly recommend you try this service: it’s so simple I’m amazed YouTube’s not offered the feature already.


  • Check comments on any YouTube videos for reference to a particular time.
  • Great for finding a certain part in any movie.
  • Finds an actual use for YouTube comments.

Check out VidScan @

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  1. Anonymous
    July 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing, will check it out

  2. mhawksey
    July 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    similar idea this site: which uses twitter to let users make timeline comments on YouTube vids. Pro discussion extends into your social network; Con you've got less than 140 char