Sometimes on Monday we need to ease back into the work week.  Perhaps you spent the weekend gorging on college football and the NFL.  Or maybe you lost a few hours last night on an MTV award show.  But regardless… the transition from leisure to business is one that sometimes lasts through the first few hours of a Monday.

So I thought it would be fun to look at something that is both fun and related to online video. That way, we can tell anyone walking by that we’re researching a new video service, even though we may actually just be enjoying ourselves.

The service is called YouTube Time Machine.  It’s another one of those “take YouTube’s content and give it a custom filter” sites—like KittehReoulette (a site perpetually serving up random cat videos).  But YouTube Time Machine has a much more specific goal—to arrange YouTube videos by year, creating a bit of a searchable timeline of video.

The videos are slotted along the timeline based on when the events depicted take place, as opposed to the upload date.  So you just click on a year in the timeline below the site’s header, and you’ll be presented with a randomly-chosen video of an event from that year.  When you’re done, if you want to stay in the same year, just click the “Play Another Vid!” button.

There are also filter controls on the right sidebar, allowing you to toggle certain types or topics of videos on or off, further narrowing the experience.  Here’s a screenshot of the time machine’s interface:

The goal is to let you experience a particular year again through video, so it’s not a database you would use to find a specific clip.  In fact, currently there are only 4,000 videos included, but that’s expected to grow rapidly.  And those 4,000 videos cover a wide range of years, allowing you to go back as far as 1860.

This is a great little niche site for nostalgia fans.  Just fooling around with it for a few moments it’s easy to see this thing succeeding.  Picking a year and watching only a few videos brought back a lot of memories for me—much the same way hearing an old song does.

So, if you’re feeling nostalgic, and looking to postpone the work week by a few more minutes, head over to the YouTube Time Machine and travel back in time.  If anyone catches you, just tell them you’re researching the latest video service for an article—that’s what I did!