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Live Matrix aims to schedule the Web

New start-up is trying to herd live and upcoming events into one big directory. The result is like a big TV Guide, but for everything else.

A new service called Live Matrix, which comes out of private beta Monday morning, is attempting to solve the very large problem of organizing live events from all around the Web into one place.

These are not just Web events though--things like Apple event live blogs, online sales, or streamed concerts--but TV programs, auctions, and sporting events too.

In the same way TV listings work, users can cycle through upcoming events by "channel." These are broken down by genres like sports, entertainment, news, and shopping. Users are also able to create their own channels by "following" particular programming items.

Live Matrix
Live Matrix's programming guide looks a little bit like something you'd see for TV shows, but the site goes beyond just videos. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The mechanism for finding new events is displaying how many users have saved any particular one; each event gets a little counter that looks similar to Digg's voting box, and some of the most popular events--both live and upcoming--get some limelight on the site's front page. Once you've found an event you like, you can then save it to your listings, schedule a reminder, or share to a social network:

Live Matrix's reminder service.
Live Matrix's reminder service can nag you when it's time to come back for a scheduled Web event. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

To actually view content, the service jumps you off-site, which in my testing worked well for some things and not so well with others. For scheduled Web shows like CNET's live podcasts, it takes you straight to the program page, but other things like sports games did not always go to the right event. I also ran into problems with sites that required registration or a pay wall to view content, something that would have been nice to get the heads-up on, or filter out of the listings.

Fans of Clicker will no doubt be drawn to the site for some of its scheduling similarities, though Live Matrix has much broader ambitions at bringing together video content along with just about anything that's got a time and URL. While I think video is what most people are going to be angling for, the site has some serious potential for organizing just about everything else.