My mother used to tell me that there was no excuse for boredom. I’m not sure that I believed her. In particular, I found waiting boring. I would have loved to be back in our living room watching television. The good news is I actually don’t have to be bored anymore; because there is a sparkling new mobile video player burning a hole in my pocket.
The development of mobile video players on our smartphones, tablets, and iPods has changed the boredom landscape forever. Waiting isn’t waiting; it’s simply an opportunity to watch video on our mobile devices and there is a massive library of free mobile videos waiting for our digestion.
Are you watching videos on your mobile device while you wait or are you watching the seconds on the clock monotonously tick bye? Why not surf the web on your phone and watch one of the plethora of funny dog videos or epic fail videos online. If you love the medium of video just say no to boredom and pull that mobile video player out of your pocket.
Looking for a certain video? Just type in a few words about it in the search feature in the RealPlayer Android app to get results in seconds from all the major mobile video sites.
5 MOBILE VIDEO SITES REVIEWED
To help you combat boredom we surfed the mobile web and found sites and apps you can download that you can use to watch free mobile videos that will keep you occupied while you wait. We looked at both mobile video sites on the web and those that also had a mobile app. In our search, we focused on sites that delivered an overall quality experience.
We took into consideration image quality, ease of use, and how well the site delivered the video. We checked out the mobile video sites on both iPhone and Android, over a consistent and strong Wi-Fi connection. We should note that streaming video uses a lot of data quickly, so if you’re not using a Wi-Fi connection be sure to check your cell phone data plan first otherwise you might be in for bill shock at the end of the month.
Founded by a group of filmmakers in 2004, videos on Vimeo have a more artistic focus. With a superfast download speed, great high-definition (HD) image quality, and a consistent streaming pattern Vimeo was top of the pops on both our iPhone and our Android smartphones.
We particularly liked that Vimeo utilized the full dimensions of the mobile video screen on both devices making full use of the resolution available. Vimeo also has a clean, uncluttered library, with a higher quality of video content than other websites.
The commenting system on Vimeo is ultra sleek and streams beautifully underneath each video on its homepage. The user interface is intuitive on the mobile video site making it easy to like, comment, or simply bookmark a video to watch later. If you don’t want to see the mobile video site version of Vimeo, you can download the Vimeo app.
When we checked out YouTube on a smartphone, we used the mobile app instead of going directly to the mobile video site. YouTube is full of user generated content as well as music videos, TV shows, and more. The YouTube App on the iPhone allows for superfast download speed, with excellent image quality and a consistent streaming pattern. It’s fair to say that YouTube was pretty much identical to Vimeo on the iPhone.
The YouTube Android app is full of features. The download speed was excellent and the streaming was consistent, however the initial image quality isn’t optimized. You’ll need to click the HQ in the corner of the screen and then the image quality is flawless. It’s easy to search for other YouTube videos, add/view comments, and bookmark videos to watch later. We particularly liked the YouTube channelization of content.
The popular movie and TV show rental site is also available as a mobile player. In fact, if you want to watch videos on your phone or tablet you’ll need to download the Netflix app. Admittedly you have to pay for the service (it can be used on a cell phone if you already subscribe to the service), and the online streaming library isn’t as robust as the DVD library. Still it’s pretty cool to watch a full-length movie on your mobile device.
Netflix mobile video player is a great idea for film lovers everywhere. The image on the iPhone was excellent in the presence of a strong WiFi connection. Remarkably, considering the longer form of the video content there were no streaming difficulties on the iPhone.
Netflix didn’t perform as well on Android devices. We found overall the image quality was acceptable, but not as sharp as that found on a tablet. That said, you could still use the app to rate videos and add them to your instant queue.
Focused on short-form videos, Metacafe delivers videos focused on movies, TV, games, music, and sports. We viewed the Metacafe site using a mobile browser. On the iPhone Metacafe videos had solid download speed and consistent streaming quality, but the image quality was only average with some pixilation and blurring.
We could watch and easily find videos on the Metacafe site using an Android phone. Videos will initially play on the website, but you can tap the four arrows at the base of the screen to watch the video on the entire screen. You can easily share videos on the site via social networks, however we couldn’t download videos to the phone.
With an emphasis on social media, Veoh has a library of niche video clips that people might be talking about at the water cooler. The videos are much shorter than those found on the other mobile video sites mentioned here. This is a great site to visit if you only have a few minutes to spare.
Vimeo has a reasonable download speed on the iPhone and streamed consistently, but again the image quality was not as good as that found on Vimeo, YouTube, and Netflix. Instead, images appeared more compressed with a slight grainy feel. On the Android, Veoh had surprisingly good image quality, however you may encounter inconsistencies in video streaming quality.
FREE MOBILE VIDEOS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE
The impressive thing across the board with each of the sites offering free mobile videos was the attention paid to streaming consistency and download speed. The key difference between the sites is that some were clearly compromising image quality (resolution) to achieve consistent streaming and fast download speed; Veoh and Metacafe in particular were clearly guilty of this. Keep that in mind when deciding what sites you’re going to visit.
Many of the mobile video sites had additional features like the ability to comment or share videos. Which sites you’ll visit will likely end up being a combination of how much time you have, the type of content you want to watch, and how you rate picture quality.
My question for you is this: When did you last watch a video on a mobile device and what was it like? Do you have any favorite mobile video sites? If so, share them below in the comments.