The Crackle service by Sony Entertainment is the newest player in the streaming video market and it has made waves in part with the Crackle app which allows video on a number of different mobile iOS devices.
Crackle has made waves recently by gaining access to one of the most popular TV series of all time -- Seinfeld. This access is currently limited to a handful of episodes, but it is still a good sign that there may be another player in the streaming video market and any time new video becomes available on the Internet it is worth celebrating. It is even more valuable when those videos are allowed to be viewed in a mobile way. The iPhone Crackle app is a free application which allows access to the free Crackle service and can be used on the iPhone, iPod touch and best of all, the iPad.
Crackle Video Library
The Crackle service is run by Sony entertainment and as such it has easy access to the Sony movie library. This means that there are some excellent choices in the Crackle library, but it also means that it is far more limited than more independent services. It currently offers shows like Seinfeld, Married with Children and The Jeffersons. In addition there are a fair number of good movies including Ghostbusters, Stranger than Fiction, and The DaVinci Code, but there are only about 250 movies in total so it isn’t going to be replacing the Netflix app any time soon. However, it is worth pointing out that many of these movies are only available on Crackle.
Crackle App Interface
There is nothing all that special about the interface of the Crackle iPhone app, but in many ways that is exactly how it should be. Finding movies is easy enough, though a search function would be a good addition. Instead there is a browse function which lets you look through the different collections such as TV, movies or original, in alphabetical order. Good for the amount they have but there are a couple of small issues, such as showing movies you can’t actually watch on some of the lists because there are clips or trailers.
Where the interface really shines is in the actual watching of shows. In order to control the movie simply tap the screen and it brings up the bar at the bottom to move forward or backwards as well as the share button and the information about the iPhone such as battery life. Tap it again and this disappears allowing you to watch the movie without anything distracting you.
By far the biggest flaw of Crackle is a combination of a lack of movies and the intermingling of trailers and movies together. This means that even when you find something that looks good you don’t know if it is something you can watch or only the trailer. There are also commercials before every clip no matter how long it is which is problematic when watching a 30 second ad before a 20 second clip.
As a free app that shows free movies and TV shows there is really no good reason not to get the Crackle app if there is even one movie or TV show that you care about on there. In addition, for those of us who want good streaming content on the web, it is important to support this type of endeavor to help prove to more studios that it is worth the risk.
- Source, Author's own experience.
- Images, Screenshots taken from Crackle app for iPhone.