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iPod Touch to mSpot: Get Mobile and Rent Some Movies

written by: PreciousJohnDoe•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 6/13/2011

Renting movies while on-the-go should be spontaneous - see a movie you want, click to rent it and watch. Which is exactly how mSpot sees users of their iPhone or iPod Touch app reacting once they start clicking their way through loads of feature length films.

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    Not "What" - "Where" You Gonna Watch

    mSpot has a good idea -- take the Netflix concept of finding a movie you want to watch on the web and then get it to watch. But not a few days later in the mail -- right then and there as a streaming file. You'll be picking up the mSpot Mobile Movies app first, but unlike most apps it takes you into a framework designed to work in Safari. This makes sense since the movie you'll be watching is going to be streamed directly to the iPhone or iPod Touch. And as long as there's a wireless connection, it doesn't matter where you're going to be when the itch to watch hits you.

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    Just the Facts


    Membership in mSpot lets you use points towards watching films, rather than just paying via a credit card as you go. Obviously you're paying into a monthly membership but that makes sense, right? Club membership also shortens the process for watching -- helpful given that entering data on a touch screen isn't always a breeze. Not to mention the lack of desire to pull out a credit card while riding a bus or subway. And since you can "bookmark" films to watch at a later time, no need to worry about having memory loss (the way things are going, we're all getting closer to having "Senior moments" these days).

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    Giving mSpot Mobile a Whirl

    Rental confirmation 

    Using mSpot mobile is simple - just click the app you've downloaded from the App Store and have it take you to a new page in Safari. Then browse or search for the film you want (or take it from your saved collection). Then accept terms to rent the film if you so choose. By the way, checking out the free trailer doesn't hurt first, since it gives you a heads up on the quality of the video you'll be getting.

    Which looks pretty good all things considering on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Wi-Fi brings up the movie, in this case the far from recent Ferris Bueller's Day Off, in about 30 seconds and there wasn't any choppiness or audio mismatch of lips to words. You can pause and control the film as if it was downloaded into memory - but as it's a web page, should you lose the page or crash the Touch, you'll be starting the film again when you go back to it. You can move the film forward to where you left off, but do expect to have to wait as the film catches up before the streaming starts again. Still all this takes less time than it will for iPhone users working on a 3G network -- besides if you're at a Starbucks at least you'll be drinking something to keep you awake in case the film rented turns out to be a snorer.

    Ferris likes cars 

    Oh, audio sounded good too - in stereo and all and no hiss or crackles. Maybe that should be expected but it's good that it's there regardless.

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    When the Film Ends, Turn off the Touch

    One interesting thing is that the mSpot movie doesn't seem to choke up the Touch over time - I've played shorter lengths of video in Safari and had it muck up the Touch to the point where a shut down and restart was necessary. So I have to say that mSpot knows what they're doing - and they're lucky that Apple's device has the processing power and movie displaying moxie it does. For sure mSpot works on other mobile devices, but I'd give dollars to donuts that a Windows Mobile cell phone will blow off its owner's head before running a film all the way through without any problems. Hmm, let's not end on that note - how about this: you can load a Touch or iPhone up with movies to watch, but there's not a thing you can do if you suddenly find yourself wanting to watch a particular film on it when not at home. Well now you can.

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    Images Credit: Images provided by mSpot

*Please note - the author received 'given temporary membership to try out service for viewing movies' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.