Veveo Streaming

Veveo has taken the Web by storm. I know how “video” should be spelled, but I am talking about something else.

Veveo Inc. is a company that has just beta-launched its video searching vTap. This is a free service and is designed to enhance user experience on broadband enabled phones. The company claims that it has huge listings of Web videos — much more than any other video portal.

As everyone knows, although the latest smart phones come with big screens and have the capability of bringing video to life, finding a video that plays in a format compatible with the smart phone is a tough task, and most people give up because of the effort and time involved.

The main advantage of vTap lies in its ability to find videos even using phones and TVs. Although the videos on vTap are from several different sites and these online videos are in various formats that do not play on phones, Veveo converts the original video format into a format that can stream and play on a user’s particular phone.

This application is said to work on Windows Mobile, Nokia N-series, and many different handsets from manufacturers such as Sanyo, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, and Samsung. The fact that they also have a version that works on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch makes it very appealing to the younger generation.

One wonders how Veveo is able to provide this free service. They say they are looking into making profits from licensing this technology to content providers and hardware companies. Although this service can function on any data connection, in order to play videos that are smooth — without any breaks while waiting for data — it would be better to use either a Wi-Fi or 3G wireless service. This will ensure that users have an uninterrupted and enjoyable video watching experience.

Veveo is being hailed by analysts for its thoughtfulness in addressing a problem that needed a solution. They have given the phones what Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live have given desktops, with their special video search modes.

Things are totally different when it comes to phones, where these kinds of search tools were not available previously. It was a raw point with people. There was the excitement of having found something they wanted to watch, but that excitement evaporated, usually due to the video not being available in a format that was compatible with their particular handset.

Most Web videos are in Adobe Flash, which is not available on most handsets — even on BlackBerry, iPhone, and most of the Windows mobiles. To satisfy this need, people mostly rely on their wireless carriers, such as Sprint TV or Verizon V Cast, although they are expensive and do not provide many choices.

Even if someone is willing to manage with what is available on YouTube, the experience of browsing from a mobile is worse than using a computer. The iPhone does have a YouTube application that makes browsing and searching the site easier, but it only allows access to very few videos.

Veveo manages to overcome this using a process that takes video from the Web and converts it to a format that will work with the player installed on the handheld device.

In order to get vTap on a phone, the user needs to sign up at the Veveo website first. Veveo then sends a mobile text message with the link. Once that link is clicked, the software is downloaded and installed on the handheld. After vTap is loaded, the user needs to enter their desired search term to get a list of related videos.

There is also a wonderful option to turn any search into a feed, which means videos related to that search will automatically show up in a list when they become available. There are also other pre-programmed channels available such as sports, entertainment (TV show clips and movie trailers,) and news content.

The only limitation is that since vTap reformats videos retrieved from other sites, it cannot do this with sites that block Veveo from reformatting its content. If a site requires some other proprietary player to be installed, vTap will not work on that site.

The advantages of Veveo far outweigh the limitations, and the next thing that Veveo intends to do is to embed its technology in Internet-connected TVs and other gadgets. This may be viable at a later point in time but for now, for people who would like to give mobile video a try, vTap is certainly worth a try.