iOS, Android app recommends videos based on your personality

5by suggests videos you may want to watch depending on how you answer a series of questions.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Looking for a cool video to watch online in under five minutes? A new mobile app tries to point the way.

Released this week for iOS and Android, 5by acts as your own personal video concierge service. The app starts by asking a series of questions to learn who you are. For example, would you rather bungee jump, take a trip to space, or go to the Super Bowl? Are your friends geeks, jocks, or weirdos? Is your dream vacation shredding the Rockies, exploring San Francisco, or attending Comic Con?

The app then offers you a choice of videos based on whether you want them to entertain you, blow you away, show your friends, or pass the time while sitting on the john. Pick the choice that strikes your current mood, or current position. Up pops a list of categories such as TV, movie clips, celebrities, electronics, tech savvy, and more. Tap your category of choice.

Finally, 5by asks how much time you have to watch the video and in return plays a clip it hopes you'll enjoy.

You can give the video a thumbs-up if you like it, which also helps 5by learn what to serve you in the future. I tapped on the tech-savvy category and told the app I had 10 minutes to watch. In return, it fed me a 10-minute video looking back at 30 years of the Mac, complete with Apple's famous 1984 TV spot.

I sometimes search for a quick video to catch while I'm eating breakfast or lunch or just taking a break from the day. For those moments, 5by definitely comes in handy. You can even use 5by's Web site to watch a video on a plain, old-fashioned computer.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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