There comes a time at least once or twice a week where I've got to show a friend or colleague a video clip while away from a computer. To that end, a speedy mobile video search tool can help me get to the clip I need without having to jump through a whole lot of hoops.
This past weekend I spent some time with Avot mV--a relatively new mobile video search service that's reminiscent of Veveo's vtap (coverage 1,2). Both are setup to pull in video from a variety of sources, and both have a search engine that shows results as you type. While Avot mV has a Web portal, users with smart phones are able to install a local app that can load the videos without jettisoning you off your browser. To add to that, the Web version has been optimized for iPhone users, who will find the interface similar to the built-in YouTube application, with top level navigation, and tools to bookmark and share content with others.
The real draw to Avot mV is its presentation. The service employs a small array of video thumbnails to give you a brief overview of content, and clicking on any of them will give you information like source, runtime, and user ratings to help you decide whether or not you want to play it. There's also a great categories section with thumbnails, that's especially good for comedy clips, and footage from various political debates from earlier this year.
Unlike vtap, most of the content from Avot mV seems to be prefetched, as it loads up almost right away without any kind of re-encoding. The result is high speed and quality, as long as you're using your phone's Wi-Fi, or have a 3G data connection. EDGE users will have to tolerate a noticeably less speedy experience, although both the Web and local versions have a pretty decent cache setup that will remember the last few screens you were on enough not to have to reload the thumbnails.
So considering the two services are so similar, which one takes the cake for search? Unfortunately for Avot, vtap came out on top with some head-to-head testing. While Avot was able to find some really popular viral videos I plugged in, more obscure Web startup names and video titles didn't seem to be in Avot's index--which is something you could blame on the amount of sources it's working from. Regardless, I think Avot mV is worth bookmarking or installing on your phone if you're the type of person who's looking for a quick fix, as Avot's speed is truly impressive. If you're interested in giving the service a spin, there's a live embedded demo over at Avot's main page.