EndlessTV app streams popular videos, Flipboard-style

A Flipboard for videos? That's kind of what you get from EndlessTV, which quickly serves up clips from your choice of channels.

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EndlessTV streams clip after clip of interesting stuff, all from channels you pick. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

EndlessTV (Android|iOS) is to video what Flipboard is to news sites and blogs: an app for quickly browsing and viewing the latest and greatest content.

I'll admit I had somewhat low expectations for this, as I expected it to sling a lot of clips I had little interest in watching from channels I'd probably never heard of.

Instead, EndlessTV lets you choose up to eight channels (I'm not sure why that limitation exists) from a variety of categories: Comedy, News, Sports, Tech, and so on. Within those categories you'll find everything from BuzzFeed to College Humor to MLB to NPR Music. In other words, good stuff.

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When you choose a channel, EndlessTV gives you a quick peek at what it's queuing up. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

But the app doesn't stream those channels live. Rather, it queues up new, popular, and/or trending clips. So if you tap, say, the Jimmy Fallon channel, you'll see a quick list of the first three vids you're going to see (usually from a recent episode), then the first one starts playing. With the MLB channel, you get highlights from recent games. Food Network: cooking demos, show clips, and the like.

This is a surprisingly addictive way to consume video. You watch something that's short and interesting, then move along to the next one. Don't like what you're seeing? One swipe to the left immediately starts the next one. You can also swipe up to bring up your channel guide, a quick and easy way to channel-hop.

When you tap the video that's currently playing, it pauses, bringing up a screen that's half ad and half info/tools. The info is basically a short description of what you're watching. The tools consists of rewind, share (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and mark-as-favorite.

What's missing is any kind of timer or scrub bar so you can see how much time is left in the video you're watching. I'd also like a little "up next" blurb so I know if I should swipe ahead -- though there's some fun in not knowing what'll play next.

EndlessTV is surprisingly fast at queuing up videos. Though I did encounter an occasional delay, for the most part I waited all of about five seconds for the first video to play (after selecting a channel), and the next one started in about two seconds. The overall experience just feels...fast.

Although ads appear when you pause playback, EndlessTV doesn't interrupt the flow of videos with commercials. And the app itself is free. It's an ideal companion when you have a few minutes of downtime, or there's simply nothing else on you want to watch.

 

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