VuClip: Mobile video search and playback for all
VuClip's spiel at Under the Radar: search and transcode video for any mobile phone with an Internet connection.
VuClip, a start-up presenting at Wednesday's Under the Radar Conference, has a simple concept, but a good one: start with any Internet-ready phone. Search for a video by keyword, then select the video from the list of returned results. VuClip transcodes the video on-the-fly for your specific phone--screen size, video format, bit rate, and so on.
Right now, two things set VuClip apart from competitors: the fact that it's designed to search for any video hosted on the Web, and that it focuses more on mass market Java phones than it does on high-end smartphones, unlike most of the content companies presenting this morning. To this end, VuClip has a native app for Java phones in addition to a mobile-optimized site you can navigate to from any phone with Internet.
In addition to searching with VuClip, you'll be able to browse by a few categories or narrow the search to a specific site by keying in the site's name before typing the search term.
I tried a quick search, and about three videos show up per page, which makes sense with screen size allowances, but which also makes navigating a bit time consuming. It's better to be specific and hope your keywords match up with your target video.
Part two of VuClip's plan is to sign up partners on the API; that will let any carrier or content provider use VuClip's service.
VuClip has harnessed about 17 million video views since launching in January 2008.