Weekend Webware: If you own an iPhone, bookmark vTap
Have an iPhone and want a better video solution than the YouTube app provides? Check out vTap.
Ben Wilson over at iPhone Atlas (one of our CNET sister sites) wrote a post earlier today about how Veveo's vTap service for the iPhone is "possibly the best iPhone Web app yet," citing its on the fly-encoding and killer UI as worthy reasons to use it over the iPhone's built-in YouTube application. The service searches videos from all over the Net and lets users watch them on the iPhone after converting them to an acceptable format on their own servers.
We checked out the Windows Mobile version of the app back in August, and since then the iPhone version seems to have been tightened up a bit. Loading videos is still unbearably slow over EDGE (which isn't vTap's problem), but if you're on a fast connection over Wi-Fi, it's really one of the best ways to view videos from all over the internet. Besides YouTube, you're getting videos from Google and MSN Video, Vimeo, the Weather Channel, Dailymotion, and a dozen of other sources.
There are two things that I think make the app really fantastic for iPhone owners. The first is that it will serve us abstracts from RSS feeds while you're waiting for a video to finish re-encoding. You can actually set up which feeds you want to see, including Newsvine, Yahoo Finance, Google News, or the latest publicly shared photos from Flickr. Clicking any of these feeds will take you right to the story or photo link while the video continues to encode. The second best part is that you can choose only to listen to the audio from a video clip, which means you can enjoy long, dialogue-heavy clips with your phone's screen off and in your pocket--which is super handy for enjoying shared lecture videos.