Video host Vimeo on Wednesday is launching support for users on iPhone/iPod Touch and Google Android devices. The company has re-encoded the entirety of its staff picks and HD video showcase, both of which are the most heavily trafficked areas of the site from Vimeo's members, and referrers like Twitter.
"We've been working on it for the last few weeks," Blake Whitman, Vimeo's director of community told CNET News. "This is sort of the prelude of offering Plus members iPhone support; and in the future, an app," he said. In the meantime, the only member videos that get chosen to get the mobile encoding treatment are those that get picked by the site's editors. "In the future, like the next several weeks--maybe longer, we'll be offering Plus users the option to transcode their videos to an iPhone version too." Whitman says those special encodes could end up as a download option alongside the links to the source file, letting users save a copy that could be played back offline.
Even with the change, Vimeo continues to face stiff competition from Google-owned YouTube, which automatically encodes an iPhone-friendly version of any video that's uploaded. The popular video-sharing service has also re-encoded most of its back catalog to make its videos playable on it, and other mobile devices that don't run Adobe's Flash player. That said, YouTube had a leg up on many of its competitors (Vimeo included) by being built into the phone's OS.
The new feature, and mobile-friendly version of the site should be live right now. Whitman says that those on iPhones/iPods and Android devices will see a special mobile version of any video page for those that have been re-encoded, however some videos that work on iPhones and iPods may not work on Android right out of the gate.