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Free PBS app streams kid vids to iPad

If you have little kids, you'll love PBS KIDS Video: The app streams clips from over a dozen shows. It's kid-friendly and priced right: free!

PBS KIDS Video for iPad.
PBS KIDS Video for iPad.

When the PBS for iPad app debuted last year, I bemoaned the lack of any PBS KIDS content (other than previews).

Well, I will bemoan no more: PBS Kids Video for iPad is a brand new app that streams--you guessed it--video for kids. Specifically, it serves up over 1,000 clips from shows like "Arthur," "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That," and my personal favorite, "Word Girl."

Yes, unfortunately, I did say clips. The app doesn't offer full-length episodes, but rather a whole mess of snippets--most of which run 1-2 minutes. There are a few lengthier segments mixed in, usually running 11-12 minutes, but the majority are shorts.

I'll admit I find that disappointing, but I doubt kids will. Instead, they'll likely go ape for the app, which is a breeze to use and admirably kid-friendly in its design.

Indeed, when you first start PBS Kids Video, it immediately begins playing a video. A scrolling picture-bar on the right lets kids choose a show just by tapping the image from, say, "Arthur" or "The Cat in the Hat." And swiping the Browse tool pulls out a list of available clips for that show.

Parents can pull out an info bar that lists TV times, show info, and an option to buy the full episode in iTunes. I tested the app over a Wi-Fi network (it also supports 3G), and the videos consistently started quickly and played smoothly.

In short, PBS Kids Video rocks. No doubt it would be better with full episodes, but it's still a must-have app for parents of younger kids.