Roadshow for iPad saves videos for offline viewing

The free version lets you download 15 clips from sites like Funny or Die and The Onion. Works great--but there's a catch.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
Roadshow saves videos to your iPad for offline viewing.
Roadshow saves videos to your iPad for offline viewing. Fetch Softworks

The laws of nature indicate that if there's no Internet connection, you can't watch streaming videos. Roadshow for iPad defies that law, downloading videos to your tablet for offline viewing.

This is exactly as awesome as it sounds--though let's get the bad news out of the way right now: Roadshow doesn't support YouTube (owing to Apple's App Store restrictions). So much for saving all your favorite cute kitten videos.

You can, however, pilfer clips from other sources, including CollegeHumor, Funny or Die, The Onion, and TED Talks. In fact, all four of these sites are conveniently bookmarked in Roadshow's built-in browser, which works more or less like Safari.

The difference is that when you load a page containing a compatible video, Roadshow pulls a thumbnail up to its "video shelf." Tap that thumbnail and the clip gets downloaded on the spot. It's all very quick and easy.

For any video you save, you have the option of not just watching it, but also viewing its source Web page, e-mailing it to a friend, and sharing it on Twitter.

The free version of Roadshow, which includes banner ads, limits you to 15 videos. If you want unlimited videos and freedom from ads, it'll cost you $4.99 (via an in-app upgrade).

Although it's disappointing that the app can't save videos from more sources (there's so much on YouTube I'd like to save), it's great with the sources it does support. If you want some video clips for the road, Roadshow lives up to its name.

While we're on the subject of streaming video, be sure to check out VLC for iPad, PBS for iPad, and Crackle for iOS.