Rip and convert videos quickly and easily with Mux.
Josh LowensohnFormer Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
I'm always on the lookout for simple ways to manage video on the Web. One of them, called Mux has been getting some buzz lately for taking advantage of both Amazon's EC2 and S3 Web services to store data and do the crunching at the same time. Mux uses the two services together to serves as a video ripper and converter, letting you grab videos off a small handful of popular sites and save them locally or send them to your mobile phone. It'll also take any file on your computer and convert it without the need for software or CPU cycles.
Apple's iPhone users also get a treat, as Mux is setup to convert Flash videos on the fly to make them playable on the device. The only caveat is that you have to enter the URL in the mobile application, which would be a whole heck of a lot easier if the iPhone had a way to copy and paste. I tried it out on a few videos from around the Web and had mixed results. A surprising amount of video sites have done as much as possible to support mobile phones without Flash, including CollegeHumor, Break, and Dailymotion. However, those that don't work without Flash on cell phones, such as Vimeo and MySpace, simply crashed the converter.
Another reason Mux is useful is for the folks who don't want to have to plug in their phones to a computer to sync their media. You can simply send entire Web clips over to your phone using SMS. As long as you've got a data plan you can access the link anytime you want to watch or download the full video. It's very handy.