Videos add spice to our Internetverse. They bring the otherwise tech averse crowd into the amazing world that is Internet. From cute puppies to comprehensive tutorials, there is something that suits every person’s taste. Every single minute, tens of thousands of videos are uploaded to popular video sharing sites.
Videos aren’t as monetizable as written content, but that fact isn’t stopping anyone from uploading them either. This sheer volume of videos added everyday makes it impossible for us to discover stuff to watch from a single video sharing site, let alone checking out a few in one go. What we need is an app to filter the noise and find the content worth watching. Could Plizy be the one?
Plizy is a free download from the App Store and you can get started instantly by using their guest mode. It’s mighty nice of the developers not forcing users to sign up before exploring the app. The guest mode doesn’t restrict using Plizy to the fullest, but signing up for an account does come with perks like a browser bookmarklet, downloads for offline watching etc.
A quick deck taking the user through the features of the app makes for a thoughtful addition. Frankly, Plizy isn’t very hard to understand or use. Still, there are enough pointers and tips to make the lives of a non-savvy tablet user a whole lot easier.
Channels in Plizy are a convenient way to group content together. For instance, you can have a bunch of video streams under sports, news, or comedy channels. This way, you don’t have to deal with a mess of videos, which is why we are using an app like Plizy in the first place! You can start editing existing channels or create new ones by clicking on the settings icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
There already are a few channels with video streams selected from a number of video sharing networks and content libraries. Right from the name of the channel to the order of arrangement, every aspect of it is customizable. Channels can be reorganized with a simple drag and drop.
Adding Content to Channels
The number of available sources for video is staggering. From media giants to niche networks, if there are videos in a site, then there is a very good chance you will find it here in the library. I loved the neat organization and the comprehensive selection of categories.
Selecting and removing sources can be done with a single click of the button.
I was half expecting the app to make my head spin with some crazy UI elements, but thankfully the interface was completely uncomplicated. Videos are hidden behind their respective categories and you have dedicated sections for accessing Facebook and Twitter too (you can add login credentials or delete them altogether from the Settings screen).
Tapping on a category takes you to the lead story in the player. The developers have gone wild with their imagination and have made sure you have access to every single option that will make watching videos fun. Need to like, share, or move to the next video in the queue, the icons to the right of the screen are there at your disposal to do just that.
Planning to go back to the categories, or want to see all the videos in the channel? You can find the options for those to the left of the screen. Upcoming videos in the queue are previewed at the bottom and you can swipe horizontally to go back and forth.
For those who aren’t fans of seeing only a limited version of the playlist, the Mosaic feature will be an absolute delight. The Mosaic screen displays all the available videos in the particular channel and you can scroll up and down to your heart’s content before choosing one to watch.
All videos are tagged with the logo of the source to help you better identify the channels that produce content that you either like or dislike. Surprisingly, Plizy lets you add sources to a channel from the mosaic screen too, without restricting you to the Settings screen. Not many apps allow this level of flexibility. Kudos!
Right now, you won’t be able to sort videos based on their freshness or any other similar metric. Making the search box available in the mosaic screen is a much needed feature too.
Plizy is convenient, powerful and fun to use. The hard work of the team is evident from the packed to brim feature set. In future, it would be great to discover videos based on their quality. Some sort of filter to separate high def videos and standard definition videos would make for a killer addition.
I wish Plizy was a little more polished. The user interface is very usable and doesn’t have a lot of frills, but is definitely not very pleasant to look at. Instead of doing wonders, the dark color scheme adds a bit of gloominess to the app. The eye candy that iOS is now legendary for is missing. But, considering the fact that the app is feature complete, it shouldn’t take a whole lot of time to make it gorgeous in the upcoming versions!