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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crackle app for iPhone and iPad delivers free movies and TV shows, if you don't mind the ads

The iPhone, iPad and latest iPod Touches are optimized for multimedia content. I'm a huge Netflix fan and in the Gadget Guy household we have four iPhones, an iPad, an Apple TV and four Macs. So we're constantly wrangling over the use of the Netflix account, which limits the number of attached devices.

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Recently I found a free app named Crackle, which lets you watch fairly-current, full-length movies and TV shows, for free! You can watch over WiFi or 3G and although you have to suffer through a few ads here and there, it works very well. Some recent featured movies include The Da Vinci Code, Big Daddy, and A Few Good Men. You'll also find some older classics, like Ghostbusters and the original Karate Kid. TV shows also are included, with a good selection of episodes from Seinfeld, Married with Children, Diff'rent Strokes, Sanford and Son and others.

mzl.wlskhblb.320x480-75.jpgThe app developers plan to add 20 new movies and TV shows a month and all of them are free with unlimited, on-demand viewing. You can even select movies and shows to store in a queue for future viewing. And if you stop a movie or show you can resume where you left off later. You also can watch on the Crackle web site.

The video quality is excellent and the ads are only about 20 seconds long. I watched a Seinfeld episode just now and only one ad played at the beginning of the episode. I stopped it to see if it would resume where I left off and when I did resume, another ad played but I think the whole episode would have played without another ad if I had not stopped. Some users described seeing ads every ten minutes but so far that has not been my experience.

Of course the one caveat is that streaming video uses a lot of data on your plan, so you should only use this on 3G if you have an unlimited data plan on your iOS device. Otherwise, you should use it with WiFi to save on data charges.

This is going to be a nice alternative when our Netflix account is tied up and also a nice complement to the content on Netflix.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 1:21pm]

    

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