In the future, your media library will reside in the cloud, and you will be able to access your videos and movies on your computer, on your smartphone or other device, anywhere you are.
Qvivo is a software platform that aims to make that a reality right now, letting you upload any media file to the cloud on demand, and providing software for your PC, Mac, iPhone, a web-based app (and soon Android and iPad) that will let you upload, download, and interact with your media files across multiple platforms and devices.
The desktop version of Qvivo is a stylish media player and organizer that can hold it’s own alongside the best in it’s genre. The Qvivo free plan comes with 10 megs of free cloud storage.
The verdict: I am going to rearrange my review to tell you my ‘verdict’ first thing. I like this software, but I do not see it getting traction, because (a) the idea of uploading massive video files first and then downloading them on my device is very time and bandwidth consuming and very unappealing to me; I’d rather simply move them straight to the iPhone, (b) it lacks a simple wireless video streaming functionality, such as provided by the (free) AirplayIt, and which most smartphone users want badly, and (c) with the need for massive cloud storage to store media files, these guys are in competition with established cloud storage services such Dropbox, Box, or Skydrive. Whether they will be able to grant the same amounts of free storage as these, or compete with them on price and service remains to be seen.
On the other hand, the apps themselves are simply terrific (I tested the PC, iPhone and Web versions). Qvivo is definitely worth using as a media player/manager even if you are uninterested in uploading your files to the cloud or watching on a device.
The desktop media player will play any media file on your hard drive. The interface is divided into different sections for movies, TV shows, music, playlists and a search function, and looks very cool. Qvivo media player scans your media libraries and downloads artwork and information off the internet, including such details as genre, running time, director, classification, release date, etc, and will let you filter and/or search using the applicable information or criteria. It even supposedly provides movie trailers and auto downloading of subtitles, but in my testing of the software I have seen neither one of these.
I’ve seen many ‘media management’ programs of this sort and they are always variable in terms of what movies/shows they identify correctly, and what they don’t. Qvivo does only an average job in identifying videos I’m afraid; it will identify some files incorrectly and others not at all, so you will need to go in and fix a lot of things manually (which, strangely, is done via the web app and therefore requires that you be online). It can also monitor user-specified folders for changes, such that your library will be automatically updated. But where it shines is in the user experience: it is stylish and snazzy and extremely visually appealing, especially in terms of displaying a lot of visuals/backgrounds that are related to your videos. But it is somewhat buggy (e.g. it insists that there are ‘no TV shows found’ on my PC even when both the web and iPhone apps list a handful of them).
The iPhone version is quite nice, and looks great. If your PC at home is online, you could remotely request to upload selected videos to the cloud, and then stream them on the device, which (in theory) is nice.
I would have liked the ability to stream videos directly to my device from a WIFI enabled PC that is in range (for the free version), which would have made it a lot more likely that I continue using the entire software platform. If you want this sort of thing check out AirplayIt, mentioned above, though I believe there are other free options out there as well.
The web app is excellent and very well constructed. This is where a lot of the manual management of your library is done, which is not really ideal in that it unnecessarily forces you to be online to perform this task.
Social integration: lets you create a profile for each user on your computer, and connected to their Facebook and Twitter. I assume this is such that people will pivot from consuming their media to having a discussion about it online, which to me seems totally redundant but who am I to say.
The difference between free and paid versions: the free plan comes with 10 gigs of cloud storage (although they currently seem to be providing unlimited cloud uploads to new users, though I believe it is a time limited trial).
Watch the Qvivo promo trailer below:
My advice: try it out. if nothing else Qvivo deserves credit for being such an ambitious project and for the excellent user experience it provides. It is very much in it’s infancy though, and I hope that the people behind it will play their cards correctly and continue to make this software better.
[Thanks for user Panzer for the tip about Qvivo]
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, iPhone; soon to be available on iPad and Android.
Go here to get it. (~74 megs for the Windows version).