Online video now easier to navigate

clicker

A website is offering what it’s billing as the TV Guide of online video. Clicker.com brings together links to around 400,000 TV episodes, 50,000 music videos and 30,000 movies in an easy-to-navigate directory.

The idea of the site is to bring together all forms of video so that you can find the content you are looking for without having to work out the best source. While video search engines already exist (such as Google Video), they generally only cover short clips. Clicker brings together such clips along with the full-length episodes from sites such as Hulu and NBC, plus content sold for streaming via Netflix and Amazon.

When I tried Clicker, I found it surprisingly useful. It does a good job of organizing results by source, which makes it much easier to find particular types of clips. It really does break down the barrier between “real TV shows” and online video content.

The most useful aspect is that the site includes video content which is exclusive to a website such as the network the TV show airs on or a page for the TV show itself. That’s timely given the growth in the number of TV shows which have exclusive additional content online these days. Another neat touch is that there are holder pages for shows which aren’t legally available online yet, which lets you know not to waste your time looking for official sources.

There are also additional services if you register for a free account, including creating a playlist and even setting up a Tivo-style season pass for future episodes from the same source.

Unfortunately for overseas viewers, the site does work much better if you are based in the United States. That’s because many of the videos indexed on Clicker, particularly full-length episodes, are on sites which are only available to US viewers. While it might prove a fair bit of work, it would be a very neat feature to be able to filter results to show whether or not they have regional restrictions. (It would be even neater if the guide had a built-in proxy server that allows you to bypass such restrictions, but I can see how that might not be a goer.)

Another feature which would be extremely useful would be the ability to filter results by length. This would be an easy way to find full-length episodes rather than the short preview clips that networks often put up on their own site or on YouTube.

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