Yesterday marked the long-awaited launch of the free Vevo app, bringing the online music video service’s entire library of more than 20,000 videos to the iPhone. Vevo has made a name for itself as an authority of official music videos from artists on YouTube, and also on its own site at Vevo.com for creating a seamless user experience for music video entertainment. But with the bar set so high for Vevo online, does the app disappoint on the mobile device?
Not really. Actually, the Vevo app is quite impressive, not to mention a ton of fun with little surprises around every corner.
Read the full review of the new Vevo app after the jump
Upon opening the app, you see a full-screen, rotating carousel of the top videos currently on Vevo. From here, you can tap to watch one of the videos, or proceed to one of the tabs at the bottom of the screen to see the video catalog, artist catalog, or view your playlists (we’ll get to that).
In the Videos tab, you can see a list of 10 videos, which, when you tap them, go directly to the stream, instead of a profile or intro page, as you do on YouTube (which can really slow up the process). You can sort this list of 10 videos by either the top viewed on Vevo, premieres, or new videos. The Artists tab is set up in the same way, but you can sort by top artists, new artists, or artists on tour.
One of the more interesting features under the More tab is “Nearby Videos.” The Vevo app will detect your location then show you a list of videos currently being watched in your area. Though I can’t say I was happy to see that my neighbors were all watching Justin Bieber videos, I can say the feature is clever and fun.
Creating playlists of your favorite music videos is also a breeze. After watching a video, you’re greeted with an exit page of the artist’s other videos, plus options to share or purchase the video. Here, you can ad it to a playlist (even if the playlist isn’t created yet). Instead of waiting for a new page to load, this works as a sort of pop-up, and it takes literally a few seconds. I was stoked that creating playlists would be this simple.
Aside from the usual extras that are included (sharing videos via Twitter or Facebook, links to iTunes to purchase videos), some of the perks come out of nowhere and make the entire app a really thorough experience. Though loading times for videos is nothing (five seconds, at most), Vevo throws out random music trivia facts while you’re waiting for your video to play. The wait doesn’t come close to that of YouTube’s. Also, the entire Vevo library will be on the app, and new videos added to Vevo will automatically transfer to the app. The app is truly an extension of the Vevo website, something you don’t see too often.
Recap & Conclusion
Released: Aug. 18
Our Grade: A
Though I experienced a few glitches with videos simply not playing and the app reverting back to the artist screen, as well as a complete crash of the app, the interface is mostly stellar (I blame Lady Gaga and my sluggish iPhone 3G with 4.0 software upgrades for these errors).
The truth is, YouTube on the iPhone is completely inadequate, especially for watching music videos. YouTube’s search engine isn’t always the smartest, so you can’t always find the official video you’re looking for. And, a major thing, it’s usually consistently slow as hell to load videos, and there are far too many steps to viewing a video. Vevo hops over these hurdles and throws in a few cherries on top to make the app an overall awesome experience.