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Sony recently added to the parade of streaming video apps in the App Store with its free entry called Crackle. Crackle has access to many Sony-owned TV shows and movies. For example, there are some episodes of "Seinfeld" available, as well as the entire one season of "The Tick" (I always loved that comic and the show). Some programs have "minisodes" which are clips from the show. Some movies only have trailers, but others are complete, full-length movies. Some of the movies include "Dr. Strangelove," "Easy Rider," "The Da Vinci Code," and "Ghostbusters."

I used it with both 3G and WiFi and didn't notice many problems. Video quality was good in both cases. 2 hours into one movie the program crashed – but fortunately, you can drag across a timeline that appears at the bottom of the screen if you tap, and then drag to where you want to go. If you exit the program normally, it does remember where you left off in your last video and will take you back there.

Now, nothing in life is free – there are ads – or should I say, "ad," because in a week I've only seen one (over and over again, cut differently, but just one, for a game that's not even available yet). The ad will play at the beginning of your video (no matter where you start) and then in a few spots during the program the app will pause and play another (or another version of the same one). None of them were more than 15-20 seconds, so it's a small price to pay for free video.

Not into ads? If the program is available in the iTunes store, you'll get a link to it – so if you'd prefer to pay up and avoid the ads, you can.

Keep in mind you can only stream video, not download and save it for later, so you won't be using this on a non-wifi equipped plane, or on the road in your vehicle without 3G data (and if you don't have an unlimited plan, you'll want to watch your usage).

The video looks great on the ipad – I haven't tried it on the iPhone, but the same app works there too. For the minor ad annoyance it's certainly worth it for free content, and since it's all streaming, it won't eat up any space (other than the app itself) on your device.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6FfjlxZLTk

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  • Jeff

    There is a bug in the current version that once you allow Crackle access to Location Services it remains on indefinitely, which will ultimately drain your battery much faster. The only way to currently turn off Location Services for Crackle once you have given it access is to go into Settings and turn off Location Services for the app. Quitting the app, closing it, or rebooting your iOS device will not turn location services off within the Crackle app…

    http://www.9to5mac.com/62777/sonys-crackle-bug-leaves-location-services-on-in-ios/

    JEFF

  • Jeff,

    Thanks for that. I didn’t give it permission as I didn’t see why I would want to. Maybe I’d get a different advertisement! Otherwise, why would a player like this need to know where I am?