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First Look: As Standalone

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First take on It works, at least in the small scale of a private beta. The site itself is uncluttered and easy to follow. The video loads cleanly although it’s a little choppy at times on replay, possibly because of my connection via a wireless router over a hotel network. It’s fairly easy to find the right shows and movies. I went straight to The Blues Brothers through the search, started to watch following a brief ad and a piracy warning, and was able to quickly speed through to specific scenes — without commercial interruption. Selecting video to embed was a simple matter of sliding a rule but it’s very difficult to be precise; it would be nice to have the option of entering specific times to start and stop. As I mentioned in our initial launch coverage of the News Corp.-NBCU joint venture, even though the beta is private, anyone can watch the video.

Some notes:

— The related video for The Blues Brothers included four episodes of Hill Street Blues and one John Belushi clip from Saturday Night Live.

— RealPlayer’s video download option is blocked.

— Once detached,the Flash-based player can be resized by dragging. But popping out also removes access to the tools.

Kilar put a heavy focus on the user experience and it shows — again, within the context of a private beta of a site that still has a lot of growing to do.

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