I added a d at the end of the title so you won't think I'm giving any invites away, cause I don't have any. I wonder when they'll remove that '0' and replace it with some nicer larger number so I can start referring people. Because it just feels great to get something like this delivered in your mailbox...
Actually that's not the message that dumped into my inbox, that's the one you see on the site after signing up, but that's not the point here. The point is that I finally got my Voddler invite! Yahoo! For those of you who don't know, Voddler is a site which offers a large database of movies for free viewing, legally. It's ad-based, but the amount of ads displayed isn't too large at all, currently there are only a few video ads in show before the movie, the movie itself plays without interruption. To watch movies you need an account, which after getting an invite just takes a few seconds to set up. After that you need to download the Voddler client, install it, and open it to start watching movies. The client consists of three separate programs, which don't take up much space, and are installed easily.
If you have a firewall (like an ordinary human individual should) you may run into some trouble as clearing the main Voddler programs for outbound access doesn't seem to be enough, evidently there's some other hidden scripts you don't know about that also need to access the net, so you basically need to disable all outbound protection, which isn't good at all if you're concerned about security. It can however be done pretty easily in Zone Alarm, the program I use, so I did so and tried launching the program again. Didn't work. Tried all sorts of things, but I had to reboot the whole system for it to start working. So the playing procedure isn't very smooth. In comparison to similar programs such as Joost (also free, sort of like an online TV client) this one sucks. The interface is also pretty crappy, and you can navigate only through your keyboard, there is no support for the mouse at all. You use the arrow keys and enter or escape to navigate through the menus, adjust screen settings, and play/pause/stop/forward-rewind movies. It takes some getting used to, but even when you have gotten used to it, it could have been a hell of a lot smoother with mouse support.
As for the movies, there's a lot of them, both older and newer movies. The movie quality is good, better than your average VCD (700MB avi), and there seems to be subtitles for all available movies as well... not that I've checked all of them, but the ones I did check had subtitles. The movies play without hacking (I'm on a 8MBit connection) and it's easy to browse through the movie database. The only feature I really miss is some kind of advanced search feature in which you can filter names/categories/years/etc. Otherwise this service offers a LOT of bang for no buck at all! They even have some exclusive pre-releases, which is more than even most paid services can offer. I said earlier that they are ad-financed, but they do have premium movies as well, which you have to pay to rent. None of the movies I tested (I watched one completely, started a few others to check quality/speed) were payable however and you can easily filter either Free or Premium movies, so you won't have to go through the annoying process in which you with high hopes and expectations open up a title you are willing to watch only to find that you can't do so ... without paying. It's a straightforward and easy to use service. The client itself could use some interface and functionality upgrades, but otherwise I love Voddler, come Friday I'll be sitting glued to the screen for at least three or four cinematical flicks in a row. It'll be a challenge withstanding the urge all through this week, but I have other things that need doing. :/