Qello is an HD video streaming service that focuses on concert movies and biographical films about musicians and bands. The company offers two Android apps: one for smartphones and another for tablets. Both apps are available as free downloads allowing you browse the concert listings and watch preview clips, but if you want to actually watch an entire film you’ll have to pay for a rental.
The smartphone app offers 7 day rentals for $2.99 per film or $4.99 for a 30-day rental, while the tablet app only offers 30-day rentals.
Odds are if you like music of nearly any genre you’ll find a few films worth checking out. Qello offers a bit of everything, with artists as diverse as the BeeGees, Run DMC, Diana Krall, and Nirvana.
I took Qello for Tablets for a spin this morning and while I’m not sure whether I’d pay $5 to watch a 90 minute concert film on a 10 inch tablet, I have to say the polished look and feel of the app make the prospect a little tempting. The app is worth checking out even if you don’t plan to spend any money since most of the free clips show full-length songs.
The home screen features a slideshow with a dozen featured films at the top. Under that you’ll find lists of the most popular movies, recently added films, and classic albums.
When you click the Browse Catalog tab you get an alphabetical list of available movies with large thumbnail icons, artist names, and film lengths. There doesnt’ appear to be a search feature, but you can filter by genre or decade, or click the Artist button at the bottom of hte screen to jump to a certain part of the alphabet.
The default view features a 2D layout — but you can also click a 3D button to view a Cover Flow-style list of films which you can sift through by flicking your finger to the right or left. It’s actually a much less effective way to browse the catalog, but it’s purty.
Qello also offers a timeline view which lets you check out movies from the 60s through the present. Note that what you’ll find are concerts and films that were produced during that decade — not necessarily artists from the era. For instance, a documentary on The Doors shows up in the 2010-Present section.
When you click on any film you get a description, track listing, and video window. You can tap the video to bring up controls allowing you to play or pause, adjust your position on a timeline, or maximize the window.
Video quality is pretty good. Qello says the videos are high definition, but even on a fast internet connection I noticed a bit of pixelation when watching full-screen clips. If you position the tablet a few feet away from your face you probably won’t notice though.
Overall Qello has put together a pretty compelling offering for music fans… if you find the idea of watching full-length convert films on your 10 inch Honeycomb tablet compelling.