Can't live without access to YouTube's collection of hilarious
user-generated content, but have Real World commitments that drag you away from your desk? Fear not; the video-streaming giant has now launched a version especially for use on mobile phones.
Accessible via http://m.youtube.com
, the site currently only supports certain 3G handsets that have the ability to stream .3GP video content Which means it's really nothing more than the standard YouTube site with a smaller interface and RTSP instead of Flash for the video streaming.
The company has announced that a Java-based applet which will allow more basic phones to stream their little hearts out is under development, though they haven't yet offered a timescale on when such a thing might be released.
The first time you access the site you'll receive a sternly worded warning that “YouTube Mobile is a data intensive application
”, and the suggestion that “you upgrade to an unlimited data plan with your mobile service provider to avoid additional charges
.” Let's face it, with the per-kilobyte charging of some non-data-specific tariffs it's good advice.
If you're on an all-you-can-eat data plan and have a phone capable of running RTSP streams in the browser it's certainly worth checking out, but I can't help but feel that it's destined to be no more than a passing phase. After all, how often are you out and about and think to yourself “if only I had access to a video of a dog eating balloons right now
Do you think it's a brave new world of always-connected video streamery, or is it just another step in YouTube's long, long
road to profitability? Share your thoughts over in the forums
and share your favourite viral videos.