Review: DivX Stash stores Web videos for mobile viewing

At a Glance
  • Rovi DivX Stash

    PCWorld Rating

    DivX Stash is a free tool that lets you stash Web videos for viewing at a later time, but its mobile app stumbles with Hulu.

Keeping track of all the online videos you want to watch can be a challenge...especially if you're not always in front of your PC. Sometimes, you see a video while you're on your computer, but you just can't remember what or where it is by the time you launch the browser on your smartphone. Enter DivX Stash, introduced at Mobile World Congress. This free service helps you create a queue of videos that you can watch later, either on your PC or mobile device. It's a very handy tool, and one that works well—most of the time.

Once the browser add-on is installed, you'll see a "Stash It" button appear on compatible video sites.

To use DivX Stash, you start on your browser, preferably on a PC or Mac. You must log in with your Facebook account and install the browser extension or add-on to Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. You then surf the Web as usual. When you come across a video on a DivX Stash-supported site (including YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, Funny or Die, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, College Humor, and more) , you'll see a button underneath the video that says "Stash It." Clicking this adds the video to your Stash, which you can access via the Web on your computer or via mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. I tested it on my iPhone and iPad.

From your Stash, you can click a video title and watch the video within the DivX Stash interface. DivX Stash doesn’t download and store the videos offline. It simply stores the video URL and brings it up within its own app. That means you'll need an active data connection if you're using a smartphone or tablet, and spotty service will greatly impact the quality of the video you see.

In addition to the videos you stash, DivX Stash also creates a feed of all the videos found in your Facebook feed. These are all of the videos posted by your friends and made available to you on Facebook. It's nice to have them all in one scannable list, but it's unfortunate that you cannot search the list to find a specific video you may have seen. Instead, you have to scroll through the videos, which appear with those most recently posted near the top, to find what you're looking for.

That's a minor glitch, though. What's more unfortunate is the problem I had watching videos I'd stashed from Hulu. They played back fine on my PC, but when I tried to access them using the DivX Stash app on an iPhone, I was unable to do so, and saw only an error message that the video was not available on mobile devices. The folks at Rovi Corporation say this is due to the nature of Hulu and the fact that some of their videos are only available to paid users. I was unable to watch any video from Hulu on my iPhone, though, even content that was freely available on my PC. In future versions, the DivX Stash app should direct users to the Hulu Plus app, which will allow them to watch Hulu content on their mobile phone, the company says. But that will only help users who've paid for access to Hulu Plus.

Videos that you add to your Stash are automatically added to the list that appears on your mobile phone.

While DivX Stash can't offer an easy—or free—way to watch Hulu content on your smartphone, it does offer easy access to plenty of free video sources. If you're an online video junkie looking to go mobile, DivX Stash could be your new best friend.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you must log in to use the software.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    DivX Stash is a free tool that lets you stash Web videos for viewing at a later time, but its mobile app stumbles with Hulu.

    Pros

    • Free
    • Neatly organized
    • Offers access to lots of sites

    Cons

    • Hulu content can't be viewed on mobile devices
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