Qvivo is a name already known for their beautifully designed desktop app. The Mac/Windows app has been out for a while and allows users to compile all of their media into impeccably designed libraries. The app makes for simple and attractive media consumption. Qvivo has capitalized on the success of their desktop software over the past year, releasing a web app, iOS apps and a cloud syncing service.
In this article I’ll take a much closer look at the features of their web app. I’ll also investigate their cloud service and try out their other apps to see how well they all integrate. It seems like a pretty interesting app/service so stick with me after the jump to learn more about Qvivo and how well it works.
So let’s get signed up for the app before anything else. I really wanted to like the app from the get-go, but Qvivo immediately did something that rubbed me the wrong way. You can only sign up with Facebook! No email, no other services. This has always been a pet peeve of mine, but after quitting Facebook a few months ago it was especially detrimental. Luckily, I have a Facebook account I use just to test apps so I signed up with that. After signing in, you’re taken to the main screen where you can see what Qvivo has to offer – primarily the 3 basic libraries for music, movies and TV shows.
Once you’re logged on, it’s time to start adding media. If you want to stick to just the web app, you can simply drag and drop in files. The other option, which I chose, is to utilize their free desktop app. If you use the app you just select folders to add to your library. Any media in your desktop library is automatically synced with the web app.
Once you sync your media, it’s all available to peruse within the web app. All albums, movies and tv shows are shown in their respective libraries.
So you’ve got everything uploaded. I suppose you probably want to listen to some music or watch a movie now? Unfortunately .. You’ll have to pay for it. Luckily, it’s next to nothing. The desktop app is free and will alway be free. For $1.99/month, you get an unlimited amount of storage and access to your library on the web and via the desktop app. For $2.99/month, you get the same thing plus unlimited access to your libraries via the mobile apps (currently available for iPhone and iPad). It’s not a lot to pay for unlimited cloud storage for all of your media, especially given that a movie alone can be 8 GB or more if it’s Blu-Ray.
Once you’ve signed up for a paid account, make sure your stuff is actually synced to the cloud. It doesn’t happen automatically, but you can click the cloud button from album/show/movie view and Qvivo will sync the whole thing to the cloud. It takes quite a while, given that Qvivo has to upload everything from your cloud, but it’s well worth it.
So everything is uploaded and synced. Now we can finally kick back and relax and check out everything we’ve uploaded. To find what you’re looking for you can search the library or just go to the overview screen and find what you want. Playback is simple and fast, exactly what I had hoped.
One of the coolest parts of Qvivo is how well designed the libraries are. On top of the great design, Qvivo uses your upload to integrate a bunch of other information. My TV library, for example, has a season of Modern Family in it. When I click on Modern Family, I’m taken to a screen where I see the episodes, information about the show, people in the show, images, trailers and more. It’s a great deal of information that isn’t typically found in a media library, so the integration is great.
You can also access the library for playback and consumption via the iOS apps. I tried out both, and they were ok. Having access to movies/TV without taking up valuable storage space was nice. You can also sync so things are available offline if you won’t have consistent web access. The music playback was ok, but the app would periodically stop playing music for seemingly no reason. All in all, the apps were just decent I thought.
Worth the Money?
So the question is, should you pay money and subscribe to Qvivo’s service? Let’s take a look at some of the best/worst things about the app. First, the good. The design is fantastic – the libraries look beautiful and it’s definitely an app you won’t mind using. Occasionally some of the buttons are a bit confusing, but the design is pretty great overall. The stuff added into the libraries is also helpful. It’s nice to have a bunch of info about whatever you’re looking at right in the app. No need to search elsewhere.
I also think their cloud service is a pretty decent deal. Just 2 bucks a month and I can upload an unlimited amount of stuff? I’m sold. I spend too much money buying hard storage space for movies and TV. The ability to sync and store my entire library for so little is fantastic.
There’s also some bad to the app. The sync can be a bit troublesome. Things don’t sync and you don’t realize it, sync buttons are hard to find and so on. It requires some extra vigilance to make sure everything is where you need it to be, but it’s really not a huge deal.
Though this isn’t the space to truly complain about the mobile apps, I do wish they were better. If you’re going to pay for the cloud service, having nicely functioning mobile apps would be nice. Hopefully they improve over time. Though I ranted about it earlier, the Facebook only log-in really kills me. If they fix only one thing, I hope that’s it. All in all, it’s a solid, well-designed, affordable app. If you are contemplating any sort of cloud service for your media, I definitely recommend checking out Qvivo.
What do you think about the service? Would you use it? Do you use it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.