Doesn’t everybody need two movie viewers? A full-blown movie manager is exactly what the doctor ordered for organizing your precious home movies, clips downloaded from the web, and so on. But then, there are times when you just want to have a quick look at a movie — without having to import it into your movie manager’s database first and worrying about how to get rid of it afterwards.

Guess what? You can have both in one application.

I meant to write about yFlicks (15€) when it first came out but never got round to it, primarily because when I first looked at the application I couldn’t really see the point of it, or that I would use it. I certainly couldn’t see what all the fuss was about so I thought it only fair to give it some more time and see how i got on with it.

A month or so in and I still have pretty much the same thoughts. I am not a large viewer of YouTube type sites, but when I do I see it very much as a ‘killing time’ activity. I have no desire at all to download any of them for prosperity. Maybe I am alone in this but I see them very much as a transient activity. Sure from time to time something may come along that I fancy keeping but it is easy enough to download stuff and save it somewhere.

I have heard yFlicks described as iTunes for your video, but why? iTunes seems to work perfectly well for me! I have all my movies added to the library, I have rated them and given them Genre’s so I can create pretty much any type of Smart Album that I want.

I think that may be the real issue as far as I am concerned. It is hard to find fault with yFlicks. It does a good job, does it well and looks pretty nice. I wouldn’t say the User Interface was particularly creative and it is nothing like iTunes in terms of its options. At the same time though it is hard to find a reason to actually use it as what it adds in value over and above what I can already do and already want to do is very limited.

To be perfectly honest I forgot that I had got it, which says pretty much everything about the lack of need that I had for it, and I suspect that many people will use it and like it initially but after that it will slowly gather dust in the dock.

What They Say

Just Watch

Firmly based on Mac OS X’s QuickTime Framework, yFlicks can play any movie format the QuickTime Player can play. And yFlicks is much less obtrusive if you just want a small window showing a movie — instead of the QuickTime Player’s massive “brushed metal” surface.

Please Remain Seated

Don’t you just hate it when you have to get up to tinker with your player’s settings while watching a movie in full-screen mode? yFlicks comes with full support for the Apple Remote. And that doesn’t just mean play/pause and the likes. You can also access all of your library via remote control — just hit the “Menu” button.

First Glance

Sometimes, a static preview image just doesn’t ring a bell. That’s why yFlicks starts playing the movie your mouse hovers over automatically; and you don’t have to open the movie first, then play, wait a while, stop, close it, and go to the next movie. Just move your mouse to the next movie’s preview image, and that movie will start playing.

Spin Me Around

So you’ve shot a video with your digital camera in upright format. Now you’re trying to watch it, and it’s shown sideways. Duh. But never mind — with yFlicks, a perfectly oriented movie is just one click away.

You’ll Love the Interface

Beauty isn’t just an end in itself. Whenever you find yourself playing around with something because you like the way it works, it really just goes to show that as far as user interface design is concerned, beauty is nothing more than a sign of intuitive, non-obtrusive handling. We strongly believe that the beauty that lies in yFlicks will meet your eye. And by the way: If yFlicks loves you, too, its main window will be full of hearts for you (see the “Appearance” preferences).

Stay Organized

Quite similarly to Apple’s iApplications, yFlicks not only lets you arrange movies in groups; you can also have yFlicks reflect any change to your library on the file system level — keeping your movies folder nice and tidy on the fly. Moreover, “smart groups” let you filter your library’s contents by criteria such as rating or date.

Finders Keepers

If you’re like us, you don’t just want to watch web clips online. If they made you smile, you’re inclined to keep them. So it’s a good thing that yFlicks supports downloading from video communities such as YouTube, Google Video, DailyMotion, CollegeHumor, MyVideo, SevenLoad, and ClipFish. And it couldn’t be easier: yFlicks can add a button to your browser’s toolbar, which then triggers a download to your library whenever you’re on one of those communities’ video pages. (Playback requires the excellent free Perian codec.) Or do it the Mac way via Drag & Drop directly from your browser window to the yFlicks library. And you can even export downloaded movies to other movie formats — e.g., for viewing them on your iPod.

Non-Stop Fun

Every group in your library doubles as a playlist: Just set a sorting order or shuffle the movies for any given group, then lean back and watch yFlicks play them consecutively.

Clever Enough to Forget

yFlicks doesn’t permanently add each and every movie you watch to its library. Rather, movies that are opened via double-click are added to a special section of your library that gets cleared each time you quit yFlicks. If you want to keep them, just drag them to somewhere else in your library.


10 thoughts on “yFlicks

  1. Danny

    I agree Chris, I dont really see what yFlicks accomplishes that iTunes doesnt.
    However, unlike you, I thought the interface was terrible. It was pretty, but not functional at all and incredibly slow… I was on a macbook, but that is no excuse!

  2. Mac Sokulski

    The only problem with iTunes and Front Row, is that there is no support for Video playlists. There is no way to play a list of Music Videos continuously. It’s all played 1 by 1, which is a bit frustrating. Looks like this program will allow you to do it. Will have to test it.

  3. Mac Sokulski

    They are all different music videos, and I mean artist, resolution, sound, etc.
    So I don’t want to create one big movie (even if it has chapters), because let say I wanted to watch one, and not the rest…. you can see the frustration now…..
    I don’t know if the video playlist is a limitation of iTunes or Front Row. I just hope that the next big cat will solve the issue.

  4. Mac Sokulski

    Well finally got my Apple Tv, and now all I need is iTunes. I must say, this thing beats anything so far. Spent a lot of time moving things around, about 12000 pictures same with songs and well over 800 movies, and tv shows. I know I know I must start trimming things down, but I don’t have the hart.
    After all this I must say that I’m really happy with the arrangement, and the Apple Tv is here to stay.

  5. Chris Marshall Post author

    I love a guy that changes his mind 🙂 Am interested that you rate it, maybe one day ………. I do have nearly all my movies in AppleTV format now!

  6. Mac Sokulski

    The AppleTv was purely from a technical standpoint. My bosses wife has Mac-accessorized their house, with 5 24″ imacs, 2 mac minis, and 2 appletvs. So I had to get one to know how to set one up, and configure it. Well after getting one and seeing the difference in the interface compared to Front Row, it just had to stay in the house. Also lack of info on how the new Leopard Front Row behaves, forced me into this decision. I believe someone was going to look at it and report, but I guess they busy with other more important things… like running, blogging etc. 🙂
    So is AppleTv impressive? Yes very much so. I thought I would not need one, but I was wrong.

  7. Chris Marshall Post author

    Yeah right. I don’t answer a question so you have to go and buy a AppleTV 🙂

    What you want to know:

    – it doesn’t look like the current Front Row at all, no 4 icons
    – main page shows Movies, TV Shows, Music, Podcasts and Photos on the right with cover flow type graphics on the left
    – that theme continues so music shows cover flow, movies show a synopsis of the movie etc

    Anything else???

    And that sounds like a pretty cool bosses wife 🙂

  8. Mac Sokulski

    This new front row sounds a lot like apple tv. Selection menu on the left and icons/album art on the right. Too bad it can’t play occasional DVD, but since I’m going through the process of converting them anyway…. no matter.

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