Life Hacking Blog & Articles

Information Diet Lifehack: Offline Video

By Jonathan Roseland  Connect    

IncomingTVIn the past few weeks I've found a seriously awesome free app for streamlining my online video consumption, Incoming TV.

Watching online videos presents some serious information consumption problems for the savvy lifehacker:
Distraction, a YouTube video turns what was supposed to be a 30 second visit to Twitter into a 7 minute distraction from work in the middle of a busy morning.
Buffering, how often is your viewer experience and the creator's original vision molested by bandwidth buffering? How many valuable moments of your life have been wasted waiting for a video to buffer?
Ads, online video is becoming decreasingly ad free, as a lifehacker I do abhor paying my finite attention to a 30 or 60 seconds ad before the video I'm watching.
Wifi Connectivity, as an international digital vegabond, sometimes the moments I'd most like to spend watching Youtube video I don't have a wifi connection. While I'm waiting in line at the airport I'd like to catch up with a few of my favorite video bloggers. Or watch a documentary about infamous drug lords while I'm on a bus ride.

Incoming TV solves all these problems, it's an app that queues up and downloads videos to your Android device (IOS version coming soon!) via wifi for offline viewing later. When I have a good Internet connection I will turn on the Incoming TV app and it will download the videos I want from Youtube, Vimeo and a bunch of other sources, later when I'm relaxing, in transit or in need of entertainment I just pull up my Incoming TV app to watch the videos. Since the video is downloaded to my device it plays smoothly and the viewing experience is actually quite a bit better than watching on the Youtube app or my laptops web browser and there are no annoying pre-roll ads.

Distraction Defeated: Incoming TV + Google Chrome Send to Phone
Chrome to phoneGone are the days of robing myself of productivity by taking a break in the middle of a project to watch a Youtube video. Now I have the best of both worlds using Incoming TV in conjunction with the Send to Phone extension for Google Chrome. If you haven't already, install the Send to Phone Google Chrome extension then install the Send to Phone app on your Android. it's a super useful tool that sends whatever page I'm on in Google Chrome to my Android smartphone.

  1. Let's say I'm on Twitter communicating with my podcast's listeners, I see a Youtube that looks interesting.
  2. I will click on the Youtube video to open it in another browser tab, I click the pause button so the video dosen't play, I then click the Send to Phone button in the upper right of Google Chrome.
  3. A few moments later my Android, will receive it and detect that it is a Youtube video, it gives me the option to open it in the web browser, the Youtube app or the Incoming TV app, I select Incoming TV and that I would like it to add the video to the download queue.
  4. Then later that day (or whenever I have free time) I will watch the video on Incoming TV.

Online video can be a great way to consume informative and entertaining content but at the same time it can be a serious distraction from getting work done. Bravo to Incoming TV for solving this problem, but the app has a couple small issues that need to be ironed out.

  • The app tries to guess what content I'm an going to be interested in and queues these videos up for download, sometimes it does a great job of sending me the kind of videos I'm interested in (like when it sent me my favorite documentary series on economics history) but it also sends me a lot of dumb pop culture videos.
  • Since you are downloading videos it can take up a lot of space on your Android device so just make sure to delete videos after you watch them.
  • I've noticed a bug where sometimes it will only play the first 25 minutes of a video and then the rest of the video will be broken.

Looking for interesting and informative online videos to watch with Incoming.TV? Checkout my personal and Limitless Mindset Youtube channels:

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