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Crackle: Free Movies and Shows Online

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Overview of Crackle:

Crackle is a free and on-demand video service curated and owned by Sony. It includes movies and shows from Columbia, Tristar, and Sony Pictures Classics to name a few, and also boasts popular original web content. All Crackle content is un-cut and free, but includes commercial interruptions like a TV channel. Crackle uses flash video, so it's best to stream with Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome equipped with the latest version of flash player.

The Crackle Idea:

Crackle's content is limited in that it's Sony-owned and Sony-made, so it's not in the same tier as streaming video sites like Hulu, YouTube and Netflix. Instead, Crackle fashions itself as a curated video site that you can access using these top-tier sites, and even advertises for Netflix on its own website. You can access Crackle content using the Google Chrome web store, Hulu, YouTube, Dailymotion, and Rogers Anyplace TV.

Crackle advertises itself as a go-to for the "connected guy", and features genres including Action, Anime, Comedy, Horror and Sci-Fi. What Crackle lacks in diversity of content, it makes up for with accessibility. In addition to the mobile app mentioned below, you can access Crackle video with the Roku box, Playstation 3, Google TV, Xbox 360, Sony media players and televisions, Tivo, and online with your computer.

The Crackle Website:

Crackle's homepage features a banner with the latest releases, and different watchlists organized by genre. You can subscribe to any of Crackle's watchlists as an RSS feed to receive updates on new releases in your favorite genres. You can roll over each video for a description, release date, viewer rating, and expiration date. Crackle lets you share videos with Facebook and Twiter, and also provides an embed code so you can put Crackle content on your blog or website.

Crackle streams in either 360p or 480p, and the player features links to buy or rent the video so that you can watch it commercial free. Commerical interruptions happen about every ten minutes, and other branding is limited to a Crackle watermark in the bottom-right corner of the player.

Crackle's Original Content:

Crackle's original content includes the web-only series Trenches and The Bannen Way. Both series' production value surpasses much that you fine online. Crackle also shines in original comedy content, featuring an exclusive web series by Jerry Seinfeld called "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee", and a series of sketches by Owen Benjamin of the Tonight Show, and an original series from Kevin Pollack called "The Writers Room". Other highlights include "The Bannen Way", a mini webisode series about a third generation mobster.

The Crackle Mobile App:

In addition to its streaming web service, Crackle offers a mobile app for a long list of mobile devices including iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, the Nook and Kindle Fire tablets, and mobile phones from the top carriers. You can download the app for free and choose from a wide variety of Crackle shows and movies. It's not necessary to make an account, but doing so will allow you to queue shows in a watchlist so that you can find them easily later. When you choose a movie or show, you can also share it with your friends via Facebook and Twitter, or buy it so that you can watch it commercial free.

This video service really is free, on demand, and accessible no matter what internet device you're using, so whether you become a Crackle user really depends on if you like the site's content. If comedy, action, and music are your genres of choice, chances are you'll find videos you like with Crackle.

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