Cloud

iCloud competitor Loom adds video support with 'Netflix-style' playback

The Loom app for iPad.

Above: The Loom app for iPad.

Image Credit: Loom

Loom, an iOS and web app for storing media in the cloud, today added support for mobile video playback.

And, according to the company, it’s the fastest private streaming video application on the App Store. “At least we’re not aware of any other streaming app that is faster than us,” said CEO and cofounder Jan Senderek.

When Loom processes uploaded photos and videos, it automatically transcodes multiple versions of the media — one in the original resolution and multiple smaller versions. So when you stream videos on an iPhone or an iPad, it starts playing back in a low-resolution then bumps it up to increasingly higher resolutions.

“We’ve essentially built a private Netflix for everybody,” said Senderek.

That type of video streaming might sound commonplace — YouTube and Netflix have been doing it for years — but it’s rare for a cloud storage provider. Loom loads photos more snappily using that same methodology, too.

Because Loom doesn’t require a constant Internet connection — mobile files sync when a connection is reestablished — the company views the service as a replacement for the iPhone’s default photo album. It aims to be a simpler alternative than iCloud or Dropbox and more private than other photo storage services like Flickr or Facebook.

“Most users will not store their most private photos next to a sharing community — they’re just one step too close to being shared,” said Senderek. “Flickr and Facebook run ads next to your photos. That just makes people uncomfortable.”

Loom offers its users 5 GB of free storage and enables them to earn another 5 GB though a referral program. Senderek declined to provide specific user figures but noted that more than 40 percent use it on a daily basis and around 4 percent shell out some cash for additional space (paid storage starts at 50 GB at $3.99 a month). The service processes around a million pieces of uploaded content on a good day, he added.

The next steps for the Loom are improved search, sharing, and curation features. The company plans to bring the app to Android devices and Windows Phones eventually, though iOS remains the focus for now.

A Y Combinator grad, Loom raised $1.4 million from Google Ventures and other investors in early October. It currently has eight full-time employees.

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