If you haven't heard already, steelers.com recently launched a new application on their page called "Steelers DeskSite." The application is a program you can download to your computer or tablet and get HD videos right on your computer. While, on its face, this doesn't seem like anything different than just the normal steelers.com video tab, it does have useful features that make browsing videos about the Pittsburgh Steelers more convenient for the less-technologically inclined fan.
So what are the positives of this new tool?
Well, because it's an application, you can download it to your hard drive and have it be an icon on your desktop. Once you've downloaded it to your desktop, you can open it and it will grab any videos on the Steelers that might be available for you to see. This includes interviews in the locker room, on the practice field, in the community, talk shows, post-game appearances, and a whole lot more.
The best feature about the app is that it immediately stores videos on your computer for you to see. So if you're not able to connect to the internet but want to watch something about the Steelers, it already has the newest available videos right on your laptop for you. You can customize how much space it is allowed to take up too if you've got an older device that can't hold too much. You can also customize what kind of content you get.
Also, while the program is open, it will alert you if there are any new videos available for you to watch with an alarm on your computer. When you open the application up, it marks each video you have yet to see as "new" easily so you don't have to sift through older videos to find stuff you want. Over time, it will delete older videos from your hard drive so that it can keep the content fresh.
The way in which it lists content seems a lot better than steelers.com so far. Under each section for videos there were interviews I hadn't seen or things that caught my interest immediately and made me want to watch. Steelers.com doesn't really do that, it more so just organizes them by date.
The benefit of the videos being on your computer is also that you're not streaming a video, you're watching it like it's a DVD or a recorded show on your DVR. Which means no waiting for upload time, and no stupid Progressive ads about "Chloe" or random things like that. All Steelers, all the time.
Best part? It's free. Only costs you some space on your hard drive. So it's not like you're gambling on whether or not it's worth it to get it, because if you don't like it you can delete it and you never paid a dime to get it.
Now for some of the cons on the app; to be honest the fact that it deletes older videos automatically might get annoying. Say there was a special on Super Bowl that you liked, or a really cool highlight from the season you wanted to keep, I'm not sure there's a way to save it. However this isn't that huge of a deal, as the video should still be available to be streamed at steelers.com.
While the organization of how videos are presented to you seems cool, I'm skeptical that not cataloging the date may get annoying in the near future.
There are some social links within the app that allow you to access Twitter and Facebook from it just like a browser. Sounds cool right?
When I clicked on each they really just took me to the same place as a normal browser would and was slower doing it. I didn't really see any advantage it brought to me as a user. I'm not sure how big I would be on sharing videos from the app when I can just go get the link and do it in my own, faster browser at a quicker pace.
There's a radio component to the application too. Really isn't anything but a link to the radio tab on the steelers.com media center. Nothing really to see there.
While none of these are crippling or very annoying cons to the app, I do think steelers.com does have one advantage over it, and that's being able to use autoplay. On steelers.com and nfl.com you can let the videos roll continuously while you work so you can keep up to date on news or interviews and not have to touch the videos. I don't see an option for that in the application so far, but that might change soon because this is the first installment of the application.
Despite those mentioned negatives, I think the program is definitely something every Steelers fan should get. It's at no cost to you, doesn't riddle your computer with ads or anything, and actually makes finding media about the Steelers more navigable. You can pin it right to your taskbar on your desktop so that when you open your computer up it's right there for you everyday. So far the videos are mainly just talks with the players and coaches, which is pretty cool.
But what makes this even better is the potential for the application. Once the season starts, several questions will be there for me that will really define how useful it will be:
How fast do post-game interviews get to my desktop? Instead of having to refresh my browser on steelers.com or nfl.com until I see something, it would be a lot cooler if I can get a look-in on an interview right on my desktop and be alerted when it's ready so I don't have to look so much.
How fast do I get to see highlights from games? If I'm a college student in an area that's not playing a Steelers game on TV, I'm most likely following a ticker on the game if I haven't found a good streaming website. This would be a cool feature so that slow computers can watch highlights without the problem of streaming, because remember, it's already on your computer.
While this new application isn't earth-shaking, yet, it is an easier way to navigate Steelers media on the internet. I definitely suggest getting it. Also explore the content and its components for yourself! I'm sure steelers.com will be adding stuff to it soon enough.
Download it here.