The TED iPad app offers up almost 800 of its TED Talk videos, on a huge range of topics as varied as barefoot running, the Khymer Rouge and medical breakthroughs.
TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is a small nonprofit devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, and their talks and discussions are uploaded to watch any time on the TED website and now, the iPad.
The iPad-only app is made especially for the tablet, with a nice magazine-style interface to browse the extensive TED archives. Videos can be expanded from a small panel to full screen, and quality can be adjusted according to your internet connection.
Videos last an average of around 14 minutes, but range from 3 to 30 minutes. You can even save any of the discussions for offline viewing- and there’s plenty to see.
If you’re not exactly sure what you want to watch (more videos are added weekly) you can tap on the “Inspire me” icon found on the main page, which through some tenuous Rolex sponsorship, allows you to choose a topically randomplaylist of videos.
You can set a time-limit for this playlist, and choose loosely what sort of tone you’re expecting, be it courageous, funny, inspiring or persuasive.
There are also ready-made playlists, centered around topics of food, business or medicine.
Although there’s no subtitle capability on this app, another has appeared to work around that. TED + SUB also gives you downloadable content, but isn’t as fleshed out as the non-subtitled version- no inspire buttons or curated playlists.
There’s also some support for foreign language subtitles- depending on your iPad’s language settings. TED + SUB also works on the iPhone, but TED have said that we can expect to see an iPhone-optimised version of the original app to arrive some time in Q1 2011.