Unmistakably a Google product, the video store has the company's signature sparse, white interface with an emphasis on searching, rather than Yahoo-like categorization. The top of the home page features commercial content from CBS, BMG music, and others, offering well-known names such as Survivor, CSI, and NBA basketball. As of the posting of this review, you can even browse and play back all commercials shown during Super Bowl XL. Lower on the page, you'll find selections of popular and random free videos. A quick browse will uncover a gigantic library of video clips and shows.
It's with paid content that Google Video mostly misses the mark. Videos can range in price dramatically, from 99 cents to $14.99, instead of a standard price; the iTunes Music Store charges $1.99 for videos. More expensive shows can often be purchased for less with a day pass, for those who are content to watch a show but not own it. Purchased content is available only to Windows 2000 and XP users and is in a proprietary GVI format, which can be played only with Google's free, no-frills player and can't be transferred to a portable device. With restrictions such as that, it's obvious that Google misunderstood why the iTunes Music Store's video sales made such a splash.