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YouTube Expands Mobile Menu

YouTube for Mobile users can now choose from tens of millions of videos.

Popular video-sharing Web site YouTube on Thursday expanded its mobile offerings, adding new features such as access to a large catalog of mobile video and to features that were only available on the desktop version in the past.

YouTube for Mobile users can now choose from tens of millions of videos, according to the company. However, users must have a streaming-capable phone with 3G technology, which is necessary for high-speed data access over cellular networks. U.S. carriers Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless have all rolled out 3G networks capable of supporting multimedia phones.

Apple's popular iPhone comes with a preloaded YouTube application. But the iPhone doesn't support 3G, so the video-streaming experience can be sluggish at times. It's faster over Wi-Fi connections.

With the expanded mobile offering, YouTube users also can access their accounts, favorites, videos, channels, and directly upload and share content from mobile phones. Another new feature is the ability to rate and post comments on the go.

As another option, YouTube for Mobile is available as a free downloadable Java application for a limited number of mobile phones, offering a more interactive experience, said YouTube. The beta application is only supported on J2ME (Java-enabled) MIDP2 mobile phones with streaming video capabilities. YouTube said these phone models include the Sony Ericsson K800 and W880 and the Nokia E65, N95, N73, 6110 Navigator, and 6120 Classic. YouTube has partnerships Helio, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, and others to enable its video-sharing application on mobile phones.

In December, youth-oriented mobile virtual network operator Helio launched a YouTube application on its Ocean mobile phone, providing a comprehensive YouTube experience to its subscribers. For example, it allows subscribers to capture video on the Ocean and upload it to YouTube, GPS-tag the video, as well as rate and comment on videos posted on YouTube.

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