Do you have a large collection of movies and songs that you want to access across a wide range of devices? If so, you should check out the QVIVO media player (here's a free 14-day trial). It stores your media files in the cloud and, as long as you're connected, allows you to stream them wherever you are.

Think of QVIVO as an answer to iCloud and other cloud services, but not tied to one company's ecosystem. Various video file formats are supported, such as MKV and AVI. You can also build a personal media cloud and organize it to include cover art, trailer, subtitles and more. Unlike Dropbox and other storage cloud services, QVIVO comes with unlimited cloud data storage (a single HD movie would break a similarly priced Dropbox plan).

QVIVO is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. There are also web versions of the software (thus, running as SaaS through a browser). Below, I'm going to take you through how to set up QVIVO across your devices in order to fully take advantage of this cloud media player. First up is how to store your multimedia into QVIVO's cloud, then I'll walk you through how to use the software to access the content via streaming.

Step 1: Create an account

The first step is to create an account. Get your free trial by clicking on the "Free Trial" icon on the upper-right corner of the QVIVO site. Then create or access an account someone else already created by signing in using Facebook or your email address.

Step 2: Sync files

Once you sign in, your media library will start to sync — if you're accessing an existing account. If you're creating a brand new account, you will need to drag and drop your media library into the app.

Step 3: Upload files

Access Your Media From the Cloud on Any Device with QVIVO

In order to upload files into QVIVO's cloud, you will need to click on the "Add Media" sub-head in the web app or desktop app you logged into. It is under the larger "Library" section on the front page. In the "Add Media" section you can either drag and drop media files, or you can click on the "Upload" tab and add them manually through folders. QVIVO offers a hassle-free way of adding files because you do not need to convert them yourself as long as they are supported by QVIVO playback. You can even add files from iTunes or other services. Note that music files need to have valid meta tags if you upload them. You can do this with iTunes or other software (iTunes instructions here). You may upload individual songs or entire albums (each song will be uploaded one at a time from a list).

Here's a list of the supported file types:
Video files: avi, flv, m4v, mkv, mov, mp4, mpg, rm, and wmv.
Music files: aac, aif, flac, m4a, mp3, and wav.

Step 4: Personalize your files

Access Your Media From the Cloud on Any Device with QVIVO

The media library or libraries you create will sync with other devices and apps you use to run QVIVO, so you will have access to your multimedia anywhere. There are three main sections available under Library: "TV Shows," "Movies," and "Albums" into which you can upload TV episodes, full-length feature films and songs. You can delete the files stored from a computer volume once they are uploaded to the cloud by clicking on the individual media file and then clicking on the trash icon below it. You can also customize the poster and backdrop under the "Artwork" sections of any media file.

Step 5: Play your media from a PC or Mac

Now that you have organized your files, it's time to play them through your PC or Mac. From your browser, simply click on the file you want to play and click on the play icon. There will be two ways to play the file. The first option, listed near the media cover or icon, involves streaming from the QVIVO cloud. The other option involves streaming from the hard drive of the computer from which the files were uploaded and should still be stored.

Access Your Media From the Cloud on Any Device with QVIVO

Accessing your files in the offline mode is useful for organizational reasons and will save you streaming costs. However, you will not be able to access the files on other computers or mobile devices. (They will be accessible from the Mac or PC storing them.) It is worth noting that you can use the web app to access the QVIVO interface or download separate desktop apps from QVIVO's website — they work in a similar way to the way the browser app works, and automatically scan for media content.

To find out which of your files are uploaded to the cloud and which files are offline and only playable from the browser or desktop apps, click "Locations" on the right side of the QVIVO interface when you browse media libraries.

Step 6: Play your video files in full-screen mode

When you play back video files like movies or TV shows in full-screen mode, QVIVO interface will still be showing during run-time. To get rid of it (and the menu commands), click on the full-screen menu located on the upper-right section of the interface near the "x" sign (it's signified by four triangles converging). Then, once the video expands, click again on the screen to get rid of all the other icons and enter true full-screen mode.

Step 7: Play your media from a mobile device

QVIVO can be downloaded for free and comes with a 14-day free trial of the monthly service. Afterwards, a $2.99 service fee will apply if you want to continue using QVIVO for streaming. (A single account will work across all devices — if you've previously paid through the web or desktop app, then you're never asked to pay via the mobile apps, and vice versa.) After you download, you will need to log in with the same Facebook account you used to originally upload your media libraries. Then you can click on the various media sections you organized and stream files from the QVIVO cloud.

The mobile interfaces are a bit different than the web or desktop interfaces. On the iPad, for instance, there are media icons on the lower section of the screen showing you video, TV show, and music icons. There are also a couple of other icons there, which include the account profile and search icons. You can filter content based on what is cloud-enabled and/or locally installed on the mobile device. There is also a sorting option and a genres option that allows you to personalize your files so you can find them easily. Lastly, when you click on media libraries and see a list of files for playback, you can download them for offline view on your mobile device. Otherwise, simply click on the file you want to watch and click on the "Play Now" icon to stream from the cloud.

So there you have it, a step-by-step guide to getting started with QVIVO. The file compatibility alone really makes it worth checking it out — especially if you stream to mobile devices and have a lot of media on your hard drive you want to access.

Get your 14-day free trial here. Afterwards, you can upgrade — you'll be able to stream as opposed to storing media in the cloud — by paying a $2.99 in-app purchase*. Streaming within your home network from your Mac and PC systems will always be free.

*There are three main plans for you to choose from: the $1.99 Web plan; the $2.99 mobile plan; and the $4.99 family plan.

Mike Lata is a technology reporter and freelance writer focusing on mobile applications, 3D tech, augmented reality, computing devices, and software news.