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UStream Broadcaster – Everywhere is Live

December 10th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today Ustream released an application that allows for live streaming of video for the iPhone. If you are not familiar with Ustream at all, the concept is rather simple.  You plug in a webcam to your computer, setup an account on Ustream and you are broadcasting live online, allowing any number of people to tune in.  Take that functionality, and put it into the pockets of over 30 million iPhone owners and you have just turned the planet into a live show itself.   Sort of…

The app will only work with the iPhone 3G and the 3Gs, which makes sense when it will not work at all over the EDGE network.

While this functionality in a smartphone is not ground breaking technology, nor is it the news. The news is that UStream was able to get Apple to allow the app into the iTunes store.  The larger news is that AT&T let it sneak by, the same week they were publicly denouncing the fact that there data network is in trouble, and urging customers to use data sparingly.

My advice if you have an iPhone, download this application as soon as possible.  I would not be surprised if the news brought an unexpected level of awareness and it would not be beyond Apple to yank the app out of the store.

Trials and Impressions

I heard that this application came out by listening to my podcast on the way to work.  While I was too excited to know that I could have this leve of connectivity in my pocket, I am afraid I would have to wait until I got home to try it out.  You see I work exactly 1.5 miles away from the invisible line that flips me over from a 3G network to an EDGE network on AT&T.  I have to tell you AT&T, it will be in your best interest to bring me a 3G network out to Newark, NY in the not too distant future.

The application itself is quick and slick.  My first test was over my home WiFi, just to see if the functionality was there. The video buffers in the phone, and even has the option to record locally and upload if you are not tied into a 3G signal or perhaps in need of a retake. While I didn’t wait around long enough to get anybody in the chat room, the interface even has the comments posting up on the screen from people chatting.

I did turn off the WiFi and record a quick video and the quality was equally as good.  This is a video walk around narration of our ridiculous Christmas Tree we have in the house. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the quality did not degrade, and will be excited to try it out when there is actual light around to do the camera justice.

While my videos are rather tame in comparison to what is possible, imagine the broadcast capabilities.  I am excited to think of how we can leverage this on One Lap of America 2010.  The largest negative of course being the AT&T network support around the country.

I did mention this technology was not new, only new to the iPhone.  Perhaps one of the larger mobile broadcasting applications is from Kyte, which has been around longer and may be more mature for anybody who has a phone compatible with that software.

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