Imagine you are having an event / gathering which you would like to stream over the web! Ustream might be service that you are looking for. It is a free service that let you stream and record an audio/video feed online. It basically download a small flash app in to your client computer and let you stream from any video feed (most commonly a webcam) connected to that computer. Quality is not the best but its watchable and mostly depend on the quality of video feed and your upload speed.
Service is very easy to use. I have never done any form of online broadcasts before, but it took me less than 15 mins to create an account and do a small test broadcast. You can either do public broadcasts or password protected private broadcasts. Recording is only one press of a button away.
What I found most interesting is, their mobile app named “UStream Mobile Broadcaster” that let you stream right from your mobile phone camera. To run the app you will need an iPhone 4, Android 1.5 or Symbian S60 v3 based or later phone. I tried with a Nokia E71 and a Dialog 3G connection and results seemed quite ok. Streaming quality depends mainly on your phones processing capability and upload speed. This app allows to send a twitter update every time your broadcast goes on air so your followers can log in to your stream. It also has a power saving mode to save battery by dimming the screen and turning back light off. How ever it does suck a good deal of power from your battery. It managed to heat up the back of my phone quite a bit after 10 mins use.
Installing the app gave a bit of trouble on E71 though. Mostly because the certificate of application distribution was expired. I had to change my app manager settings to allow installing unsigned apps and change system date on the phone to 2009-06-15 to get it installed. After installing it worked just fine.
Mobile broadcast will be best if you want to do ad-hoc broadcasts while moving around without having to carry a laptop and a cam. But you will need a mobile broadband connection with good speed or a Wi-Fi connection. Click here to see couple of videos I took with my mobile. Video is bit shaky because I was moving around while recording it. Slow moving videos had better quality. That is mostly an issue with performance of my phone and internet connection.
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