Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Qik - Stream Video From Your Phone


I just downloaded and installed the public beta release of Qik, an app & service that makes it easy to stream live video from your mobile phone to the web.  I've only played with it for a short time, but it's so great I felt compelled to share my initial thoughts. 

Here's what I like about Qik:

  • It's incredibly easy to use - 1 click, and you're streaming video!
  • Super fast load time - faster than the camera app on the Blackjack II
  • Painless integration with other popular services like Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, etc.
  • Everyone gets a Qik "homepage" where all your videos are stored
  • It's free!  (at least for now!)
  • Videos can be embedded or linked to in blog posts
  • They're building a nice community at Qik.com
  • Video quality is dialable, but very good from initial tests.  It will be interesting to see if this changes as the service gains in popularity.
  • Lots of convenient "hotkeys" - e.g. press "55" to blog your stream while recording
  • Streams are shown live on Qik.com and then archived for viewing later
  • You can make your videos public or private to your circle of friends

And of course, my inevitable wishlist:

  • The Qik website should be browse-able by mobile phones, or maybe the Qik streaming application could have a mode to enumerate and view my videos
  • Geotagging - For phones with GPS/GPRS, it would be very cool to enable geo-tagging of content & storing a location point (or stream of points) with the videos
  • Keep it free!

The implications of this kind of service are profound.  Now anyone can be a live mobile reporter.  Broadcast your kids' soccer games to the grandparents 5 states away, when you're in an accident, record the bozo speeding away after refusing to give you his insurance information, alert your town to the approaching tornado (assuming it doesn't take out the cell towers)... the possibilities are endless!

Qik supports a range of mobile phones, but not all.  Check their supported phone list to see if yours is on there.  You can sign up for the free public beta today! 

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