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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Three Steps to LIVE Mobile Broadcasting


Photo: CC Chapman CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Eight million people are interested in what I've been doing recently with LIVE mobile broadcasting. Well maybe not eight million, but reporters are interested, and reporters have an audience.

Just yesterday I did an interview with a reporter and at the end of the interview I asked, "Will this be online?"

It turns out that the interview is going into a "pamphlet." It might end up in a pdf... Weird, I know.

So for the benefit of reporters everywhere and anyone who wants to know how to get started in LIVE mobile video broadcasting, here are the THREE STEPS that are required to stream live audio and video from a mobile device. I could call it a cell phone, but Nokia doesn't like that.

STEP ONE - CHOOSE A MOBILE DEVICE

Nokia N95

The best device on the market for streaming live video is the Nokia N95-3. This is the version of the N95 that supports 3G on AT&T's network.

I had been using an earlier model of the N95 supplied by Nokia, but the faster the network, the better the quality. The streaming service that I use, Qik, sent me the N95-3 so that when I streamed, I'd be able to broadcast the highest quality.

Other services might support other phones, so check into it and if you have any suggestions, leave a comment.

STEP TWO - CHOOSE A SERVICE

FIRST ATTEMPTS
Broadcasting Live from Cellphone to the Web

Back on March 06, 2007 I did my first live broadcast with a cellphone with ComVu. There's a whole page of an archive of videos I did at the time. Looking back on them now I can see a few reasons why I didn't continue with ComVu. The videos stream from their server and are not progressive downloads. There wasn't any way to embed the videos on a web page, they buffered frequently, and I couldn't save them locally to edit.

Read here for more: Streaming, Broadcasting, and Progressive Download:
When a file is delivered over a network or downloaded over the Internet, the entire file is not available immediately, but a typical QuickTime movie can be played while it downloads. This is called progressive download, or Fast Start.
RECENT STREAMING
Rebooting Your Newsroom with LIVE mobile video broadcasting

For a while now, I've been using Qik.com to stream. Qik.com is still in alpha. I've got a great working relationship with them and many suggested changes and enhancements to their service have been implemented such as their integration with Seesmic and Mogulus.

Other sites that you should consider and that I've just started to test are:

Bambuser, Flixwagon, and Kyte.tv. [ my pages on each site ]

Please share your experiences in the comments.

STEP THREE - STREAMING LIVE

Mike Davison

Now that you've selected a device and signed up for a streaming service, it's time to broadcast.

You have two choices when going live, WiFi or the cell network. If there is a WiFi network available and your device supports it, I'd suggest streaming over WiFi. I've had great success with it for both quality of the video stream.

If WiFi is not available you'll be using you cellphone carrier's network. In my case it's AT&T. (Thanks AT&T for the trial service).

Also note, you can take the AT&T SIM chip out of an iPhone and use it in a Nokia N95.

On Qik, you run the application and press STREAM. Then you are love streaming to both the Qik.com home page and your personal Qik.com page. Mine is Qik.com/stevegarfield.

That's it. If you start streaming, let me know...

Additional points to consider:

NOTIFICATION



When you start streaming live, you'll want to notify people. With Qik.com, you can set it up to automatically send out a message via Twitter to notify y our subscribers that you'll be going live. You can follow me on twitter over at http://twitter.com/stevegarfield.

You might also want to consider setting up an email list to let your audience know when you are going live. Not everyone is on twitter. I know. Weird huh?

SCHEDULED LIVE STREAMS
If you might know beforehand when you are going to go live, you could put put the word that you'll be streaming at a certain time, and then people can get the word out ahead of time.

I've also set up a webpage with an embedded Qik video, http://www.stevegarfield.com/live/, so that whenever I go live, the stream shows up on that page.

That way, if I was going to an event where I'll be streaming throughout hte day, viewers could leave the page up on their computer and whenever I started streaming, the live video would show up right there.

Join the discussion. Leave a comment.

4 comments:

  1. Pat Phelan12:53 PM

    suggest you look at my post on this very subject for a further tip Steve.
    http://patphelan.net/the-future-of-citizen-journalism/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous10:01 PM

    You are correct, not downloading of recordings on Qik, nor on Kyte. But, here's something cool, you CAN download a Bambuser recorded file (flv) and upload it directly as a show on Kyte. Kyte also now allows live video streaming from a USB cam (or other source) on your desktop, or directly from the N95 phone.

    John Leeke
    www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Steve,

    Two points regarding Flixwagon:

    1) Flixwagon has the ultimate service for online reporting - the FliXee widget. FliXee enables you to present your live and stored videos in your web page. FliXee is extremely useful when you're out and about and don't have the time to post videos at your site after taking them. And, no more need to send your readers to view your videos elsewhere.

    2) Flixwaon provides Twitter notifications as well as email notifications to your subscribers and contacts (according to your privacy settings.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi John,
    When signed in to Qik, you can download an flv file. You can also post directly to YouTube now...
    --Steve

    ReplyDelete