Ustream iPhone App Lets You Stream Live Video
Looking to become a one-person mobile broadcasting outfit? The interactive video site Ustream has released Ustream Live Broadcaster (iTunes link), an iPhone app that allows live video-streaming from your iPhone over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.
Over the last year, Ustream has sought to extend its reach into the mobile arena, and the company has introduced video-recording and viewing iPhone apps, but its latest offering allows true live broadcasting to multiple viewers. You can begin recording video on your phone, stream it to the Web, and allow any number of people to watch it as it happens. You can include your GPS location with the broadcast as well. Videos saved to Ustream (or the social networking sites) are of course available for watching later and video quality is pretty much at the level you would expect on a phone.
Streamed videos can also be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also interact with your legion of viewers using chat or Ustream's Social Stream, which works directly with Twitter streams. And if you're a clever politician you can even use Ustream's polling feature and see results in real-time.
One other fact worthy of note in Broadcaster: an iPhone developer confirmed to Macworld that the Ustream app uses a private API to capture video. Apple has frequently rejected apps in the past for using those undocumented software interfaces, but it's possible that the company is loosening the reins in this particular use case.
Apple also recently approved the Knocking Live Video app, which uses the same private API; that app's developers reportedly appealed directly to Steve Jobs after the app was initially rejected. Unlike Ustream, Knocking only allows one-to-one video streaming from the iPhone. To date, however, Apple's sanctioning of those apps remains unwritten; we may have to wait until the next version of the iPhone SDK rolls around to see if this function becomes truly Apple-approved.
With all of the Ustream broadcasting app's immediacy, one can only imagine the self-broadcasting excesses to come. (No doubt AT&T will be watching it--and its related bandwidth--as well.) The Ustream broadcasting app works on the iPhone 3G or 3GS, and is available for free at the App Store.