Mobile Live Video Streaming: Best Tools To Broadcast Yourself From Your Mobile Phone
If you are looking for the best tools and services to stream live video from your own mobile cellular telephone, you have landed in the right place. This guide lists for you all of the available mobile live video streaming services available out there, while providing you with key information and comparative data about their key features and strengths.
Photo credit: tupikov edited by Daniele Bazzano
This is MasterNewMedia first guide to mobile live video streaming tools offering an up-to-date catalog of all the services out there while providing specific data to compare and evaluate your ideal solution.
Among the newer features adopted by mobile live streaming services is the ability to share your geo-location by leveraging the built-in GPS many mobile phones now have, as well as the option to auto-post your live video clips to multiple video sharing sites (YouTube and others) and microblogging services (Twitter, etc.).
I am myself a heavy user of this mobile live video streaming technologies, and if you look at this live video streamers popularity chart you'll get a better idea of how much I have used this technology recently. Even on the top of the MasterNewMedia homepage you will see that I often use QIK and my Nokia mobile phone to share some sneak peeks of events I'm attending, promote interesting content I publish, or just to have an unfiltered, direct line with my viewers.
To help you select your ideal live mobile video streaming service, I have prepared a comparative guide which not only lists all of the mobile video streaming tools available out there, but also lists for you, side-by-side their key features and options, allowing you to easily compare the different features and options that differentiate these services.
One word of warning. Before you get too excited about these cool video services, there are three things you need really need to check well before you start testing and selecting your favorite one. These are:
- You must have a compatible mobile phone: Go to the "supported phones" page on the site of the tool you want to use and check that your phone model and brand are listed as fully supported.
- Don't do this with your standard mobile phone data plan: When you broadcast video from your mobile you are effectively sending lots of data, and if you are not aware of this, you may find some nasty surprise in your mobile phone bill at the end of the month. Best thing to do is to get a cost-effective data plan such as an unlimited "flat" rate would be ideal. Here in Italy I use the data-only plan offered by 3 which costs me eu19/month for 5GB of traffic weekly. I am very happy with this solution both from a technical and cost-effective viewpoint. Consider that when you live stream at the highest quality level allowed today by these services, you produce an outgoing data stream of about 400Kbps. That is equivalent to roughly to 3MB per minute. So do some math against your mobile provider data costs before you start testing with this stuff.
- Get a second battery: Do some tests and see how much battery your mobile phone uses while live streaming. In my experience mobile phones drain down batteries in record time, requiring you to have at least one spare charged extra battery everytime you want to do something serious with it.
Now that I have warned you about the possible issues down the road, here is a comparative table placing side by side the key features and differences between all of the mobile live video streaming tools available out there:
- Chat: Text chat messages from viewers while streaming.
- Distribution: Auto-posting to YouTube and other video sharing sites.
- Recording: Ability to record live stream locally.
- Geolocation: Auto-display of live streaming location.
- Private: Share live streaming with selected private audience.
- Premium: Price and extra features of premium accounts (if available).
Best Tools To Broadcast Yourself From Your Mobile Phone Comparison Table
Best Tools To Upload Your Video To Multiple Video-Sharing Sites
QIK is a popular, free solution to stream live videos from your compatible mobile phone. You can share your location on a map (specifying at which level of detail to keep your privacy safe), chat in real-time with your viewers, and also restrict your live streaming videos to a selected audience. All the videos you stream with QIK are automatically recorded so that your viewers can watch your broadcasts on QIK website. Live streaming works even if your mobile is out of reach: all the data you record will be automatically transmitted when your mobile acquires the signal again. Auto-posting your videos to Twitter or third-party video-sharing sites is as easy as setting the preferences for these services. If you want a comprehensive review of QIK, Robin Good has extensively tested the service.
Stickam Mobile Broadcaster allows you to stream live video right from your mobile phone (list of supported mobile phones). The quality of video transmission is automatically adjusted to match network speed and have an optimal resolution to broadcast. Free to use, Stickam sports a text-chat feature to engage your audience during live streaming. Live videos are automatically recorded and accessible from Stickam website. Clips produced with Stickam can also be set to private to let only selected people to watch your live videos. No geolocation or auto-posting to third-party video-sharing sites.
Kyte Mobile Producer allows free live streaming from Symbian S60 3rd edition mobile phones and picture-sharing for iPhone models (due to phone limitations). Kyte live streaming channels support live text-chat to connect with your viewers as you broadcast your video. You can directly upload your live streams to MySpace or Bebo by setting the preferences inside your account page. No private streaming or geolocation.
With Flixwagon you can live stream your video from S60 mobile phones and iPhone at no cost. Any video produced via mobile can be automatically posted to YouTube and clips are automatically recorded for future access or sharing with your viewers. You can also select your audience as Flixwagon allows you to label a video stream as "private" and specify the users who can watch your content. Geolocation is fully supported and you can choose the level of detail the GPS will track your position to respect your privacy. Live text-chat feature available.
LiveCast is a free mobile video streaming platform that allows you to broadcast live videos from supported mobile phones to the web or other mobile phones. Streamed videos are automatically recorded inside Livecast servers. When you broadcast your video you can turn on geolocation and share your position on a map, live text-chat other users, and also restricting the access to your video content by entering private mode. No auto-posting to third party video-sharing sites. Pricing is not available on the corporate website.
Bambuser is a web service that lets you stream live videos from your mobile phone to the web (mobile phones supported) for free. You can live text-chat your viewers as you stream and, if you have a Symbian-based phone, also share your position using the geolocation feature. All your live streams are automatically recorded inside Bambuser servers so you can access your recordings at a later time. You can set your videos to "private" so that only users you select are authorized to watch your clips. No auto-posting.
- Next2Friends ***DEAD
Next2Friends is a content distribution service that allows you to live stream your video from a compatible mobile phone at no charge. There's not a list of supported mobile phones but the company claims that Next2Friends work on "popular models from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Blackberry and Apple's iPhone". During your live streaming sessions you can text-chat your viewers, submit polls and send pictures or audio files. Geolocation allows you to share your position and find other potential users or customers in your area who like your content. No auto-recording, auto-posting to third party video-sharing sites or private streaming. Pricing information are not available.
Yamgo offers a set of content distribution solutions that you can utilize to stream live videos from your supported mobile phone for free. Yamgo also allows publishers to monetize their existing video inventory including ads in the videos distributed to other platforms (desktop, mobile phones or other supported devices). Video streamed via mobile are automatically recorded and accessible at a later time. No geolocation, live text-chat, or private streaming. Yamgo pricing is not available on the corporate website.
Molv is one of the newest entrants in the mobile live video streaming landscape. Almost all new Symbian-based mobile phones are supported and from Molv claims the list is continuously growing. Videos you stream with Molv are automatically recorded for later use and sharing via web. Video content produced with Molv is not automatically redistributed across other platforms or third-party video-sharing sites. No live text-chat, geolocation or private streaming available. Molv is free to use.
LiveCLIQ Mobile enables you to stream live videos from your supported mobile phone for free. LiveCLIQ video streaming solution is available for Nokia S60 phones and the iPhone, but there is also a dedicated client for those mobile phones that support Java technology. You can broadcast live video to a selected audience and also share your position using GPS. No live text-chat, auto-recording of your streamed videos or auto-posting to third-party video-sharing sites.
- Seero ***DEAD
Seero is a free geo-broadcasting platform that fuses live and on-demand video with GPS mapping. Any mobile with GPS capabilities works with Seero. Each streamed video is localized inside a dedicated Google Map and users that visit Seero.com can browse live videos based on locations rather than user or topic. Live text-chat is supported. No auto-recording of videos, auto-posting to third-party video-sharing sites or private broadcasting.
Robin Good -
Originally prepared by Robin Good and Daniele Bazzano for MasterNewMedia, and first published on June 15th, 2009 as "Mobile Live Video Streaming: Best Tools To Broadcast Yourself From Your Mobile Phone".
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