Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Lessons learned using Ustream Recorder for iPhone

This morning I participated in a wonderful outreach activity with members of our church at the City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City, and I recorded the children’s program portion of the event using the free Ustream for iPhone Recorder application. These are a few of my lessons learned from this experience. See my post, “Share password protected online videos with Mobile Me,” for more information about how I privately shared these videos online.

The free Ustream for iPhone Recorder application permits owners of an iPhone GS to record videos offline, and later upload those videos to three different websites. (Including Ustream, of course. The others are Facebook and YouTube.) One of the biggest limitations to know about, if you choose to use this program, is that recorded videos can only be ten minutes in length. Because I was video recording a 25 minute event today, I ended up missing some of the program as the application “processed” the videos after the ten minute limit was reached each time. Keep this in mind. You may want to use the default / built-in video recording application on the iPhone GS instead of this one if you want a continuous / unbroken video recording longer than ten minutes. On the other hand, if you ARE planning to upload to YouTube this application could be preferable since it FORCES you to stop each video after ten minutes.

The biggest advantage of the Ustream for iPhone Recorder, in my view, is its ability to immediately upload videos to Ustream. Sometimes I don’t think it is desirable to post videos to YouTube, because the content of those videos may not be something you want on your public, personal YouTube channel– or whatever YouTube channel(s) you’ve setup to date. The traffic on YouTube is HUGE compared to Ustream… and I think it’s important to consider purpose, audience, and the potential impact of your video sharing when selecting a publishing destination. The iPhone’s built-in functionality includes YouTube uploading, but not uploading to other sites. Consider using a free iPhone application like PixelPipe if you want to upload media (photos as well as videos) to multiple target websites, but not Ustream. I wrote about PixelPipe last summer when our family was in Hawaii, in the post, “Ready to mobile-blog our vacation.”

After you record a video of ten minutes or less on your iPhone using the Ustream recorder app, you can edit the titles for each video.

2 of 3 channels changed on Ustream Recorder for iPhone

You can also select the Ustream “channel” to which you’d like to publish these videos. In my case, since these videos were not about strict educational technology issues, I created a new Ustream channel I could use to publish them.

Choose the channel for Ustream publishing

Since I couldn’t publicly share these videos, I changed the privacy settings on these videos to “me only,” and shared them with Mobile Me as a password-protected album. After recording each video, since I knew it would take a LONG time to upload each one over 3G, I chose to simply SAVE them locally on my iPhone and then upload them later when I got home.

After editing title information on Ustream Recorder for iPhone

After choosing to publish one or more videos with the Ustream for iPhone Recorder, you are presented with a dialog window to select publishing options. Since Twitter will not actually host videos, like Ustream, Facebook and YouTube, I’m sure the available Twitter option is to simply “tweet links” to your posted Ustream video online. I only chose the Ustream publishing option today.

Ustream Recorder for iPhone Publishing Options

After choosing this publishing option, I clicked UPLOAD and then began waiting.

Waiting for videos to upload to Ustream

The upload took a LONG time. I actually left my iPhone for about an hour, and when I came back the uploads had finished. If my home high speed Internet connection supported faster uploads, this time would have been reduced. Unfortunately, the upload speeds supported by many residential Internet providers in the United States are FAR slower than the download speeds, so depending on the quantity and length of your videos, be prepared to wait awhile for this upload process.

Overall, I was very pleased with the functionality of the Ustream Recorder for iPhone application. Before using it I didn’t know it would limit me to just ten minutes per video, so that is something very important to know at the outset if you’re recording an important event.

What was probably best about this entire experience was the fact that I had not planned to record it in advance, but was able to because I had my iPhone GS in my pocket and had previously installed the free Ustream Recorder for iPhone app. I absolutely love the fact that with my iPhone, I am prepared for almost anything (media documentation-wise) as a Storychaser.

Even though it would be GREAT for Ustream to let the publicly available recording application LIVE stream events, as the jailbroken version used to on the original iPhone and iPhone 3G, it is still a worthwhile application to have if you want to provide fast online access to videos you record. Perhaps the 10 minute application limit is imposed because YouTube is an optional video publishing destination? That makes sense, although it would be nice if users could enable or disable this recording time limitation. In my case today, I would have certainly disabled it so I could have recorded the entire 25 minute event as a single video. This would further differentiate the Ustream Recorder for iPhone app from the built-in functionality of the iPhone GS’ video recorder, which already supports direct uploading to YouTube.

The Ustream Recorder for iPhone app does support mobile “trimming” of recorded videos’ start and ending points, just like the default iPhone video recorder does. I am confused why Yappler lists this app under the “entertainment” category, instead of a multimedia category. Yappler needs a videography category at least.

For more of my past experiences “live streaming” with Ustream (but not an iPhone) see my past posts, “Ustream at Night from the Lincoln Memorial,” “Ready to webcast and podcast NECC 2009 and discuss K12Online09 at EduBloggerCon,” “Lessons Learned from two more remote webcast,” and “Partial victory web-casting from the Smithsonian.” My Ustream ID is wfryer (if you’d like to follow) and my primary Ustream channel (which I use periodically for edtech related video streams) is “Moving at the Speed of Creativity Live.”

What experiences have you had recording mobile video on an iPhone? Any with the Ustream recording app for iPhone?

DISCLOSURE: (Please see my disclosure policy for more information about my past and current relationships with Apple. I do not have nor have ever had an affiliation with Ustream or Yappler. (I used a few Yappler links in this post.) Apple neither encouraged me or compensated me in any way for sharing this endorsement of the iPhone GS. I love my iPhone, as well as the website Ustream. That’s why I shared this post.)

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