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demoFone, a WebCasting app for S60 and UIQ3…

I recently became aware of an application called demoFone, which is a webcasting application for S60 and UIQ3 devices.

I personally own a nokia N95 8GB and try out all the new apps!  This is akin to qik on the (share your sreen with all) level.

If you are at all familiar with webcasting, you know the benifit of being able to share your screen with people, ‘specially when you’re trying to get a point across without flying around the world to point to “that” icon on the desk, or email that “massive” raw photo you just took.

With WebCasting you can have virtual meetings around the world and share the contents of your desktop, images, video, documents, etc.

After just a few minutes of testing the demoFone application, I was more than sold!  I’m always trying to explain myself over the phone with some luck, but run into problems when it comes to the photo I just took or the document I have local to my device, etc. but don’t really want to email it out (just yet) or I’d rather walk someone through the use of an application on my device.

With demofone I was able to do just that… and with video capabilities as well.  It does not have audio (yet), but with more users and the likelyhood of it’s popularity, I quickly see this application becoming a winner with many who just need to get their point across without mailing or texting  back and forth like crazy! AND, like many older webCasting services, you can just make the phone call (on another device) or on the same device (assuming you have some sort of semi-detached headset so you can see what you’re doing on the device) and talk at the same time.  It’s that easy.  I’d of course use wi-fi for display, as it will be much quicker, but if you need to, your mobile providers data connection will work too, slowly, but it works.  :)

demoFone, you g/uy/al/s have a great product here!

Below is a short video I took with qik of the application in use on my device.

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skyfire’s Awesome Mobile Browser!

November 20th, 2008 | Category: AT&T,ATT,GPRS,live stream,N95,N95-4 8GB NAM,Nokia,qik,TWIT

Up ’till now, I’ve added hacks, and workarounds, and multiple different browsers and software programs to all the different mobile devices I’ve owned, just to make it do things like, get a decent browsing experience (close to a full on computer), listen to audio (any), watch video and most important of all in todays “NOW” environment, do this all live!

Nokia came with a decent browser, capable of many things, but not enough, enter Opera…

I was hoping Opera’s browser would improve upon the lack of things Nokia’s browser was not capable of doing, (live audio/video, better browsing through “more like PC pages”), etc., sadly, no.

Opera would display pages a tad nicer, but that was about it.

What I REALLY wanted was the ability to watch streaming video LIVE! Not, download the video from YouTube or similar sites and watch it… but stream live while the situation unfolds.

Many devices say they stream, but in reality they were simply downloading a “file” to then watch (the buffer might have been the closest thing to an actual “stream”).

Today, I ran into a newer browser called, SkyFire.

SkyFire is currently available for S60 devices (N Series and E Series Nokia mobiles) and Windows Mobile.

I must say, I was more than shocked, as SkyFire did not advertise it’s ability to stream live content, it simply touted it as a browser more like your PCs browser. That alone intrigued me. After all, I had tried several other claiming similar things to no real avail.

This is exactly what I wanted! I was amazed! The first site I tested (simply due to the fact that I wanted a streaming experience) was my favorite live a/v guy, Leo Laporte at twitlive.tv Here is the footage I took while testing it.

 



Then I moved on to my mobile video streaming site Qik.com and sure enough, they both streamed the live content right as it came out of my mouth. It was odd looking at my delayed qik video being streamed up, and then back down to skyFire’s browser on my N95 (over AT&T’s sluggish 3G network), (it was kinda of like watching what I stream from my phone on my full on computer) but hey, it worked, worked well and I am VERY happy!

The browser does not stop there, complete with standard back, forward, enter URL, bookmark, fit to screen, and zoom -+ options, but, I’ll still most likely use my default Nokia browser for quick and dirty things as it’s not really feasible to view a web page built for a monitor resolution of 1024×768 or higher on a 320×240 screen (despite zooming, just too much scrolling at normal size). But when I need a more full on computer like experience, you can bet, I’ll be turning to my newest browser, SkyFire!

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Google (gMail) Video Chat…

November 13th, 2008 | Category: conference,gmail,google,gTalk,video,video chat
It’s been a long time coming, after all, we’ve had video conference / chat since before the internet, skype has it, AIM and MSN has/d it… however, after trying Google’s gMail Video chat, I must say, I’m impressed.Installation was near instantaneous, and almost completely behind the scenes. I had no idea it was installed (most likely a few seconds later) when I had clicked the “Install Voice and Video Chat” button, as it wasn’t until I wondered what was going on, and moved my browser out of the way that I saw the completion dialog box behind chrome.      

That was nice and quick, just needed a more obvious confirmation.

As for usage… well, nothing seemed to really tell me that the settings are within the “chat” portion of your gMailsettings“, but that wasn’t to hard to figure out.      

I started off like this… installed, hmmm, what do I do now? Friend IMd me… oh cool, an opportunity, within the browser (gMail),

gMail Settings
I started chatting and then clicked “video and more”, Video and More
this enabled a smaller turn up (kinda like a clock rotation / pop up)… once I did that, it was then blatantly obvious to click “video chat” or invite the friend to video chat.My chat-hort was unaware it was out yet, so we had an audio conversation at first… smooth and easily understood. I was on a wired connection and he wi-fi at $bucks and once I told him the great news, he immediately clicked on the red text at the top of his gMail or iGoogle page that said, “| New! Video chat |” and his download was as instantaneous as mine.      

We were off, with the install there was not even a need to restart the conversation, it just worked, immediately! Now that is seamless!

I made a few adjustments in the “Camera” settings drop down, and it immediately changed in the chat session I had going… no hang up, no reboot, no hassle at all, it just worked. Again, SEEMLESS!

Google, I must say, it’s an impressive addition to the already easy and clean gTalk (chat) function already available. NOW, I want to see it available as a mobile application (and please don’t fall into the iPhone only trap, at least make it for Symbian devices as well.  Otherwise I’ll just continue using Fring and qik.com for video confrencing on my Nokia N95-4 8GB.  ;)

Oh, and on a slightly sadder note… I have two PPC macs, and this does not work on PPC.  :(  So, I was restricted to using it on my PC, since I don’t have an intelMac.  :(  I feel like I’m being left out with fewer apps being made for PPC.

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iphone 3G, pleeease.

July 11th, 2008 | Category: Apple,AT&T,ATT,GPS,HSDPA,iPhone,live stream,qik,voip,Wi-fi

This is silly, just silly.

I have to agree with Leo Laporte (of twitlive.tv) and many related to the industry when It’s said that you may be wasting your money if you let “At this time” screw you into a contract for a partially functional (based on definition) device!

Leo’s been online (live) since the first Apple store opened in New Zeland, on Friday July 11th, 2008 convering the launch of the 3G iPhone! And, although I don’t have his following, I have been re-streaming Leo’s audio for those that can’t view it, but want to stay connected via audio only. (my live stream on the right menu). This has been nice for those who only have their mobiles or capable of a .pls stream.

Just as a plug for me and Leo, (as it’s my site)… I re-stream Leo whenever he’s online, for those interested in a mobile version at a lower bit rate for ease of cellular streaming.

But…, the title of the post is really, “iPhone 3G, pleeease.”

So far this is what we’ve learned about the new iPhone 3G.

1. It’s got GPS (but it seems to act more like triangulation) the kind that google maps uses for mobile devices. Hmm, not turn by turn… seems that’s what GPS is mainly used for.
2. It has 3G (thus the title). However, as it’s been repeated, 3G is really (At this time) only available in Major Metro cities (and not even all of them). In fact, there is more wi-fi coverage across the globe than 3G, so you decide which you’d rather use and (NOT) pay for?
3. Apps, Shmaps. Software is cool, but many other devices that have many other cooler and “completely functional” hardware have been open for development for a long time!

These seem to be the 3 most noted changes in the launch of this new device (and the apps don’t really count) since the software version 2.0 enables new apps on the old iPhone, and if you can install Google Maps on the old iPhone, then your “triangulated” GPS has been available since it was installed. Sooo… it seems 3G is the only enhancment. No?

Personally, I’d not get screwed into a contract, and rather have the immediate option to buy the device and plug my own/old sim to work. Sadly, Apple descided that was not a good idea (for who knows what reason)?

In addition to all this, with all the activation problems, (servers down, etc.) Apple and or AT&T “At this time” are sending people out of the stores with an inactive device. This may just lead to some never activating it “under contract”. Rumor has it, it only took approx 3 1/2 hours to unlock it yesterday (Via someone in New Zeland). This of course won’t take long to get into the wild for everyone to use, and thusly, if you have a device that is unactivated (opposed to activated forcefully in the store)… you may just be able to unlock it and pop in your existing sim.

Hmm, I’d love to know the numbers on that one.

If you don’t need the cellular, just get an iPod touch, install a VOIP client and use wi-fi for phone calls. :) Hey, at least your coverage would be greater with Wi-fi. ;)

One positive thing I can say, even though the new iPhone STILL does not have video recording (built in) (as I understand it), a company called qik.com will allow you to do just that, and live at the same time. So, if you’re one of the secondary “early adopters” of the newest iPhone, don’t fret completely, it has one improvement. (oh wait, the old iPhone can do qik too). DANG!

Thoughts, if Apple and At This Time are going to go into a shady @$$ deal like the last and this one, things really need to work, immediately! No? Or, was it your intention to have many unactivated devices in the wild?

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My Seattle to Portland Bicycle Live Stream (Live STP)

OK, so this weekend is the STP  (Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic) for those unfamiliar with the acronym (it’s not the Stone Temple Pilots).  ;)  The ride  is July 12-13 being a 1 or 2 day ride (we will ride 2).  This will be my 8th ride and this is my goal:

I plan to stream AS MUCH of the 2 day event that I can via my Nokia N95 8GB while riding.  I will be with some friends, so there will be a bit of banter, I’m sure (it’ll help keep it more interesting).  No music for safety (unless you want to mash up your own after each clip).

Here is the list of items I will use to archive this (a live stream) as long as I can.

Device: Nokia N95-4 8GB NAM
Software: Qik, Live Audio Video Streaming from a mobile Phone
Batteries: 1 1200 mAh and 1 1600 mAh
Standard wall charger for overnight battery refuels at the Centralia half-way point.
Green Recharging: HYmini Solar and Wind powered charger
Protective waterproof casing and a Gorilla Pod for stability

Here’s the trick… I will most likely be unable to stream every waking moment for a few reasons:
1.  this is being done via AT&T’s cell network.  So, we are dependent on their coverage which is obviously not everywhere.  :(
2.  even though I have portable recharging while I ride, streaming takes up so much juice, I can’t recharge as fast as I can use it.  :(  (however I will do a full recharge at the Centralia half-way point for finish line coverage.)

So, with those things in mind, feel free to keep this page open to watch as we go live.  If you never see the video come back, you may have to refresh, but qik (the service I’m using to do this) is pretty good at reloading when live.  Or, you can go to the direct page at http://qik.com/thecolor

If you ask me, this capability is amazing!  It changes the way we “do media”.  Qik’s software and capabilities bring everything to us, NOW, and I’m totally stoked to do this!

By going to the qik page you can use the Live Chat feature, but please be aware I may not be able to see the stream, nor will I be looking at it allot for safety reasons.  I will glance every now and then to be sure it’s still streaming, etc.  but if you say something and I see it, I’ll speak up.  :)

Each of these streams are archived once complete and are available on qik as downloads and Youtube (under “thecolor“).  So, you can either refer others to the qik.com/thecolor page for the live coverage + and or, just refer them to the specific recorded link/downloads if you want to show a previously recorded stream.

Wish us luck on a fun and sunny ride and that we get as much coverage of it as possible.  :)

Here is one riders page to wish him luck as well.  :)
Terry:  http://www.myspace.com/tmanbikeridnfool

P.S. if you want an auto notification of when it goes live (given those moments it drops for bad coverage, or otherwise)… you can follow me on twitter (user “thecolor“) and auto posts are made as soon as I go live.  :)

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tweeting my life away. ;)

May 05th, 2008 | Category: qik

I have not made a new blog in a few days.  I’ve been so busy twit or tweeting, I’ve lost track.  Oie.

I plan to stream another bike ride today, so feel free to watch at http://qik.com/thecolor

Bring your Dramamine and popcorn.  ;)  I’ll tweet about it before I start in case you a part of that network… of course, if you just watch my blog, you’ll see the tweet to the right.  :)

Oh, and this time I am going to try a slightly higher size 320×240.  It should be a bit cleaner, but may buffer just a bit.  You’ll have to let me know if there is much of a delay since I won’t be able to see it until after I ride.

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I’ve been Qiking like crazy…

I need to do a video comparison of the recordings my Nokia N95-4 8GB NAM does on it’s own (stored locally) and those that Qik.com allows me to stream at its highest quality.  I tell you, if the qualities are anywhere near the same, Qik will be most likely replace my local video storage all except for those moments I just can’t stream.  :)  I recently recorded my bike ride utilizing numerous functions of my phone to get a real good test of things.

I received my wind powered (solar backed up) charger and mounted it to my bike.  Once that was on, I turned on my devices GPS (using free.3dtracking.net) to record my ride, I turned on the music so I’d be have something to pedal too and utilized the front camera of my device to stream via Qik’s mobile audio/video streaming service!

I tell you, this just rocked!  Not only did I start off with less than a full battery, but, I road for an hour (recorded for 59.30 minutes) and used all those things the entire time.  Once I stopped, and unplugged my device from the wind powered charger I still had 4 bars.  The wind powered charger did exactly what it said it would, and streaming on the lower end of Qik’s service was great.  Using all those things without a charge station of some sort would really put the drain on your battery and it would be dead in less than an hour (I’ve tested this just by recording using qik.com (not playing music or using GPS, just recording on qik).)

I was most likely on AT&T’s 3G (HSDPA) service the whole time, and never saw a (delay indication).  Granted I was not always looking, I’ve managed to drive with it and have no delay indicator.

I streamed up to qik, recorded the entire time, (the screen stays lit while recording with qik) and as we all know, screen activity reall drains a battery.  I was constantly pulling a gps signal from a min of 9 sats, and uploading my position every 30 seconds to track using free.3dtracking.net and playing the music.

All in all, I’m very impressed with all the features mentioned above.  The Nokia N95-4 8GB NAM rocks, Qik.com rocks, free.3dtracking.net rocks, and so does thinkgeek.com’s solar and wind powered charger!

How will I ever make this “analog thing” work?  :(

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PocketCaster vs Qik Live Mobile Streaming…

Well, I can’t really do a VS.. but the title makes you look. :)

Reason I can’t do a comparison at this point is ’cause no matter how many times I sign up for QIK, I get the same, “we’ll let you know when were ready for you’ type of statement. It’s actually kind of annoying. So, I went with Comvu for software called “PocketCaster.” PocketCaster is a similar service that allows you to stream from your mobile device (in my case the Nokia N95-4 NAM).

So far, it’s a killer app. Simple install, simple usage, and (for a live mobile stream where most devices are not capable of that yet), it’s not to shabby. :)

I can stream using my front cam (the smaller lower res one) or the main (back) cam which still seems to be compressed for the upload, but again, still cool and convenient.

Again, it’s LIVE, not pre-recorded! :) I have all the connectivity options, wi-fi, standard cell data connection, GPRS, 3G, EDGE, HSDPA as well as the ability to store the file locally or remotely for that “pre-recorded” archive. :)

Quality options range from 24kbps to 160kbps, of course I set mine to the highest.

It also has a GPS location functionality, which I assume will let viewers know exactly where you are. Now that rocks. My first test was indoors, so I did not bother testing the location function, but will let you know how that goes.

My second, third and fourth tests were outside on a walk from home and after viewing the archived footage and hear/rather seeing the IMs my friend in the NL was sending me (while I was narrating and strolling home in the rain) touring them a bit around Seattle, were, “this is just amazing!!” Streaming over wi-fi was great at home, but over 3G and EDGE it worked beautifully, which is a nice thing considering a walk down the street on a router (wi-fi) does not get you very far (no hand off like a cell tower). Thusly I was very happy to see how well it did over standard cell connectivity. :)

The one thing I wish was added was the “always ask” feature the N95 typically uses for data connectivity… as you have to manually set your connection option, which can be annoying to have to go in and change if you’re not near wi-fi.

Over all, my first few tests are way cool and super fun. Now, if I could only get an account and software for quick for a better comparison!

The embedded player was slowing the blog load, so I removed the embeded player and added a link to the right column.  Or, here.  :)

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