iPhone and Video Recording

While attending the Tampa Tweetup, I bumped into Sarah, and she pitched me on the virtues of why I should jailbreak my iPhone.

The main selling point: recording video.

All of the other stuff she pointed out, Google Reader syncing, tethering, custom themes, simply didn’t appeal to me. However, recording video sounded fun, all the while perplexing as to why Apple wouldn’t have a native app by now. Anyway, I followed the links in the aforementioned ReadWriteWeb article she posted, and (with a bit of trepidation and guilt mind you), jail broke my phone for the sake of science – see, that sounds better and helps me sleep at night :-P.

As I expected, none of the other selling points passed muster in my brief exploration, and the initial video recording was minimal, yet still intriguing. I held off on restoring the phone to further test video. Then Monday, I saw a post on TechCrunch about a sanctioned app from Ustream that allegedly would allow “users record and broadcast live video from the device”. Certainly I was skeptical, as why would Ustream get through the Apple App Store police, but not Qik. Maybe quality of code, manner in which the app tapped into the built in functions, it had to be something.

Anyway, there were doubts that Ustream would be released in time for the inauguration, but alas, it was released on Monday at some point. All through this, I wasn’t in any hurry to grab it, as I wasn’t expecting to be anywhere that streaming live video would have any consequence, unless you wanted to see me bring my plants in from the predicted freezing weather here in Tampa. That was until late Tuesday I was reminded Alejandro Escovedo was playing here in town.

I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test live, streaming video from an iPhone, albeit without an audience. I registered with Ustream, downloaded teh app, and headed off to the show. Upon arrival, I immediately realized that the released version I got only supported watching streaming video, not recording, at least I couldn’t find the option.

I hadn’t downloaded Qik, nor registered with the service, so as Alejandro and his band kicked it off, I grabbed the jailbroken app and registered via the phone.

I recorded (and I assume streamed live) several songs during the evening.

In short, the audio quality is horrible, which most likely is the result of being right in front of the amps and the volume being maxed out on the phone, but indeed I recorded some video that went straight to the web. Not wanting to compromise the enjoyment of seeing live music, I didn’t explore all of the options in the iPhone app, I titled, tagged, and described the clips once I got home, not much unlike how I’ve done some of the pics I’ve taken and sent to my Flickr account.

All said and done, considering the fact I’d never logged into or looked at Qik prior to the opening of the show, I’d say that the service has promise, especially if I can follow up on some tips on recording via the phone. Ultimately, I expect Apple to release an app that works directly with iMovie, and then allow 3rd party services to tie into that. Until that time comes, Qik is an intriguing option, and worth the effort to jailbreak the phone, assuming one knows the caveats that go along with doing such.