Live Streaming on iPhone 3G with Qik

THE N95 just “ain’t what it used to be” to me any more. When I picked up the handset close on two years ago it was a revolution for me. High quality digital camera (5MP), wifi, and easy use of Twitter and Qik through the S60 apps.

When I picked up the iPhone 3G last May, not long before the release of the 3GS in June, my N95 usage in departments camera, browser and video started to dip noticeably. This largely due to my O2 mobile broadband sim virtually living inside my iPhone instead of the USB modem for the past seven months or so.

And while I’m happy out twittering away from the iPhone or going about my daily online business, the one thing that I was hoping would come about was the facility to stream video, using Qik, without having to either a) jailbreak the iPhone or b) upgrade to the 3GS.

Qik on iPhone

A quick dip into the app store last night, spurred on by this blog post, which I had missed over the festive period, and we’re back in business.

There are two versions of the Qik app available – one for iPhone 3G and one for iPhone 3GS. I’m running the latest firmware available on the iPhone 3G and the video above went off this morning without a hitch.

I’ve also shied away from Qik after my O2 billing fiasco in the summer, a 3 minute Qik clip in Connolly Station at the start of the Kilkenny Arts Festival wound up costing me a few hundred euro – lesson well learned in bringing the wrong sim card with me that day. I’m hoping, given the success of the first video this morning that I might be a bit more fortunate on the live video front this year.

The app itself works a charm, the interface very straight forward, one-button record and you’re set. As per your profile on Qik.com you can tie in your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or other social accounts, broadcast live or record offline to store videos on the iPhone and distribute later, use the GPS to share your location with the video (by city, street or precisely), and like the S60 version you can make use of the chat.

I wouldn’t install it unless I knew I had the use of it and with Devious Theatre about to kick into action tomorrow for another two straight months, the return of the One Take Sessions (music series I run in Kilkenny), the multitude of festivals happening locally during the year, I’ll be looking forward to capturing – and making use of – video moments throughout 2010.

Try it for yourself, it’s available in the App store since December 24th and it’s going for the grand ole price of free.

All that remains for me to do is upgrade the N95… keeping the eyes peeled for a nice android handset.

Where’s A Net Cafe When You Need One?

Vilamoura
Creative Commons License photo credit: girolame

So, I’m in Portugal, and have been for the past few days to celebrate John getting hitched. Vilamoura is the current location, then it’s on to destination Faro and Dublin tomorrow morning.

They’ve got the sun. They’ve got the sea. They’ve got great food and cheap alcohol. But internet access leaves a lot to be desired.

I’m sitting in Sete (a bar part-owned by Figo) where you can grab wifi access for the price of a dinner (ten euro for 5 hours access). The hotel I’m in (the sign above the door says it’s a four star) is charging 9 euro an hour for shit quality access through a very restricted Vista-based kiosk in the lobby. If you need anything that requires javascript access (Hotmail, Gmail etc.), forget it.

While I’m away, I rely on internet access. Dubai was easy as there was great access in the apartment and I was never far away. I was mad enough this trip to pay 50 euro for 50mb data access on my office mobile to pull headers via the Gmail app (S60). Two sessions on the laptop in the bar makes it a total of 70 euro, plus another tenner in the hotel brings it to 80 euro. For 80 euro, I happily get FOUR months of mobile broadband access at home.

For 80 euro here I could also get in the region of 20 bottles of wine. And for all our going out, I know I haven’t spent 80 euro on alcohol.

There an internet cafe / kiosk type place up the road from the hotel that’s very much chained up, broken down and left with wires hanging out of the walls.

Yet while they’ve got everything else here, the one thing I’m not seeing is an internet cafe, of any description. Plenty of bars, plenty of TVs to watch Barcelona whip Man U around the place last night, but no internet cafe. The resort seems extremely popular with Irish and English tourists who I’m sure wouldn’t say no to getting online to check things out, or their kids hanging around Bebo and MySpace for the day (give them the option and they’d likely take it).

The description of the hotel touted laptop connections in the room. I must have mistaken power points for ethernet points.

That said, who am I to complain. It’s 33 degrees, possibly in the shade too and the wedding was the business.

Maybe I’m one of those people who just can’t unplug.

Anyone in the market for opening up a chain of cheap internet cafés in heavily populated Irish and English tourist resorts in the south of Portugal?

10MB Broadband Sorted

Finally sorted the 10mb connection. Missed the upgrade form on the website, looks like UPCs upgrade isn’t totally automatic.

Things might run a little faster. The 1mb upstream will be a help on Skype calls anyway and streaming video anyway. 30 bucks a month… plus their ‘standalone’ broadband charge (which is like a levy for not taking their TV package) of 6 bucks a month.