Start Streaming: Qik Opens To The Public
Sunday, July 20, 2008; 8:00 PM
Qik, the video service that streams live feeds from your mobile phone, has finally launched its public beta. The site has also introduced a number of new features to the service, including support for restricted group access to videos, self-service event streams, and a new embeddable player.
The beta will support a wide variety of phones on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, including support for software on the Windows Mobile platform that began testing in June. Qik says that it will be continually adding new phones to the supported list, which you can view here.
The site has also implemented support for Groups, which allow users to select who can upload and view selected clips. Among the included privacy options are allowance for public groups, which anyone can post to, restricted groups, which allow anyone to view (but only select users to post), and a private view, which restricts viewing and uploading to a specified group of users.
Qik has also introduced support for special Event sites, which are essentially temporary groups that are focused on a single event or conference. In the past users who wanted to create specific event pages would have to go through the company itself. Now, users will be able to create self-serve pages with custom logos where they can aggregate all of the content from a single event.
We've been using Qik for the last few months, and for the most part we've been pleased with the video quality and the convenience that comes from having a portable video camera that can stream directly to the web (although there have been some troubles with upload speeds that are largely the fault of network carriers). There are a number of very similar services in the space, including Kyte and Flixwagon. You can see a general comparison of some of the services here.