REVIEW: Streaming Media Players for Windows Mobile – Let the battle begin!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Streaming video clients”? No, it is not an application that allow you stream video to your phone, but applications that let you stream your video to the world. Kind of like you would see on a news channel live for the most part and anybody can watch it or you can have it private.

QIK

The first application i will review is probably the most popular of the three. It’s called QIK you can find it at www.qik.com. QIK has just started supporting windows mobile operating systems. It has so far supported Symbian S60 platform.

As you can see in the picture it has a very appealing user interface compared to the others. The application gives you the ability to set your video stream to either public meaning everyone can see it or private, meaning only those that you allow to see it. In the settings, you can adjust the quality and bit rate you want to send out.

You can’t adjust the stream like you can in the other applications. QIK gives you two options “min delay” and “max quality”, the benefit of min delay is that its stream it out live with min amount of buffering. Max sends out the best stream and if you don’t have the enough bandwidth if will store it locally and upload when you have better bandwidth. One think to remember that although the cell networks boast the download speed in the 800kbps and up range they don’t tell you the upload speed usually hovers around 150kbps up give or take the networks. but this is changing fast with networks like rev a (Sprint and Verizon) and HSUPA (AT&T)

The quality of the video is the best out of the three. You can go to www.qik.com and view a sample. Currently, the application is free, so if you have a Windows Mobile device, go and check it out!

LIVECAST

The next application is Livecast which was formerly known as Comvu Pocketcaster. It can be found at http://www.livecast.com/. It’s the oldest of the bunch. I remember using it when I had my HTC Hermes, also known as the Cingular 8525 in US.  The user interface is a little different than the QIK one. It gives you more option to customize as it gives you the option on the size of the stream you want to stream from 25kbps up to 300kbps.

Unlike QIK you’re also allowed to add GPS tag to your stream. Yes people will be able to see where you are and what you’re recording at the same time. Another cool feature is that you can send a link with your video to another phone. Unlike QIK which you have to view it on there website, this give you the option to send it as a text and the person can open the link on the cell phone. I personally think the video wasn’t as good as QIK and the program was less stable than QIK.

There was many times when I would click stream and no video would show up but you could hear the audio. Another problem i had with program it would lock up the device when exiting it. This application is free and worth trying if you have a windows pocket pc or windows smartphone go try it out. Note that I had problems using it with newer HTC devices like the HTC Diamond and HTC Kaiser something to do the camera API

OCTROVIDEO

The last application is called OctroVideo. It can be found at www.octro.com. This is the newest application of the bunch. I personally think it needs work. The user interface is terrible. It’s basically a yellow bar on the bottom of the screen and gives you almost no options at all.

You get 3 options select image size, one option 240×320. Frames per second are between 1-15, quality 1-100 and the video you get from the application looks really pixilated and unusable. People look like blobs of squares on a regular computer screen.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Final thoughts are as cellular network get better the ability to send live video will better as well. I over all like the Qik and thought it was more user friendly as well as being the simplest out of the box experience. There are other streaming applications like Flixwagaon but are geared towards of operating system.

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