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Jailbreakers: Record and Upload LIVE Video from your iPhone with Qik

August 17, 2008 by Erik MacKinnon 

It’s no secret that for some reason – which us Joe Q. Publics won’t hear about due to the developer-stifling NDA – that there has been a strange absence of video recording applications on the iPhone App Store. Before the iPhone 3G, video recording functionality has long been accessible to jailbreakers through DreamCatcher’s iPhone Video Recorder. Since the 2.0 firmware though, video recording has been absent. Until now! Read on to hear about Qik.com and their amazing live video streaming client for the iPhone.

Qik – pronounced “quick” – has been around for a few months now in open beta as a solution to stream live video from a Nokia S60 or a number of Windows Mobile enabled smartphones straight to the web. Qik is designed from the bottom up as a video-streaming social network. You can send automatic updates of your videos to Twitter, Pownce, Blogger, Seesmic, YouTube, and the list goes on. You can subscribe to others’ Qik feeds to receive updates when they release new videos. And of course, you can form and join groups with other Qikkers. Seeing as how the iPhone 3G is an amazing platform for Qik, it was only a matter of time before a client was released.

Step 1 – head to Qik.com and sign up. You’ll be asked for your mobile number, along with a username and password. Once you have completed the signup process, Qik will send a SMS message to your phone with details that the Qik application will automatically pick up and register you with.

Step 2 – Once you have downloaded and installed Qik (remember: available ONLY through Cydia or Installer.app on jailbroken iPhones) you can now stream video LIVE (through WiFi or 3G only!) which is also recorded and saved to your profile at Qik.com. Click here to view a video I took while walking through downtown Vancouver the other day. A neat feature is that Qik users can chat with you while you’re streaming live – and it shows up right in the video window.

One of the downsides is that the iPhone’s camera, combined with the compression required to stream live video, causes the video quality to be… less than amazing. But considering that you’re able to stream video and audio live to your friends/subscribers/any creepy stalker that may be watching, it’s well worth the trade off. Also, as you can see in the screenshots below you can keep your video private, mute the audio (it’s busted in this beta) and hide/unhide the chat window.

All in, Qik is a fantastic video streaming solution for the iPhone and a VERY easy way for you to record video and save it online. Quite simply, it’s a must have.

Screenshots:

That both Qik (and competing site Flixwagon which released its client on the same day) released their clients on Cydia and Installer – available only to jailbroken iPhones – and not on the iPhone App Store is telling. Is this just an open beta, or are developers’ hands tied in regards to streaming video? Only time will tell.

Until then… long live the free video streaming!

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