Video Mobile Blogging
One thing I've been waiting to become practical for a while is video mobile blogging (VMB). In case you don't know, VMB is the practice of taking a video with a mobile device and automatically adding it to a blog or website. It's pretty much exactly like a moblog except instead of sending photos you send a video. Due to poor quality, varied video formats and slow network speeds VMB just hasn't become mainstream yet.
The general idea behind a VMB works like this:
- Record video
- Send email with video as attachment
- Script parses email and extracts the video
- Process video for online play
- Extract all meta data
- Record in database
Really, a basic idea; works GREAT for a moblog . The reason's pretty simple; ever since phones started coming with cameras as a standard accessory they've improved in quality and couple that with a data plan (so email can be sent) and it's a perfect fit.
The same thing can't be said for video though. Video on a cell phone is just too new and, well, clunky to be useful in business level applications. In fact, RIM just recently upgraded the Blackberry Curve OS to include video playback a couple of months ago (yeah, I have a Curve).
Problem is, the quality on the video sucks and it takes me about 15 minutes to send the video as an email on an EDGE network. Now, I'm pretty sure my speed isn't a good baseline; I have AT&T so my service downright sucks. That being said, I did do a couple tests on a couple of my friend's phones from various vendors and even though the speed was a little faster the quality was still crappy.
The above doesn't really matter though because, according to friend I have in the mobile industry, there are about 20 different formats the different phones use to encode videos in. This is a biggie; embedding a video into a webpage requires that videos be encoded to the lowest common denominator. Since phones aren't using a standard format the videos would have to be converted to a standard format on the server which increases the complexity and cost of such a platform.
It should be noted that a lot of phones are encoding their videos using the 3GP format; but because it's not common enough to be a standard codec on users computers I don't consider this a full solution.