10 October, 2007

Stream your own Internet TV

Ever consider having your own Internet TV? Perhaps you are an Indie band trying to get some exposure or you are a tech geek helping others. Using Ustream.tv you can do exactly that. As I write this, I am listening and watching a live stream from Indie Game Conference hosted by GarageGames (the band's name isn't listed) -- the band is about as good as I might hear on a night out at the clubs.

All it takes is a computer with a webcam and mic, and 320 Kbs minimum upstream bandwidth, and you're good to go. After registering and providing some basic info on your feed, you get a custom URL that you can share with all your Internet friends. In addition, you can embed the stream into another web page and you can have real-time chat with your viewers.

Of course it's not a perfect solution. Ustream.tv could really put some work into finding recorded and live streams, as there is a lot of junk. For example, when I click on a tag in their tag cloud, I get all shows from one poster before seeing the next. Why not group those, so I can quickly scan shows from many folks? Also, even though you can give your show a description, the description is not displayed when you browse or search -- you have to click-through to see the details. Overall though, those are minor usability issues that I would expect to be fixed as Ustream.tv gains popularity.

Give Ustream.tv a look for yourself. Start with one of your favorite tech geeks such as Leo Laporte or Chris Pirillo, or browse through the music section. If that is not your interest, you can even check out Senator Edwards and Senator Dodd. Once you've seen others, perhaps it's time to broadcast yourself...

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