Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Streaming audio and/or video for free

Today we met Ron, who is trying to help a local radio station stream their programming via the Internet to listeners worldwide. I mentioned to him a great free solution that I used in 2008 to stream seminar talks -- www.ustream.tv. This is a free service that "enables anyone with a camera and an Internet connection to quickly and easily broadcast to an online global audience". It means that you can stream audio and video, and then even keep an archive hosted on their website.

Ustream.tv has a few big advantages:
  • No special software needed to broadcast or to view (beyond Flash)
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • It's been running since 2007 - this is a good record for such a service
  • "Users can broadcast events to an audience of unlimited size, and enable interaction through chat and Social Stream" (from their website)
  • A player can be embedded directly into your own website
  • Free! This is key in Bhutan, not so much because it saves money but because it means that a credit card is unnecessary (given that there are no credit cards here)
You might ask what is Ustream's business model if this is all free. The answer is advertising, and as in many other "freemium" services, they also offer a more elaborate paid version called Watershed.

Ustream.tv is a really cool option not only for small radio stations but also for journalists on the go, who have a laptop with mobile Internet connection, a microphone and a webcam. No need for a camera crew in order to report live!

5 comments:

  1. why is ustream asking for server authentication? did i land at a wrong site or is it down?

    anyway, how about Veetle? http://veetle.com/ You just have to download a tiny plugin and you are ready to broadcast/watch/listen live videos and audios(HD supported)...works on cross platforms/browsers/OS. It's free too...:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for Veetle. I recommended Ustream.tv because I have some experience with it, but there are a bunch of free broadcasting tools out there. Here's a comparison of some of them http://www.masternewmedia.org/best_live_video_streaming_services_compared_-/ and http://www.masternewmedia.org/live-video-streaming-guide-to-the-best-broadcast-services/

    The trick is to consider what are the needs of the broadcaster and the viewers and decide accordingly. From the comparison tables it is clear that different services have different advantages (and weaknesses). For instance, it looks like Veetle does not record your broadcasts.

    [Not sure why you got a server authentication msg.]

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to check it out. But is it something like Youtube? anyway...let me see!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @PaSsu: These broadcasting services are different from YouTube. On YouTube you upload your video (which you first record somehow) and others can view. Broadcasting means that you stream your audio or video in *real-time*, like a radio station. You can also record these broadcasts and have an archive (and that part is a bit like YouTube).

    Think of this like the difference between producing (or listening to) a radio show and a CD. Or between broadcasting/watching live TV and a recorded movie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Galit. Yesterday evening when I got home BBC was talking about this too.

    What amazes me is that There is more to come than what has come. Human creativity has no limit. There is room for newer, bigger, brighter things...god!

    ReplyDelete

We love to hear from our readers!
Comments are reviewed before being published, so it might take a few hours before you see your comments posted.