Mr MacRae, Ustream.TV and the Puppy

Yesterday, I was having a look at my Facebook and one of my friends, Kyle MacRae had posted the cryptic message, “Kyle is playing with ustream.tv. 11:36am
October 8”.

Now, I should explain that Kyle MacRae is the co-inventor and founder of Scoopt, the world’s first picture agency for the public. Scoopt was bought a while back by Getty Images, which makes this entreprenurial internet whizz a man to watch. If Kyle is investigating Ustream.TV, maybe this is something I should have a look at! So I did.

Ustream.TV allows me, you, anyone to broadcast live TV from a webcam and microphone to pretty much anyone on the planet. Further investigation showed that the Ustream technology is capable of delivering a live stream from your home or office to as many as 100,000 viewers at once! Quite a piece of technology.

I fired off a quick message to Kyle (pictured left) saying “I followed your link to Ustream.tv – interesting! What are you planning to do with it? Let me know if you’re planning to start your own “show”. In the meantime, I’ll be exploring it a bit myself. Thanks for the steer!”

Naturally, I signed up to the site (which is totally free – at the moment anyway) and set about seeing how it worked. When Colin, a friend of mine came online a bit later, I asked him to watch my stream and I started “Broadcasting”. The monitor window show I had 1 viewer. Suddenly I had 2 viewers! I have no idea of course who this second person was, which made talking into the ether somewhat strange.

Colin reported that the picture and sound quality were first class. He was receiving 15 frames per second and excellent audio, so the technology looks good for its purpose.

There are lots of streams online already, some (most in fact) are incredibly boring, there is a scattering of religious ones, and a few “Lifecast” streams – people who leave their webcams broadcasting 24/7. Curiously many of these had nothing visible happening, yet had viewers numbering in the 30s! Very odd. If I happen to be broadcasting now, you should be able to watch the stream in the window to the right.

I’m not certain how Ustream plan to monetise this service, but it’s an interesting development. Alongside each broadcast window is a chat area where viewers can chat amongst themselves and to the show’s host. The host can also add a poll with multiple choice answers. I chose “What do you think of the show so far (‘Morecambe and Wise’ would have understood) and I got two “GOOD”s in response – thanks Colin and Anonymous Person!

In the meantime, I received a reply from Kyle!

So what was this Internet guru, this founder of an innovative and profitable online public service, this doyen of the digital domain doing with ustream.tv? His answer in full was, “Well, I’m currently pointing a webcam at my new puppy, Bailey, who’s in the next room from me, to help with toilet training! You can catch all the ‘action’ here: http://ustream.tv/channel/baileys-show!

So there you go folks. Let’s start the next Internet Viral Phenomenon right here! To watch Kyle’s Puppy Pooing (or preferebly, NOT pooing) click the link.
Nice one Kyle! :-)

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