It’s exciting that Sprint’s 4G network will be able to support services like video chat and YouTube on the upcoming HTC EVO phone, but it’s a bummer that a $10 “premium data” fee will apply for these bandwidth-intensive applications. There was a story going around — even on our sister site, Engadget — that Qik would be charging another $4.99 a month for its video chat service, on top of Sprint’s fees. It turns out that was a misunderstanding . The fee is real, but it’s not for the basic version of Qik video chat. Video chat will be free to all users , and the additional $4.99 will get you premium features.
Google’s new Google Moderator platform allows YouTube users to poll their audience and solicit submissions for questions to answer or new video ideas. It adds a new level of control over comments that might help make YouTube’s generally substandard comments readable. Moderator gives you control over the topic, length of submissions, and the type of submissions you want (Questions? Votes? Something else?), and then gives you the ability to remove submissions as they come in
As if it wasn’t enough that Fring already provided a single app to chat with your friends on multiple IM networks, and make voice calls, they’ve just released a new update for Android phones which enables video calling . If you’ve got an Android handset with a front-facing camera like the HTC Evo or Samsung Galaxy. Former Download Squad editor Brad Linder gave Fring a shot on his N1 running Froyo , but didn’t have much success
With the announcement of WebM, the big-deal new open media format for the web, the average user was probably wondering, “How the heck do I convert my videos to this new format?” The popular cross-platform media player and converter Miro has an answer to that question. Miro Video Converter is claiming the title of first VP8 / WebM video converter app. Miro Video Converter 2.0 also includes some other big improvements over the older version
Now that the VP8 video codec has been open sourced and we’ve been told numerous apps (including four of the top-5 web browsers) will support Google’s WebM, maybe you’d like to test it out? You’re in luck: Google, Mozilla, and Opera have preview builds ready to go! Bear in mind that this is the first cut at implementing WebM, and it’s not perfect. While the standard-def trailers I watched on YouTube streamed well and looked every bit as good as their Flash + H.264 counterparts, high-def playback was another story. It was a bit jittery at times on the first pass, though much better on subsequent views and it feels like a definite improvement over Google’s first HTML5 player — which used H.264
Adobe’s product manager of Flash Media Server recently spilled the beans about his company’s efforts to build the upcoming release of Flash player 10.1 to fully utilize a built-in P2P network, specifically meant to alleviate bandwidth costs for media providers. The service would work through the use of a system called Stratus , which Adobe says can be used to facilitate all manner of P2P Flash activities. While it could be used for anything from multiplayer Flash games to Flash-based chat, it’s streaming video that really stands to gain from the idea. At least, it stands to gain from it if you’re looking at this from a major video provider’s point of view — like CBS, ABC, NBC, or Hulu.
With one big announcement, Google may have just settled the ongoing battle over the media format of choice for the open Web. At today’s Google I/O conference, Google backed WebM , a new project that will attempt to offer a standard, open format for audio and video on the web. WebM is made up of the VP8 video codec, the Vorbis audio codec, and a container format based on Matroska. The code is already available for developers, and users can already watch WebM videos on YouTube