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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Recording live video on the iPhone with Qik and Viddler

November 20, 2008

Sometimes I just can’t help myself. I’m a hacker. Not the type of hacker that wants to break into a bank’s records and steal your personal information or anything – the type of hacker that just likes to make up fun solutions to interesting problems.

Viddler’s current lack of any way to record video on a mobile phone, for instance. More specifically the iPhone. I take a lot of mobile photos (more here) on my iPhone. I’ve wanted to shoot videos on my iPhone too. Now I can.

The first step I had to take was to jailbreak my iPhone. Qik’s iPhone application, while not perfect, allows me to shoot video on my iPhone and have it be recorded, live, on Qik’s servers. In fact, if the connection is good enough you can watch me recording the video only a few seconds delayed.

Viddler bagels! Recorded with iPhone.

But I wanted my video on Viddler. It is my player of choice. Qik’s player is great, especially since it allows you to watch the video as it is being recorded. It also has some interesting interactive features like chat. But, like MTV – I want my Viddler.

So my second step was to build a bridge from Qik to the Viddler. Once the live session has been saved as an FLV Qik creates an RSS feed with a link to the video file. I’ve built a dead simple PHP script that reads that RSS feed, downloads the FLVs, and then transfers them to Viddler. I then took the liberty of creating a quick bit of code that then Twitters the link to the video on Viddler. I do this for my mobile photos posted to Flickr so I thought why not do that for mobile videos as well.

After talking with Qik about this bridge we’ve both decided to do something a little bit better than what I have hacked together using nothing more than what I had access to. So stay tuned. ¬†Until then, you may have my script that I wrote in an hour to play with.