Qik Video is a great way to become familiar with live streaming video. With a vast help section and plenty of video tutorials, it's user friendly, and it won't cost you a penny to get started.
What is Qik?:
You can use Qik (pronounced "quick") to capture, share, and stream video live from your mobile phone or computer. Qik is compatible with over 100 mobile devices, and it's free to sign up, so you'll be virtually connected with family and friends in no time.
Getting Started with Qik:
First, you'll need to sign up for a Qik Video account. You'll have the option to sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account, or you can make a new account by providing your name and a valid email address. Next, you'll need to download the Qik application on your mobile phone. You can do this by entering the provided url into your mobile phone browser, or by using your phone to scan the QR code on the Qik website
Live sharing with Qik allows your friends and family to watch your videos as you record them. Qik hosts your live video at qik.com/your username (ex. qik.com/samsmith). When using Qik with your mobile phone, you can synch your Qik account with other social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter, and send notifications of your video through those networks.
If you're logged into Qik on your computer, you can also share the link to your live stream with email and text messages. Just click on the video while you are recording, and you'll be directed to a new window with various sharing options.
Qik video chat allows you to have a two-way video conversation. You can manually add contacts to your Qik account, but by synching your other social media accounts Qik will automatically tell you which of your friends are video chat users.
After you record a video, Qik provides you with several options for sharing and publishing. You can also share the video through email or text message by sending the provided Qik url for your video. To share the video with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or a blog, you'll need to link your accounts from these sites to your Qik account. You can do this under the 'My Networks' tab of your Qik profile. With Qik Premium, you can also send 'Video Mail', which will send the full video file to the Qik member of your choice.
With your free Qik account, you'll be able to save up to 25 Qik videos, but with Qik Premium you can save as much as you can record.
Making Qik videos private varies depending on the model of mobile device you use. On the iPhone, live Qik videos are public by default, but can be made private after you're done recording. By switching the 'live' icon to the off position, you can record a private video to share later.Â For Android devices, there is a lock icon on the video screen that let's you toggle between public and private recording.
Adjusting for Quality:
The quality of Qik live streaming video depends on your mobile device's internet connection. Although Qik uploads and streams your video while you shoot it, Qik live streams tend to lag a few seconds behind. Lag is to be expected with streaming video -it's a relatively new technology that involves a lot of information transfer at once. Lower the quality settings on your mobile device to help reduce delays in your streaming video.
If you want more Qik video options, consider upgrading to a Premium account. Start out with a free trial, and pay $4.99 a month after that. With Qik Premium, you'll be able to download your Qik videos to your desktop or mobile camera roll, share videos with Qik video mail, and have unlimited video storage. With software support from your mobile device, Qik Premium also allows you to record and share HD and 3D videos.
All prices as of March 2012