When writing an API for people outside of your company, ease of use is key! The simple fact of the matter is, if it’s not easy to use, then you will get the questions about how to use it, why it’s not easier and a whole host of other reasons for one of your users to ask questions. After playing with LiveStream and UStream tonight, I must say that neither have documented their iPhone support well, however LiveStream at least put a little effort forth by having a dedicated iphone.livestream.com address which you can use to stream h.264 encoded videos. Their sample feed is great, and showed me exactly what I needed to know to add this ability to my app quickly and easily.
UStream on the other hand has to wait for a developer to contact me about the availability of their app through the API. They have an iPhone app, which tells me that they have the technology, however they have not done the little bit of work that it would take to make all this come to life. I will be sad if they do not have the technology ready prior to the start of the season since one of my feed providers uses them.
All in all, I will be happy when the big players like these are finally h.264 compliant out of the box. LiveStream is, but the feed I am working with is not – though they’re working on it. I know it will take time for everyone to catch up, though more and more people are using mobile technologies like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. While these are only a subset of the current mobile technology world, there is enough market penetration at this point for us to warrant a real look into this issue, and change it for the better…
I definitely commend LiveStream, and hope UStream will follow suit soon!