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December 17, 2012

Near-instant video uploads with new YouTube Capture app (iOS only for now)

The ever-increasing power of mobile devices and speed of networks has enabled yet another new development in the world of recording. YouTube has launched the YouTube Capture app (iOS) that allows you to record a video and then upload it to YouTube immediately, limited only by the speed of your mobile device and the speed of your data network. YouTube also offers some basic editing, along with free background music provided by Topher Mohr, Audiosocket and Duotone. Around 20~ different soundtracks are available as of the time of writing.

Long post, more after the jump...

Interestingly, the app is only available for iOS at the moment. It is compatible with the iPhone 3GS (or later), iPod Touch (3rd generation or later) and iPad. The app is "optimized" for the iPhone 5. The app size is 26MB but as of the time of writing it takes longer to install than its file-size may suggest.

A search at the Google Play store shows 55 Google apps and 1 YouTube app but no YouTube Capture app.

Needless to say, whenever there is a development of this type, the debates push in different directions - empowering more people vs lowering the entry bar.

Playing with the YouTube Capture app for a few minutes
When you open the app for the first time, you are presented with a giant sign-in button, to sign-in to your Google account, but on the bottom right corner there is a tiny little "Skip" button. In other words, you can use the app without signing into a Google account. However, if you want to upload videos to YouTube, you must sign-in with a Google account (obviously). Optionally, you can connect the app to your YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts.

You can select video quality for the upload as part of the app settings. You cannot select whether the uploads happen on Wifi-only. The app is not listed under the i-Device's Settings. It's easy to look for it there since "Y" is towards the end of the alphabet :)

The app has warnings if you are shooting videos in the portrait direction, although, judging by what is posted online, vertical videos may be a combination of a new art form, a protest, or people just don't bother/care/know-any-better ;-)

When you start recording, a round counter on the right side of the screen shows recording time. Post-capture, you can enter a title, select privacy level (public video, unlisted, private), and select whether YouTube will automatically apply Color Correction and Stabilization. You can also Trim the video. The original is not ruined, trimming only affects what is uploaded to YouTube.

The app has a Camera Roll feature, which needs to be enabled under the i-Device's Settings / Photos.

The app only crashed once on an iPod Touch of the 4th generation variety during this playing-with session. Upon restart, it asked whether I wanted to send The Google the crash report.

This app could be useful for photographers wanting to post quick videos discussing a current photo-shoot or a project under way, or provide quick updates while on the go or post a daily video diary ("Hi! It's Tuesday. I'm back at the studio. Today we are shooting the portrait of a local celebrity!. We are going to use the XYZ lightning system and try out the new KLM backgrounds and etc etc etc")

Introduction to YouTube Capture
The app is introduced at the YouTube blog and discussed in the techie-sphere via Techmeme. There's also a 60-minute YouTube video showcasing the app, YouTube-embedded below...

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