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Mobile video and Googles VoIP

Not so long ago, Google acquired renowned YouTube service, a mecca for everyone willing to give his movie-director skills a go. And almost straight off, a part of this enormous collection got within the reach of mobile phone users. A part because these clips should be converted into a streaming format. They even launched a mobile version of the portal - m.youtube.com, that can be loaded right in your handsets browser.

Upon clicking on a streaming link, Real Player comes to the foreground to play a clip. But as it turns out, it is not all sunshine and rainbows while using GPRS/EDGE, we ran into server connection error in view of minor data connection speed, so the phone offered us to save the link in the Gallery.

Therefore, we had nothing left to do but start looking for a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is also, not without a trick. Even though we specified Wi-Fi network as the access point in Real Players settings, on the first attempt we couldnt open a single link. Then we delved into the connection settings and removed all other access points, utilized for establishing connection with carriers networks. This proved to be enough for Real Player to kick in and play streaming video properly. The video clip demonstrating how streaming link look on our smartphones can be found here.

Both the Nokia N95, and the Nokia N93 did a decent job playing clips in landscape and portrait modes, which we swapped between during playback. Probably, it is all thanks to the new player version we ran the previous version of Real Player for the Nokia N93 made the device freeze up. I only want to highlight the traffic issue in about two and a half minutes the total amount of data received went over 3 Mb, meaning that these streaming videos are somewhat steep, unless you are using a public access point.

The playback quality, bearing phone display dimensions in mind, is pretty adequate no blockiness, jerking, solid sound performance. So Nokias smartphones can do well at handling the mobile edition of YouTube. The only thing we werent happy about was the content itself, which was merely showcasing the abilities of streaming vide, rather than featuring some really interesting clips. In my opinion, Google is simply getting the users familiar with the new services and along the way showcases the abilities of all latest and greatest gadgets. As time passes by, we will definitely see more interesting events or shows taking place right on the displays of our mobile phones, like live coverage of sports events, news blocks or series. It all boils down to the imagination of developers and broadcasting rights. But I suppose advertisers will be the ones to appreciate the new Goolge video services more than anyone else the only will never miss its chance to cram video ads into any clip, so as to compensate the costs of content purchases.

Google Talk Mobile

Also, Google has come up with mobile version of Google Talk with VoIP support.

But the truth is, it is not Googles work the credit goes to Octro, on whose site you can upload Google Talk client for smartphones and communicators running Windows Mobile.

Octro Talk client allows for communication with other Gmail users via chat or VoIP (private sessions or conferences, in the latter case you can create a separate room and invite more users). In addition to text messages, this application also can transfer files back and forth.

The voice transfer quality in broadband networks is pretty decent with no stuttering and modest traffic consumption. However using this application within GPRS/EDGE networks will be quite a pain muffled voices accompanied by significant packet loss rate. Thats why this service is best used with Wi-Fi.

Apart from messaging in Google/Jabber, the application provides you with chatting options for MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo.

Both the application itself and what it does (not counting the traffic you spend) are free. One of the drawbacks to this client (this goes for the PC edition as well) is missing Skype and fring support, as well as inability to operate in SIP protocol. Also, Google is still not a carrier, meaning that there is no way to call fixed location phones or cell phones. But generally, this approach is in keeping with the companys strategy, whose guideline is free communication.

I also have to note that Internet-telephony irritates nearly each and every carrier for instance, T-Mobile has simply forbidden VoIP-traffic circulations in its networks for obvious reasons. Calls in fring or Skype networks over SIP are substantially cheaper than voice tariffs of these carriers.

Related links:

VoIP-telephony on mobile devices

 

Viktor Dashkevich (viktor.dashkevich@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Oleg Kononosov (oleg.kononosov@mobile-review.com)

Published — 01 August 2007

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