|Description||media enhancement service|
What is eLive?
eLive is a media enhancement service. From your browser, you record your voice while adding links, pictures, or videos from external sources. Friends can join you for a multi cast and viewers can tune in live and revisit your creation as a VOD later.
Media contents aren’t fused together but synchronized on the fly. Spectators see exactly what you show during the cast and can interact with it: setting the volume of a video separately from your voice, clicking on your links, or accessing the source content.
The number of potential applications is quite impressive: become sports commentator, create TV or radio shows, bring interactive podcasts, make video reviews, telework or even sing karaoke!
Synchronization using live video feeds is currently being worked in.
Why do we do this?
Because we can. But also because: Right now to make a video cast you have to download every media you want to use, record your voice, sync everything manually in a video software, then encode it to a single file and export it to a video sharing service.
If you want to do it live through a streaming platform such as Justin.tv, you have to install screen capture software and prepare dozens of windows to drag in and out of the capture area.
Casting together with friends is a nightmare. You have to get everyone on Ventrilo/Teamspeak, sync everyone manually through some kind of countdown or visual cues and then pray that nobody lags or buffers and screws up the sync.
With eLive: 1) Contents are fetched right from the source, which means full quality for everyone (no re-compression) and next to none upload bandwidth requirements 2) Nothing to install â€“ screen capture isnâ€™t needed and voice streaming ships with Flash 3) All the contents are referenced in a single media playlist and you can easily switch between them as you like 4) Multi-casting works right out of the box and you and your friends are synced / re-synced 100% automatically
Modern rich media shouldnâ€™t be about mixing everything in a single file anymore. It should be about synchronizing all kinds of external contents together, and doing it on the fly. Kind of like hardcoded subs in movies eventually gave way to multiple-language softsubs. But apart from YouTubeâ€™s text captions and NicoNicoâ€™s timed comments, we havenâ€™t seen anyone heading this way yet.
On the company level, we focus on what we do best, and use the infrastructures and services built by other companies as much as we can. We lose some control by doing so but thatâ€™s something weâ€™re willing to sacrifice. No point trying to become a vod provider, a live stream provider, a media aggregator and a social platform at the same time and failing at every one of them. Two years back weâ€™ve seen a potential competitor (Korean GomCast) take this route and they died six months later. Despite this, the trend in the media industry still looks like trying to do everything by yourself but thatâ€™s something weâ€™ve decided to stay away from.
YouTube is one, not because they do the same stuff as we do, but because everyone uses it. Currently, we know many users who admit eLive is a great service but still prefer to use offline tools and stay on YouTube to keep their existing audience (point raised in teamliquid: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=148398). YouTube might become a more direct competitor if they decide to add a voice-dubbing feature but there’s been no sign of it yet.
Live streaming platforms such as Livestream, Ustream, or Justin.tv are about the same and also have a great live streaming infrastructure to take advantage of.
Developing our own streaming platform is something weâ€™d like to avoid, so instead of competitors weâ€™d prefer seeing them as partners and work together with them to integrate their services into eLive. However it requires features like access to timestamps and buffer navigation that aren’t available yet in their public APIs. A technical partnership with them would be a great step towards solving these issues.