Friday, December 29, 2006

YouTube Mobile not working again

Several readers have commented (eg, here and here) that they're having trouble posting to YouTube Mobile, despite my having written that it was working for me (here's the video from then) so I'm testing it.

At 12:50 (local time) I sent a short video clip (around a quarter meg) from my TyTN to my YouTube Mobile address, via e-mail through my USB connection.

Note that I'm not testing MMS or e-mail over 3g or Wi-Fi at this time. I think that YouTube Mobile should be the same for all e-mail routes.

At 12:55 I see that the e-mail has arrived in my Yahoo e-mail account (I BCC'ed myself).

At 1:20 it still hasn't arrived on YouTube in My Uploaded Videos.

So something does seem to be wrong. Last time I saw the video as an entry in My Uploaded Videos very quickly, with a note that the video was being processed. But now there's nothing there.

I'll update this later if it shows up.

QUICK UPDATE A DAY LATER: The video still hasn't shown up on YouTube, so it's definitely not still in transit. I tried sending the same video from another e-mail account, and it didn't show on YouTube, so the problem isn't with the TyTN or mobile connectivity.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

TyTN video camera bug when no review period?

I took my kids to an amusement park with only my TyTN for pictures, and set the camera settings to have no review period so I could take pictures one right after the other.

But when I did that, video clips simply disappeared.

I then set it back to 3 second review, and it worked fine.

The problem seems to only be for videos, not still pictures. The clips might still exist, but they're not in the My Videos folder. I noticed that the picture numbers were incremented as if the missing clips did exist.

Has anyone had this problem on the TyTN or similar device?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Still unable to record calls on TyTN

Following up on my previous message, I was unable to get LivePVR to record calls on my TyTN. I still can't believe that this isn't built-in functionality, as it was on my Nokia.

Anyone know of call-recording software that works on the TyTN or K-JAM? Or has anyone gotten call recording working in LivePVR on the TyTN?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reuters site legitimizes camera phone pictures

A new site by Reuters and Yahoo, called YouWitness, is built for camera phone owners to submit newsworthy pictures (and videos) directly to Reuters. Currently the pictures are only shown on Yahoo/Reuters news, but the plan is for the pictures to be sold through Reuters, with revenues split between Reuters, Yahoo, and the photographer.

This seems to me to be the biggest acknowledgement that masses of people with camera phones can rival professional protographers for pictures of breaking news. A smaller site called SpyMedia is trying to do the same for private picture purchasing, but a start-up in the commercial arena is not as significant as Reuters in the news arena.

BUT NOTE: If people want to submit pictures & videos directly from their camera phones, they will want to be able to edit them a bit. The TyTN's picture editing, presumably also on other Windows Mobile devices, supports cropping, rotating, and auto-correction which I'm not clear on but likely corrects blurring and red-eye. It would be interesting to see more sophisticated picture and video editing support on devices.

The site is

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Radar: A great site for sharing mobile videos privately

Now that I got YouTube Mobile accepting videos directly from my TyTN, I'm interested in the same functionality but for a limited audience, for distributing videos only to family or friends directly from my TyTN. I've found a site for this that launched just recently, that seems very good so far, called Radar, at

In a nutshell, Radar let me log in and invite relatives or friends to join, and then submit videos (or pictures) directly from my TyTN over e-mail, very similar to YouTube Mobile. (What worked for me from my TyTN will presumably work on any mobile that can send videos by e-mail.) These videos are then available only to the people I invited.

They say that videos are also browsable on a mobile, but I haven't tried this yet.

All in all it seems like just the right functionality, and well implemented. The videos I sent were available immediately, much faster than on YouTube Mobile.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mobile YouTube blogging straight from TyTN worked!

After getting the acknowledgement last week from YouTube support acknowledging a problem with YouTube Mobile submissions, it now seems to be working!

The following video was shot on my TyTN and submitted directly via e-mail to my YouTube Mobile address:

They sent me back the URL in a few minutes, and I'm now submitting this blog entry through Blogsot Mobile. So the full blog entry, text and video, is done fully on my TyTN, all via e-mail! Nice.

The only drawback is that I expect the YouTube video above will be a link, not an embedded video. (If you read this and see the video embedded in the blog message, it will have worked even better than expected.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Book published that was written entirely on PDA-phone: Harry Potter and Torah

I've just published a 200-page book, Harry Potter and Torah, whose first complete draft was written completely on my old PDA-phone, the Nokia 9110 Communicator. Once the text was entered on the Nokia Communicator, I moved it all to a computer to merge and format. Almost all of the text was written on inter-city busses or in libraries where I was doing research.

To me this shows the power of a PDA-phone that has a good enough keyboard for serious use. Yes, I could have used a laptop, but that's nowhere near as convenient as an instant-on device that truly goes everywhere with me. Devices with good keyboards are more than "communicators" or "messagers," they're truly able to do serious work. And if Windows Mobile Word got one level better, and handled entry of footnotes and some other things that it doesn't yet handle, it would be even better. (Note that it just has to allow these to be entered, it doesn't even have to show them well.)

Yes, the Nokia Communicator has an even bigger keyboard than the TyTN. See my old message that shows how they compare. But I find the TyTN's keyboard big enough for serious use. In the past few months I've taken dozens of pages of notes on my TyTN in meetings, both work and personal.

This is one reason I never bought a Treo or other PDA-phone with a tiny keyboard along the bottom. It was painful to stick with the old Nokia, but the K-JAM and TyTN are the first full-featured PDA-phones that have keyboards that support real work.

To end with a shameless plug, anyone interested in the book can go to the Harry Potter and Torah home page.

No experience with Hebrew on the TyTN

Someone asked in a comment whether I have used any Hebrew support or Jewish calendar support on my TyTN, since they saw that I'm in Israel. The answer is sorry, but no, I've been using a lot of VoIP and blogging, but all in English. Sorry!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

YouTube Mobile confirmed not working

After the problems I mentioned before with submitting videos directly from my TyTN via the YouTube Mobile e-mail interface:

I've gotten confirmation from YouTube support that there are problems with the e-mail interface, and they're looking into it:

We're aware of this issue and we're working to resolve it as our system doesn't seem to be accepting many videos from cell phones.

We apologize for the inconvenience!

I look forward to its working, mobile video blogging directly from my TyTN awaits!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

TinyTube blasted by YouTube over Verizon deal

Sometimes I hate being right! On Nov 28 I wrote:
A New York Times article today discusses a YouTube mobile venture with Verizon.
Hopefully the TinyTube mobile YouTube site that I discussed previously will keep working
and on Nov 30 TinyTube stopped working, with the explanation:
when a Senior Manager at YouTube contacted us about Terms of Service violations we took the YouTube content offline.
Besides the fact that I liked the TinyTube service on my TyTN, it's frustrating that YouTube, a company that's clearly been trying to become the video host for the world (eg allowing other Web sites and blogs to easily embed their videos) blows their whole philosophy when a Verizon deal conflicts. Yes, TinyTube talked about terms of service violations, but the timing makes it clear that the problem was the Verizon deal.

Maybe TinyTube can put small Verizon ads at the bottom of their pages -- I bet then the "terms of service violations" would be taken care of!

Thanks to the TinyTube folks for the great service! Hope to see you back soon.

Problems sending video e-mails over 3g

I've noticed that e-mails containing videos over one meg seem not to send well over UMTS (3g) connectivity. They seem to send fine over USB connectivity. I originally wrote here that Wi-Fi also had trouble, but the same messages that wouldn't send over 3g have sent fine over my own Wi-Fi connection.

I'm not sure if this is an issue with the connectivity or with my mail server, which is Yahoo.

Has anyone reading this had this problem, or on the other hand, has anyone routinely sent video attachments over 1 meg over UMTS (3g) connections?