screentoaster.com and qik.com


I am a sucker for innovative applications. I continue to be happy with qik.com which offers a mobile webcam to stream video from your handphone. I just came across screentoaster.com which, imho, will redefine how we view screen recordings. Gone is the need install a screen capture tool (for Fedora) iff you are online and connected. I am wondering if screentoaster.com has an offline record mode?

Reading their technology page, they say built their service using:
“We use VNC, an open source video technology, to capture video frames directly at the level of the video driver.

Our proprietary format compresses the video stream in a very small file while keeping a good quality.

Here is the list of the open sources project we are using:

* TightVNC: http://www.tightvnc.com/ (GPL)
* VineVNC: http://sourceforge.net/projects/osxvnc (GNU-GPL)
* Flashlight-VNC: http://www.wizhelp.com/flashlight-vnc/ (LGPL)
* Fzlib: http://wizhelp.com/fzlib/ (LGPL)
* X11VNC: http://www.karlrunge.com/x11vnc (GNU-GPL)”

Pity that they are not publishing the “proprietary format for compreggins vidro streams”.

10 thoughts on “screentoaster.com and qik.com

  1. Yet another proprietary web app…
    Proprietary technologies are completely inappropriate for presenting the features of Free Software such as Fedora. The same reasons given under https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ScreenCasting#Why_not_Flash.3F apply here too. In addition I don’t see what we have to gain by switching from a Free Software tool we can install in one click from the Fedora repository to some proprietary web app which also requires you to install the proprietary Flash (or does it work in Gnash or Swfdec? It probably doesn’t) and Java (though OpenJDK should work there).
    The right way to do a screencast is to use one of the apps which record Ogg Theora, then upload it either to a simple webspace provider or to a video site which accepts Ogg Theora and allows users to download the original, e.g. blip.tv. In the latter case, if the site also generates a Flash version (like blip.tv does), link to the original Theora file, not to the Flash version! (Or if you want to target people who do not use Fedora yet, you may link to both, clearly saying which is which.)

    1. Re: Yet another proprietary web app…
      Don’t get me wrong, Kevin. While it is very handy to have a local copy of a tool to do screen casting, there are times where it might not be available – for example, you might be at an internet cafe or an airport lounge and you are stuck with using a windows machine. The screentoaster would be useful in situations like that if needed.
      FWIW, I have contacted the people behing screentoaster.com to see if they are keen to make the whole site open (perhaps under GPLv3 instead of v2).

      1. Re: Yet another proprietary web app…
        Why would you want to do a screencast of a Window$ machine? Especially one you can’t even install interesting apps on?
        > FWIW, I have contacted the people behing screentoaster.com to see if they are keen to make the whole site open (perhaps under GPLv3 instead of v2).
        Hahaha, while I appreciate your efforts (it’s always good to show people that a Free license is something the market actually requests), I’m afraid I strongly doubt you’ll get anywhere with that. ;-(

      2. Re: Yet another proprietary web app…
        Why show a windows machine? Perhaps there are things on that screen that needs to be captured and shared? Perhaps amazing braindead stuff that needs windows to work?

  2. Walking away from lock-in
    So, this website offers me a chance to turn something I could do with free software (even downloading and installing it if necessary) into something I can only read back with some proprietary web-based program that can vanish tomorrow leaving me with a file in a proprietary format?
    That doesn’t sound wise. It sounds like I have an opportunity to walk away from a proprietor’s lock-in. I think I’ll take that chance and stick with free software.
    J.B. Nicholson-Owens
    http://digitalcitizen.info/
    mail@digitalcitizen.info

    1. Re: Walking away from lock-in
      Actually, the intent of my post was to not to say that you do not ever need software on your local machine, but more to understand that there is a web2.0-ish solution that you could use. There would be times when you are at a computer that does not have the screencapture tools, and this screentoaster would be of value. Yes, it is saved in non-free software, and it behooves us to encourage the creators to make it all open. I have contacted them, have you?

      1. Re: Walking away from lock-in
        I think you’re extremely naive if you believe your “encouragement” will have any effect (at least any time soon). And even if you believe it will ultimately be successful (which I strongly doubt), it’s still a mistake to advertise the service until it is.

      2. Re: Walking away from lock-in
        We can ignore or we can engage. I choose to engage. As a matter of fact, I did get a reply. Appended is the reply:

        Thank you very much for supporting us. I really appreciate.
        Look at the API too, that might interest you.
        Here is a showcase of the API : http://www.iteria.fr/toasttube/
        Here is some documentation explaining how to set up an application using ScreenToaster API : http://www.screentoaster.com/api
        I can give you more information if you need it.
        Kind regards,
        

        It is a good first step. Now to the next level.

    2. Re: Walking away from lock-in
      +1
      Web apps are the worst form of proprietary software, not only do you not control the software, you do not even control the machine it’s running on! Claiming you use Free Software when you’re just using Firefox as a client for proprietary web apps is hypocrisy.

      1. Re: Walking away from lock-in
        As technology evolves, people try to find ways to make it deliver value to both the user as well as the provider. Webapps are the new kid on the block and we need to help those who create these apps using FOSS tools to make the service/code available to all as well – hopefully the tools that were used to create were on a AGPL which will make it extremely powerful in the long term.

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