I own a Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone, running Windows Phone 8. It features a rear-facing 8.7-megapixel camera equipped with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and is capable of 1080p HD video capture, with PureView technology. The front-facing camera, meanwhile, is 1.3 megapixel with video capture in 720p resolution. It’s all very nice, and the results are stunning when played back on a big screen TV, PC, tablet or on the phone itself.
However, there is a problem. Windows Phone itself doesn’t seem to be a particularly popular choice for video upload and broadcast streaming websites at this stage. The result is that it can be tough to upload your videos and share them.
As things stand at the time of writing there are rumours that Ustream are planning to release a Windows Phone app. There is no word, however, from Qik, which means that broadcast streaming options are non-existent. Fortunately over the past few months more and more apps have come along that will enable you to upload videos.
One of the first options you should consider for sharing videos from Windows Phone is SkyDrive. In order to enable this, you can activate SkyDrive auto-upload via Settings > Applications > Photos+camera. This option will automatically upload all photos and videos when your phone is connected to Wi-Fi (uploading photos can be done via a 3G/4G connection, however).
You can either share your video clip manually later, or use the save to SkyDrive option when viewing the video to upload it as a publicly shared item. Of course, if you’re not using Windows Live as a social network, not many people will see this unless you share it with another social network.
Videos saved to SkyDrive can be shared, however, either by email or through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
One of the drawbacks of the above method is that Silverlight (Microsoft’s short-lived “answer” to Adobe Flash) is required to view the clips – so it is much better to share your videos from Windows Phone to Facebook.
This is done by choosing Share… > Facebook from the camera view or from the clip itself, adding in the necessary description and then tapping the Upload button. Note that uploading might take a while depending on the resolution of the video, and of course the length, both of which will impact on the file size.
Of all the upload methods available, sharing to Facebook is probably the best for Windows Phone users. While it is as simple as the SkyDrive method, an uploaded video is also easier to view as there is no requirement for Microsoft Silverlight.
It would be really unfair to say that Google has actively attempted to disrupt Windows Phone apps using its service – if it were untrue. The fact that a team at Microsoft has been working very hard to bring a competent YouTube app to users (most of whom have been using third party apps in place of the Microsoft’s original, clunky app) is evidence enough. Windows Phone has been around for nearly three years. Thanks a bunch, Google.
As polished as the new Windows Phone YouTube app is it isn’t capable of uploading videos. Crazy, isn’t it? As such, you will need to rely on the manual “done-by-email” method of video uploading.
In order to set this up you will need a unique email address for uploading videos to your account. Do this by signing into YouTube and opening your account screen. Against the Mobile Uploads section you will see a unique, generated email address that you should add to your phone’s contacts (perhaps as “YouTube”).
To upload, open the Pictures hub, select the video and from the menu tap Share…. Select an email account and then the YouTube contact. Remember to add a subject line as this will be assigned as your video title, while any body text will be added as the video description.
Once the email is uploaded, you will receive an email confirming this, and the clip will be available to view on your YouTube account.
One of the most popular alternatives to YouTube is Vimeo, and unlike Google they’ve released an app for Windows Phone that does offer video upload.
To upload videos to your Vimeo account, first sign in after launching the app and then tap the Record button to launch the camera. Front and back cameras can be used where available, and you can also switch to standard definition – useful if you’re uploading over mobile Internet. There is no facility to upload videos already recorded and stored on your phone, only those made with the Vimeo app.
You can find the DailyMotion app in the Windows Phone Store, also free. Like Vimeo, this app offers upload capability, but it is the first Windows Phone app I’ve come across that restarted my Nokia Lumia 920 – not a good sign!
There seems to be various issues with the app, which was first released in April 2013, although you would expect them to be soon resolved with a couple of updates. DailyMotion allows you to sign in with your Facebook account, and like Vimeo uploading is only something that you can do with a new video created within the app.
Conclusion – The State of Windows Phone Video Sharing
As you can see, there are some good options for uploading videos with Windows Phone, and perhaps the Facebook sharing is best for most purposes.
However, the YouTube email method is surprisingly good given that Google doesn’t appear to want Windows Phone users (the numbers of which are growing in Europe thanks to Nokia’s aggressive marketing), while Vimeo offers a very good alternative with a great app experience.
What remains missing is the video broadcast apps. I can’t accept that this is down to the platform. I keep hearing people complain that Windows Phone doesn’t have as many apps as iPhone and Android, but given that it is a younger platform and has reached milestones in its app store faster than either of the big players, this simply doesn’t make sense.
For fast uploading of videos from your Windows Phone to a sharing service, I would recommend Facebook first, although the YouTube email and DailyMotion are both very good alternatives.