Switcher Studio, maker of multicamera streaming software-as-a-service for iPhones and iPads, announced Switcher Go, a simplified free version that allows video from an iOS device to be streamed via Facebook Live or YouTube Live, or recorded locally.
Unlike Switcher Studio, Switcher Go is limited to a single camera source. But users can import up to four photos or video clips and switch to those sources during the live production.
The app also adds on-screen controls for focus, iris, zoom, and white balance that will help clever users squeeze the best possible quality out of an iPhone camera by tweaking exposure or dialing in depth-of-field effects. Additionally, a second device running the app, such as an iPad, can be used to remotely control the camera.
Switcher Studio CEO and co-founder Nick Mattingly told StudioDaily that streaming technology is getting better quickly, pointing to the simple, intuitive interfaces favored by Twitter's Periscope and Facebook Live. "They want it to be easy, something anyone can do," he said. "It's automatic point and shoot — whatever you can do at arm's reach — but people want more. So we're trying to take that experience and make it better."
Aimed at entry-level users, Switcher Go is missing advanced functionality from Switcher Studio, including computer screen-sharing, multiview and picture-in-picture effects, and custom RTMP support. A future paid upgrade option will give Switcher Go users access to some of those features, the company said.
For now, Mattingly sees Switcher Go as a solid app for beginners to streaming technology and a useful option for existing paying customers. For example, Mattingly said, Switcher Studio users can use Switcher Go as a way to "tap into the crowd," allowing event attendees to download the Switcher Go app and contribute video to a more complex production being streamed through Switcher Studio.
While Switcher Go is free, Switcher Studio costs $25/month or $299/year — a fee that's less expensive than investments in dedicated hardware. "If you're going to spend $50,000 on gear, you will get what you pay for," Mattingly admits. "But we've torn down the barrier to entry."
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