You can now bypass your computer completely to share your video with the world. YouTube Inc., one of the Internet's leading video-sharing sites, is accepting clips directly from mobile phones and personal digital assistants with built-in video capabilities.
Bands can share footage of performances from the road; protesters can circulate video of rallies as they happen.
Users must have an Internet access or data plan with a wireless service provider. Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are initially supported. Clips are sent using a technology called Multimedia Messaging Service, essentially a text message that includes images or sounds.
Once sent to YouTube, users can share clips for free with friends by sending a link. They can also choose to make clips searchable and viewable by anyone in the world.
Previously, YouTube and video-sharing services generally required users to first transfer video onto a computer before sending clips to a Web site.
The new capabilities, introduced Wednesday, come as Time Warner Inc.'s AOL unit is preparing its own free video-sharing service, called UnCut Video.
Besides standard transfers from computers, AOL is initially accepting direct transfers from camcorders, digital cameras and webcams, using technology from VideoEgg Inc. AOL will eventually accept video directly from mobile devices, too.