The idea of LifeCasting (informal very-long format live video) probably started with Justin.tv and was then built on by Chris Pirillo. I found it particularly fascinating during last year’s iPhone launch, covered by Robert Scoble and others, but generally just a curious phenomenon. For a few years now, a number of people have wondered what would happen if you were to marry media professionals with this technology. That’s essentially what we’ve done with spoken-word audio on The Conversations Network, and the opportunity for a live, pro-quality video network is something I’ve wanted to see or do for a long time.
Now it’s here. At TWiTLive.com, Leo Laporte is streaming 25 hours per week via (for now) Stickam. Leo’s video is nothing more than letting us watch his many podcasts live in production: TWiT, Security Now, Net@Nite, etc. It’s still rough around the edges — only one camera is running so far — but it’s already very entertaining. They key is that Leo, as always, transcends the technology. He’s committed to the same broadcast quality he brings to audio podcasting. It’s not just his own professionalism, but the production values as well: excellent content and guests, good lighting, good video and (of course) excellent audio. The low-quality audio from most LifeCasters is irritating and tiring. I can leave Leo’s show running all day.
In fact, I already do leave Leo’s show running all day. I work in a home office, and until recently I’ve always had CNN or MSNBC on the TV while I work except when I’m recording or mixing audio. I’m not sure why. Maybe I just miss having other humans around the workplace. Well now I have Leo and his guests to keep me company, and it’s great. Just as TWiT will be remembered as an audio podcast milestone, TWiTLive is already a breakthrough in streaming video. It leverages everything Leo has done during his distinguished career. It’s not the rebirth of TechTV, it’s something much better.