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12/14/2007
04:09 PM
Elena Malykhina
Elena Malykhina
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A Hack Turns iPhone's Still Camera Into Camcorder

Many mobile phones currently on the market come with both a built-in camera and camcorder. I haven't been able to figure out why the iPhone doesn't. But reportedly there's a new hack that allows the iPhone's camera to capture video. Perhaps it's a preview of things to come?

Many mobile phones currently on the market come with both a built-in camera and camcorder. I haven't been able to figure out why the iPhone doesn't. But reportedly there's a new hack that allows the iPhone's camera to capture video. Perhaps it's a preview of things to come?The application is oddly called Drunknbass and appears to have been created by a group (or perhaps an individual) known as "Monster and Friends." It turns the iPhone's camera into a camcorder and allows the phone to record video of up to 45 frames per second (fps). Here's how Monster and Friends initially described the process on their Web site:

Today I have gotten video recording to work, as it stands my max fps is at 40-45 and I am limited by the iPhone's RAM so I need to keep working to get closer. But right now I can capture 2-megapixel quality at 10 fps for 10 seconds. When I lower the quality to normal phone size .mov I should be able to get a higher fps and a minute of video at least.

Then last week Monster and Friends provided an update:

I'm posting a binary that will record 5 seconds of video and replay it. There is no UI; this is a very simple proof-of-concept. All data is stored to memory. The final app will be able to record somewhere from 15-30 (plus) fps and should have an unlimited file length.

Videos demonstrating the Drunknbass app have been appearing on YouTube and two of them are posted on Monster and Friends's Web site.

One of the videos raised some suspicion when I watched it, since it shows the iPhone with a whole bunch of non-native applications on the home screen-basically the stuff that you won't recognize when you take the phone out of the box on a store shelf. However, the other video shows a typical iPhone home screen with some additional client applications that clearly have been added through separate hacks. But you be the judge of what looks real and what doesn't.

If the iPhone's camera can indeed capture video, I don't see what's stopping Apple from providing a recording application with a firmware update. The Mac OS is more than capable of supporting it and this is one of those areas where the iPhone could evolve.

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