Valleywag is reporting that Microsoft is in talks to acquire Ustream, a Yahoo Live competitor, for $50-million or so — which MG Siegler at ParisLemon notes doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. As for Yahoo Live, it is now apparently “taking a maintenance break” according to the site, and the blog asks for our forgiveness because they’re just a group of six people who are trying to do their best and learning as they go. There’s also a comment from Chad Dickerson of Yahoo Live on Joe Duck’s blog post about the downtime.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Yahoo Live went, er… live earlier this evening, and promptly keeled over and died. At last check (10:20 p.m. EST), a featured “performer” named JT The Bigga Figga was actually moving on camera, but the audio sounded like someone playing a 78 rpm record at 33 and 1/3 rpms — although I know some of my younger readers probably won’t even know what I’m talking about with that analogy.
Just before the super slow-mo audio feature, there was a big popup saying “we’re experiencing heavy traffic and have run out of capacity,” and also suggested that users come back “when our servers have stopped smoking. Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read/Write Web tried to broadcast live, but was also brought down by lack of bandwidth and/or server space. As Valleywag noted, maybe Brad Horowitz shouldn’t have said on Twitter that Live was up and to “help us crush it with load.” Consider it crushed, Brad.
While it was up and running, though, it looked like a pretty killer “life-streaming” product (although the videos aren’t stored anywhere, as TechCrunch notes, which is kind of a big drawback). It’s slick-looking, and easily as polished as Mogulus.com or Stickam or Ustream or Blogtv.com. If it can stay up, that is. I have to wonder though — as a commenter did on one of the blogs I read — how long it will be before YouTube launches something similar. It’s not rocket science.