Monthly Archives: April 2013

Live from Your Living Room: Streaming Concerts

Live from your living roomThe lights come up, the crowd erupts, and jazz musician Walter Smith III steps onto the stage at Berklee College of Music in New York City. Smith III plays hundreds of gigs a year, so the sights and sound are familiar, but there is one thing about this show that’s different from all the others: it’s being recorded and streamed live over the Internet.

Live streaming of concerts is a growing trend in the music industry today, thanks to the increasing technology that’s available, according to Darren Lieberman, Senior Manager, Business Development & Music Partnerships at Livestream. Livestream, a platform that allows users to view and broadcast live video content, sells recording products to producers as well as broadcasting live shows on its website.

And despite what many may think, it’s not too difficult to stream a concert live for millions to see at home.

“At its simplest form — if you have a solid internet connection with enough bandwidth, a computer meeting our minimum specs running our free software, and a webcam, you can go live pretty instantly,” Lieberman said. “Just over the last 3-4 years we’ve seen a huge uptake in artists using live streaming. And as the technology gets even better and the costs to stream shows get lower, more and more artists will continue to jump on to the trend.”

Smith III jumped on the trend for his March 7 Berklee show, which was part of NPRMusic’s The Checkout – Live at Berklee, which brings critically acclaimed, New York-based Berklee alumni back to their alma mater for concerts to be streamed live online and on the radio.

Amy Schriefer, Sr. Product & Events Manager of NPR Music, said she also believes streaming live concerts is a trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. “As the industry changes and budgets shrink, we’re hearing from more artists that it just makes sense to do one show that reaches dozens of markets on the web and on the air,” she said. “The majority of our live webcasts are done in partnership with our member public radio stations, providing exposure on multiple platforms. The Checkout Live series, which features live jazz shows from venues, including Berklee, is aired on WBGO and webcast simultaneously on NPR Music.”

Smith III, who just released the new album found his show to be a positive experience. “It works well because people who wanted to go to the show but couldn’t can now see it. Whether they can’t make it due to distance, lack of tickets, or other reasons, this gives them a chance to see the performance.” It also doesn’t hurt that the musicians don’t have to do anything differently for the streamed shows — except maybe shorten a song or set here and there, he explained.

Lieberman echoed Smith III’s comments about these types of shows benefiting fans, but he also said they’re good for artists. “Not only is streaming a concert a way to attract new fans who may buy tickets to a future show, existing and new fans alike can follow an artist’s account on Livestream to be notified when they announce an event and go live with one.  This is a great way for artists to re-engage their existing fans and stay in touch online through social media and Livestream,” he said.

While Smith III said he believes video of concerts will continue to grow, and hopes the majority of it will be aired by organizations like LiveStream and NPR who allow the artists to have “control of the content.” If such legal streaming of concerts continues to grow it may cut down on the amount of concert clips posted online that are unauthorized, he said.

As for whether or not he plans to do more live streaming shows, Williams III said he might, but certainly doesn’t want to do too many. “I wouldn’t want every concert recorded,” he explained. “One every now and then is good.”

And this one was very good. Check it out at NPR Music.

 

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Where to, Bub?: Geo-Locating ‘Hailo’ Taxi Cab App Expands to New York City

Taxis in New YorkNew Yorkers are a people who appreciate convenience. Take, for example, its omnipresent taxi cab fleet. Be it a 4 AM flight out of John F. Kennedy Airport, or a 5 AM (ahem) last call at a club, there’s a good chance you’ll find a yellow Ford Crown Victoria–or ten.

But New York City is also a constant survival of the fittest. There’s always a little competition while trying to hail a cab, and sometimes you just can’t beat out the crafty veterans. The popular app Uber has tried to attract some fed-up taxi customers, sending a geo-tracked limousine service to your door or street corner. But for most folks, an on-demand limo is just far too much more expensive than the traditional metered cab.

In an attempt to keep up with the times while maintaining the comparatively reasonable costs, Hailo, another geo-locating taxi app, has recently struck a deal with New York City cab companies. Now, New Yorkers will be able to track taxi cabs in their direct vicinity, and with the touch of a button, “hail” them from the comforts of their home, cubicle, or even local bagel shop.

Hailo works just like Uber, but with yellow cabs instead of black Town Cars. A customer can see how many available cabs there are in their area, what the wait time would be, instantly hail the car of choice, and store their credit card information so that payment is seamless. Even though taxis in New York are unlike any other city in the world, “Hailo” is not a neophyte when it comes to big-city cabbing. The company currently works with the taxi fleets in Barcelona, Boston, Chicago, Dublin, London, Madrid, Tokyo, and Toronto.

But the app isn’t just for passengers. As Hailo points out, taxi drivers spend a lot of time trying to find passengers too, and now with the app, taxi drivers will be able to have a far better idea of where needy passengers are located, which will cut down on the fickle nature of the business (and gas expenses).

Visit the Hailo website here, or take a moment to watch their introductory YouTube video. As an additional bonus, if you sign-up for the app now, Hailo will deposit a $10 credit into your account.

Download Hailo for free in the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store.

 

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Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – April 1

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features 47-inch touch-screen navigation systems coming to New York, tweeting churchgoers, and a smart watch battle.  All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Huge Navigation Touch Screens Coming to NYC Subway

New York City officials are trying to make it a lot easier for people to reach their destinations without getting lost. According to CNET, the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority is collaborating with the Control Group, a technology and design agency, to provide 47-inch touch-screen kiosks with detailed maps of the city to be used in the subway system. The kiosks will feature interactive maps, alerts, and service announcements, according to the article, and up to 90 of them will be installed this year.

Would You Skype Your Wedding? 49 Percent of Brides Say They Would

Gone are the days of having a wedding with a single photographer. Technology is taking over in the wedding world, says Sherri L. Smith for Mashable. The article discusses how recent studies have shown that brides are very willing to use an abundance of technology when they say “I do.” While 49 percent said they wouldn’t mind having their ceremony being shown on Skype, 59 percent used Facebook to find or share wedding ideas, 68 percent took and shared photos of dress fittings and other preparation, and 59 percent update Facebook with their new name within one day of the wedding. As for Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, photos and video from those seem to be a little harder to come by.

Reverend Encourages Churchgoers to Tweet During Sermon

In the past most churches would frown at the use of cell phones during services. But Rev. Patrick Mead, senior pastor at Eastside Church of Christ in Colorado Springs is embracing the use of social media and technology. The reverend encourages his parishioners to Tweet or send Facebook messages out during his sermons, writes Stephanie Earls. And Eastside Church of Christ isn’t the only one using, or encouraging the use of social media among its congregation. More and more church leaders are turning to social media to spread the word of God, share information and to woo new members.

Will the Smart Watch be the New Tech Craze? Apple and Samsung Think So


It’s official: the smart watch is the next big thing: at least in the eyes of  tech giants. Apple and Samsung. Reports surfaced earlier this month that Apple was working on a new iWatch, but details were scarce. Since then, Samsung has also announced plans to develop its own version of a smartwatch, according to Doug Gross of CNN. Of course Samsung isn’t releasing any details either, so no one knows the features, cost, or even look of the new devices. The smart watch may be the latest  product in the “wearable technology” trend that has most recently included Google Glass.

 

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