Hier soir à Ce Soir…

UPDATE… Wow. What a show TwinGhost put on at Jams for Joe’s last night! He was spot-on with his playing and singing (as usual!), and it was clear that he was having a great time! He sang several of our favourites in that delightful groove of his, and the group that had gathered at Ce Soir was solidly with him in that very cool groove. Who wouldn’t be? TwinGhost‘s music is an experience – a soul-touching experience, every single time.

Only one little thing interfered with our enjoyment, and it’s something to which SL regulars are all too accustomed: technical issues with the transmission. If you know anything at all about streaming live video into SL, you know that there can be problems. Even at the highest connection speed – and with all the proper hardware and software going – some in every audience are bound to have trouble viewing and/or hearing a video in-world.

Many advancements have been made with streaming live media into SL, but it still rests with the quality of the feed from its origin (in this case a live website) – and the technical environment of the venue and of each avatar viewing. Jams at Joe’s is a great website, but even they are subject to the vagaries of the Internet. We’re as set up as we can be at Ce Soir for live video presentation, but how well a feed will be viewed by an audience still depends on several key factors.

Let us say, going in, that we think SL is a complete technological miracle and that shared media is an adventure! At Ce Soir, we are all about exploration and inspiration, and you are going to see us doing some group discussions, workshops, machinima, and other live video, especially in the theatre in 2013. We’re open to more live artist feeds like this one as well, and think they can be quite exciting and lots of fun!

In SL, the technical environment of each avatar viewing can be experienced in a huge range. Let’s start with the viewer (working backwards in the list). There are those still using V1 viewers. Some of my best friends do this, despite my raving about advances with V3. *giggles* There are those using any from an array of still-allowed TPVs like Firestorm or Catznip, as well as those using LL’s own current V3 (like me!). Each viewer has its peculiarities – from actual capacities to user-set preferences. After you’ve determined how a particular viewer interacts with your computer including any hardware and/or software adjustments you might need… Aye, there’s the rub! The actual computer on which each avatar is logged into SL is the first – and last – consideration. Then, it gets really interesting! You know the drill – video card specs (and whether you can use antialiasing, etc.), memory allocation, screen resolution settings, ISP stability, Internet connection speeds, computer clock speeds, personal preference settings, etc., etc., etc.

Whew!

After all that, here’s the good news: it can work! It. Really. Can. Work. When everything falls together more-or-less smoothly, it can – and does – work. For shared media to work for me, I needed to download and install a different version of Flash. Why? Some peculiarity or another, I suppose, but I am not sure what, exactly. But it did make a HUGE difference! (Here’s the link, in case it might be helpful to you: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/. Even after all I went through to puzzle this out (and all the great help I got from an amazingly talented and helpful friend – *waves*), video feeds STILL can be either awesome and smooth OR jumpy and echo-y. It all depends…! (And if you get frustrated whilst trying to sort it all, you might be able to watch many shows directly on the internet by opening their link in a browser window; just ask the management if that is available for that particular show).

We had a great time, last night. Aeon and I enjoyed the music immensely (Aeon was watching from the direct Internet link to Jams at Joe’s whilst I was monitoring from in-world). A big round of applause and THANK YOU go to Jamie Parkin, TwinGhost‘s video master (I like the sound of that – hope you do too, Jamie!) and Staciface Schwartz (Twin‘s outstanding and very savvy manager), who made this event happen in the first place, and who helped us all get as much from the experience as possible. You two ROCK!

Of course, our greatest thanks go to TwinGhost Ronas, himself – the musician who brings us such wonderful music! Superlatives spring to life in my brain as I write this and tumble from my lips and my typing fingers with ease. Such a groove! Smooth and mellow, bright and full of life with a little edge of mystic glow, TwinGhost‘s music is its own expression of his expansive talents. The emergent style is always fresh and new, a distillation of rootsy soulful rock and pop brilliance that cannot be denied. And no amount of technical difficulty can occlude that – at least, not for long!

Our appreciation also goes to those who came round last night to share this experience with us. THAT, mes amis, is what it’s all about!

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