Magazine article The Tracker

Pipes, Players, and the Internet

Magazine article The Tracker

Pipes, Players, and the Internet

Article excerpt

The organ historical society can use webcasting to bring its national conventions closer to its 2,500 members across the country and, through on-demand video, promote its purpose and activities to the friends of the pipe organ around the world. Webcasts can help bring the music of the pipe organ into members' lives-to older members whose mobility isn't what it used to be and, equally, to younger members that have grown up with computers.

I witnessed the arrival of the Internet. From the early '90s, I thought the first e-mail was a marvel of communication. But the arrival of the World Wide Web in the mid '90s made e-mail pale in comparison. It was a shock to the system to see words and pictures presented on a computer screen (remember the green on black displays?). I first got a glimpse of a live "broadcast" over the Internet from 1997-the triumphant approval of the Kyoto Protocol at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Japan. I was hooked.

Broadcasting on the Internet is known as "webcasting" or "web streaming" and, from 1999 to 2012, I ran the webcast operation for 14 UN Climate Change Conferences-from Montreal to Bali, Indonesia. My conclusion, after that long experience, is that webcasting, both live and with on-demand video, brings important events to the people that care about them, regardless of location or time.

Convention veteran Carl Schwarz kindly agreed to work with me in 2011 to understand the technical, logistical, legal, and musical dimensions of what could be an OHS convention webcast. The requirements for such a webcast are relatively many:

Support from the OHS, especially the executive director, James Weaver, and the convention-committee chair that must agree to a webcast project and raise funds for it;

Agreement of the performer to do a live webcast and to air an on-demand video of that performance;

Review of any copyright/performance rights as required;

Identification of a local least-cost technically-acceptable webcast and videography service provider;

A hard-wired broadband connection at the venue;

Coordination of audio systems between venue and webcast technical teams and with Ed Kelly, the OHS audio recording specialist;

Access to the venue for set-up and testing;

Contracting and administration;

Promotion, outreach, and website updates with Len Levasseur, OHS designer;

Staging of the event on the day with the venue, service provider, performer, and OHS;

Post-event production of the video, including approval from the performer and OHS;

Administrative processing of any contracted work with the service provider and provision of feedback to the OHS. …

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