Changes, Part 2

Last time, I wrote that I’m still able to do rare sessions with clients on-site. The keyword is ”rare.” Almost all of the time, I’m on my own. Sometimes work is accomplished by posting; then following up via email, phone calls or web conferences to discuss changes; then rinse and repeat.

But as I mentioned last time, I have also had projects that used streaming. Back in May, I wrote about doing edit sessions via live streaming. I mention that the sessions are “live” only because the term “streaming” gets thrown around a lot. My goal was a low-latency (not much of a delay) stream. Now that I’ve worked that way for a few months, I’d like to talk about some of my experiences. I like to think of things in two stages: the setup, then the actual edit.

First, the setup. A successful first-time streamed edit is difficult to achieve on the spur of the moment. It took a bit of work to find the right solution, but I’ve gotten latency down to about two seconds or less.

Low latency can be achieved in several ways:  Special equipment, a special app or—from the client’s standpoint—nothing special at all.

Some processes require end users to own a particular type of technology. In some cases, a particular streaming system requires you to have an Apple device; in others, only a Windows device will work. For some clients, this wouldn’t be a problem, but for many, it would be a showstopper—literally.

Installing an app is another way of getting low latency streaming. You might think that wouldn’t be much of a problem. Unfortunately, many companies have computer security policies that prevent employees from installing applications without approval from IT. This is even more critical for people working from home.

The process I use doesn’t require special equipment or a specific app. I send a stream to a content delivery network (CDN) that allows me to embed a low latency, high resolution stream in a web page. That means all my clients need is a web browser and an adequate internet connection.

Ah, yes. Adequate internet connection. Next time, I’ll talk about how I’ve dealt with that.