Some statistics to begin this mini rampage through the world of “DJing” in Second Life…
75% of DJs have, at some time or another, told me that the stream is playing up. (So if you’re reading this and feeling like a flop DJ, don’t! It happens to almost everyone).
If we average that out, in terms of amount of times, that would be 5 years of managing or owning a club, being told there are problems once or twice a month, so… 5 (years) x 52 (weeks) = 260 weeks divided by 2 (for once a fortnight) = 130 times.
And yet only once in all that time has it been an issue with the stream.
So what causes these problems that DJs understandably put down to the stream and are almost never down to the stream?
I’m going to tell you, whether you want to hear or not 🙂
It is always either the upload or the download rate of the ISP of the DJ.
Imagine a radio station transmitting a signal via the internet. In this case it would be your computer, using SAM or VDJ or something that sends the data (outbound) along a wee path to a central point (in this case a shoutcast server) that turns it into a web address. In this case, the web address is http://126.96.36.199:9530/
If you upload rate is sufficiently high, it will send that data fine and without error. If it is too low, it will cause breaks in that data as it misses blocks of information and what is heard will be jumpy and have gaps.
With me so far? Cool.
However, rarely we have a situation where some people hear it fine and the DJ does not (or a person listening). This is due usually to the DJs (or afflicted person’s) download rate.
When you are in Second Life, and you are streaming, you are using a lot of upload (music data to the Shoutcast server and your own data into the Second Life servers) but you are also using a lot of download (everything you can see, hear and the music stream download too).
So if it jumps when you hear it in Second Life and it’s okay for someone else, it is your download that is the issue.
Many problems with your internet are solved by a complete reboot of your pc, a reboot of your modem and your wireless adaptor, if you are using one.
If you choose to DJ on wireless internet you are increasing the chances of these drop outs and jumps, it’s best to use an ethernet cable to be sure you are getting your full bandwidth.
Logging in and out of the ‘Radio’ on the wall at the club does nothing at all. Imagine the radio station you are listening to is having transmission problems and you keep turning your little bedside radio on and off. Of course it would make no difference at all, it’s just a method of tuning from one station to another – in this case, from your transmission to Radio Pepito.
The chances of it being the stream held by the Shoutcast server are so low as to be almost impossible. Their streams (the company we use) are hosted in the UK and backed up so there is no down time. The one time that there was an actual stream issue, it was for about an hour and was down to a fire at the main server building.
So, to summarise…
Reboot your pc before starting a set to concentrate your RAM (sounds like witchcraft to me)
Use an ethernet cable for a reliable internet experience
Keep your draw distance and graphics set to low or medium depending on your pc and internet capabilities while DJing
Do not try to download tracks as you DJ, for requests etc.
Do not have other programs open, i.e. messenger or Skype
If you have problems, take a deep breath and reboot everything
If it still fails, don’t worry, we all have problems sometimes and after all, it’s only SL.
I apologise for the non-technical girl-gabble I have used in this blog item. I have learned bits through trial and error (many errors) and have not had had the time to find the proper words for widgets and doofuses.
Much love and keep playing!