[Foundation-l] REMINDER: Skypecast - Wikipedia Conversation from Florida

Austin Hair adhair at gmail.com
Fri Aug 25 19:05:42 UTC 2006

On 8/25/06, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> As someone who lives in the US I can not legally use the free software
> MP3 software.

Of course you can.  Hell, it's even included in the base Debian
repository (not non-US/non-free).

> Most of the Wikimania audio on the site
> (http://wikimania2006.wikimedia.org/wiki/Archives) is only available
> in MP3,  and the few vorbis files available that I've heard are very
> low quality (due to transcoding a lower quality MP3 into a lower
> quality Ogg).

They're not on that page, but they do exist; I'll ask around for you.
Or you could get one of your non-free friends to transcode them.

> It is my understanding that the person who did the Ogg streaming at
> WM2005 (which worked brilliantly) had offered his services at WM2006,
> but I'm not sure what happened.

Kyle did an excellent job last year, and I'm sure he could have done
even more this year if we'd given him the resources.  See below.

> We have people in our community who have experience with large scale
> streaming and media events using both free software and proprietary
> software...  I'm not sure why we seem to be doing such a poor job
> delegating.

It's not a matter of delegation, it's a simple cost-benefit analysis.
Our arrangement with HLS AV gave us much better coverage than last
year, and at no cost to us.  We could have taken our $10,000 budget
for bringing Wikimedians from elsewhere in the world and sunk it into
providing live Vorbis streams of every room, but what would that have
given us?  A warm, fuzzy feeling for being slightly Freer?

It would have been nice to have live coverage of every room, I'll
grant, but a delay of a few hours isn't that bad, and the program team
was very good about putting events of particular interest in rooms
with video.  Believe it or not, your soul will not burn up if you use
Helix player.

> As we've seen with the (lack of) success with today's skypecast,
> simply using whatever proprietary toys we have laying on our desks is
> probably not a good solution.

I had to leave before the skypecast, unfortunately, but from what I
saw it didn't work out very well.  In the future, we should certainly
leverage all the resources available to us; this said, Andrew was good
enough to open up his interview in the first place, and we should
applaud the effort.  If this were an official WMF Q&A, planned by the
Foundation and billed far and wide for live community participation, I
would naturally have a different view.


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