The Live Earth concert has now been going for more than 10 hours now, if you're measuring everything by one time zone. Sydney started at around 9 p.m. on the East Coast of the U.S. It was preceded by Al Gore giving a little Warm up webcast about his intention to run for pre...just kidding. It's all conservation, all the time.
So since the concert is being shown via MSN, not surprisingly, they want viewers to use Internet Explorer, not exactly the most progressive of browsers. Since I can't switch easily back and forth from one show to another, I decided to put them all up at once.
This is what my desktop looks like: I've got Al Gore from the U.S. feed on the upper left, Al Gore being broadcast and translated into German on the upper right, and what looks like an extended public service announcement set to the music of the Nutcracker from the South African feed. To Control Room's credit, the transmission and translation of Gore seems to be nearly simultaneous, and none of the feeds are suffering from low bandwidth.
As Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood take the stage in DC, Marquess starts singing in Hamburg, and a guy that wouldn't look out of place in Williamsburg is singing in London (I seem to have missed him in this screen grab). Having three live feeds is pretty odd - the music blends together in interesting ways, especially when they're playing in the same key, but you'd go crazy listening to it like this all day.
Well, I've got to get ready and head off the Giants Stadium, where I'll be doing the rest of my posts today.
People seem to be heeding the call to take public transportation. The line for buses from the Secaucus train station is several hundred long. As anyone who's ever driven to the Meadowlands can attest, it sure beats driving. I wish they had this for Devils games.
Halfway through the line, guys are handing out free bottles of water. A nice gesture, but I guess they haven't read Charles Fishman's article. And where are the recycling bins?
It's Leo! Girls throughout the stadium swoon as DiCaprio takes the stage and, channeling Malcolm Gladwell, says "We've reached a tipping point in our history." That remains to be seen. Will this concert spur people on like never before? Will it get more to conserve resources? Or are all these performers preaching—or singing, as it were—to the choir?
But just when you thought Leo was the brighest bulb in the stadium, in walks Al Gore himself.
"You are Live Earth," he says to the crowd. The performers, he says, "are not only taking the stage, but taking a stand to help save the Earth." Then, the man who used to be the next President of the United States introduces Keith Urban, who sings "Gimme Shelter" with surprise guest Alicia Keyes. Where's Mick?
This is Control Room's control room outside Giants Stadium. Here, Nina Guarlnick, Control Room's general manager (on the left) helps coordinate all the different feeds from around the world. For example, show from Giants Stadium gets beamed to a satellite, to London for the worldwide feed, back up to a satellite, back down to Los Angeles, where it's encoded for the Internet, then out to the masses. And the delay is a few seconds at the most. "It's incredible to deliver that quickly," says Guarlnick. As the video is encoded in LA, Control Room is also editing it-some 70 hours, all told, which will be available online on demand starting tomorrow. MSN just gave an update-more than 9 million people are streaming the concert.