Apple Live Streaming Fail

Apple, in a recent press release, promised me (and everyone else) that if I took the time to be available at 10 am PST (which happens to be 1:00 EST, my time), I could watch Steve Jobs present some new Apple iOS features.

"Apple® will broadcast its September 1 event online using Apple’s industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, which is based on open standards. Viewing requires either a Mac® running Safari® on Mac OS® X version 10.6 Snow Leopard®, an iPhone® or iPod touch® running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad™. The live broadcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT on September 1, 2010 at www.apple.com."

So, I altered my schedule and made sure that I was sitting with a good Internet connection at the scheduled time. I thought it might be fun to watch it on my iPad. I check the link out in advance, and see that there is a picture of a guitar, and a promise that the Live Stream will be available at 10:00 am PST, which is 1:00 pm EST my time. Okay, I'm in the right place.

I get online again around 12:55 EST, and click to the appropriate link. And there is a video stream there! So far so good.

Well, 1:00 rolls around, and no Steve. I assume that they're running a bit late. After all, streaming live video to legions of Apple fans using Apple's industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming is no mean feat, so I wait patiently. As 1:10, 1:15, 1:25 roll by, it becomes clear that I am watching a repeating loop of videos taken in the auditorium.

Curious, I fire up my HTC Evo phone and check sites that I know are liveblogging the presentation.

Imagine my surprise to find that the presentation started on time, and Steve is, by now, a half hour into his presentation!

I'm a little bit perturbed. I can watch recorded Apple presentations at my leisure anytime; they are typically posted by the evening.

Apple, don't waste my time promising a live presentation, and then delivering a taped presentation without even making an effort to tell me that your plan to deliver a live stream has failed and thereby allow me to decide for myself the best use of my time.

So, I suppose Steve (who looks healthier as the months go by, I'm glad to see) probably talked about some magical and revolutionary products and services. However, I can just read about them on one of the sites that were privileged to have an actual as opposed to a merely promised live feed. And so, I guess, can you.

Fail.

Until Apple gets the bugs out of it's industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, I'll just keep reading science-fictional accounts of using cool technology to watch a live image of a person at a distance. In his 1928 novel Crashing Suns, Edmond Hamilton conceives of the telestereo:

Abruptly I was aroused from my musings by the sharp ringing of a bell at my elbow. "The telestereo," I said to Hal Kur. "Take the controls." As he did so I stepped over to the telestereo's glass disk, inset in the room's floor, and touched a switch beside it. Instantly there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man in the blue and white robe of the Supreme Council, a lifesize and moving and stereoscopically perfect image, flashed across the void of space to my apparatus by means of etheric vibrations...
(Read more about Edmund Hamilton's telestereo)

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/1/2010)

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