Spin Flow

Spin Flow

the fine art of moving digital media

the fine art of moving digital media

an Outhink sponsored community website about media production for the creative professional

an Outhink sponsored community website about media production for the creative professional

Speed Jamming, The Basics

Speedjamming Outhink was founded by a musician and we talk about the idea of "speed jamming" a song around the world using secure P2P technology to enable a band to assemble, play together and move on to new projects anywhere, anytime.

Some time back, Gary Hall discussed in his article "Bands Without Borders" some of the basic issues a group of musicians must address just to share the files they use. But the "major challenge" is actually the ease and speed with which artists can respond to one another.

A speed jam, a virtual band playing together, riffing off of one another as a file moves around the world, is a "band without a border", the concept which originally attracted us to this article.

There are a number of things to take into account when planning a musical collaboration. Understanding the issues can help smooth the path and clarify whether it makes sense to use a dedicated service provider to help in storage and project management.

The major challenges in exchanging music and audio files are deciding what kinds of data will be exchanged, keeping the transfer times acceptable, and ensuring that the files remain compatible between parties. You must also make sure that the playback is the same (or close enough) at both ends and that the projects stay in sync so that everyone involved is looking at the same thing. All of those issues are solvable, but not trivial. The last point, in particular, requires ongoing management....

Using audio data also ensures that the receiving party hears “exactly” (taking into account the monitoring system) what the sender intended. Audio data can be of extremely high fidelity (24 bits at 96 kHz is now common) as long as you're willing to deal with significant transfer times.

The biggest drawback to collaborating with uncompressed audio files is, of course, their bulk. Full-length files, especially multichannel files, can require an hour or more to download. With common asymmetrical home connections, the upload time may be considerably worse. Raw audio files also convey little of the production information often needed for collaboration.

Choosing a file format to work in, especially a lossless one, is a matter of preference.  With faster networks and a P2P architecture that distributes files across a workgroup so that musicians can collaborate, the vision of a global speed jam is almost a reality - Mitch.

Icon_speedjammingAddendum: I have resurrected and added to (re-mix'ed?) this original article of Mitch's as I would like to kick off a series of articles by various people on the general topic of Speed Jamming.  Speed Jamming is part of the SpinFlow discipline (grasshopper).  Like SpinFlow, Speed Jamming is also about movement.

Creative Commons sampling+We'll use this cool little Speed Jamming icon that Rich whipped up for us to mark and connect this series. Rich also created the larger graphic for this article and we'd like to encourage SpinFlow members to modify it or create new ones for use in future articles.  We are releasing these images under the Creative Commons Sample+ license, so please feel free to make use of it.

What are you experiences with Speed Jamming?  Please share them.  I'll bet there are some great stories out there.  Contribute and maybe we can make a cool multimedia presentation around the ideas. 

Got pictures of your own you want to share?  Maybe shots of you and your crew Jamming!  Put them on Flickr and tag them with "spinflow".  Then they'll show up in the aggregate feeds and here.  Let's Jam!

I also added some bookmarks to speed jamming related posts by Dave and myself to del.icio.us where you will find a discussion of a great Speed Jamming experience that was podcast from the O'Reilly 2004 Mac OS X Conference. If you post something you think is related to SpinFlow or Speed Jamming to your blog or website, please bookmark with the tag or keyword "spinflow" in del.icio.us and it will show up here.

Want to organize a Speed Jamming event?  Please discuss it here or in our forums and maybe we can all help put something interesting together.  I'd love to try and get people from around the world to contribute video over a 24 hour period, perhaps showing their world at a specific moment in time.  We could call it Spin Around the World or something.  Let's play!  - Markus.

Posted by Mitch Ratcliffe on May 2, 2005 at 10:10 PM in Music, Web/Tech | Permalink


The comments to this entry are closed.

I got a great related link from Jay at momentshowing.net. See the details in the SpinFlow News!

Posted by: Markus Sandy | May 8, 2005 12:50:32 PM


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» Speed Jamming Update from SpinFlow News
Jay over at Momentshowing.net posted a great link on his blog: Meet two relatively new videobloggers who have blown my mind.Josh Leo lives in Michigan.Phil Hamilton lives in Massachusettes.Even though they live in different states, they created a video... [Read More]

Tracked on May 8, 2005 1:33:03 PM