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WebRTC Streaming Survey Findings …and news

In April 2017, we sent out a survey to the streaming musicians that have used the WebRTC broadcasting method.  The questions were simple, “did WebRTC work for you?”  “What kind of browser / computer did you use?”  And so on.

For the hundreds of surveys we sent out, response was above 60%.  Thank you all so much, that is a great response rate for any survey.

The main question, “how well the WebRTC technology worked for everyone,” is what we really wanted to know.  It also had the most interesting answer:  from a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being it didn’t work at all, and 7 being it worked great) …the responses were evenly spread from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.  Statistically speaking, that’s really hard to make a conclusion from that answer.  Normally, one would expect a rating-scale answer to skew to one side or the other, or in the middle.  A statistician or survey-guru would probably conclude the question was flawed.  But the question was pretty simple, did it work or not.

So what does it mean for us?  Well, best explanation is that it confirms what we already know:  the new WebRTC technology is not working perfectly and to our complete satisfaction (more about that in a minute).

Some of the other questions in the survey; browser type, operating system, webcam type, were meant to help correlate if those who had problems were using any particular type of platform.  Again, the answers were spread wide.  No correlation to hardware or system could be concluded.

One question did stand out with a surprise answer.  The question was whether a musician relies on viewers in the chat for streaming help, or whether they use a trusted friend or techie.  The sliding scale, 1 to 7, was skewed far to the “rely on any viewers in the chat” side.  In fact, not a single person answered #7 (as of 4/22) that they use “a trusted friend, colleague, or tech person.”

In our opinion, this is quite a surprise.  You all know the admins on StreetJelly are also active in the chat community.  We have a different perspective of what’s going on because we also have access to the video servers, bandwidth logs, etc.  We see many disruptive comments in the chat about video quality, bandwidth, etc. that are just not technically true.  As much as we try to help, those false comments get repeated over and over again.  I hate to say it this way, but it’s much like the “fake news” phenomenon of late.  The surprise answer to this questions means many musicians are unknowingly getting and listening to conflicting advice.  We at StreetJelly need to step up our game and get more help out to those that need it.  But we also need your help.  Nothing disrupts a show more than the same misinformed chat viewers constantly complaining about someone’s low bandwidth.  We can all help by explaining to the viewers that we understand the internet provider and networks are slow – and there is nothing we can change right now in the middle of the performance.  {rant over}

Survey conclusion and a bit of news…  We are not 100% satisfied with the reliability and success of WebRTC, yet.  It’s new technology, for sure, and we fully expect many improvements from the browser makers in the months to come.  But we also have the looming deadlines (not yet exactly known) when all plugins and Flash will be discontinued from all browsers …eventually.  We do not want to be relying on only one broadcast method, specifically WebRTC, when that day arrives.

StreetJelly will be releasing an alternative broadcasting method in the coming weeks by allowing musicians to stream directly to the StreetJelly Cloud with the OBS Studio broadcasting software platform.  This is a significant change in how StreetJelly approaches the complexity of video streaming to our musicians.  We always strive to make it as easy as possible – one click and it should just work.  OBS Studio is fantastic software, and it far surpasses other broadcasting software like Adobe’s FMLE.  However, it is much more complicated to use than a simple webpage click-a-few-buttons approach.

OBS Studio is stand alone, open source, free software you must download and install on your computer.  StreetJelly will give you all the info, URLs, and credentials it will take to connect up to our cloud.  There will still be a “broadcaster page” on StreetJelly for the musician.  This page will bind the stream coming from OBS to a show and chat on StreetJelly.  We will try to make it as simple as possible for those who wants to tackle OBS, and provide as much help and tutorials as we can.

This is a major change in streaming for some.  But for those wanting to take it on, it also brings with it many new features to your performance.  A few examples include multi-cameras, video transitions and fades, alternate audio sources, audio mixing, and so on.  Exciting times ahead.

We will be releasing the OBS broadcasting in phases.  Stay tuned.

Firefox v52 Turns Off Plugins

On March 7th, 2017, Firefox released browser version 52 that turns off all access to (npapi) plugins, except Flash.

That’s a very loaded statement as it affects a huge amount of websites, systems, and people all over the world.  This is not breaking news, however.  It has been in the works and made public for a very long time.  Chrome has already turned off plugins on its browser back in 2016.

What does this mean for the old style Jellycaster (with the nanoCosmos plugin) on StreetJelly?  It means the old Jellycaster will no longer work in Firefox.  We recommend that musicians migrate over to our WebRTC stereo version of the Jellycaster.  WebRTC is a non-plugin technology new for browsers.  Read more about WebRTC here.

Do you still want to use the old style Jellycaster?  That’s ok, we understand that different computers work better with different technology.  And when you have one thing setup, it’s a pain to switch over to something new.  That being said, the old style Jellycaster is still available in Safari and Microsoft’s old IE “Internet Explorer” browser.  (Note, this is not the new MS Edge browser found in Windows 10.  That does not support npapi plugins, either.  The IE browser is installed on Windows 10, it’s just not readily visible.  To launch IE, go to the Win10 search bar and type “IE”.  Best to pin the icon to your desktop or menu so you can easily find it the next time.)

There is a TEMPORARY workaround in Firefox to still use the npapi plugins.  But this workaround will last you only about a month until v53 is launched on April 18th, 2017.  In v53, plugins will be turned off permanently (except Flash).  The fix involves messing with the Firefox config settings.  If you so desire, here are all the instructions:  http://winaero.com/blog/firefox-52-npapi-plugins-support-disabled/

 

Don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you need help.

 

Beef Up your Artist Profile

News – website changes coming to StreetJelly

It’s time to beef up your artist profile! We are making changes on StreetJelly to help musicians better showcase themselves. It’s going to start with updates to the homepage. We will no longer be displaying your last show’s thumbnail as your main image. Instead, we will be displaying your main profile image. Now’s the time to make it a good one. Here’s a sneak peak:

New StreetJelly Homepage

New StreetJelly Homepage

A few explanations:

  • Featured Musicians – the top section of the home page will display special events, concerts, and promotional shows.
  • Timeline – keep track of what’s going on. The timeline will display who is live, who was just on, and new artists as they join StreetJelly.
  • Live and Scheduled Shows Mosaic – this section most closely resembles the old homepage. It will continue to display all the live shows and the upcoming scheduled shows. Notice, however, it is not using the webcam snapshot, but the artists’ uploaded quality image.

Introduction of StreetJelly Levels:

Also notice in the Live and Scheduled mosaic that artists images are different sizes. StreetJelly is rolling out the concept of artist levels in its membership. The higher the membership level, the larger and better billing the musician will have. Musicians will have to work their way up to access these higher levels and the added features. Here is a brief description of what’s coming.

  • Busker Level – Everyone starts here. Create a free artist account on StreetJelly and get access right away to start making money through tips – online busking. Buskers will have access to stream via the standard Adobe Flash™ broadcaster.
  • Open Mic Level – Prove you are serious about live streaming performing and easily move up to level two. Features include broadcasting in a mobile-ready stream, in stereo, with our state of the art Jellycaster broadcasting plugin. Requirements for this level include completely filling out your artist profile, uploading a quality profile image, and completing a number of successful shows on StreetJelly. Yes, think of this as an online audition to the venue stage managers.
  • Gig Level – More features, of course. They will be great! Many of which we will release at a future date. But we can tell you now it includes streaming in HD!

Moving up the levels is by “invitation only.” Meaning, it will not be automatic. But StreetJelly will reward those who are serious about live streaming and produce high quality content.

You can get started now. Beef up your artist profile by filling out all the sections. Your fans do read your Bio!  Make it count. Don’t forget to put your full name or your band’s full name in the text. This will help Google and any search engines find your info. Do add links to your profile to your own webpage, YouTube, Facebook, etc. This will help your fans find your music. And last, and possibly the most important, upload a quality profile image of yourself. Make sure you are centered in the image, it will look best that way. The most successful image is a portrait of the musician, preferably holding a guitar/instrument.

Stay tuned, more features and updates are coming to StreetJelly – the best place for live streaming musicians on the web!

#JellyGearSelfie Giveaway

Musicians, take a #selfie of your favorite instrument or music gear; post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; get 10 Free Tokens for yourself, and a chance to win more prizes from StreetJelly!

What: Jelly Gear Selfie Week
When: Friday, May 13th, 2016 to Monday, May 23rd, 2016 (midnight pacific time)
Who: StreetJelly Musicians
Grand Prize: Blue Yeti USB Stereo Condenser Mic


Here is what you do…

  • Take a picture of yourself with your favorite instrument or music gear
  • Make the brand / logo of your gear clearly visible in the photo! (very important)
  • Post the image on Facebook on the StreetJelly.com page (required)
    Or, post on Twitter and include our @StreetJelly name (required)
    Or, post on Instagram and include a #StreetJelly hashtag (required)
  • Include the hashtag #JellyGearSelfie (required)
  • Include a hashtag of the manufacturer’s name or brand. Example: #Fender (required)
  • Receive 10 Free Tokens into your StreetJelly account to use for tipping
  • Limit 4 selfies per member (40 tokens, a $6.40 value)
  • Each selfie must be of a DIFFERENT photo and instrument
  • Prize drawings on Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
  • One last rule:  The entrant must have a Musician Account on StreetJelly, with an uploaded personalized profile picture and completed bio and instrument section.

Examples:
This is a selfie of Rewind with his Fender Telecaster Deluxe

#JellyGearSelfie #Fender

#JellyGearSelfie #Fender

This is a selfie of Clifty with a Behringer X1204 USB Mixer

#JellyGearSelfie #Behringer #X1204

#JellyGearSelfie #Behringer #X1204

Blue Yeti USB condenser stereo micPrizes

We’ll have a random drawing on Tuesday, May 24th, live on StreetJelly. Each selfie gets one entry as mentioned above.

  • Grand PrizeBlue Yeti USB stereo condenser mic. $149 list-price! Great for live streaming in stereo!
  • Runner-up – Your choice of a t-shirt, embroidered hat, or coffee mug from the StreetJelly Store.

Other Considerations

Please post the JellyGearSelfies to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Posting the same selfie to multiple platforms only counts as one entry for free tokens or the prize drawings. Feel free to post to other social media websites. But if you do, send us a note as we don’t normally monitor other platforms.

Disclaimer: StreetJelly reserves the right to disqualify anyone from this contest for scamming the system, idiocy, inappropriate content, or just plain being a jerk.

Jelly Selfie Token Giveaway and Prizes

Take a #selfie in front of a StreetJelly performer, post it on Facebook or Twitter, get 10 Free Tokens for yourself and the musician, and a chance to win more prizes from BandMix.com and BandVista.com!

What: Jelly Selfie Week
When: Monday, October 19th, 2015 to Monday, October 26th, 2015 (midnight pacific time)
Who: Everyone

Here is what you do…

  • Take a picture of yourself IN FRONT OF your favorite musician in a live performance on StreetJelly.
  • Post the image on Facebook on the StreetJelly.com page (required) 
    Or post on Twitter and include our @StreetJelly name (required)
  • Include the hashtag #JellySelfie (required)
  • Include the StreetJelly link to the musician (required)
  • Add the hashtag #BandMix or #BandVista to enter either grand prize drawing
  • Receive 10 Free Tokens into your StreetJelly account
  • The musician in the picture gets 10 Free Tokens, too!
    (For their account, not in their tip-jar)
  • Limit 4 selfies per member (40 tokens, a $6.40 value)
  • Each selfie must be of a DIFFERENT musician to qualify
  • No Limit how many times a musician may be in a selfie to receive tokens
  • Prize drawings on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Example post would look like this:
(This is a selfie of Frankie during a Don Brandfas show.)

#JellySelfie http://www.StreetJelly.com/DonBrandfas #BandVista

JellySelfie

Note: “#JellySelfie” not required inside the picture.

Prizes

We’ll have two drawings on Tuesday, October 27th, for prizes from BandMix and BandVista.  Each selfie gets entered in a drawing for ONE of the prizes, depending on which hashtag is included in the selfie post: #BandMix or #BandVista.

  • #BandMix – One year subscription to Premium Membership on BandMix.com. An $89.95 value.  BandMix is the leading website for searching for musicians, finding band members, setting up auditions, and musician classifieds.
  • #BandVista – One year subscription for a Gold Plan professional musician website from BandVista.com. A $130.20 value.  BandVista is a fantastic new tool for bands and musicians to easily create and maintain a powerful web site with industry level features.

Other Considerations

Please post the JellySelfies to Facebook or Twitter.  Posting the same selfie to multiple platforms only counts as one entry for free tokens or the prize drawings.  Feel free to post to other social media websites.  But if you do, send us a note as we don’t normally monitor other platforms besides Facebook or Twitter.

Disclaimer:  StreetJelly reserves the right to disqualify anyone from this contest for scamming the system, idiocy, inappropriate content, or just plain being a jerk.

StreetJelly Meetup 2015 Info

What: StreetJelly Meetup 2015 – Great Smoky Mountains
When: Saturday, Sept 19th, 2015
Where: Wilderness at the Smokies Resort, Sevierville, TN

East Tennessee is just a half-day’s drive from anywhere east of The Mississippi!

Please RSVP by August 15th, so we get an accurate count. click here

Saturday, Sept 19th – starts around 3pm at the Cades Cove Room

All viewers and musicians on StreetJelly.com are invited to meet in person for a day of fun and music. The event is FREE to attend at the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort, Cades Cove banquet room, in Sevierville, TN. Musicians, bring your guitars and instruments to jam with friends from all over the country. We will broadcast the entire event live on StreetJelly.com, too.

Travel and lodging expenses are not provided. In other words, you have to pay your own way to get here. Discount lodging rates available at the Wilderness Resort, call 877.325.9453 ($109/night, includes passes into resort’s two water-parks!). Mention the group rates for StreetJelly event on Sept 19th.

Sevierville, Tennessee – home of StreetJelly – is just outside Knoxville (East TN). It’s easy to get to, right off Interstate i40, exit 407. To reach East TN from the south, take i75; from the northeast, i81; and all points east and west, get on i40 (which runs the length of the entire U.S.).

Make it a Vacation!

We are at the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the resort towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The attractions are endless and fit for every style of vacationer: camping, hiking, cabin rentals, dinner shows, amusement parks, golf, museums, shopping, restaurants, zip-lines, horse-back riding, and so on. There are 10,000s of hotel rooms in the area. And it’s the home of Dolly Parton and Dollywood! 🙂


Add’l Links
www.Gatlinburg.com
www.PigeonForge.com
www.nps.gov – National Park Service
www.Dollywood.com
www.RipleyAquariums.com
www.VisitMySmokies.com
www.SmokyMountains.com

Wilderness At the Smokies  map it
190 Gists Creek Road
Sevierville, TN 37876
Please ask questions about the event below in the comments…

Flash 17.0.0.169 Issues

UPDATE: May 12th, 2015

Adobe releases Flash version 17.0.0.188 with fixes to this problem. Go to Adobe’s website to get the latest version.

UPDATE: April 16th, 2015

We applied a patch on our side to prevent the issues of garbled sound. Essentially, we turned off the automatic sample-rate checking for audio. Apparently, Adobe has recognized this issue and has put in a bug-report for the Flash Player. Currently, our patch is working and users should not have to rollback their Flash versions (latest version 17.0.0.169 should work!). Let us know if you still continue with problems.

April 15th, 2015

We have had numerous reports, and confirmed it with our own computers, that the latest version of Flash released yesterday, version 17.0.0.169, is causing problems for some playing back streaming video. Symptoms include garbled sound; digital distortion; and/or video speeds up and slows down, then stops and restarts. We have witnessed this problem on Windows 7 and 8, Firefox and Chrome.  However, there are reports to us that this has happened on Safari, Opera (Linux), etc.

If you think you are experiencing these problems, and everything worked on your computer a few days ago; first let’s check what version of Flash have.  Click this link: What Version of Flash do I have?

How to fix the problem?  The current “fix” is to uninstall the latest version of Flash and reinstall the prior one, 17.0.0.134. This is not our favorite approach, but as of today (4/15) this is the only option.  We continue to investigate a better solution.

The full instructions are here from Adobe: Install a Previous Version of Flash

We understand its tricky and appreciate your patience.  Here are our simplified instructions.

  1. First, download and execute the Flash Uninstaller.
    1. Windows  Scroll down to “1. Download the uninstaller for Flash Player” and click on the bullet “uninstaller” link and follow instructions.
    2. Mac  Scroll down to “2. Run the uninstaller applicable to your Mac OS version” and click on the link for your appropriate Mac version.  Follow uninstall instructions.
  2. Install previous version of Flash. Last good version was 17.0.0.134
    1. Click here Archived Flash Player versions
    2. Scroll down to the Flash Player Archives section
    3. Choose the link to Flash Player 17.0.0.134 (235.98 MB)
    4. This will download a compressed zip file to your computer.  Use any unzip program on your computer to decompress to a local folder.
    5. There will be a file to install version 17.0.0.134 for both Windows and Mac in the list.
      1. Windows: execute (double-click) on flashplayer17_0r0_134_win.msi  for Firefox/Chrome plugins, or flashplayer17_0r0_134_winax.msi for IE. Follow instructions.
      2. Mac: install the DMG file as you would normally install any application in Mac O/S.  flashplayer17_0r0_134_mac.dmg or flashplayer17_0r0_134_mac_pkg.dmg to extract a PKG package (double-click PKG to install)
  3. For Chrome users, you have one more step. Chrome uses its own embedded version of Flash. You have to turn off that “plugin” and tell Chrome to use the one you just installed.
    1. In Chrome, type “chrome://plugins” into the address bar.  This will bring up the Plugins configuration page on your computer.
    2. Click on “+Details” in the upper right corner to expand plugin details.
    3. Scroll down until you see the “Adobe Flash Player” (Shockwave Flash) in the list. You should see two files. “Disable” the one pointing to location “…\pepflashplayer.dll”
    4. “Enable” the one pointing to location “…\NPSWF32_xxxx.dll”
    5. Close and restart Chrome.

Some notes: uninstalling and reinstalling will require you to close down all your browsers and restart them.

Please contact us for any assistance.  support@streetjelly.com

Commitment to Musicians Payout

A message from Frank Podlaha, CEO

Pile of TokensMany of you have probably noticed the new Payout Percentage we now display on the StreetJelly BuyTokens page. On the right hand side, we show a running average of the amount of cash that we pay back to musicians from the tokens purchased by fans. Let me explain a little deeper how it all works.

We do things a little differently on StreetJelly than most sites. Instead of just tipping in US Dollar amounts, we use tokens (and Rocker Pin awards) to show our love to the musicians. Each tipped token is always paid out at 16¢ (US). However, we sell those tokens for various prices depending on the size of the package a fan purchases. People like a deal when they buy in bulk. No difference with our tokens. The more you buy, the better price you get. The percentage of the money that goes to the musicians then varies depending on which package is purchased. The tokens vary in sale price from 32¢ to 20¢ (or 50% to 80% payout).

Of course, different people buy different packages. If we average out all the packages sold, we consistently get a payout above 70%. It’s been like that from the very beginning. We have just as many fans buy the larger token packages as do the smaller ones.

However, this is not the complete picture because we also give away tons of free tokens with promo-codes, contests, and other events. Think for a minute what happens when you get a promo-code worth 25 Free Tokens. Those extra tokens still become real cash that we payout to musicians. For example: if you buy the smallest package of 25 tokens at $8 with that promo, you actually receive 50 tokens (25 purchased + 25 free).  The payout to the musicians becomes $8, or 50 x .16 = $8.  100% of your purchase goes to the musicians. Cool, huh!?

We are displaying that full Payout Percentage on the BuyTokens page. It’s a running average over the past 30 days, and includes all the extra tokens we give away. On a side note: it does NOT include any fees/royalties we payout to the songwriters associations (BMI, ASCAP, etc). Those artists get their piece of the pie from our revenue, not the musicians. It’s our obligation to take care of that portion.

We are very proud that our true Payout Percentage is running in the mid-80s! It is our goal to always keep that at or above 80% and still stay in business.

Thank you for all the support!

~Frank Podlaha, CEO – a.k.a. Frankie

Payout Percentage - Feb 2015

Payout Percentage – Feb 2015