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Fix Audio Sync in OBS

Ever notice a live stream that has audio a little off from the video?  We’ll help you fix that when broadcasting with OBS Studio.

You often hear audio issues called “lag.”  However, that term gets confusing since many people use it as a catch-all phrase.  Let’s define when people say lag, but really mean…

Latency  Latency is the term we use to describe the time it takes from the broadcaster to send his or her stream up to the internet, travel across the planet, and get pulled down to the viewer’s computer.  Many factors determine how long this can take, anywhere from a few seconds to 20 or more seconds.  This time is based on the internet speed of the broadcaster AND the viewer.  Different viewers will experience the live broadcast at different times than other viewers.  As a broadcaster, you all have experienced this when you ask your audience a question and have to wait until they respond.  Improving latency is a factor of improving your internet connection (upgrading to a better ISP or broadband connection); and reducing the amount of data your stream (turn down your broadcast quality).  We’ll go into more detail about improving latency in another blog.

Audio Sync  Audio Sync is today’s topic.  It is the synchronization of the audio with the video.  When the audio and video get “out of sync,” you witness the phenomenon where you see the lips move but hear the voice slightly later, or vice versa.  It is like watching a badly dubbed foreign movie.  There can be a number of contributing factors why this occurs, but the chief reason is a slow computer / CPU.  It takes more cycles, or computing power, to process video than it takes to process audio.  The audio is often ready to stream slightly ahead of the video.  When a chunk of audio data gets combined with a chunk of video data that represents two different points in time, the broadcast will be out of sync.

OBS is great broadcasting software and handles many sophisticated internal features.  It typically requires more computing power than simple one-cam broadcasting from within a browser.  Audio Sync issues do appear more often when broadcasting with OBS.  However, there is an easy fix to this problem (without having to upgrade your computer to a monster size CPU and GPU).

In OBS, adjust the “Audio Delay” to bring the timing of the audio precisely in with the video.

On the main screen, click on the Audio Mixer.  (Below are two images, one from OBS v18 and one from v20. They slightly changed the way to open the Audio Mixer between updates.)

OBS v18 – click the Mixer gear icon in middle of screen

v18 – Audio Mixer Icon, click image to enlarge

 

OBS v20+ – click the Mixer gear icon next to your audio device, then choose Advanced Audio Properties

v20+ – Audio Mixer Icons, click image to enlarge

Audio Mixer Menu, click image to enlarge

 

Find the audio device you want to adjust and enter the number of milliseconds (MS) to slow down the sound.

Audio Delay, click image to enlarge

 

Recommended Approach:

  • First, fire up your webcam and microphone.  You should see the video output in the main screen of OBS.
  • Start Recording your stream locally. In other words, DO NOT START live streaming.
  • Perform a short bit by speaking slowly into the camera so you can watch your lip-sync closely later.  Clapping your hands is another good technique to dial in the sync.
  • Watch the recorded video to get a sense how far off the sync is.  Most likely, you will hear the audio first, and then see the video catch up.  It’s tricky at first to tell which way the sync is messed up (sometimes the video comes first and the audio is behind).  But you will get the hang of it.
  • Adjust the Audio Delay for your specific mic by adding a number of milliseconds.  Start with 30ms.
  • Record another video and check the sync again.
  • Repeat this process until you can not notice any sync problems.  Use 30ms increments when adjusting.  For instance, if on the first try 30ms did not fix the sync, next time try 60ms, then 90ms, etc.
  • Last, you can also adjust the Video Delay in OBS v20+. Same principle applies here, too.  Adjust small amounts, record, check, repeat.

When you are all done, you are ready to live stream.  OBS will remember your delay settings for the next broadcast.  But it is good practice to occasionally recheck as your audio/mic setup may have changed in your studio, your computer may have upgraded to newer software, and so on.

A note about “video delay” and your studio sound setup.  For musicians who use a sound board, mixers, auto-tuning, delay pedals, etc; the audio delay may be attributed to the processing in the sound system itself – and not in OBS or your computer.  This is generally the cause when video comes in first and the audio comes in behind.  The fix here is to delay the video so it slows down to match the audio.

Your Favorite Browser – Fantastic or Rocky?

Special guest post submitted by StreetJelly veteran, Martina!

Why using a certain browser can make all the difference between a fantastic broadcast and a rocky one.

Recently, Firefox and Chrome browsers made significant technical changes by disallowing plugins. This will affect musicians and viewers. I would like to explain this fairly complex subject in a condensed version. We understand that these changes have caused some StreetJelly users confusion and frustration. Hopefully, this blog will help all of you to have a much better and smoother streaming and viewing experience.

Not all browsers made changes at the same time and many updates will follow. This is the reason why we sometimes recommend one browser over another. Our recommendations go hand in hand with new developments in streaming technology and their direct impact on our broadcasting tools.

The Flash broadcaster
These developments have no effect on this broadcasting option. The only thing we noticed is that some viewers don’t realize that this change turned off Flash on their computer and it needs to be turned on in the browser settings. This might be necessary each time there is a new browser version. Internet Explorer still allows plugins but for a limited time.

The old plugin Jellycaster
Chrome and Firefox do not allow plugins anymore and therefore the old Jellycaster is not functional on those browsers.

The new Jellycaster WebRTC
This is an entirely different streaming technology and expected to totally replace Flash in the future. Currently, this method of streaming is still going through some growing pains. Flash works very well for people with lower bandwidth, but all the new streaming technologies require higher bandwidth. It is not only the amount of bandwidth which is important but also the steadiness. RTC is a technology which streams chunks of data, also known as packets. Flash streams more like a continuous stream, like water in garden hose. Currently, Chrome is using a different type of packets than Firefox and both browsers have a different way of letting the stream go through firewall ports. Which browser works better depends on each individual network setup, steadiness of internet connection and other factors.

We currently recommend to try Chrome first since its approach to RTC appears to work better for a lot of people. Ultimately, it is a matter of trying it out. It is extremely important to always have the latest version of any browser when using RTC since there are significant updates on a regular basis.

For anyone who is struggling with low bandwidth, it is important to maximize what you have available. Check that all other devices in your streaming location which use bandwidth are turned off and programs are closed. Sometimes we might not think of it that very common pages like Facebook can be a strain on your bandwidth. This is just one of many examples. Generally, anything with video falls in this category and, of course, watching TV on the computer.

I hope this helps a little to explain why browsers can make all the difference and why we change our recommendations to adjust to all the rapid developments in technology.

Fighting WebRTC Audio Sync Issues

Fighting WebRTC Audio Sync Issues
Subtitle:  Mainly with Chrome

Audio Sync issues are when the audio and video get out of “lip-sync.”  The sound does not line up with what you see.  Many folks call it a “lag.”  (We also have heard people call it a “latency” problem, but that is an incorrect description.)  This problem can happen with any broadcasting software, but it appears to happen more often on Chrome streaming with WebRTC.  This does not mean, “Firefox is better than Chrome,” or any one browser is superior.  We are only saying this one specific problem happens to a few broadcasters while on Chrome.

The guts of how WebRTC streams, also known as the encoder, processes the audio and video separately. They are streamed separately, they travel across the internet separately, and it is your computer at home that has to put it back together in-sync.  When a moment in time of the audio and video are sent across the internet too far apart from one another, the result is audio that does not match video.  That’s just the way it works!

Processing audio is easy from a computer’s point of view, there is less data to manage.  Video, on the other hand, takes massive amount of data and processing to produce a video signal.  The CPU (central processing unit) of the computer, a.k.a. the brain, can only handle so many calculations at one time.  When there is too much data to process when streaming, it is generally the video that gets processed slower than the audio.

The result: the audio is encoded first, and the video lags behind.  Look closely at a sync problem broadcast – you will almost always hear the sound / voice first, then witness the video catch up.

How to fix this problem?  Start by understanding that anything that can free up your computer’s CPU from tasks, or reduce the amount of video data to process, will help:

  • Make sure your browser is running the latest version. We will say this a 1,000 times… it’s very important with WebRTC to be on the latest version because the browser makers release significant changes with each new release.  To check / update Firefox or Chrome, go to Help >> About.
  • Turn off any software running on your computer you do not need for streaming.  Anything to free up your CPU will help.  Close multiple browser windows and tabs, close music recording software, close any games and video intensive software, and so on.  And close dang Facebook!
  • Choose 4:3 SD (standard def) streaming on StreetJelly.  Obviously, 720p HD takes way more CPU cycles to stream.
  • Adjust your webcam to the lowest decent quality.  Your webcam may be set at very high HD settings. The encoder then has to convert that video to lower quality for streaming.  That takes a lot of CPU power to do that.  In the hardware settings for your camera (not on StreetJelly):
    • Match the screen size of the webcam to the screen size chosen for broadcasting on StreetJelly.  For example: 640 x 480
    • Set the frame rate (if available) to 15fps, frames per second.  The WebRTC encoder defaults to 15fps, so it will get converted anyway.
    • Set quality (if available) to medium, or somewhere around 80%.  Different webcam vendors approach this setting differently, but the key is to dial it off the very top, but don’t go all the way to the bottom.
  • Remove any webcam effects from your broadcast.  This includes extra graphics embedded into the video (snowflakes, alien heads, swirly do-dahs, etc). All these require massive CPU processing to generate.
  • Remove any lighting effects in your home studio.  Yes, we mean swirly lights in your room in the real world.  This affects compression. The more areas within your video frame that do not change over time, the more your video gets compressed into smaller data chunks.  This reduces the amount of bandwidth needed to stream and process.
  • In your computer’s video settings (at the hardware level):  make sure any “hardware acceleration” settings are turned on.  I’m sure that sounds vague, but there are far too many video card drivers, manufacturers, scenarios, etc. to write about in a single blog.  The key here is to maximize the CPU and GPU (graphics processing unit) settings.
  • Get a faster computer! 🙂

UPDATE APRIL 19th, 2017

So we know Chrome can be a CPU hog, and these issues can get the audio out of sync.  One thing to try – and definitely check – is the Chrome “use hardware acceleration” setting.  Hardware Acceleration is a feature on most computers to use the GPU (graphics processing unit) for video processing. In Chrome, this can be controlled with an Advanced Setting called:  “Use hardware acceleration when available.”

Normally, this setting should be checked.  Check it now with these instructions:  http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/internet/how-turn-off-gpu-hardware-acceleration-in-google-chrome-3605455/

For some with audio sync issues, UNCHECKING this setting may help.  It’s not a guarantee, but worth a try.  Sometimes a computer’s video card drivers could be out of whack (I literally had that problem with an old Lenevo laptop).  Using software to process the video software can possibly fix (or avoid) a hardware issue.

For a bit more detail about Chrome and Hardware Acceleration, here’s another nice article:  https://www.lifewire.com/hardware-acceleration-in-chrome-4125122

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.

 

WebRTC and Live Streaming

What is WebRTC and how it applies to live streaming in 2017?
Subtitle – The Rise and Fall of Plugins.

By definition, WebRTC stands for “Web Real Time Communications.” Wikipedia defines it as: a collection of communications protocols and application programming interfaces that enable real-time communication over peer-to-peer connections. That makes a whole lot of sense, right? In practical terms, it means that browsers and mobile devices can talk with each other, hardware on your computer, and other websites in a gee-whiz cool new way. This improves live streaming by making it easier to access your webcam and microphone, and efficiently broadcast crisp clear video and audio across the internet. WebRTC is easier to understand by explaining what it’s not – it is NOT a plugin.

“Howdy, plugin pardner.”
When the wacky web world (www) first started, it was mainly text, with some basic images and logos to make it look pretty. The “browser” was invented to read this text. That’s all it needed to do, browse and display “pages” over the “web.” Hence, the webpage was born. By its very nature, a browser can not – and should not – do anything but read a webpage and display it to the viewer. It could not in anyway have writing capabilities or access anything on your computer. This was a major security feature built into all browsers from day one. A webpage anywhere in the world, presumably even a webpage made by nasty people, could be read. But it could not access your hard-drive and delete everything you owned. Makes sense, right?! That very basic notion of a browser being unable to access any of your hardware, webcams and microphones included, made surfing the internet safe.

In the early days of live streaming, ‘er web-camming, we had to download and install specific software onto our computers to get video to stream. Adobe’s Live Media Encoder (FMLE) was one of the originals. Most of the webcam hardware companies, on the other hand, would also include their own software to get their cams to broadcast. These proprietary bundles usually only worked peer-to-peer with another webcam from the same manufacturer and same software. Sneaky! By the way, this was all before Skype and even the first generation of cam sites. Installing specific software on your computer (remember .exe’s?) was the only way this all worked.

Then along came the brilliant idea of running a mini software program INSIDE a browser and not as stand alone software. We call these gunslingers “plugins.” They still had to be downloaded and installed, but they were a powerful solution that allowed webpages to do more than just display text and images. For us web programmers, the plugin was our hero! We could now make a webpage, and an entire website, act like a real piece of software. We could change an “application” by the next time you returned to our website, without having you to buy or download an entire new version of our software. Oh, the potential we had with the dawn of “Web 2.0.”

Adobe Flash Player was one of the first and most successful plugins for many reasons. The Flash plugin did 99% of all the work we ever wanted to do in a website application. As a programmer, why would you write your own plugin to override the video-card graphics accelerator to smoothly animate a cartoon bird? This was already written and available in Flash, for free! It made our lives much easier. And it made your life better, too. Overnight, websites were no longer static pages, but full fledged software applications. Did Flash do everything we needed for programmers? No. But for the few things we needed extra, we wrote our own tiny plugins. The beauty of it all was that the plugins we created could live side by side with the main Flash plugin that did the heavy lifting.

“This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.”
[Queue the creepy western villain whistling]
As we all enjoyed this web gold-rush of possibilities, the scoundrels out there realized how easy it was to take-over-your-computer with a plugin. After all, a plugin is real software you downloaded from God-knows-where and you gave access to everything holy inside your computer. Yikes. And yes, real exploits existed in this set up. More and more, we learned never to accept a plugin from any website that felt shady. And more and more, Adobe released version updates to make their Flash player – the head-honcho plugin of all plugins – to be safer. To this day, Adobe makes a version update on a regular monthly schedule. It’s remarkable due diligence when you think about it.

The days of the plugin are nearing an end, though. History will recycle them off into the trash heap along with 8-tracks, betamax, and transistor radios. There is a better way, it’s called WebRTC and its brother HTML5. The browser manufacturers have agreed on a common protocol where all browsers, eventually, will be able to access certain hardware on your computer (webcams and microphones in our case) in a safe and secure way. They also will be able to communicate across the internet in a safe and secure way. All this behavior will be built-in and part of the browser itself – nothing to download and install. Plugins are considered so potentially unsafe, that the browser makers agree that they will disable all use of plugins in the very near future. WebRTC has been in the making for a number of years and will replace plugins. WebRTC is currently mature enough to use in a commercial application website …in Chrome.

Wait, what? This only works in Chrome? Not exactly. Firefox and the other main browsers are right up there in implementing WebRTC / HTLM5 with all its features and security. However, the web giant Google makes Chrome. They are the leader and driving force behind this (my opinion). What they create and perfect first in Chrome, like it or not, becomes the de facto standard. StreetJelly is re-writing its broadcasting software with WebRTC first in Chrome. The Firefox configurations and settings are slightly different. We want to make sure all is running smoothly in Chrome, then we’ll tackle Firefox and the rest. In other words, we’ll be broadcasting WebRTC in Firefox, MS Edge, and Safari real soon!

Don’t roll the sunset clip yet…
What about Adobe Flash? How can it go away? Half the web still uses it! That is very true. The browser makers are making concessions to our aging hero. Chrome has already blocked all old-style plugins, but has built in their own version of Flash player internal to Chrome. Whether you refuse to download Flash from Adobe’s website or not, Chrome has its own version already on your computer. Google and Adobe are in a close relationship to make sure it’s safe. Firefox will be cutting all access to old-style plugins by 2017. It, too, will have its own internal version of Flash like Chrome. But eventually, our hero – the Adobe Flash plugin – will fade away forever.

It’s a brave new world …again.

Frank Podlaha
CEO and Founder
…and Chief Propeller-Head

Ok, now queue the sunset…

UPDATE about Firefox: As of today, 1/3/17, Firefox is at Version 50 for the general public. In Version 52, they will turn off the old style plugins (npapi). But you will still be able to turn them back on in the browser settings (type about:config in the address bar). Version 52 is scheduled to be released March 7, 2017. In Version 53, they will turn off old style plugins completely! Version 53 is scheduled for release on April 18, 2017.

First Concert – The Perfect Guide

“Member Blog Series” guest post submitted by StreetJelly memeber: Vincent Hill

First Concert – The Perfect Guide

Introduction to Holding a Concert
Going to a concert is one thing, holding a concert is totally another thing. One must understand that one of the most complex and difficult jobs is to organize and hold a concert. Consider a concert to be a 1000 pieces puzzle, and each of those jigsaw pieces must fit in properly. Here are just some of the aspects on which you must pay attention to the most.First Concert

Get Ready and Be Comfortable
All you need to do is practice well and organize your playlist for the concert. Also practice all of the songs, not just the ones you’re about to play because you’ll never know what will you feel like playing at the moment. Being comfortable is very important because if you’re not then the audience will not be as well. You want to look natural.

Practice Before Going On a Concert
As it was already suggested above, you will have to practice, a lot. Even when you think you have practiced enough, you haven’t. It’s never enough, and you need to be a perfectionist if you want to be extraordinary. Nothing is better than a band which functions like a machine. Keep up to date with music trends, the industry, software, and instruments with an online tool like MusicSkanner. This can really help you spot a problem before you go on stage.

Take Feedback from Others
Listening to what your audience has to say about you is essential to your success. Be that good or bad a critic is something that can be a great motivator. When they say good things about you, then that means you’re doing a great job, and when they talk badly about you, then you know you have to improve your performance or music.

Get To the Concert on Time
Of course, you have to get to the concert on time, because you will have to set things up and have a final rehearsal before the main event. The concert is going to start a bit late of course like always, but you would like to be on time. The audience will not respect you if you’re late.

Stay Cool in the Crowd
No matter how crazy the audience is, you must not let it mess with your brain. Stay cool and keep calm. If you lose your head, then everything will fall apart, and this is a fact. You need to focus on your performance. Get Involved and Stay Excited Your audience is everything to you. For you, they must feel like the most important thing in the world. Interact with them, communicate and listen to them. Take some pictures and throw some equipment like a guitar pick and so on. Keep your euphoria until the very end. With your music, you will easily transfer the positive energy over to your audience.

first_concert2Be Aware of the Brand
The brand of you music equipment is of the imperative. You will have to choose only those of the best quality if you want to be exceptional. Same goes for the instruments. Mind you brands!

Try To Use Social Media
The best way for you to raise awareness about the event you’re holding is to use the power of social media. That way you will reach far more people than you would usually with just flyers and posters.

To Sum Up
These are just some useful tips about how you can succeed in holding a perfect concert. Of course, there are many other things about which you must consult professionals and ask for their help.

Online Streaming Etiquette

Special guest blog by StreetJelly performer: Rewind.

A few tips on music performance etiquette.

Performance EtiquetteAside from my shows on StreetJelly, I have spent many years playing out at various venues. I thought I would share a few tips I have learned along the way from a performer’s perspective.

1. Test your gear before going live. I remember playing a show on a college campus with one of my bands. It was the middle of the day and incredibly bright. There was a big crowd, and we started with a well known cover song. Upon strumming my first chord, I realized that in the bright light, I hadn’t noticed that I accidentally tuned my guitar a half step off. There were a bunch of chords in open tunings, so I butchered it.

On StreetJelly, I ALWAYS tune my guitar and test my audio and video before going live, even if I haven’t touched anything since my last show. It’s better to have some glitchy thing happen before you’re streaming live to the world.

2. Don’t advertise competing venues at a gig. I see this a bit in physical venues as well as online. If I am playing two shows in the same town within a few weeks, I would never promote the other show at the competing venue. It’s just rude. Likewise, I wouldn’t promote shows on other streaming platforms on StreetJelly pages, including FaceBook groups, or mention them during my broadcast. On the other hand, online venues like StreetJelly are not really in competition with physical venues. So I like to promote my venue shows during a StreetJelly broadcast, and vice versa. But when I mention an upcoming StreetJelly show at a gig, I make sure everyone knows it’s online. That way I don’t end up with a grumpy bar/venue manager.

3. Talking with the audience is great, but don’t overdo it. I have a great time interacting with the audience/viewers both in physical venues and on StreetJelly. But I realize that my stories and anecdotes are only going to be interesting to a small number of viewers. At a venue, you can see this happen when people start playing with their phones and going back to the bar. But online, you can only see that your viewer numbers are dropping. Oftentimes, when I tune into a show, if I don’t hear music within the first minute or less, I’m gone!

But if you don’t engage the audience at all and don’t read their comments, it’s kinda like watching a pre-recorded video. And that gets boring fast, too.

4. Thank people when they tip you! This should be obvious. People probably aren’t tipping just to hear you say thanks, but it’s human nature to enjoy being acknowledged. I try to do this as soon as I see the tip appear on the screen so it doesn’t get lost. You can even toss a personal thank you line into the middle of your song.

5. Minimize dead air time. Don’t start streaming until you are ready to go. Think of going to see your favorite band in concert. If they came out and then just stood around not playing or talking to the audience for 10 minutes, that would be really weird. Also, don’t answer your cell phone while streaming, unless it’s an emergency. You wouldn’t do that at a venue would you?

6. The right frequency of show is different for each musician. Personally I prefer to play one or two shows a week at most. Other musicians like to play daily. If you like to play a large number of shows, I suggest to make your shows with broad appeal to entertain as many people as possible. Have a good number of songs in your repertoire to keep your performances interesting and fresh for returning fans. I believe anticipation is always a good thing.

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!

Are You Prepared?

Are you Prepared… at a moments notice to promote your music and advance your career?

Hello there, this is Frankie, CEO and founder of StreetJelly. I had the privilege recently to listen to a number of original recordings submitted to us that we are passing along to a local indie radio station, WPVM The Voice, in Asheville, NC. We put the call out for submissions in an e-mail to StreetJelly artists last month. Literally within hours, we had tons of music to sift through. There is A LOT of talent on StreetJelly, and we received tons of great songs. But here is one overwhelming observation that became apparent. Not all, but many fired off an unprepared and somewhat unprofessional response.
Are you prepared?Now, I’m not here to point fingers or single anyone out, but I want to raise the notion how prepared one should be when any opportunity comes knocking for your career (music or otherwise). Anytime in life when someone, some business, or even some alien offers a helping hand – make the most of that situation without becoming a burden to every one offering the helping hand!

In our invitation for original music to pass along to the radio station, we had a few specific requests. The main request was to send us up to three songs. Yet, we received numerous responses that came in the form of: “here’s a bunch of my stuff on xyz.com website. Pick whatever you like.”

It’s already tons of work for the StreetJelly staff to gather all these songs, listen to them, and package them off as a favor to another entity. Any extra time and effort just slows the entire process for everyone and will likely lead to your songs not being included.

I believe as a musician capable of writing wonderful original material, you should be prepared to showcase, market, feature, sell, and/or distribute your content to any and all entities that can further your career.  Here are some pro-tips we’ve come up with:

  1. Have all your music ranked by you in order of importance and genre. If someone ask for your “3 best acoustic songs,” pick the three you already have ranked. If they ask for 7, or 10, or 13 – you have that list ready.
  2. NEVER ask someone else to pick and choose your music. At best, that’s an indirect way to try and get someone to listen to your entire catalog. But if whatever song the listener starts with does not match what they’re looking for, there is a good chance they will never listen to (or promote) any of your music.
  3. Have all your original music professionally recorded and mixed (can still be done by you if you have a quality home studio), ready in multiple file formats (.mp3, .wav, etc).  MP3’s are the easiest way to send through e-mail as they are reasonable in size. Many e-mail systems limit attachment sizes (typically above 10megs) and will reject or fail e-mails with huge files (this generally applies to WAV or raw digital files). And WAV files are more true to the original recording, for when audio quality is of utmost importance.
  4. Have the same music available online to download from one of the major cloud share vendors; such as Dropbox or OneDrive.
  5. DO NOT send someone to an obscure website that forces you to create a login account, fight through tons of ads and questionable creepy popups, just to get to your music. (Yes, that happened to us. Horrible experience.)
  6. DO NOT send someone to a streaming site like Spotify, SoundCloud, or your own website with a streaming plugin to get your music. These sites are specifically made to stream and generally have no feature to download a quality un-compressed version.
  7. DO NOT send someone to iTunes, Amazon, etc. to purchase your songs so they can then turn around and help you promote your music.  That’s just wrong.
  8. DO have your website, EPK, and online presence (Facebook fan page, etc.) ready to go at ALL TIMES. If any of these items are not ready – you are not ready to present yourself to the music industry. As soon as you ask someone to listen to your music, assume they will (or whomever they pass your music on to will) look you up on any and every website they can find. They will pass over your entry when it is incomplete.

I’m being a bit harsh, but I am nowhere near as tough as any music label or A&R will ever be. Lack of preparedness suggests that the musician does not take their music career seriously and may not be professional enough for the service or promotion it takes to launch a successful music career.