One of the truly wonderful things about working with technology is that it is possible to count on things going wrong at any point. Recently this happened in several ways.
Two weeks ago, we installed a new computer in the booth specifically designed to handle the streaming. In testing it was fine but at both the early service and the Misa, it crashed. When that happens, the link being used to stream to Vimeo (and from there to Facebook and YouTube) goes down and we can’t relink to it because it is a scheduled stream. We were able to get it back up and streaming to all points in less than 10 minutes, but by then many did not know where to go or when it would be back up.
Back in the times when we were just a few, we could stop the service, restart and send out a new link. In the current situation, we simply don’t want to stop the service when there are so many in attendance. What we have done now to be proactive in that event is create an unscheduled link to the live stream that we will switch to in the event of local crash. That link will be on the website and in the event of an interruption, will be sent out on Facebook (here is the link for the early service: https://vimeo.com/event/1650434). There will be a similar link for the Misa service (Here is that link: https://vimeo.com/event/1650797).
This will only cover local (problems with the in-house equipment, etc,) events. We have had problems with Facebook crashing, with the Comcast router crashing and even Comcast crashing. We can reboot the router, but it takes time and during those lost moments we are unable to communicate via the internet. Just be aware that we are at the mercy of the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” from time to time.
Sunday morning our website went down because the server storage was full. We had no indication that this was imminent, and we were not aware it was happening. As it turns out, a program that we use on the site to keep it trimmed up had started caching multiple copies of the files it was supposed to delete and it wasn’t long before the server was full. The reasons behind this are not fully understood at this time so the program has been disabled until we can depend on it to do the job it was designed to do.
Other than that, the Young People’s Lessons & Carols, Sunday’s early service and the Misa streamed without a hitch from where we stood. Unfortunately, many were left looking for the event and not finding it on YouTube though it was on Facebook. Vimeo was streaming it as well but unless you logged onto Vimeo and searched you would not have found it. Again, the alternative links will be helpful.
That’s the view from the back.
J T Quanbeck