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Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

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Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby Baldo » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:08 pm

I am looking to hold an online meditation session and I will be streaming CD quality music and my voice via a reasonable quality microphone (NOT the computer Mic).

I want to send the sound in as high a quality as possible. I know the bandwidth of the sound files that I have at my end.

What I need to know is does Zoom/Skype/Webex etc do to the sound bandwdith?

Does the sound get compressed or throttled down in these apps so that perhaps they only transmit the sound at say telephone bandwidth (ie 200Hz - 8KHz). This would obviously reduce the data sent.

I really don't know much about how these applications work.

I dont really need to receive or even send much video data, it is more about the audio data being maxed out. I dont even really need to be receiving much data from the attendees. What I suppose I am looking for is a mechanism to broadcast via the internet pipe at a high enough resolution.

Hope that makes sense. Let me know if you need any further information to help me.

Stay safe and Healthy during lock down.

Baldo.
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:47 pm

Not tried this myself but my friend says:
Step 1. In your audio settings untick automatically adjust microphone volume. See image below. These settings are found by clicking the little cog or in the up arrow next to your mic mute button.

Step 2. Click the advance settings tab in the this image.

Step 3. In the advance window (second image) tick 'Enable original sound' and copy the audio processing options I've selected.

Step 4. In the main meeting window once you've joined (image 3) select original sound on.

The thing to bear in mind is that it will almost certainly be throttled at the receiving end as well depending on how good the receiver's connection is and how busy the line is.
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby Baldo » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:32 pm

Hi blindew,

thanks for you quick reply. I can't see any images there.!!!

In any case, I cant really do anything about the throttling at the other end. I want to know about the details of the audio processing going on with in zoom or what ever application I use.

I have found something called OBS live, which is an open source broadcasting platform.

I think that will do the job better than Zoom. I just need to find out how to invite people onto my channel in a simple and easy way.
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:51 pm

Sorry, couldn't get the images across, was hoping the descriptions would work on there own.
I can link you to the f'book post if you're on there.
OBS will almost certainly give you better results though.
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:18 am

OBS.live looks like a management dashboard for streamers already using the Twitch/Facebook/Youtube live avenues to broadcast, or am I missing something?

It's a useful looking frontend, but does it offer a transmission option as well?
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:05 pm

Baldo wrote:I am looking to hold an online meditation session and I will be streaming CD quality music and my voice via a reasonable quality microphone (NOT the computer Mic).

I want to send the sound in as high a quality as possible. I know the bandwidth of the sound files that I have at my end.

Hi Baldo!

I know you've received plenty of technical info already, but as someone who has done meditation myself in the past, both as a communal group activity and on my tod, I can't help thinking that attempting it 'live' with possible bandwidth/glitching problems is a recipe for failure.

Judging by the number of issues at the receiving end I've experienced in live streaming conference/tutorial situations, it does occur to me that creating a professionally finished video of a meditation with a musical background and guiding words could be more successful. After all, the whole point of meditation is taking you to a calm inner place, so any glitch is going to destroy that atmosphere.

Have I lost something in the translation of what you're attempting though?


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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:20 pm

Being currently involved in using technology in reaching out to people stuck at home, I'm with Martin 100%.

My work is exclusively with the Church of England. There's a bit of an obsession there that:

a) It must be streamed
b) it must be live

The large group of churches I'm working with have taken the conscious decision not to stream. We're preparing services for our local congregations led by clergy and others they know. We're using (licensed) pre-recorded music.

We 'deliver' the product via YouTube vids embedded into websites. This means that we have a parallel - and synced - video track which is displaying appropriate words and images. Two (at least!) big pluses:

1) The audio quality is as good as the source.
2) It's simple to access for people - many of whom have never been near anything other than email and websites and simply wouldn't use anything where they felt that had to learn new 'technology' skills.

I commend the idea to the house! :)
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby Baldo » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:00 pm

Hi Martin,

Thanks for your comments.

OBS does act as the front end to broadcast. It also has the capability to stream music at the required resolution. This means that I can stream the music that is as good as the source.

the problem with using zoom is that I am sure that the sound bandwidth is being throttled within the application and so it is not something that we as the users have access to. I dont need to bandwidth to interact with my audience, and I also dont really need to use much bandwidth for the video. I need the sound to be as good as the source. It seems that i must have the appropriate upload speed rather than download.

If I just produce a video and upload it to Youtube, again I run into the throttling issue. Youtube compresses the audio quality. Aside form the fact that people will not want to just watch a video, they want a live streamed meditation. (I know its crazy but its what people want.) There are several people already holding zoom mediation calls. I want to do better than the standard zoom call because of the reason mentioned above.

OBS coupled with Twitch could do the job. Twitch is really meant for video game streaming however, it does have the ability for musicians and bands to stream their content live.

I ran a test for a OBS broadcast and saw that there was a several second delay. but that is ok, as long the the sound is in sync the delay does not really matter. Remember, I don't need real time interaction with the audience.

Hope that makes sense.
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby CS70 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:14 pm

Zoom will use a codec to encode the stream in a much lighter format that your local PCM stream. Don't have the details but I would bet my house that it does, it would be crazy (and not working) not to do so.

A better option would be to make the material available beforehand on a dropbox and then guide your pupils via video, muting it at the required moment.

Publishing private on Soundcloud could also be an option (I think) and you can disable downloads.. obviously anyone with a minimal technical capability can work around that, but so they can with a live stream or a cd, so it really makes no difference. Hopefully what they buy is the teacher, not the music..
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:55 pm

I'd agree with the others who advise against Zoom for this particular usage, but having said that there's no reason why you shouldn't try a dry run with a couple of participants and see how it goes. With a free account you can have a meeting with lots of people up to 40 minutes or with just you and one other for unlimited time and that should be ample to see if things work for you.

Definitely follow BlindDrew's advice about original sound if you go the Zoom route.

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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby toney » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:47 am

Hello,
I just spent the afternoon on this very problem. My talent is a singer-guitarist with a backing track, and we tried a zoom session for a remote broadcast. The reception on a remote computer was not good with a lot of distortion and phasing especially on the acoustic guitar. The solution was to upgrade to Zoom Pro - then the audio sounded pretty good. I’m sure there is a fee involved but it made a night and day difference in audio quality at the receiving end.
Hope this helps,
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:19 am

Baldo wrote:OBS coupled with Twitch could do the job. Twitch is really meant for video game streaming however, it does have the ability for musicians and bands to stream their content live.

If it works, it works and I guess the litmus test is if your viewers are happy enough to use the platform.

My local comedy club has been running gigs via twitch since lockdown commenced and the platform works well for it, I imagine there are all sorts of users taking advantage of its functionality right now, so check the T&C's and as long as you don't fall outside of the guidelines it should be a viable option.
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Re: Streaming Music for a meditation Zoom call - Where is the Bandwidth bottle neck?

Postby starman9 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:25 pm

This is a subject I've been interested in the last couple of weeks, having been abruptly transitioned from being an in-person piano teacher to an online one, and wanting to achieve the very best audio in my online lessons.

With all the right settings, Zoom can be good enough for my purposes, but i doubt it would suffice for yours. I hear that Cleanfeed is the way to go and have heard excellent examples of the results achieved: https://cleanfeed.net/

But be aware Cleanfeed does not support mobile devices at present.

Another option could be live YouTube streaming.
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