10-Oct-2017 (Tue) Wherein the video webcast is down again, because the Youtube robots are capricious and fickle.

The video webcast is down again. This time, it is because Youtube has put us on Double Secret Probation for some unknown reason. (The audio archives are fine, it's the video stream that is down.)

Their belligerent robots have this to say:

Proceed with the appeal of the Community Guidelines warning strike for the following videos
    DNA Lounge Live Stream
The YouTube team will review our decision and reinstate your video if appropriate. It is possible that the strike may be removed but your video will remain down.

Elsewhere it says, "Live stream restrictions last for 90 days or until the associated issue(s) are resolved." But since they won't actually come out and tell you what the "issues" are, good luck with that.

Why did it happen? Who knows. All they will tell you is, "It was probably one of the hundreds of possible vague reasons in this FAQ entry". Could it be that some band's backing video triggered a pattern match against a video? Maybe? Could it be that some disgruntled customer "reported" us for something, and all it takes is one griefer to take your stream offline for three months? Maybe? Who can tell! Only the robot know and they aren't talking.

Anyway, it's fair to assume that we can't use Youtube any more.

Youtube was always a flaky, halfassed solution anyway: for the last three years, we've been webcasting silent video through Youtube while simulcasting the audio from our own server, and having your web browser press play on both streams at the same time. Which is awful because it means audio and video can never, ever be in sync. But if we ever allow Youtube to hear our audio, their robots completely freak out and shut us down because they have no mechanism to understand that, as a nightclub, we are, in fact, fully licensed to play Other People's Music.

So. Do you watch our webcast? Would you like to continue doing so? Then help me figure out how to solve this problem without spending any money.

Here are some possibilities, unlikely though they are:

  1. Befriend someone inside Youtube who can make this go away. (Right.)

  2. Find me some service who will rebroadcast my video stream for free, 24/7. They need to support video ingestion via RTMP, not a custom app, or I probably can't make it work.

  3. Show me instructions for installing free software on a CentOS 6.9 system that will let me run my own RTMP-based video rebroadcaster. Bonus points if you have actually done this successfully yourself. Going this route will probably require massively throttling the number of simultaneous viewers.

  4. You pay for it! Set up an EC2 or DO server running the aforementioned RTMP server, let me broadcast through, and and let's just put the bandwidth bill on your credit card instead of mine, ok?

Long shots, I know. But absent something like that, I guess the plug on the video has finally been pulled.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this month's mixtape 188.

That first video is by Lucy In Disguise + Tonebox who are performing here this Friday at Turbo Drive.

18 Responses:

  1. I can help with 3 - I just set this up for a talk I gave last month. I followed this article: https://docs.peer5.com/guides/setting-up-hls-live-streaming-server-using-nginx/ and filled in some missing info from https://github.com/arut/nginx-rtmp-module/wiki/Getting-started-with-nginx-rtmp

    We're running this on an AWS t2.micro instance which costs us about $50/mo. The bandwidth costs would of course scale based on how many viewers you have. What do the current viewership numbers look like?

    Maybe this would be a good candidate for a Patreon? I'd gladly kick in for this, but I couldn't justify footing the bill myself. If our company was making money I'd see if I could just slip you in on our server, but well, you know how that goes :)

    • jwz says:

      The money we're getting from Patreon goes to things like... paying our employees. Redirecting any of that to paying for the webcast would be a poor use of resources.

      If you would kick in for the webcast, but not for the more general problem of keeping us open, maybe I should point out that the one is predicated on the other!

      • Sorry man. If I still lived in the city, if I weren't old and antisocial, etc...I always loved the club and the fact that something like it still exists, but I have no magic bullet for "things cost money and running a business is hard". You've convinced me to sign up for the patreon, but I know my $pittance/mo is just a drop in the bucket and isn't really making a big dent.

        If you need help setting up the software side of things I can lend my services for free. Beyond that, not a lot I can do.

        I'd say there's a resurging market on the internet as a whole for the type of grunge/cyberpunk audience and aesthetic you cater to, maybe you can make the streaming service a pay-to-access feature. With some amount of promotion I could see this potentially bringing in an additional revenue stream for you. But obviously anything like this comes with up-front costs, both time and money, followed by disappointment if it doesn't catch on and turn things around.

        Shit's rough right now in the Bay Area :(

    • Andrew says:

      That technique does work. It's clunky, but it basically works. Biggest minus that I'm aware of is that it doesn't support any way of doing adaptive playback that I'm aware of (and the obvious way that I can think of to rig it up yourself has timestamp drift problems).

      If you go that route, I would ignore peer5's suggestion to add a no-cache header. Give playlists a 1sec expiration, and segments a good long expiration (long enough for the furthest-behind viewer, at least), and then put your CDN of choice out front. Yes, you have to pay them, but you get more consistent playback, and your nginx box sees nearly the same traffic whether you have one viewer or a million.

  2. Thomas Lord says:

    Piggyback: The services that municipalities use to broadcast public meetings range from pretty bad to slightly worse than that. An affordable, easy, libre substitute could find a pretty OK market, I think.

    Berkeley uses granicus and it has an ordinance that would give preference to a libre solution....

  3. Line Noise says:

    twitch.tv has a Music section now. https://go.twitch.tv/directory/game/Music

    And supports RTMP: https://stream.twitch.tv/ingests/

    No guarantee you won't fall afoul of Amazon's copyright infringement robots, though. You could be swapping one robotic overlord for another.

    • jwz says:

      Yeah, I've talked to a couple of Twitch employees who were all initially excited about the idea of helping us out, and then said, "I talked to my boss, and he said it's totally possible, but of course you'd have to shut off the webcast for the burlesque shows."

      Because, you know, they're all about video games! Kids stuff! You know video games -- the most popular of which are basically digital snuff films. Graphic simulations of exploding heads, murders and war are swell, but if a teenager should see a PG-13 no-nudity comedy show, won't someone think of the children?

      Tassels aren't "brand safe", I'm told. (Actual quote.) Automatic weapons and drone strikes, sure. Why not.

      So yeah, I don't think that's gonna happen.

      • Doctor Memory says:

        Rhetorical question: can you watch people playing Dead Or Alive Beach Volleyball on Twitch?

        Clearly the answer is to only have digital boobies.

  4. Chad D Altenburg says:

    Your friend on Facebook blocked me after I refused to help her with some business thing. As a result, any direct line to the YouTube Software Engineers have been cut off.

    Oops. Right?

  5. Dan says:

    What are the estimated costs for option 4?

    • jwz says:

      I have no idea. Computing the costs of an EC2 instance is total black magic and something I have no experience in.

  6. AW says:

    I can try 1. Stay tuned.

  7. AW says:

    I requested an internal YouTube review. I have no control on the outcome, but some human person would look into it.

    • jwz says:

      Thank you!

      • AW says:

        Looks like the stream is back up. It's showing a recorded clip. Maybe you need to restart the rtmp server.

        • jwz says:

          No, it was always doing that. The "features" page still says "Your ability to live stream has been revoked."

  8. Alex says:

    Did you ever to think to use livestream.com for that site is amazing and has music site for exposure and can be view on ROKU devices too. I would stay away from google and youtube for they are focusing on their so called Red You Tube guide.
    Twitch is okay since they are doing wrestling shows now and trying to do other stuff beside gaming. Not sure about how they work.
    Just a suggestion.

  9. Gildas says:


    I'm late to the party I know, but I'd like to see if there is a way to help.

    Since I don't live in the USA, I am sadly unable to regularly attend events at DNA Lounge, which also means that I appreciate being able to access the video/audio stream from time to time.

    I can't help with 1, but can try with the others:

    2- have you tried contacting WOWZA to see if they would be willing to sponsor you? They have a product that might just do what you need: https://www.wowza.com/products/streaming-cloud

    3- If you want to give it a go, you could try using the docker image https://hub.docker.com/r/shaneen31/nginx-rtmp-hls/ to install your own rtmp server on centos 6.9. I have no experience with rtmp/hls so I can't quite tell if that works but it might be the easiest way to try/roll-out your own solution.

    4- If #3 works and you need more bandwidth/servers, I might be able to help by hosting (on my own money) a server in Europe (either France or the Netherlands) if you think people can live with the added latency :)