A Cautionary Tale for the Livestreamer

There once was a communications technologist named Mayumi. Mayumi really liked her job producing video events at a major university. One day, a high-profile guest came to campus, and the high-profile department sponsoring the high-profile guest decided to livestream a video event, to both the Book of Faces and the Tube of Yous. Mayumi had done simultaneous live streams before, so she got to work, building and testing stream pages like she’d always done. A few days before the big event was going to happen, Mayumi tested the connections to both the Book of Faces and the Tube of Yous. All went well, as Mayumi expected it to, and everyone involved went on merrily.

The day of the event arrived, and Mayumi got ready to start streaming to both the Book of Faces and the Tube of Yous. But when she pressed the big Start button on her magical encoder…the Tube of Yous didn’t start! All of the settings were right, and the Book of Faces was going strong. But the Tube was not reacting as it should have done!

Mayumi recalled the Golden Rule of Technology: When in doubt, restart. So, she restarted her magical encoder machine. She started her connections again, using the same information as before. But wait! Now, neither the Book of Faces nor the Tube of Yous was starting properly! Oh noes!

There was only one thing left to do. Mayumi rebooted again, and rebuilt from scratch BOTH the connections for the Book of Faces and the Tube of Yous, discarding the event credentials from before. She pressed the Start button on the magical encoder, and…they worked! Mayumi monitored both working connections through the end of the event, and they stayed live and sending, with no more troubles. But what had happened to those other connections?

Here’s what Mayumi learned:

  • A Book of Faces stream event can be created up to seven days in advance. You can test-stream to this event without going live as many times as you want. Once you go live, though, that stream’s unique identity cannot be duplicated. Which means, if you stop the stream (like with a machine reboot), you need to create a completely new event, with completely new credentials.
  • A Tube of Yous stream event can be created a long time in advance. But if you test-stream to that particular event page, the Tube of Yous will expect you to go live shortly thereafter (within a couple of hours); it will look for the EXACT SAME data stream for the live event, that you used for your test event. The error may not apply if you ARE using the exact same data stream, from the exact same output hardware, but just in case, test your Tube of Yous live stream event with a separate test event, especially if you’re testing a few days out.

Now that you’ve read Mayumi’s story, you won’t have to panic when you run into either of these issues. You’ll know what to do! And, as the famous saying goes, knowing is half the battle.


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