iTunes Festival redefines live streaming experience

As I watch Paul Simon streaming live on iTunes from the Roundhouse in London, UK, I don’t know if I am more pleased by this awesome performance of Paul Simon and his band, or rather amazed by the stunning audio and video quality of this streaming event.

Paul Simon is… well, Paul Simon. His band is a collection of incredibly good multi-instrumentalists, with great technique, presence, and good taste. So, not much to say about the concert, other than it is fantastic!

But what makes this show really enjoyable is the unbelievably smooth streaming via iTunes on my Windows 7 laptop hooked up to a 24″ monitor.

Only at the very beginning, the video streaming took a couple of minutes to catch up, but once it did I experienced very few glitches. The frustration I experienced with previous similar events is gone, and I can focus on the show and the music. Someone could say that “it just works”…

I wish I was home, watching this beauty on my 52” LCD TV…

Apple released iTunes Festival apps for iPhone and iPad. Needless to say, they are AirPlay-enabled, which means one can stream the concerts from an iPhone or iPad wirelessly to a TV connected to an Apple TV 2.

This kind of ubiquitous, pervasive, flexible, high quality experience applied to live events broadcasting is a serious alternative to traditional TV live broadcasting over cable, sat, or the air.

If you were still wondering why Mr. Jobs has this Apple TV “hobby”, now you can start figuring out the answer… Apple TV is just the first AirPlay enabling device.

After the “post-PC” iPad revolution, are you ready for the “post-cable/OTA/sat-TV” paradigm shift?

Hiromi is a blast! – part 3

Back home, after spending the evening at Jazz Alley with Hiromi, with Anthony Jackson on contrabass guitar, and the amazing Steve Smith on drums. Two incredible sets of beautiful music, unstoppable energy, complex improvisation, and flawless execution.

Hiromi’s music talks straight to my heart. Her solos tonight were stunning, from an exhilarating interpretation of Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm” in the first set, to a moving rendition of her tune “Haze” in the second set.

Thanks Hiromi, Anthony, and Steve for an unforgettable night.

Hiromi is a blast! – part 1

I am writing the first part of this post while waiting for Hiromi’s concert at Jazz Alley, in Seattle, WA. I discovered Hiromi’s music in 2004, by chance, while browsing CD’s at a Barnes & Noble store in Bellevue, WA. At that time, she had just released her second album, Brain. I put the headphones on and started playing. And it was a blast! I immediately bought the CD and enjoyed it ever since. I kept following her work as a soloist and in various group settings. Her concert with Stanley Clarke few months ago at Jazz Alley was simply unbelievable. I rarely saw that kind of energy on a jazz stage, and judging from Mr. Clarke’s eyes I was not the only one in amazement. Tonight’s concert will start in 45 minutes or so, and I am so excited. If you like jazz, energy, creativity, improvisation, check Hiromi’s work at her website (requires Flash) or Concord. You won’t regret it…