The occasional listener will have noticed that there's been a sharp decline in weekly shows on SlayRadio.org. I apologize that the stream of weekly shows has been put on a bit of a hiatus. A combination of a brief lapse of lacking enthusiasm and a few personal matters are to blame for the temporary setback. I strongly emphasize the temporary because although it's currently still hard for me to tell when I'll be back in full force, I believe I can tell you that when I do return, I'll either have, or be close to, finishing the next major release of PlanMixPlay. My last shows have further strengthened my resolve in delivering something more visually appealing to the show.
If you'll allow me to quantify my view, I'll deliberate it for you. When the very first visual shows started making their way up to the associated PlanMixPlay YouTube channel, the number of viewers during the live broadcast hovered around a solid 1 person. Most individuals who've spent any real time delving into what it takes to accrue a significant following has realized that the proverbial YouTube land-grab has ended. The pioneering days are behind us, and while there's no reason you cannot gain sufficient traction with something new and exciting (wink), it's not just short term investment. You have to plan to be in it for the long haul. While my weekend shows do bring me joy and enable me to continuously test PlanMixPlay, a big realization struck when I finally got the webcam working as part of the live show. The viewer count jumped from 1 individual, to approximately 6 people. I had always expected some actual personal presence in the visuals to appeal, but seeing it really happen is something else. This in turn kind of clicked for me, leading me to decide that I'd rather save a few shows and then come back with something much more unique than before. I know maintaining a presence is important these days, what with most peoples attention spans being shorter than Aaron paul's career, but I figure the people who'll drop off can come back, and those who can wait will appreciate what I'm working hard to deliver.
I'll do my best to get something done as soon as possible, but there's a lot of work still to be done, and not much time to do it in. I'll hopefully see you on-the-air soon enough!
It's been a solid month and more since the last update, so I thought it high time to provide a bit more news on recent events. Since the last update, the weekly shows have remained fully visual which I feel is a significant milestone. I envision two further milestones in the near future. The first is removing all the terrible hacks I put in, to make this visual version of PlanMixPlay an early reality. Hopefully that milestone will be achieved within a week or two. The second milestone is polishing the new features to the point of being release-ready. This will, in all likelihood, take at least another 2-3 weeks with the current momentum I'm having.
These public releases of PlanMixPlay mostly serve as a personal tangible milestone, rather than a widely anticipated software relase. In fact, last time I checked, the initial release of PlanMixPlay had been downloaded a total of 0 times. Which I am ok with. I believe that as the product matures, there might be some mild outside interest. Time will tell.
For the interested few, the visuals are broadcast using XSplit. I would have definitely preferred the cheaper OBS option but for some reason that software would not broadcast anything except a static image of my rendering output. As with most problems you face as you get older, I opted to throw money rather than time at it, and luckily XSplit did/does the trick.
Last, but certainly not least, provided I've done my due diligence in testing, the PlanMixPlay twitter account will now not only announce new shows when... announced, but also tweet out 60, 15, and 5 minute reminders prior to every show. So if you've ever found yourself missing part of the live experience you really would have rather been present for, now is the time to follow the official PlanMixPlay Twitter account!
We react to big changes, not small ones, over time. We are continuously familiar with our own surroundings as time passes, because each change is minute. Tree's grow slowly. We grow/age slowly. Almost imperceptibly slow, one could argue. Our brain is much more adept at picking up the bigger changes. In a day-to-day context, this means only when something significantly impressive crosses our path does our brain do a double take. If something is just 1% better than what we've always seen before, the result is still 'meh'... So why this lengthy opaque introductory text? Well...
Yesterday, for the first time (apart from one short trial run), did I live-stream visual output from PlanMixPlay to YouTube. The viewer count was low (topping out at 10), the audio was tinny (most likely due to the not awesome (software-based?) soundcard in this here ASUS G751), the visuals were simple, but by golly they were there. That's what mattered. It's a bridge to a whole new level for PlanMixPlay - one that, now breached, will flow so much more easily. To tie this together with the previous paragraph - it's a fairly imperceptible change on the way to a huge one when (hopefully) PlanMixPlay is able to do/deliver so much more. To have people do a double-take and actually take notice.
There's still so much to do as the architecture that held together yesterdays visuals were more or less the virtual equivalent of duck tape, shoestring, and some gum. MacGyver would have been proud. Now that the visuals are on track, there are countless minor things administrative things to automate.
All of these are time consuming and unfortunately add little to the experience itself, but exposure (as I've come to understand) is just as important as the message you're sending out there. Your art might as well not exist if no one appreciates it. Speaking of which, the quite shaky first broadcast is available below.
Pre-Alpha testing of PlanMixPlay has started!
Excitement, ballons, confetti, clowns, and trumpets!
Even more exciting is that you, yes you, can actively participate in said testing. To keep expectations in check, let me state that PlanMixPlay is very feature slim. It currently cannot compare to current live performance software on any conceivable level. However - given time, testing, and care we here at PlanMixPlay HQ hope it can offer something new and unique previously unseen in the live interaction space.
In the future there'll probably be a forum, a trello board (to track development), and a series of other neat things to look at and use, but for now, if you're keen on giving PlanMixPlay a spin in its pre-alpha state, head over to http://www.planmixplay.com/register, sign up for an account, and proceed to downloading PlanMixPlay.
Happy holidays, and have a happy new year!
It has been another month with neither an update, nor a (PlanMixPlay) show in sight. The short story is that life has gotten a bit in the way. The slightly longer one also tells of some odd internet connectivity issues that I'm trying to sort through. Hopefully what's coming on the other end will be worth the wait however. I'm once again tempted to talk a lot about plans and ideas, but so often these things turn to nothing before they were ever anything. Once you get involved in a creative circle you start to notice how some individuals talk a lot about plans, but never follow through. Sometimes... You'll notice this person in the mirror. It's important to take a few lessons from this.
First, that we all have a tendency to do this to some degree. It's alluring to talk about fantastic thoughts/ideas/plans. Especially if you feel that you'd actually be able to execute on them. It makes them seem more real. Despite the fact that they're no more real than most peoples hopes for winning the lottery. But take some comfort from this. It is - if nothing else - an equalizer. We can all hope for big things that we'll never manage. What really separates people - to me - is how big and often this talk occurs vs. what comes into being. I'd speculate that perhaps only 1% of the things I imagine become real, and perhaps only 20% of the ones I talk about do. I guess what I'm getting at is, ideally, we should all talk less and do more.
The second is actually the most important lesson I think. That what other people say vs. do doesn't matter. It can be beneficial as a motivator, to convince yourself that you're making actual headway while this other person is merely talking about making headway. But at the end of the day - that's irrelevant. Who knows - this other person might catch a break far sooner than you, and then the headway you've made will perhaps not matter. So at the end of the day - you may as well just do your utmost regardless of what anyone else is doing.
Which brings me the to the final part of this post. What I've been thinking about in terms of making headway. The time has come to start trying to create some real encapsulated output with PlanMixPlay. The danger with a project such as PlanMixPlay is that - while it does resemble a lot of existing software - the concept is slightly different fundamentally. Which means trying to explain the subtle difference is difficult. To the point where you're better of showing it. I've tried often enough to explain PlanMixPlay to interested parties to realize that in order to actually make real headway, I need to have some tangible and workable examples of what I'd like to achieve. I need to get to a place where someone will be keen to ask 'So is this ready to go?', or perhaps better, not even ask, just assume that it is.
But creating an encapsulated output ready for propagation is not enough. The former sentence reveals why it is not. Propagation. It must be easy to spread. You'll hear a lot more from me when I have something that's both, but for now all I can say is that I'll see if I can't get at least a show in sometime during December, provided that the technical issues subside.