April 2013: Kind of talked out

And a week late, I’m finally writing my follow-up post to CocoaConf San Jose. Not that anybody’s missing anything, I think, because I’ve been doing the same two hour-long sessions for the CocoaConf Spring 2013 tour: “Core Audio in iOS 6” and “Mobile Movies with HTTP Live Streaming”. I’ve tweaked each repeatedly, although this time the only one with slides new enough to post to Slideshare is the Core Audio one, since I added some slides at the end to do an overview of Audiobus.

I’d hoped to get a full-blown Audiobus demo ready in time for the conference, but client work took priority, and in the midst of an 11-hour flight delay in Denver, I didn’t have the tools or the stamina to pull it off.

Actually, I’m thinking I may work on digging into Audiobus enough to get a whole one-hour talk on it ready for CocoaConf’s Fall tour. Doing so would also help me deal with the fact that some of the Fall conferences will likely fall inside the iOS 7 / OS X 10.9 NDA period, leaving us unable to talk about the new hotness from Cupertino. Audiobus is an interesting new topic that would not be encumbered by the Cupertino cone of silence.

I also continued to freshen the HTTP Live Streaming talk over the half-dozen or so times I gave it, but instead of spending more time (like people asked me to) on the iOS code part of the topic — which is pretty much a trivial use of the Media Player or AV Foundation frameworks — I found it was more interesting to track the spread of HLS to other platforms, such as over-the-top boxes like the Roku, for which I whipped up a demo that uses the HLS streams created for the iOS demos. HLS has continued to pick up outside adoption over the last 12 months, including Adobe adding it to their Primetime product last week.

Thanks probably to the clout of the iOS ecosystem, HLS seems to be becoming the de facto streaming standard for the time being, for better or worse. MPEG-DASH seemed like it had the best shot at dislodging HLS (thanks in part to its pedigree, along with the manifest danger of having much of the streaming video world clinging to a semi-standard and beholden to Apple’s capriciousness), but Streaming Media argues that DASH is overrated, and that the format problems it hopes to solve are already addressed by existing products, such as the current streaming servers from Wowza, Microsoft, Adobe, and Real. My open skepticism that MPEG-DASH would be the “15th Standard” appears to be playing out.

I’ve got one more conference coming up, MobiDevDay, this coming Saturday (May 4) in Detroit. My talk there is going to be a high-level overview of all the media frameworks on iOS, with an eye towards helping you figure out the right one for your app, where there’s overlap and where there’s one right tool for the job.

Gotta tell ya, esteemed blog readership, I’m pretty worn out from juggling an every-other-week conference tour and multiple clients who needed their projects to be production-ready yesterday. Oh, and a five-hour round-trip to teach the occasional session of the Develop Detroit class on the other side of the state. I like getting away, but it’ll be good to take a couple months off and stay at home for the Summer

No, I’m not going to WWDC. Didn’t try to get a ticket (too much drama), and don’t feel like it’s worth the expense now that I’m pretty comfortable with the platform and really just need to keep up with Apple’s annual changelog. Actually, with my rapidly-developing interest in livestream production, I’d find it far more valuable to go to the Streaming Media conference. I’m too tired to go to Streaming Media East in a few weeks (especially as it’s right after my weekend at Anime Central), but I am thinking fairly seriously about saving up for a trip to Streaming Media West in November, a trip which would also give me a chance to catch up with a number of friends and colleagues in the LA area. So… we’ll see.

Summer projects include more livestreaming experimentation, probably starting with Wowza’s 30-day trial (likely on Amazon EC2), so I can assess the value (and cost) of getting away from UStream. Not that I dislike Ustream, but there are reasons I might want to own my own infrastructure, rather than having UStream branding, their ads, and their copyright bots getting pissy with me if I run a popular movie trailer or an AMV in my pre-show. I also want to do some trial runs for different kinds of stream content: I’ve done iOS gaming and conference talks, but I’m also thinking of some live coding demos, some entertainment and fun stuff, etc. There’s also work to do in reimagining the stream for full-screen viewing: what do you do differently for your video stream when the target device is an HDTV (via a Roku or Apple TV) rather than an embed in a browser window?

So, Spring and Summer, 2013: less talking, no writing, more clients, more streaming. Sounds like a plan.

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