Yes, it’s been something like 7 weeks since our final episode of Metro 2033. It didn’t seem to make sense to launch a new season during the holidays, since we would be busy and the blog traffic would be way down.
When the break ended, we got together and found that Twitch.tv was basically broken and unusable.
See, Josh streams the game to us while he plays, so we can see what’s going on and comment. But this appendage of the ugly oddball technology contraption that makes this show has always been the most wonky. In the early days we used Livestream. Livestream was unreliable. It would go down, refuse to broadcast, or just plain stall in the middle of recording. The only part of the service that worked were the advertisements, which worked incessantly. We’d see the same ad 7 times in a recording session. It was torture.
So we moved to Twitch.tv. That was awesome until the start of the new year, when they rolled out changes that made it all useless to us. (Rumor has it that this change is to accomodate the influx of streaming PS4 users.) We normally watch Josh on a ten-second delay. That’s a bit annoying. We’ll be in the middle of a conversation and all of a sudden Josh blows our ears out with screaming. It interrupts our talk, but we can’t see what he’s seeing, so the show falls apart for ten seconds while the rest of us catch up. This confuses the conversation, and kind of isolates Josh from the rest of us.
Under the new system, the delay is over forty seconds, which is just too dang much. We basically can’t talk to Josh or comment directly on what we’re seeing, since by the time I say, “Oh, this guy! I liked this character!” Josh has already finished the conversation and walked away.
We’ve run a bunch of tests. The lowest latency was in a Google hangout, and was only a second or two. That seems like the smartest way to do things, since we don’t really need to broadcast our stuff to the world, we only need to share it among the five of us. But Google Hangouts aren’t quite designed to do what we’re doing and it didn’t really work right for a bunch of annoying reasons I won’t get into.
It looks like we’re going to use Hitbox.tv. Reasonable ad intervals. Latency of about 10 seconds or so. Good quality. The real test will be the weekend when we record the first episode of season 14.
Speaking of seasons, I’ve added Metro 2033 to the Spoiler Warning page, and created YouTube playlists for the seasons that lacked them. Let me know if anything else is missing.
So we’re doing that. If we’re all extremely lucky, it might even start next week.
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