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Chapter 8. Joe Satriani: A Web Site with... > Building and Maintaining Community

Building and Maintaining Community

Each time Joe Satriani goes on the road with a new album release, a live Webcast is put together to help promote the tour and album to online fans. Satriani is one of the earliest artists to adopt the Internet for direct outreach, doing his first Webcast in March 1996 as an interactive live chat. Previous Webcasts included live video and audio streams in multiple bit rates, and some also featured still photos taken during the show, editorial coverage, and even a promotional giveaway contest for a fan to win gear, a private lesson, complete discography, and other merchandise.

In addition to the Web site’s fan-driven bulletin boards, live chats, and member profiles, Satriani has personalized the site by periodically recording short audio and video greetings, which are encoded in several formats. The Web greetings, which set the site apart from the music label or retail Web sites, are typically recorded at a live show. The recording employs a digital video camera, captured onto a Macintosh using Final Cut Pro. After some slight audio compression and video editing, the recording is exported as a raw, uncompressed QuickTime movie. That movie is then encoded into RealMedia using RealProducer Plus (in 34Kbps, 80Kbps, 150Kbps, and 225Kbps bit rates) and compressed into a high bit rate (approximately 128Kbps) QuickTime movie using QuickTime Pro. The files are uploaded via FTP to the Web site, at which time metafiles are created for the RealMedia clips and then linked into the site.


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