On Sunday 26 September, New York University dance students performed live in New York City to music by the McGill University Swing Band, which also performed live -- in Montreal.
The dual performance marked the first real time multichannel audio Internet transmission, a feat made possible by software developed at McGill University by a team under the leadership of Professor Jeremy Cooperstock. Team members were from the Audio Engineering Society's Technical Committee on Network Audio Systems.
Cooperstock, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, says that Sunday's demonstration went "beautifully."
"In a sense," he laughs, "it went *badly* because we were promising the audience that it would fail and it didn't! We actually tried to overload the network, and we couldn't do it. We managed to make the video fail, but the audio just kept on coming."
In a McGill news release, Professor Wieslaw Woszczyk, Director of the McGill Recording Studio and a professor in the Faculty of Music, remarks that this technology "opens the way for people in entertainment, business, education, or research to collaborate live online. It will be much more appealing than the current teleconferencing telephone model because it will offer an experience more like a movie theatre. For collaborative musical performances and compositions over the Internet, it will be like a virtual classroom."
Professor Cooperstock agrees: "When you combine this with high fidelity video, it creates an environment in which the you can have the same sorts of interactions that occur in the physical classroom."
For more information, see http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~jer/projects/ and select "High-fidelity multichannel audio over Internet."