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> High-tech brings electronic music festival to the world | Detroit, Detroit is a worldwide brand for techno music
post Jul 28 2011, 16:40
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High-tech brings electronic music festival to the world | Detroit
Boosters of Movement have long described the Detroit electronic music festival as a global party.

Today it became just that, as thousands of Web users around the world tuned in to hear performances from the fest’s five stages — a first for the 12-year-old event.

As Hart Plaza transformed into a loud, colorful swirl of edgy beats, fashion and youthful energy this afternoon, the music was beamed out to the world via small, unassuming boxes tucked by the mixing board at each stage.

The concept of live concert streaming certainly isn’t new, and video feeds of events such as the Coachella festival have been heralded as recent Internet milestones.

But Movement’s move into full-time, three-day, five-stage audio streaming does emphasize a new era’s arrival, made possible by advancements in bandwidth and technology.

Saturday it symbolized the meeting of music and high tech that has long been the festival’s calling card. Movement’s streams had drawn about 5,000 global listeners by mid-afternoon, said officials with Awdio, the French tech firm behind the webcasts.

“The dream is now possible,” said Awdio CEO Vittorio Strigari, keeping tabs on a box and Internet router by the Red Bull Academy Stage. “This is exactly something that couldn’t have happened before. We have the Internet — we should be able to send whatever music we want all over the world.”

Strigari said the early traffic volume makes him confident Awdio will hit its weekend goal of 20,000 listeners. The free-of-charge streams can be heard at ResidentAdvisor.net, the techno genre’s leading magazine and a new Awdio partner, and at Awdio.com, where users can also download a Facebook-ready widget for listening and sharing streams.

Awdio’s proprietary technology, available for rental by clubs and DJs, is largely hands-off: Plug the DVR-sized box into the mixing board and let it link up with an Internet signal, which sends the stream to servers in Virginia and California and lets the world listen.

“I’ve got five boxes working automatically,” said Awdio technology chief Thomas Lucas in a backstage office. “I’ve got nothing to do.”
Movement promoter Paxahau, an early leader in web radio and online music archiving, made its first foray into live streaming was a decade ago, with mixed results.

“It was a technical nightmare then,” said company co-founder Jason Clark, recalling shows in Hamtramck clubs. “Now you’ve got this box that just does it for you.”

Awdio handles streams for about 200 clubs and events internationally, including prestigious festivals such as Spain’s SONAR. But Movement is a feather in the cap.

“Detroit is a worldwide brand for techno music,” said Strigari.
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