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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Please, Ban Video at Concerts -- It Will Improve the Experience

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

click to enlarge Jane's Addiction at Google I/O: Look familiar?
  • Jane's Addiction at Google I/O: Look familiar?

So Apple may be developing a technology that automatically turns off an iPhone's videocamera when it's shooting a concert. The idea, reporters have surmised, would be to protect copyright holders (artists and show promoters) by limiting the free concert videos that pop up on YouTube*.

Good!

Well, sort of.

The idea of having a phone that decides when it will and won't take video frightens us as much as it does you. Numerous valid objections have been raised to the Apple idea; we'll mention here that watching a video -- even an iPhone 4 HD video -- of a concert is hardly an inkling of a replacement for the real thing. Until someone makes technology that gets a phone to wirelessly hook up to the sound board -- so it can record things other than the static of the phone's tiny mic overloading, loud cheers from nearby fans, and an ear-shatteringly shitty approximation of the music playing -- we're thinking no one is passing up those U2 tickets to stay home and watch YouTube bootlegs. (They may, however, be watching said bootlegs on their phone while waiting in traffic to get to the U2 concert.)

But something has to be done about the proliferation of concertgoers taking amateur video of every second of every live performance they witness. Nearly every show we go to is marred by goons standing near the front, holding their iPhones (soon to be tablets!) up high, blocking other people's view, and diminishing the experience for the fans behind them.

People who do this, please note: YOU ARE NOT EVER GOING TO WATCH THAT VIDEO. THE BAND IS GOING TO BE TINY AND THE SOUND IS GOING TO BE AWFUL. HOWABOUT YOU PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY AND LIVE IN THE GODDAMN REAL WORLD FOR 40 MINUTES?

Concerts are about a group of people coming together to witness a special event. Videogoons are spoiling the experience by taking video all the time -- and their kind will only get worse as technology improves. Apple's idea is drastic and misguided, sure -- but something has to be done.

*According to the Sun newspaper. We asked Apple for a comment on the story but as yet have received no response.

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Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ian S. Port @iPORT, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

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Ian S. Port

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