Prince live at the O2 Arena (London): Awesome

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Music, Technology
September 22nd, 2007 • 8:54 am

If you live thousands of kilometres away from the U.K. and have been struggling to survive on a diet of grainy YouTube videos with scratchy sound, you simply owe it to yourself to put them all in the trash and visit the following page instead now:

Even if you don’t have the bandwidth (the Flash movie is approximately 50 MB), even if you are only a casual Prince fan, even if you are not even a Prince fan, but simply a fan of music, you owe it to yourself to take the time to download and watch and listen to this.

The picture quality is not all that great, but the sound track is terrific, and the recording as a whole is simply awe-inspiring.

And yes, when Prince can release this kind of recording officially through his own web site, is it any wonder that he is irked by the profusion of cheap five-minute snippets of grainy video and horrible sound that YouTube lets its users post on its site in order to generate revenue?

Those YouTube users obviously do not see it that way and don’t see their own activities as harmful to Prince in any way. After all, they give him lots of additional free publicity… Yes, but Prince is not going after them. He’s going after the guys who profit from the whole situation. Maybe it is a hopeless battle. But the move raises a number of valid points, from YouTube’s own double standards with respect to music and pornography to the question of the long-term impact of low-quality recordings on the legacy of a modern-age artist.

What is for certain is that this video posted on emphatically demonstrates the power of such recordings and very successfully conveys the pure excitement of seeing Prince play live. It’s obviously not as good as actually been there. But it’s the next best thing (and certainly the only alternative for millions of less fortunate music lovers) and we can only hope that there is much more to come from the same source.

(Of course, many long-term Prince fans would probably also raise the issue that Prince has been teasing us like this for years, with only glimpses of what he can actually do and of the vast amount of recorded stuff that he has been amassing over the years. That too is a valid point. But we are not the ones who have to deal with the politics and the economics of actually releasing the stuff. Does the current recording industry strike you as a very healthy place to be operating in right now? I guess we just have to be more patient… It can be frustrating, yes, and it can be tempting to succumb to the temptation of obtaining bootleg recordings. But at the very least, if you do succumb, do it in a way that does not allow any third-party to profit from it. In this digital age, it really is not that hard…)

5 Responses to “Prince live at the O2 Arena (London): Awesome”

  1. Warren Beck says:

    Pierre: Is there any way to download the flash movie to view from disk, or do you have to view it in the browser with real-time net access?

    The video and sound _are_ great……

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Yes. See this post. Basically you need to keep an eye on the Activity window in Safari once the movie starts loading, and just double-click on the big file that looks like the Flash video. (In this case I think it’s called “london.flv”.) This starts a download of the same video file. You can then close the Safari window with the page, otherwise you’re loading the same twice: once in the window and once in the downloads.

    After that, there are a variety of options to play .flv files. I use Perian, which is a plug-in for QuickTime.

  3. Warren Beck says:

    Pierre: Thanks for the tips. Upon double clicking the london.flv file listed in the Activity window in Safari, instead of downloading to a file I get a new blank Safari window which then fills with code from the flash file. Have you any suggestions about other settings, etc., that would enable piping this stuff into a file, as you describe? Thanks, in advance.

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    Try option-double-clicking, which should force a download. It might still download it as text (london.flv.txt), but you can manually remove the “.txt” extension once the download is complete, and then you’ll have a .flv file.

    These problems are usually server-side configuration errors, so you have to work around them.

  5. Warren Beck says:

    Pierre: Option double clicking works. Thanks very much, and thanks for the link to your earlier entry about this issue. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.