Paul McCartney Webcast Tonight

I remember trying to watch a live webcast back in 1999.  Paul McCartney had returned to the fabled Cavern Club in Liverpool and wanted the whole world to be able to watch.  This relatively new thing called “the Internet” seemed to be the way to do it.

So on December 14, 1999, they turned on the cameras and the encoder and tried to make it happen.

It was awful.  The video was murky, choppy and intermittent.  Compression and resolution issues reduced the picture size to something I could almost cover with my thumb.  The audio was in mono and below lo-fi. But at least the attempt proved that it could be done.  Maybe there were possibilities involving the merging of live performances this Information Superhighway.

The reason I bring this up now is because McCartney is doing another live webcast tonight at 10pm EST. Fans can watch free through iTunes, meaning that you can use a desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.  You can be in your home or on the bus.  And chances are, the video will be smooth and the audio will be in full stereo.  How things change, huh?

This is an example of what was fed to the encoder on December 14, 1999.  Rest assured that it didn’t look like this on a computer back then.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Paul McCartney Webcast Tonight

  • March 26, 2012 at 3:55 am

    I love you show first off. But I'm 24 years old and SirPaul is my number one fav of all time. He trumped The Beatles…which shocked me at first. I watched the webcast also and it did leave a lot to be desired. Live At The Cavern Club DVD was fabulous. I was wondering if you will be doing a new show in the future on him? You rock, listening to your History of relations between us and the radio right now.


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