Re: [Tools-discuss] Proposal to discontinue live mp3 audio streams at IETF meetings

Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> Thu, 01 October 2020 19:42 UTC

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From: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>
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Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2020 08:42:04 +1300
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] Proposal to discontinue live mp3 audio streams at IETF meetings
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> * This removes a mechanism that allowed people to listen to a session in
>    real-time without paying a registration fee.
> 
>     There will be ongoing discussion and tuning of the meeting registration
>     structure. In the meantime, the fee waiver program is available and 
> being
>     improved.

I don't think that's a tools-discuss decision alone. It's been a significant
point of principle discussed (e.g.) in SHMOO, hence the extra CC.

It seems to me that the principle of the fee waiver and when it's
ethical to use it is still not clear, and we don't know whether it is
financially viable in the medium to long term. Until that's settled,
I'm a bit uneasy about dropping the mp3 streams, precisely because they
do not need pre-registration.

(If meetecho had a "read only" or observer mode without pre-registration,
this problem would go away instantly.)

Regards
   Brian

Regards
   Brian Carpenter

On 02-Oct-20 03:31, Robert Sparks wrote:
> We propose to discontinue producing live mp3 audio streams for IETF 
> meetings,
> starting with IETF 109 and we want to hear from the community before we do.
> 
> At many past meetings we have produced live mp3 streams for each 
> session. These
> steams have been associated with physical meeting rooms, and appeared before
> and during the session as a link on the agenda page to a URL like
> 'http://mp3.conf.meetecho.com/ietf/ietf<some_number_associated_with_the_room>.m3u'. 
> 
> 
> For the last several meetings, these have only been available as a live 
> stream.
> Recordings of that stream have not been made available after the 
> meeting. The
> full video recording provided by Meetecho has served as the way to listen to
> (or watch) any given session after the fact.
> 
> Further, for the last several meetings, the live streams have seen very 
> light
> use, on the order of 10 uses for IETF 108.
> 
> Now that we are holding more meetings online, we have a requirement to allow
> meetings to run outside their scheduled times. Allowing the live streams 
> to run
> outside their scheduled times will require changing how they are 
> represented,
> to no longer be associated with "rooms" or "tracks". The code refactor 
> at both
> the datatracker and at meetecho to support would not be a huge effort, 
> but it
> also would not be tiny. Instead, we feel that removing this complexity,
> recognizing that the regular meetecho connection and recordings satisfy the
> need, is the better use of our resources. That holds true even for future
> in-person meetings.
> 
> There are several points that have been considered while arriving at this
> proposal:
> 
> * Chairs use the recordings to fill in minutes.
> 
>      For the last several meetings, the chairs have been using the Meetecho
>      recordings for this purpose. Recordings of the live mp3 streams haven't
>      been available.
> 
> * Some participants (especially ADs) want to listen to more than one 
> meeting at
>    a time.
> 
>      Meetecho allows joining multiple sessions.
> 
> * Some participants may not have the bandwidth or a new enough computer 
> to run
>    meetecho.
> 
>      The use of the mp3 streams has been very low at the last several 
> meetings.
>      This population isn't using the mp3 streams to address the posited
>      limitations.  If this is a     concern that some people think they 
> will
>      experience then we can look at asking Meetecho to allow sending only
>      audio (muting all video).
> 
> * This removes a mechanism that allowed people to listen to a session in
>    real-time without paying a registration fee.
> 
>     There will be ongoing discussion and tuning of the meeting registration
>     structure. In the meantime, the fee waiver program is available and 
> being
>     improved.
> 
> Please send comments by 16 Oct 2020 either to tools-discuss@ietf.org or
> directly to rjsparks@nostrum.com.
> 
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