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One more nail in the ISDN coffin
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Art
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:44 pm    Post subject: One more nail in the ISDN coffin Reply with quote

Personally, I'm just waiting for ISDN to shrivel up and go away, and have managed to so far avoid spending four thousand bucks on an audio codec which will soon be a door stop.



Now, there's a new weapon in this war, a simple plugin for ProTools. You got the plugin, I got the plugin, we're both on the net, I click your "address" and immediately, we're recording remotely. Very low latency, and not limited to the 128k of ISDN, most likely.



So that's two ISDN alternatives (with Audio TX) that are cheaper and better.



Not to mention that just about any two Windows computers can hook up for high quality remote recording with just the software that comes with 'em. I'll bet Macs can too, right?



Sorry, Zephyr. Sorry, RoadRunner. Sorry, Musicam. Sorry, Southwestern Bell. Looks like you're not going to get a bunch of my money after all. Guess I'll remodel the kitchen instead.
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billelder
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a friend who fills in for vacationing talk show hosts from his spare bedroom and uses ISDN. I don't see computer to computer being reliable enough in his situation.



Plus, I think networks, television and radio stations are fairly set in their ways as far as using ISDN. Do you think they'll go willingly into this new protocol?
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Frank F
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well put Bill.



However, the networks I am dealing with are looking at several protocols to replace ISDN. The ProTools diddy is still in it's infancy an will need a LOT of growing up prior to it's adaptation by TV, Radio, networks, etc.



Limitations are in throughput (both Tx and Rx), packetization, and sustainable low priced or freeware codecs.



The times they are a changin'... to quote Bob Dylan out of context, and the world of landline, copper-wire, twisted-pair, conditioned line communication IS out of date. What will take the place of ISDN, and WHEN is more the issue than IF radio, TV and networks will change to the latest technology.



Anyone, let me repeat that... "Anyone" who spends more than a $1000.00 USD on ISDN each month will bless the opportunity for a low-cost/no-cost, HUI oriented, quick connect communications interface which is able to connect with any up-to-date computer in the world - in real-time. If not, then they are not in business.



VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is close, and as I have mentioned before, there are technologies which are already working in some areas of communication which will use VOIP to it's potential. My private little VOIP company is close to rolling out the Beta of it's offering. We are waiting to see how the ProTools toy is accepted in the market. The we will swoop in for the "kill".



Codecs such as IAX (Asterisk) can use the MPEG II, Layer 3 format (.mp3) at present with VOIP. Soon available will be MPEG IV for both audio and video, and other well defined audio oriented codecs which will turn an ordinary computer - PC or Mac - into a communication wonder... watch for this within the year.



Frank F
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kgenus
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This application is geared specifically towards post production houses, not radio stations. Lets not forget most radio stations are downloading spots from spot taxi, spot taxi gets their content from the same post facilities who will be using these plugins. This has to be the reason the plugin is an RTAS/TDM plugin for use with ProTools.



AudioTX, on the other hand was obviously designed as a replacement for ISDN. Given all the funds stations rake in, ISDN is probably 3 cents on every dollar. Are you ready to base live remotes on a topology based on packet "loss" when your advertising funds are on the line? No way.



If you are workign with clients at a post production facility, the plugin may be an option. If you're not, ISDN may still remain a solution until they simply stop using it because it's outdated. Most of the newer units are coming with IP streaming output, so you never know what might happen....



Kevin
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Charlie Channel
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, I hear both sides. I worked at Sun Microsystems, Inc. (as a project/program manager) in my past life. Five-nines were/are the gold standard for "Webtone" as McNealy said. Uptime. You know, when you're interested in calling an ambulance and pick up the phone, you do not expect or desire a spinning hour-glass. And, fortunately, you usually DO get "dial-tone." Web-tone must, at least, match dial-tone or it just ain't worth the risk in really important matters.



Five-nines refer to uptime that is equivalent to 6 seconds down-time per year. Most of us are estatic with two or three nines -- 10 to 1 minute downtime per week. I can tell you, Comcast high speed Internet has frustrustrated the hell out of me with two. It IS a psychological thing. But, damn it, when I am ready to cook I expect the gas to be there, since I'm holding the match and ready to strike it.



I use Internet. Love it. Advocate it, too. But, in some instances, I would not recommend anybody bet their life on its availabilty/reliability. Saying that, I'm sure it's getting better every day. And, there's new stuff happening all the time.



You'll have to forgive me, but I just did a VO gig and it's the end of the day. I've taken the liberty of shooting a tequilla and I'm in the middle of a Missippii Mud (very dark and delicious beer). And, my mind just focused on having dedicated trace routes to specific designated backbone servers that are available/reliable. What a concept. Somebody must have though of that, by now. I digress.



Having played with the Pro Tools plug-in and AudioTX, both ISDN and IP, I'll have to say I can work with anything. But, since I'm fairly comfortable with technology and its frustrations, I'm just as certain that there are others who, after one frustrating experience, will opt for ISDN.



The economy of the methodology will be a factor. But, as often as I find it's easier to just pick up a phone book rather than use the WWW to find a phone number or address, I think most people will go the easy, reliable, way.



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kgenus wrote:
AudioTX, on the other hand was obviously designed as a replacement for ISDN.

Kevin




Kevin: I don't believe AudioTX is a replacement for ISDN. Rather it's a computer based ISDN alternative to the Telos Zephyr, Musicam Prima, APT-X, etc. I've worked with studios that use the AudioTX (with my Telos Zephyr) and it works, but the sessions always were extremely long due to connection drops and other buggy stuff.



Jim
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kgenus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Barton wrote:


Kevin: I don't believe AudioTX is a replacement for ISDN.

Jim




Jim, you're correct. At the time AudioTX came out, it was the only product I can recall that offered an IP based solution 'with' an ISDN interface. The sellor continually told me it would change everything. It has to some degree, more ISDN interfaces appear to be made with IP based connectivity.



I've gotta go get in that booth ....



Kevin
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Micazon
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:49 pm    Post subject: another ISDN alternative for PT users Reply with quote

Here's a link to another way to transfer audio without ISDN or equipment.





http://www.source-elements.com/Source-Connect/



Anyone using this?
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Charlie Channel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: another ISDN alternative for PT users Reply with quote

Micazon wrote:
Here's a link to another way to transfer audio without ISDN or equipment.





http://www.source-elements.com/Source-Connect/



Anyone using this?




I've used it. I haven't bought it, through.



As I write this, I'm connecting to Internet using my AOL dial-up account. It's NOT because I want to use AOL. I have Comcast highspeed. But, Comcast is down at the moment. I learned, several years ago, that you'd better have backup if you're working in the virtual world.



So, I guess this thread makes my point.



Normally, in the morning, I check E-mail, check BB's, etc. Now, it so happens I have a gig this morning in San Francisco. And, the E-mail with the address is inaccessible, unless I've got another way to get to the Internet. I don't have to be in S.F. until 10 a.m., this morning. So, I'll be OK. But, heaven help me if I didn't have a backup.



My point is that if there is a single point of failure, there is no fault tolerance. And, the Internet is not fault tolerant at this time. Sure, it was designed to enable communications in the event of a nuclear attack. There are multiple routes to speed packets to destination, in the even of a failure of a node. But, "time" is the point of failure we're dealing with.



If I had a gig this morning using source-connect, or any other tool that relies on Internet connectivity for high fidelity transmission, I'd be SOL. Period.



But, my telephone IS working. In fact, I'm using my DAW to write this note, using the dial-tone from my ISDN circuit. I bought a POTS terminal adapter, just so I could use my POTS phone with my ISDN circuit.



I believe the phrase is, "This stuff just ain't ready for prime time." I'm not talking about the applications. They're solid, in many instances. It's the Internet itself.



If it were not for the fact that I transfer large mp3 files, I'd dump Comcast. But, I can't afford EdNet. So, there you have it. Hey, maybe I could use my ISDN circuit to connect to an ISP that's more reliable. I think I'll give that some thought and do some research. But, my gut tells me that it'll be kind of expensive.



Well, time for morning exercise here and then on to the gig.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: another ISDN alternative for PT users Reply with quote

Charlie Channel wrote:
If it were not for the fact that I transfer large mp3 files, I'd dump Comcast. But, I can't afford EdNet. So, there you have it. Hey, maybe I could use my ISDN circuit to connect to an ISP that's more reliable. I think I'll give that some thought and do some research. But, my gut tells me that it'll be kind of expensive.

CC




Charlie:



I don't understand. How is EdNet supposed to help you when your high-speed internet is down? It's my understanding that EdNet is (1) an equipment broker, and (2) an ISDN bridging service.



Please explain. Thanks, Jim
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Charlie Channel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I'm not sure what EdNet sells. I may have the name wrong. I know my agency doesn't use the SBC or other telephone companies that provide ISDN service. I was told that they were not reliable enough, and they had connectivity issues like you described.



There are alternative ISDN service sellers. But, they're expensive. I'll get the name of the company that was recommended as an alternative to telephone companies.



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Charlie Channel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just verified that EdNet is the name of the biz.



I'm guessing. But, I think EdNet provides not only hardware and bridging services, but ISDN circuit service as well. So, instead of the signal going through SBC or Verizon or whatever the telco is, the ISDN circuit is primarliy handled by EdNet.



I know the ISDN circuit is wired through telephone lines to my house, and I use SBC -- without any issues now. But, I think others will agree that many telephone companies in the U.S. don't do ISDN well. EdNet, on the other hand, has a reputation for providing reliable service with excellent technical support. That's what an engineer at my agency told me, which is why they use EdNet and no longer use SBC for ISDN.



Cheers!



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billelder
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, where do you think this is going to go?



Aren't you expected to use whatever the production people are using?



If so, do you see a time when you'll have to have it all...meaning every software or hardware solution?



Or, is there a standard that you think everyone will eventually adopt?



Has ISDN actually gone away to the point that a person can't order a new line at all?



Where is Comrex when we really need them?



Isn't this why the government broke up the "Bells" so there could be competition? <g>



Why is there air? (Sorry...stole that one from Bill Cosby)
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Frank F
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air? We have air?



Just for grins, I called the local telco and asked if I could get ISDN at one of my other locations... anyone want to know the answer?



"At this time, we cannot service that location with ISDN. Sir, we show you already have ISDN at two locations, why would you need a third"?



The local mentality of the telcos is definately something interesting to deal with. I guess if I need to put in another ISDN line I will have to find somewhere else to do it.



Thanks Bill, for the heads up.



As Bill also questioned, is it coming down to a point of being required to have every toy and every software package to communicate with others in the business? I looked at Source Elements - Source Connect - after attempts were made to listen to their "samples" and seeing the price - I just started laughing - haven't stopped yet.



$1500.00 for a plug-in - on each end, plus an "iLok" key, plus broadband internet, plus....????



Hey, I'll stay with ISDN until I have my own technology in place.



If you look at Source Connect - and subtract out the fancy DigiDesign toys and hype - you have AudioTX Communicator. And AudioTX is cheaper and doesn't require the iLok. SC also had some inherent problems - at least on my optimized system, the samples were stodgy and slow in getting into the timeline, lots of jitter, latency - which was unreal, and much more...



You now what they say - "The more the hype, the less the truth".



Frank F
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Charlie Channel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As talent, I think we've got to be flexible. And, I think we need to tell it like it is. Some of the stuff just ain't ready.



I got in from my gig in San Francisco. The studio I recorded in was really great. It took me 10 minutes to do the read. Thumbs up from the producer and engineer! Nice. Cash waiting in an envelope with my name on it.



OK. Sure, it took me 35 minutes to drive to the studio. And, yes, I could have done it from my home-studio. But, with Comcast being down, it would have been a hassle to deliver the mp3. I was outta the recording studio and back home before I got a return E-mail from the Comcast saying, 'Don't reply to this E-mail but we got your note.'



What a drag. I called. I was told that their diagnostic timed-out. No joke. They can't communicate with their modem inside my house. No joke. Tech will be out on Monday. No joke! The conditions of service is that if it's my problem, they're going to charge me. No joke. I'm seeking another high speed solution. No joke.



This is called progress! One thing I'm not doing is buying another plug-in that would only confuse everyone about where the critical point of failure is. Meanwhile, I'm climbing on my roof in a minute to connect the coaxial connections on my outside antenna.



TGIF!



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