Tuning (webbing?) into last night’s first YouTube Music Video Awards, on-line viewers got another warning that streaming internet video is not ready for primetime, let alone ready to take over the world.
Though funded by Google, with access to its' immense server “backbone” and pulling at most 200,000 viewers (according to an on-screen counter) the live stream repeatedly froze up and required a “re-start,” at least on Gizmo Guy’s home computers (a Windows 7 laptop connecting via Internet Explorer, a Mac running Safari.) And the expensively mounted event wasn’t viewable at all on Smart TVs loaded with a YouTube app.
Ironically – the YouTube award is a simple block decorated with a “play” arrow.
Lot of the casual jokes between show hosts Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts were lost in the freeze-up. And the big finale with annointed "Artist of the Year" Eminem (“Rap God”) was scrambled so badly that Schwartzman (who must have gotten a clue by this time) then ended the 90 minute show very abruptly, a couple minutes early.
There was a lot to like earlier on in the rough and tumble production – especially on-the-fly live music videos featuring “dub-step” violinist Lindsey Sterling (soaring over a city like a videogame superhero), and an edgy, Lena Dunham/Spike Jonze spun romantic mini-drama in an EDM nightclub with choose your own catfight adventure finale, all circling around an appearance/music from Avicii. (Both are surely posted.)
We also liked the Kanye moment from Win Butler (Arcade Fire), interrupting an acceptance piece for a Taylor Swift win to proclaim that the giddiest version of “Harlem Shake” really deserved the “YouTube Phenomenon” award. Too true.
We’re almost reluctant to now plug the on-line preview at 6:30 p.m. tonight at https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/6jxrc. for “American Masters: Jimi Hendrix- Hear My Train a Comin,’” for fear it will also fail ‘ya. The doc , filled with rare interview and concert footage, is set to premiere tomorrow night at 9 on TV 12, locally. But in theory you’ll be able to sneak preview the first 20 minutes on line tonight, and throw questions to director Bob Smeaton. Psst. . . . If you can get one in, ask how come there’s no whiff in the doc of all the ugly post-death wheelings/dealings by the Hendrix estate, as Jimi’s career rocketed even higher than it had during his lifetime.