Brooklyn Mobile Update

February 4, 2010

First ten days with Brooklyn Mobile, 1h17m.
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A video from yesterday, Feb 3, 2010.


Linux based broadcaster at the MAC in San Juan, Puerto Rico

January 23, 2010

Got a basic a broadcaster set up at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in San Juan Puerto Rico.

It’s our first linux based broadcaster. The webcam is a little slow but we are up and running with the computer and youtube page. They have to figure out exactly where the broadcaster will live in the museum but hopefully all will go well. If there are any linux hackers in San Juan who would like to help keep this installation alive, that would be great. The staff (Evita, Marlene and the rest) were very nice and helpful but not used to Linux or computer based installations in general. But we hopefully will be able to debug remotely if needed.

See links on the side of the blog for notes on the Linux install. I will try to keep these up to date as we experiment more with Linux. It was pretty straight forward except for some webcam issues and slight alterations to some of the scripts because the Apple scripting syntax is slightly different than the Linux sysntax.

Here is a short video of the system startup and video taking process.

brooklyn mobile is up and running

November 3, 2009

Brooklyn mobile

brooklyn mobile broadcaster up and running.
youtube channel is up.

make softlink on computer. check.
set directory in check.
set keys and logins in
upload a test video. get a cart. make box for laptop
get external mouse.

get out on the street and collect some videos. day one complete. most people ignore it or don’t know what to think of it.
a little weirdness with the uploader, some news from fulton mall security guard that i need a special license but he also thinks its a great idea. more to come… in the meantime, get yourself a belt.

public timelapse wall and shell scripting stuff.

October 22, 2009 works!

weird bash not found error in mac terminal
but i am having a weird error on mac os x running some shell scripts. i am a complete newbie at this and this question concerns 2 scripts. one of which sean wrote ( a couple weeks ago and it’s been running fine on another machine.

then last week i wrote and it has been running fine on a couple computers.
but then i tried to run on a new machine that runs fine and i got the following error:

: No such file or directory#!/bin/bash

why will one script( execute fine and the other ( gives this weird bash error?
but then i saw they had different first lines.

one is /bin/sh and one is /bin/bash

weird thing to because the one that doesn’t work on this machine (/bin/bash) has been working fine on the other broadcaster mac min for several weeks. scripts still very mysterious to me.

so i change it so #!/bin/sh and #! /bin/sh still no go…

: No such file or directory#!/bin/sh
: command not foundline 2:
: command not foundline 5:
: command not foundline 7:
: command not foundline 9:
‘/ line 72: syntax error near unexpected token `do
‘/ line 72: `for f in *.mp4; do

another thing i tried as suggested:
bash -ex ./
‘ ‘#!/bin/sh
: No such file or directory#!/bin/sh
Clarence$ bash -ex ./
‘ ‘#!/bin/bash
: No such file or directory#!/bin/bash
Clarence$ echo $SHELL

two screenshots of terminal and some other discussion of the error
weird bash not found error in mac terminal
scripting error, #!/bin/bash not found?

knight news challenge application

October 9, 2009
how to reinvent local news?

well, we here at the broadcaster project of course think this should involve some broadcasters.

here’s quick pitch.
watch this video on flickr which wordpress wont let me embed. thanks.

Where you are the news!

A pizza shop or bodega type store in downtown Brooklyn near Fulton Mall or similar low income shopping area/transit center or across the street from a nearby housing project like Gowanus Houses.
Front window has a couple screens playing videos. These are all videos that have been recorded on site. (or maybe an extra screen for content from other sites?)
Inside is a series of photobooth and videobooth installations of varying quality, duration, and abstraction(art installations like friendslicer). Plain 30 second videobooth cost $0.50 or $1, you record your video, it gets archived locally and added to loop playing on monitors outside. It also uploads to some social video site where it’s tagged as “public domain” so television stations can rebroadcast and others can make mix tapes, etc.
In the store is a jukebox as well where you can pay small fee to select the video you want to see.
You can also get custom dvd mixtapes made in the store.
The store is a public history file for the local community. No more expensive than buying a can of soda or beer.
All financial records are public by default since every transaction is represented by an upload to the public feed.
A shared history for the local community. Truly ground up media. When you say, “I know where you are coming from” you will actually know where this news came from.

Technology developed will be open source and also business planning info will be open source so it’s easily duplicable in other communities. A shared history builds trust and accountability. Can a public history file bring the positive powers of online communities like wikipedia and linux into our shared physical spaces?



also see the LCC proposal, notes page, etc for more on the broadcaster philosophy.

something like the following mashup: your local barber shop + an anthropological history of youtube + storycorps + twitter.

a public history file for shared physical spaces… more notes.

please view the application:

gottesman broadcaster up and running

October 8, 2009

“what is it?”
“it’s like teachers college what’s goin on?”

it’s not universally understood but in good time.

here is the twitter feed:

computer seems to hang a bit after a day of video recording.
auto shutdown each night should fix this?
need to figure out how to make it reboot and have the mouse positioned correctly and the photobooth setting on video. i think this should be able to be accomplished with automator. will be researching this next.

broadcasting from apple store

August 17, 2009

broadcaster project is up and running! (sort of)


This little dude Nicholi has shot dozens of lip sync videos at the 5th Avenue Apple Store. And why not? Plenty of desktops. Free wi-fi. Solid tech support.

we love this.

proposal for locative cinema commission

August 2, 2009

working on a proposal for the o1sj/banff/sundance locative cinema commission. here is the google doc for the conceptual proposal.

technical proposal:

budget proposal:

150 word summary:

The Broadcaster Project is a video channel for the inhabitants of a physical space. The project involves creating a series of stationary, one-click video booths, which would each be linked to a public online channel. The Broadcaster would enable every person in a community, regardless of income or technical proficiency, to express themselves, and the channel would create a digital narrative of a specific place. Just like a telephone booth or arcade game, The Broadcaster could be adopted and maintained by local business owners. The stationary nature of the device allows online and local viewers to know exactly where the message is coming from. With this, we hope to bring to the physical world some of the positive features of digital collaborative communities: crowdsourcing, individual reward, and accountability.

more about the call here:

Once again, the general notes page for the broadcaster project is here:

python uploading scripts for youtube

July 27, 2009

consider skipping this post and going right to this newer one:

many thanks to sean levin for writing the upload scripts.

basic script functionality:

check a folder periodically
if movie file is there: upload it, then move it somewhere else.

that covers the basics. here are some more details.

make softlink for no space version of “Photo\ Booth”
ln -s /Users/yourname/Pictures/photobooth /Users/yourname/Pictures/Photo Booth/
crontab to call shell script periodically.
shell script functionality: check for directory and lock file. make lock file. look for files. call python uploader with file. cp file with new timestamped name. mv file.

now the problems.

1. login problems. i think this has to do with the way that youtube and gmail are now linked in some account. including the edlabbroadcaster account. i made edlabbroadcaster2 that is not linked to google account and that seems to fix log in problems.

2. conversion problems. lots of the videos fail to convert. and some convert to junk like this.

and a static shot of the conversion errors.
youtube conversion errors

tried with some avi files and it works so i’m guessing it’s the .mov format. does built in camera on an imac generate different .mov files than external isight firewire camera on a macmini? that is the question i am pondering.

is there another 3rd party photobooth style software that will write a different format video?

login problems persist as well. would love to move to something other than youtube. it seems youtube gets very confused about login now as accounts are linked to google accounts. so you can’t change password anymore or anything. its really annoying.

UPDATE on login:
so i was working on this today (2009-aug-4) and had several succesful uploads. then 2-3 in a row had login problems with no change to code. then waited 5 minutes and login is fine.

still working on this issue of videos that go grey:

some question asking on developers forum.

login issues seem to be mostly fixed now.
conversion errors may have something to do with the filme movement while photbooth is still open. it seems the first of “movei” always seems to upload fine. but the next one often has a conversion error. maybe photobooth has some issues with file movement going on while it’s still open? should the files be left in the directory and only moved once a day or something? should photobooth be closed and restarted? is there a photobooth alternative that might work better? use screencapture program like ishowuhd combined with processing or openFrameworks webcam monitor?

installing ffmeg on mac os x

July 27, 2009

i’m on a mac mini. 1.83 intel core duo. 1 gb ram.

os x 10.5.4.

my notes on ffmeg install following this article  —

 tar xvzf lame-3.97.tar.gz

(this line didn’t work for me because mc os x automatically unzipped for me) so instead i need to get rid of the z.

tar xvf lame-3.98-2.tar

then a couple lines down there is a 


this didn’t work for me either. i got

… configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH See `config.log’ for more details.

now i’m downloading xcode and developer tools. i’m assuming this will cover the c compiler part.

ok. this block works now. 



sudo make install 


same issue with tar after downloading. i could get the command line download line to work. so i went to download faad from sourceforge. and then used this tar line

tar xvf faad2-2.7.tar

then i ran ./configure, make,and make install.

now back to ffmpeg. mkdir. cd. svn.

“Checked out revision 19521.”

long configure line. make (this is a long one). sudo make install.

now i noticed the additional config flags for the aac stuff. so i go back and run config again.



 ./configure –enable-libmp3lame –enable-shared  –disable-mmx –enable-libfaac –enable-libfaad

libfaad2 is gpl and –enable-gpl is not specified.

If you think configure made a mistake, make sure you are using the latest version from SVN.  If the latest version fails, report the problem to the mailing list or IRC #ffmpeg on Include the log file “config.err” produced by configure as this will help solving the problem.

not sure what this means but i’m moving on…
so here i am. first try.
$ ffmpeg -i codemovie.flv
FFmpeg version SVN-r19521, Copyright (c) 2000-2009 Fabrice Bellard, et al.
  configuration: –enable-libmp3lame –enable-shared –disable-mmx
  libavutil     50. 3. 0 / 50. 3. 0
  libavcodec    52.32. 0 / 52.32. 0
  libavformat   52.36. 0 / 52.36. 0
  libavdevice   52. 2. 0 / 52. 2. 0
  libswscale     0. 7. 1 /  0. 7. 1
  built on Jul 27 2009 15:15:19, gcc: 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5493) Unknown format

tar xvf faad2-2.7.tar

it can’t understand the native .mov files written by photobooth. that’s all for now. back to this at a later date.