Apple to Stream First Live Concert to the iPhone Tonight

Tonight Apple will produce its first-ever live event streamed to the iPhone: a concert by the electronica band Underworld. Apple has apparently kept the event quiet as it doesn’t want to overwhelm the AT&T network, but if you have an iPhone you can queue it up yourself at iphone.akamai.com or underworldlive.com. The show starts at 9 p.m. PT and the stream is free.

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Apple in June released its own HTTP streaming protocol which uses adaptive bitrates to deliver a continuous smooth stream in varying network conditions. You can read more about how it works here and watch our demo video here. The intent of the technology is to optimize for difficult environments — like when a lot of people want to watch something at the same time, as in a live event, or when a watcher’s bandwidth cuts out, which often happens on a mobile phone. So tonight’s show should be a good test.

Underworld’s Karl Hyde and Rick Smith profess to be huge Apple fans and recently released their entire catalog on iTunes. Apple is using partners at Inlet Technologies and Akamai to power tonight’s show.

Underworld – Born Slippy Nuxx

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