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Conference Recording 2.0: Building a Better System


With the number of interesting talks that occur at conferences, it is almost impossible to see everything you want to. To compensate for this, many conferences record talks and make them available to view later. This also has the added benefit of letting a wider audience participate if they couldn't make it to the venue.
Unfortunately, there is no clear, simple way for this recording to occur. Each conference has its own custom setup, built up of a number of components that are often hacked together at the last minute into something that just manages to achieve its goals of recording talks and outputting videos. In addition, many of the software components have little documentation and some are no longer developed, adding an unneeded layer of complexity to the problem. Hardware also needs to be kept current to take advantage of high definition videos and other newer technologies.
This talk will give a behind the scenes look into recording talks at conferences, starting with the approaches used at previous events. It will then lead into the efforts being made towards a better video capture system for conferences, which aims to be simple for anyone to setup and use, allowing more time to be spent on the conference and less time getting systems installed and configured. There will also be a demonstration of the new encoding system that was developed during Pycon Australia 2015, which uses a distributed setup that even you could be a part of!

Joel Addison

Joel is a Software and Aerospace Engineer from Brisbane. He has been involved with open source communities and projects for many years, mainly within Ubuntu but also Drupal and Python. He especially enjoys the wide variety of ways to contribute to open source, such as providing documentation or translations to projects instead of just writing code all the time.

He has been an audio visual volunteer at three conferences - PyCon Australia 2014 and 2015 in Brisbane as well as Linux.Conf.Au 2015 in Auckland. Through this he has had much experience in the video systems used to capture talks at conferences, especially with the difficulties faced to get everything working to an acceptable level. He is a core member of the team working to develop a new conference capturing system for use at future conferences.


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