Turn on, tune in, rock out

Defhead.com chooses music acts, invites them to perform and Webcasts the show live.

Plans for a national fibre broadband network are yet to bear fruit, but that's not stopping local companies launching ventures based on streaming video over the Web.

One such organisation is Viocorp, which recently offered a pay-per-view Webcast of the Sydney Mardi Gras, and also provides streaming for local music site Defhead.com.

Defhead is, according to its founders, "a virtual venue that defies time and space, reaching out to every corner of the globe, offering the people a credible and sustainable hub upon which they can launch their own live music revolutions".

The site handpicks local artists to perform a gig at an inner-city venue in Sydney. The concert is performed in front of a crowd of up to 200 people and simultaneously Webcast on Defhead.com at two bitrates via the Akamai network. Each shoot uses four cameras and features complex lighting effects, audio production and live high-definition video editing.

As with the Mardi Gras, where viewers could submit questions to the host and get the answers live online, Defhead Webcasts are interactive. Web watchers can send questions via SMS during the band's performance, which are then answered during a post-gig interview session. There are also opportunities to score prizes, with winners announced at the end of the Webcast.

Each performance is edited and archived on Defhead.com, which will soon feature a community section where music fans can interact with one another.

Defhead has hosted five bands thus far, beginning with Dappled Cities Fly in December last year. Monday night marked the performance of Central Coast group Something With Numbers, who are enthusiastic about digital song distribution, promoting their work on MySpace, and using online video to reach more music fans.

I went to the gig accompanied by Munir Kotadia and a Motorola RIZR phone, on which we captured some video footage of the night. The clip on this page includes a chat with some of the music fans who rocked up to the gig, as well as a post-show backstage interview with Jake Grigg, lead singer of Something With Numbers.

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Thanks to Something With Numbers for allowing the use of their song, Chase The Chaser.