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The History of Video Conferencing

May 10 2022 feature

People often ask us what makes us different then traditional video conferencing platforms and I get it, it’s hard to understand why a platform like Zoom, for example, can’t just add a few buttons to make it low latency and audio built for all instruments and sounds.

This would require them to rip apart their entire foundation and start over with new technology which they are obviously not going to do because the music industry is such a niche market.

Traditional video conferencing solutions aren’t built for music and they aren’t built to engage kids. This means that you and your students then have to come up with workarounds and band aid solutions that are often expensive and not as effective. I have been on calls with many teachers that seem to think that adding in complicated software to enhance Zoom’s audio and it may help it a little bit but it’s not going to make it anywhere near to Musicology. Plus, your students aren’t investing in this too. They’re opening up their laptop and joining your lesson. YOU CANNOT SUPPORT YOUR STUDENTS DEVICE AND INTERNET. They are going to have a terrible experience and you are going to have to dance on the other side of the screen to keep them engaged. This is EXHAUSTING.

Any platform that offers group rooms travels through a server. That means that you can never make the latency better – even with the best of internet. That’s why Musicology is 1:1 because we want the LOWEST LATENCY POSSIBLE. It is also why we don’t have recording built into this release. Adding in recording adds a participant which then increases latency. We want the best possible experience for online lessons that resembles an in person experience as natural as possible so you don’t have to dance for your students and can do what you do best – teach!

There are teachers that are VERY vocal online about how great Zoom is but you know what? None of them have tried Musicology. How can you say that a new platform built by music teachers is no different than Zoom if you haven’t even tried it yet? That’s why we have a 30-day free trial. So that you can pick a few students and try it for yourself. The onboarding is easy, connection is simple and you will 100% see and hear a very clear difference.

Musicology is built on a foundation of NEW TECHNOLOGY. We did not use Jitsi like other music platforms which causes so many problems because you have to support that open sourced call line yourself. We invested the time and money into a secure call line that is used by fortune 500 companies all over the world. Our developers are senior level and there are many of them; each with a speciality so it’s not just one general contractor doing all the work. Would you hire a handyman to build your house? NO. You hire a team of professionals that all compliment each other for superior results.

Let’s look at the history of video conferencing. Two way wireless communication started out with walkie talkies and you would have to wait for the next person to finish before you had your turn. This is similar to Zoom’s audio whereas Musicology’s audio is like a circular direction where you can hear everything happening naturally as if you’re in the same room. And bonus – NO HEADPHONES REQUIRED! No general contractor. You may find this evolution list interesting. I know I did!

Check out this video exploring the audio clarity of instruments on Musicology. Hear some unusual instruments on Musicology and what they sound like in duet form as well as independently. An app made by music teachers, for music teachers.

1870 The first concept of transmitting an image and audio over wire by Bell Labs

1920 The first video over audio transmission from the White House to New York developed by AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories. One way video viewing 200 miles apart.

1930 Two-way video transmission over audio from AT&T offices to Manhattan where both parties could see each other.

1936 German inventor Georg Schubert develops a prototype of modern video telephony connecting Berlin and Leipzig – about 100 miles of coaxial cable transmission lines. Video call boother were set up in post offices. World War II ended this.

1959 AT&T ‘Picturephone’ development prototype transmitting one frame every two seconds.

1964 Picturephone Mod I presented a working video phone at the World’s Fair in NY

1969 AT&T introduced the Picturephone Mod II, an office video communication able to broadcast 30 frames per second.

1982 Compression Labs, an AT&T competitor, launched CLI T1 as the first commercial group video conferencing system. It’s hardware took up an entire room, and it had a hefty upfront cost of $250,000. Each call cost $1,000 per hour.

1984 MIT students and their professor form PictureTel Corp and invent the first commercial video codec for more efficient data transfers.

1989 AT&T chose PictureTel for an international video conference that provided two-way, real-time audio and full motion video connections.

1991 PictureTel becomes an IBM multimedia business partner and pursues a PC-based video conferencing system.

1991 Students at Cambridge University invent webcam at 129×129 pixel grayscale picture one frame per second, pulling images three times per minute.

1992 Cornell student wrote a program called CU-SeeMe that was released on Mackintosh.

1994 CU-SeeMe releases for Windows

1994 Connectix launches QuickCam, the first commercial webcam. 320×240 pixel resolution.

1995 Formation of WebEx – the oldest Video Conference Platform

1998 Logitech purchases QuickCam

1999 The first smartphone to feature a front-facing camera was released in Japan.

2003 Sony Ericsson Z1010 comes with a front-facing camera.

2003 Three Estonian software engineers introduce Skype

2007 Cisco acquires WebEx

2009 Two ex-Yahoo employees found WhatsApp

2010 iPhone 4 and FaceTime adds support for 3G and 4G/LTE

2013 Zoom launched holding meetings up to 100 people

2016 WhatsApp video chat added two years after bought by Facebook

2017 Microsoft Teams launched a little late to the game

2020 Zoom pushes out updates monthly of new features for the hearing impaired and virtual events up to 1000 people in Marketplace format.

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