Another app question--group hangout for a performance but not Google?

March 26, 2020, 8:01 PM · Hi guys,

Trying to work out the bugs in my distance teaching (which so far has gone better than expected!) We had to cancel our "performance day" (on non-recital quarters, we have mini performances where students get together and play for each other and get to share/encourage/etc.) Anyway, I am trying to figure out if there's a way to still make that work online. Zoom seems to be decent functionality for multiple people, but I have one family who doesn't have a Google account and doesn't want to (which I respect). I may not be able to bend over backward for them, but I want to at least check other recommendations. I've also used Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Skype, but Hangouts is also Google-based, and my experience with the other two on group calls is that they're somewhat chaotic...

Bonus points: Is there a platform that will enable duets? I've heard that you can't overcome lag time, but also seeing things of ensembles performing across their living rooms...

Replies (8)

March 26, 2020, 8:39 PM · I think you're heading into a situation where "one family doesn't want to" translates into everyone else learning some new platform that they've never seen before. I think they're reasons for "not wanting to" need to be pretty solid.
March 26, 2020, 11:21 PM · I agree with Paul. This is a snowflake response that's entirely unreasonable.

You also don't need to have a Google account to use Zoom.

For that matter, you don't have to have any account at all to use Zoom. If the teacher sends out an invite link, the student just has to click on the link to join anonymously.

March 26, 2020, 11:24 PM · As for ensembles playing together in their living rooms: they're not playing together. They all record their parts separately, using either a metronome or a click track on their headphones, and then someone puts all the videos together.
Edited: March 26, 2020, 11:28 PM · You can't overcome lag. The ensembles are what Andrew said. I just recorded the 2nd violin part to Nimrod this evening, in my living room, with the metronome set on 50 coming through an earbud.

Where did anyone get the idea you need a google account for Zoom? That isn't true. I agree with Lydia about snowflake responses.

March 27, 2020, 9:40 AM · Adding for even more clarity: You need a Zoom account to host a meeting, not to attend a meeting that someone else has created. Also, even though Zoom allows "federated" identity via Google and Facebook, you still have the option of creating your account in Zoom itself.

I do support these folks for deciding to not have a Google account. I choose to not have a Facebook account for potentially similar reasons.

Edited: March 27, 2020, 10:41 AM · Thanks for your replies. Sounds like we should be able to make zoom work. I am not techy and would have probably taken a long time to figure that out (for some reason I thought it was essentially a Google based platform, oh well), so appreciate your knowledge! Also thanks for clarification on ensembles.

(BTW I don't find it a snowflake response.)

March 27, 2020, 10:53 AM · In normal times I wouldn't consider it a snowflake response either. But everybody needs to give a little right now.

When you set up the Zoom meeting, you'll get a special URL that you can send to all the folks in your studio. All they have to do is click that link. If they don't have a Zoom account, they'll be prompted to download the client to run on their machine (which happens automatically, it's totally turnkey) and then they'll go right into the meeting. To get an "account" on Zoom where you have hosting privileges requires a paid subscription unless your employer already has a site license.

March 27, 2020, 1:16 PM · For several years I've been rehearsing with a friend in Japan. To overcome the crosstalk problem, where sound can only move in one direction, we use two accounts each, two devices each, and two simultaneous connections, with sound muted for each of us on one connection. We wear headphones to avoid feedback issues. Latency is still a problem, though. We tried Zoom recently since it supposedly handles the crosstalk issue better, but audio was really breaky. Perhaps we'll try again with some settings adjustment.


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