The past week has been a cold one. On Monday last week the central heating in our building went out; on Tuesday we were notified that parts need to be ordered, and we were given electrical radiators. However, no warm water!
The new parts arrived on Monday, on Tuesday they were installed and the heating went on and then off again. The game repeated on Wednesday: heating and warm water for a while and then again: nothing. We’ll see what tomorrow brings!
The show itself today was a bit of a blur… I had the feeling that I didn’t really hear most of the tracks I played which makes me a bit sad…
However, I am also looking forward to next week! There will not be a regular Top of the Week show next week, instead I will be playing an End of the Year show, bringing your hours, hours, and hours of the best tracks of the year! In addition I will already start before noon (in my timezone) and will play until long after it’s dark outside, torturing my old body in the process but hopefully bringing joy to all of you.
Anyway, here’s this week’s episode:
So, as mentioned, the next show will happen on Wednesday, December 28, at 11:00 CET/UTC+1. It will probably be between 7 and 8 hours so you should have ample time to catch it during the day. The next regular Top of the Week will happen on January 4, 2023, 19:00 CET/UTC+1, just as usual.
This week’s show started very slow… it took almost half an hour for the first viewer to arrive! An eerie silence wafted through the chat…
Contrasting the silence in chat I noticed that there were quite a number of bangers in today’s show. While that is bound to happen every now and then for some reason today it was more noticeable for me, and I really liked that!
The next show will happen on Wednesday, December 21, at 19:00 CET/UTC+1. It may be the last (regular) show of the year, starting next week I’ll have four weeks off of work and I’m probably gonna use the time to slack around like mad!
So… the Windows MacBook… you know what, let’s just not talk about it.
Okay. So… last week! Oh yes, I was on vacation. My wife and I rented a small house at the Baltic Sea (like, literally 150 meters from the beach) and spent a couple of days doing pretty much… nothing, and a lot of it. It was great! We lay around on the couch, watched some TV, ordered pizza, did a bit of shopping, ate more snacks, fed about a thousand birds (like sparrows, magpies, and blue tits) on the terrace (there was a never-ending stream of them, it was great to watch), played some games, did more nothing, it was amazing. I’m already looking forward to the next vacation!
I couldn’t be bothered to take any DJing or streaming equipment so you had to take your Wednesday night into your own hands but I’m sure you’ve managed! However, this meant that this week I had a little bit of a backlog so I changed the program slightly to match my needs: today (with one or two exceptions) I only played tracks that were new entries, either in this week or in the last week. All to make sure you don’t miss any great tracks!
Next week I will returned to the regularly scheduled program, and that will happen on Wednesday, December 14, at 19:00 CET/UTC+1.
It wouldn’t be Lunch Trance if everything worked, right?
Yesterday I noticed that the Windows MacBook was starting again, like nothing ever happened. I don’t want to say that I was ecstatic but due to performance reasons I would like to keep using it because on macOS OBS for some reason is unbearably slow. (And it crashes if you try to connect it to your Twitch account.)
However, I did like all the new background videos and the programming I did around that so I copied that all over to the Windows machine and set up OBS. Still looks nice!
Tonight I sat down, started the Windows machine again and did a test stream. 1080p60, almost sub-1 millisecond frame rendering times, just like one would expect from video material that is basically almost free to render.
I let it run a bit and went into the kitchen to feed the cats.
By the way, the new cat gets more and more cuddly which is awesome! However, there’s still some tension between the old and the new cat; they’re getting closer to each other all the time but they both are still wary of the other one. Time will fix that, I’m sure!
Anyway, I also fixed myself some little dinner snack and then came back to the Windows machine and immediately felt like breaking things, many things, and with lots of force. The encoder was suddenly dropping everything it was handed!
I checked the configuration and noticed that OBS wasn’t using the usual encoder anymore; instead of the Intel H264 Hardware Encoder it was using the AMD H264 Hardware Encoder. Theoretically I don’t really care which one it uses as long as it works but what was worrying was that the Intel encoder didn’t even show up in the list anymore… which means more debugging, probably somewhere around the EFI area of the MacBook. Not looking forward to that.
In the meantime the macOS machine was a viable backup solution so I fired that up again and while that one was still dropping 10% of the frames because of rendering lag, it did manage to hardware-encode the stream and send it out to the world where you were then able to watch it and listen to it. Amazing!
During my show I did get a raid by Pisces1, thank you very much for that!
Next week a show may or may not happen as my wife and I will be vacationing at the Baltic Sea once more. I don’t yet know how much stuff I want to take with me so I guess I’ll decide that on Sunday when it’s time to pack.
There will, however, definitely be a show on Wednesday, December 7, at 19:00 CET/UTC+1.
It wouldn’t be Lunch Trance if everything worked, right?
So, four days ago, on Wednesday, I arrived home from work and sat down to finish preparation of the show and to set up the streaming, i.e. start Windows, and… wait a minute. The MacBook doesn’t turn on.
Probably just an empty battery. For some reason, since I installed Windows on this machine, when you turn off it burns through battery as if it were running at full load, even when turned off. Like, completely turned off. There hasn’t been a Wednesday since I started streaming where the battery was not completely drained from being turned off for a week so I had to remember to start charging it early so that I wouldn’t have to start streaming on something like 5% battery.
Anyway, attached the power cable, waited a bit… and nothing happened. The MacBook stayed dark.
Okay, I still have to do all the other prep work, let it charge a bit. Switched to the other MacBook (which at this point is 9 years old, has never seen Windows, and when I put it in sleep mode I can wake it up after a week and it still has 98% battery left), finished the playlist, and transferred everything to the DJ console.
Tried to turn on the MacBook again… still nothing. Okay, this is highly unusual. Maybe the cable and/or the charger are not working correctly? Switched everything around, every other MacBook works fine with the charger, and every other charger does the same amount of nothing to the MacBook.
The internet is, as usual, incredibly helpful by suggesting a single thing but on 600 different sites. I tried to reset the SMC, and the PRAM, and the whatever, and the I-don’t-care but nothing I did could persuade the MacBook to come back to life.
Wednesday’s show was out of the window at this point, not only because I didn’t have a streaming machine but also because at this point I was so frustrated by all this bloody shit technology that I was ready to move to the woods and live off the land for the rest of my life.
But of course I didn’t do that, any quite predictably so. Instead, yesterday I sat down and started OBS on my main MacBook, and I put together a configuration that would not depend on rendering Shadertoy websites at 60 fps in Full HD. I downloaded a couple of videos for the background, I attached all the USB cameras to the machine, configured the Advanced Scene Switcher plugin to do even more remarkable things than so far, and even created some scenes for the end of the stream. OBS’s performance on a 2021 M1 MacBook is still horrible: it has trouble maintaining 30 fps when looping a video, and I had a consistent 5% frame loss due to rendering lag. The video encoder itself gave no trouble, though; it didn’t break a sweat, and it didn’t drop a single frame.
Anyway. While — once again — a rocky start (and only four days late!), the show did not turn out to be a complete disaster so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice, so jot that down. One thing that is still missing are the lights, and I hope I will have taken care of that before next Wednesday.
Next show is going to be next week, on Wednesday, November 23rd, at 19:00 CET/UTC+1.
Story time! I have this wonderful 32” 4k screen (Samsung U32Jsomething) but from the start it has been behaving slightly weird: sometimes it would go black and lose connection to the MacBook (resulting in resolution changes and stuff) and after a few seconds come back and pretend nothing happened. I bought it second-hand so I thought, “well, you get what you pay for” and ignored it because it didn’t happen very often, and usually right after waking the computer up so it was a part of the ritual and thus acceptable.
Last night, however, it started doing it way more often, and most importantly, every time I started an EVE Online client!
I spent the whole evening debugging; I tried swapping cables, USB hubs, computers, everything. In every combination that included the screen, the screen exhibited the faulty behaviour. I didn’t really expect anything else, seeing that it did this already with a different MacBook years ago and has been with me for longer than the USB hubs I have been using with it but, you know, hope dies last.
Anyway. A new screen has been ordered (like, actually new this time) and it will arrive on Friday, when I’m in home office, giving me time to install it properly.
However, that whole episode took away most of the prep time for the show I had scheduled for yesterday evening so the final track selection was a bit rushed when I got home from work earlier. Luckily we only had 14 new entries this week, all of which I played. Take a listen!
Next show is going to be next week, on Wednesday, November 16th, at 19:00 CET/UTC+1.
Second show with the New And Improved™ Format and I must say, I really like it. It feels more to the point, and it feels way more personal than just playing the charts. I think I’m gonna stick with it, at least until I can think of something even better!
Okay, this will also be a long post so get seated and buckle up! We’re gonna start slowly with this picture that my wife painted two years ago during my Birthday Bash. I already showed it to you back then but my wife made some small alterations (and signed it!) and I did take a better picture of it before the show so please enjoy the new version of this masterpiece: