How To Perform In Second Life
By: Jerry A. Greene
A new opportunity is cropping up on the internet for musicians: the ability to play virtual concerts over the internet. The most popular place to find these concerts, is in the very popular game, "Second Life".
You can choose to perform live, or stream mp3 files ripped off your latest CD. Using mp3 files already stored on a server will generally work a little better for some people, depending on their system and method of transmitting the stream (DSL, Cable Modem, Etc...).
Hosting The Stream Yourself
The one main issue that you will have to deal with, is computing power, namely in the form of bandwidth. The amounts of bandwith needed to stream a live event, or mp3 file, is usually a drain on your ISP connection. Even with a very fast Cable Modem, or DSL connection, you may get into some trouble as soon as more than just a few people show up to your virtual gig.
IceCast and ShoutCast
You need a way to connect your music to a parcel of land in Second Life. The only known ways to do it, as of this writing, is to use IceCast and ShoutCast. Although you can host an IceCast on your own computer, or server, the load is usually too great for most people. IceCast hosting can be rented on a subscription basis through people in-game, or web hosts. The option that a lot of people like to use is to find an IceCast host in-game, in-game, in which you can pay for with the currency of the Second Life world, the Linden dollar. If you choose to use ShoutCast on your own computer, than you'll need either the plugin called Oddcast, or the Shoutcast DSP plug-in.
Performing At A Virtual Club
The fact that you need to own a parcel of land to host the concert in Second Life is the reason why it may be easier for you to perform at a virtual club. Just as in the real world, club owners already have a draw to their location, especially if they do this all the time.
Sell Your Songs
You can even sell mp3 downloads of your songs through Second Life. There are virutal music stores that can help you get started and even promote your future virtual gigs.
Sell Other Second Life Merchandise
If you'd like, you can even create a t-shirt for fans to purchase and wear in-game. If you don't have the ability to do the design yourself, you can always find someone in-game that can help you.