This past weekend, “DJ CoolJ” played his first gig in First Life, DJ’ing the wedding ceremony and reception for my RL brother, David, and his longtime companion, John. (Yes, it was a same-sex marriage. This happened in California, where such things are legal, at least for the moment. Any flames about the morality or lack thereof of the proceedings will be sent to /dev/null, because (a) I don’t want to hear it, this is my brother we’re talking about here, and (b) it’s not all that relevant to my part of the story anyway.)
The story here started back in July, when I received this message from another of my brothers:
David and John are getting married in Sacramento on October 19. They would like you to attend and to be their DJ at their reception.
Would you be willing to do this?
Oh, certainly, I was willing! But all my DJ experience has been as a Second Life DJ, behind the controls of SAM; the question was, how would I translate that into the real world?
SAM outputs an MP3 stream, intended for receipt by a Shoutcast server. The simplest thing to do was to use another computer to translate the MP3 stream to audio. I had a suitable machine on hand, which had been a gift from David, in fact: an OLPC XO-1, which runs Linux. I installed the program mpg123 on it, which could decode MP3 and send the resulting audio to the machine’s audio output device (speakers or headphone jack), and wrote a short Python script to “wrap” around it and mimic the protocol implemented by a Shoutcast server. The resulting arrangement had a slight delay in the audio output, but worked, slick as you please.
In the interim, of course, I had fallen in love with “Selena” and brought her to live with me in Denver, so, naturally, she got to come too. (In fact, I think she realized this when she knew she was coming to live with me; one of the things she said over our IMs was “OMG I get to come to your brother’s wedding!”) So we turned it into another road trip, not unlike the one I made to bring her to Denver, carrying, as part of our cargo, my computer, her flat-panel monitor, the XO-1, and a whole slew of cables and connectors to put it all together, including a wireless router, as the XO-1 uses wireless networking. Once there, the XO-1 would be plugged into a (rented) “pro” DJ mixer/power amplifier rig and a pair of massive Peavey speakers, boosting its output to fill the room.
We pulled it off; there were a few glitches, but the happy couple was pleased with the performance, as were the other guests, including my parents. I plyed my routine much as I would in Second Life, and I did see some weirdness that made me think I had logged back into the Grid (try: four groomsmen doing a synchronized dance routine, pantsless, to the tune of “I’m Too Sexy”). I put out a “penguin tip jar” (a jar with a stuffed Tux next to it, and an appropriate labeling placard), and netted $38 in tips; by Linden Dollar standards, that was a smash hit gig.
Would I ever consider doing this again? Well, if I did, I’d want to have a proper Windows laptop to load SAM and my music library onto, to avoid lugging around that heavy tower system. But I’m pleased that it worked as well as it did.