Apple video stream plagued with technical issues

Some fans who went to the company’s website to get their first official look at the iPhone 6 instead got a whole lot of frustration for their trouble.

If you live under a rock and haven’t heard yet, Apple unveiled the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, and a new iTunes-exclusive U2 album Tuesday.

The news was met with the typical rabid-Apple-fan excitement, but for fans who wanted to watch the company’s live, streaming video of the announcement, the experience was anything but exciting. It was a huge headache, at least for the first half hour or so of the event.

For some, the trouble was that the video wouldn’t play at all. Instead, what they got was a series of color bars and a TV truck schedule. Others got the video to play, but a Chinese translation track played loudly over the audio.

The difficulties, of course, led to complaints:

Apple has remained characteristically silent about the reasons behind the streaming problems, but the site Cult of Mac has devised one explanation . According to Dan Rayburn of Streaming Media, a regularly updating stream of tweets embedded in the page under the video player caused the trouble. Here’s his technical explanation:

Apple decided to add some JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) code to the page, which added an interactive element on the bottom showing tweets about the event. As a result, this was causing the page to make refresh calls every few milliseconds. By Apple making the decision to add the JSON code, it made the website un-cacheable…which causes a huge impact on the performance when it comes to loading the page and the stream.

As for the audio of the Chinese translation, that must have simply been an employee screw-up, Cult of Mac concludes.

At least one brand, Denny’s, seized the moment Tuesday and had a little fun at Apple’s expense.

It’s totally an inside joke, but several thousand people seemed to get it.


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