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Cellphones ruining concerts


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I know a lot of you are upset that Apple and Google have been tracking you on your smart phone.

But here’s my question: why can’t they use some of that technology to stop people from taping live shows? If they can tell you’re at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Kokomo, Indiana, they should be able to tell you’re at a concert and use some thingamabob to shut your phone down until it’s over.



Cell phones have ruined the concert experience.

The second the lights go down, thousands of illuminated smart phone screens take their place. Folks hit record and start taking amateur videos of their favorite band or singer. We’ve become so overtaken by things, we don’t even watch live events in real time anymore.

A friend and I went to a Mint Condition concert a few weeks ago where this phenomenon was especially prevalent. The band was playing its heart out. There were guitar solos, sax solos—even a drum duet. Most of the crowd just sat there filming everything. I guess they watched the concert after they got home and uploaded it. When you go to a rockin’ show, you should leave hoarse, covered in sweat and exhausted. This crowd looked more rested than when they arrived. No wonder the band did a short show that night. There was no crowd energy to feed off of.

The sound of applause has been replaced by the muted tones of thumbs slapping against cell phone buttons. Uproarious crowd participation is dying out because folks have a tough time singing along while trying to find a good shot. For the most part, all that fuss doesn’t even produce good videos! I don’t want to hear you talk about how cute the singer’s hair is, or hear your drunk friend yell “WOOOOO!†louder than the song that’s being performed.

It’s affected our storytelling. We no longer re-enact what we see at these shows. Remember when you would describe the stage, the lighting and the set list with enthusiasm and wild hand gestures? It used to be fun to imitate a guitar solo or trying to describe a note the singer hit. Nowadays when someone asks, “How was the concert last night?†we’ll tell them to Youtube it. Where’s the excitement in that?

Since Apple and Google probably won’t make that doohickey anytime soon, try turning your phone off the next time you go to a concert. You’ll get the most out of the experience. Plus, you and whoever you came with can have fun acting it out again when the show’s over. But if you still regret not recording it, several shaky amateur videos will await you online.

Posted by: Senior Writer Devin Parrish




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“Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away,†sang Paul Simon. Music fans might soon echo that sentiment.

Old school cameras like the one in Simon’s song (listen below) take their orders from whoever’s pressing the shutter button, without checking with Kodak or the owner of a venue to see if it’s okay to take a picture. But that’s precisely the feature Apple hopes to protect with U.S. Patent #20110128384 (via cryptogon), filed in December of 2009.

The patent covers technology that would permit an iPhone (or any other camera designed to capture still images or video within the visible light spectrum) to detect invisible infrared signals encoded with specific instructions for the camera to follow, such as “stop recording video of this Paul Simon concert.â€

This would allow venue owners to jam Apple’s devices as part of their own policy or at an artist’s behest to prevent “smart†cameras from recording visual data. The overall effect would be to reduce the smartphone’s in-concert use to little more than a lighter that can be held aloft.

Apple’s camera-commanding technology might seem better suited to “free speech zones†or movie theaters fearing pirates, but Apple’s patent specifically mentions concerts:

In some embodiments, infrared data can be received and an electronic device can modify a device operation based on the infrared data. For example, an electronic device can disable a function of the device based on received infrared data. In some embodiments, a transmitter can be located in areas where capturing pictures and videos is prohibited (e.g.,
a concert
or a classified facility) and the transmitters can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands temporarily disabling recording functions. Accordingly, devices near the transmitter may be able to detect images to receive the infrared signals and the commands encoded in the signal but those devices may be unable to capture pictures or videos because of the commands.

In some countries, movie theaters are allowed to jam cellphones to prevent people from talking on them. That’s considered a violation of free speech in the States, so you’re free to blather on at will while other people try to watch. In the coming years, though, you might have trouble using the same phone to take pictures during shows to share them with friends.

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As a result of reading this thread, I'm glad I have one of those no-frills, prepaid cell phones besides I'd rather be dancing, screaming my head off and having a great time at a concert instead of filming it?

I should know because even though I was up in those nosebleed seats at Seattle show, I made the best out the situation by dancing, screaming and enjoying myself.

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"There is no fiction that can truly fit this situation. I'm documenting every detail every conversation. Not used to talkin' to somebody in the body! Somebody in the body!"



I'm so with you Illumination!! I try and get a few pictures with my camera or I might take a little video (sometimes I just hold it and dance around simply to have my favorite part of a song! lol), but I'm not about to sit there and RECORD the flipping show! I'm GONNA TAKE IT IN! I'm GONNA PARTICIPATE!! I'm gonna be leaving the ground!


that's why so many people are NO FLIPPIN FUN at the shows because they just fart around and record.... ENJOY IT! you won't need to RE WATCH on your lame ass little screen.



*sigh* don't mind me being bitter.

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I couldn't agree more. Really gets on my nerves. Geez, people, why bother actually living at all? Just stand there, record everything, and watch it later (while you're recording that too, presumably).

Also, the damn things interfere with line-of-sight to the stage. I really hope that acts start doing what's mentioned above and disable the damn things while the show is on!

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I agree to an extent; I felt that the crowd was lame and not connected to the band in Oakland, but that's just my opinion. When Bono asked for the crowd's participation, they were a bit dull and nonresponsive, and they were constantly on their phones or using their cameras.


Shutting off the phones seems a little creepy and invasive.

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Yup, I remember the days everyone just went to the show and immersed themselves in it, no distractions. I still do that, and can't be bothered with distractions. I'm not usually close enough to get a decent picture even if I wanted to. I do appreciate a lot of the photos fans take and some of the videos. Usually only the videos that are really well done. Also a video like the one from Nashville with the man playing guitar on AIWIY and then Bono giving him the guitar none of us would be able to enjoy and see it if it wasn't for videos. But to be texting or talking on the phone is insane, why bother to go. Remember years back when Bono yelled at a fan who was on the phone in front of him? He was mad that the fan was on the phone and not paying attention to the music. Now he could care less.


He said pretty much what the article says, "put down your F***ing phone, you're at a concert"....LOL


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YEah I do agree that phones should necessarily be shut off. Forcing people to conform is not kosh. People gotta WANT to party!  Love's not real if it's not a free choice.    Besides if people are lame... they are gonna stay lame even when their phone's off right? Or am I being pessimistic?

Is this a soul issue?   *sigh*  PEOPLE ARE NOT LIVING! THEY ARE SPECTATING.   poop.

alas...  ohwell.gif

I will simply continue to do what I do best at U2 shows: have triple TONS of fun and hope that it's contagious! roll.gifroll.gif
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