Apple's latest attempt to broaden the appeal of the iPhone saw it broadcast its first-ever live streaming music event at the weekend, although the definition of 'live' appears to have been stretched a little.

Its use of the San Francisco concert by Essex band Underworld appears mainly to have been an exercise in demonstrating the power of the Akamai streaming protocol to handle large numbers of viewers without falling over.

Broadcast 'as live'

However, the video went out the day after the concert took place and is still available to watch on an iPhone, suggesting it was broadcast 'as live' rather than actually unfolding before our eyes.

Regardless of the semantics, the event seems to have gone off without a hitch, delivering high-quality video and audio to the masses.

How it works

If you're curious about the Akamai technology behind the broadcast, the iPhone Video Showcase site explains: "Starting with iPhone OS version 3.0 and QuickTime X, you can send streaming audio and video over HTTP from an ordinary web server for playback on iPhone, iPod touch, or other devices."

More to the point, Akamai adjusts the bit rate of the streaming content according to network conditions, meaning playback should always be clear and jerk-free.