Archive for October 27th, 2007

Vimeo HD

Vimeo HD now has 720p support. So users with HD cameras can upload their footage in 720p HD format. It looks fabulous, have a look here and go full screen with it.

I have a few problems with the whole thing though: they seem to re-encode at 24fps, even if you shot in 60i. For God’s sake, re-encode NTSC HD video at 29.97 fps, not 24 (unless it’s shot at 24). And I really, REALLY, hope that when they say “24 fps”, they actually mean 23.976, which is the correct IVTC 24p frame rate. Because if I record with my HV20 true progressive 24p at 23.976 (after removing pulldown) and these guys are re-encoding at 24fps instead after I upload my footage, they will mess up the A/V sync real good.

Also, make sure you do the following four things, like YouTube correctly does it:
1. De-interlace the material, if the uploaded footage is not de-interlaced, many users don’t know how to de-interlace (yes, youtube is able to detect and correct that).
2. If the audio is mono (which is very common if the videographer used an external microphone), re-encode as stereo.
3. Support WMV as Sony Vegas Movie Studio does not support any other HD “delivery format”, so users of Vegas won’t have another option.
4. Recognize and respect aspect ratios.

It’s little things like that this that still bring some value to Youtube: actual engineering. Although I must say, Vimeo looks promising to videographers like myself.

Comcast’s latest booboo

So not only Comcast is not net-neutral, not only they ban users for using more than ~120GB bandwidth per month, but now they are possibly caught lying. I don’t use Bittorrent, so I don’t care much, but it’s certainly not a good outlook for them. I do care about the banning of users though: just last month JBQ downloaded 10 GBs of PS3 (legal) game demos, all in one day. Sorry, but Comcast will have to go with the times, if they have a problem with it, let them talk to Sony and ask game companies to optimize their graphics and data more.

Update: Senators Want Probe on Content Blocking. Tell that to T-Mobile which blocks certain parts of the internet, including VoIP ports.

Regarding copyright infringement

This story made the rounds yesterday. A lady is suing Universal for requesting the removal of her 0.29″ sec youtube family video that had a Prince song as a background score. Now, according to the law, that WAS a copyright infringement (no, there is no “fair use” for plain consumers, get over it).

However, what she has a problem with — and I agree with her wholeheartedly — is what this country has become: essentially, a policed nation. Her own words regarding what’s going on her mind when she shoots a family video:

“I’m constantly thinking about what’s going on in the background, what’s on the TV, what’s on the CD player, the characters on my kids’ clothes, the characters on the toys that they are playing with. I’m cognizant of what’s going on at every step, instead of focusing on my kids, which is where my attention should be.”

I am sorry, but she’s right. This copyright thingie just gets in the middle of our lives, it just takes away the fun factor. It’s just too much fucking shit to take into account each time. You can’t even take a dump anymore in this country without thinking if you are allowed to take a prank picture of it, in fear of using inappropriately and without permission the image of the designer toilet your ex-wife had installed.

Of course, this does not mean that copyright law should go extinct as some open source radicals think so (don’t forget that USA’s main exporting good is IP, maybe even more so than weapons), but it should ease up. That was my opinion all along regarding all these RIAA/MPAA/copyright happenings the last few years: ease up on the consumer. Give him/her the benefit of the doubt. Use such opportunities as advertising: e.g. modify the fair use clause to allow non-commercial uses of the works, as long as credit is given, or something.

I know that some will say that artists should dictate how their works should be used exactly, but all the artists I have met do NOT want the same measures and licenses that RIAA dictates. They don’t give a shit if you used their song with your home video — in fact, they like it (I actually asked Tyson just that, Drist‘s singer and front man, last Saturday).

Besides, that’s entertainment we are talking about, and that’s works that’s sold in droves, just like potatoes. No one dictates to me that the patented genetically modified Glykopatata potato must only be eaten in the oven with oregano and onions and no other way. No disrespect meant to artists by this, but people like Prince should get a clue. It’s people like him that drove me to only buy and listen to indie artists the last few months.

Let people live their lives alright. Stop policing every little fucking thing, no matter if you are the government, or RIAA or Sheriff Bob. Rewrite the copyright law if you have to (JBQ claims that “changing” or “adding” to the existing US copyright law is extremely difficult because it’s already bloated — he read it).

Update: Nice article on the current RIAA/major-label problem. At the end of the article the guy suggests 4 things that people should do to fight back, and I am glad I already do all 4 of them. The biggest thing is that I have stopped buying from major labels or from indie labels that are owned by the majors — and I usually buy from CDBaby where most of the profit goes to the artist directly.