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March 27, 2005

Ask, and it shall be given you

Seek, and ye shall find;
Whine, and the video shall be reformatted.

In response to one of the video clips posted a week or two ago, someone left this comment (his <whine> tags, not mine):

<whine>
Ya know, I'd love to be able to watch videos from here ... but alas! My machines (Mac and Linux) just refuse to recognize the "wmv" format, and my sole remaining Windows box refuses to play them, probably because I've de-fanged Windows Media Player after a virus attack was lauched through it.

So I'll just sit here ... in the dark...
</whine>

While I usually ignore whining on principle, I agreed that video posts could stand looking into - and for other reasons than just one person's PC configuration. So I looked into and I've made the following changes.

1. Reformatted all but two of the video clips to Flash Video (FLV) format. Future clips will also be in this FLV format. The player you will see now is actually a Flash. This (a) removes all of the codec dependencies at the browser end and (b) it provides "progressive" viewing (which is not quite streaming video, but is probably as close an we can get without a streaming video server).

Obviously, you'll need the Flash 7 player. But the odds are pretty good that you already have it and, if not, it's a simple matter to get it.

2. Added a link to each video post where the file is available in the format I received it in: WMV, MPEG or QuickTime MOV. The FLV works pretty well, I think, but it does involve recompressing the video. There is sometimes a little more 'aliasing' visible than in the original format. So you can view the file in its original format if you choose to - or you can copy it and use it to clog up mail servers. Knock yourself out.

Feel free to comment on this change. But I'll warn you that the first person who whines about Flash may become the butt of the next joke.

Posted by joke du jour at March 27, 2005 07:01 PM

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