mininova introduces “user icons” to help prevent spam

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Today’s mininova results have a new graphical element in them:

mininova screenshot
mininova screenshot showing new user icons (click for larger image)

These icons allow users to quickly discern when a torrent that claims to be from a well-known group (e.g. eztv) is not actually from that group.
These “spam torrents” can appear when new shows come out or are anticipated to come out, and clog up the internet with useless data, wasting both ISP bandwidth and everyone’s time.

Jailbreak: replace iTunes

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Some apps that let you liberate your iPhone/iPod Touch from iTunes and Apple’s renaming obfuscation:
dTunes,
PwnPlayer,
and MPlayer
make a pretty potent combination.

MPlayer is probably the weakest of the bunch; playing video skips frames and sometimes has no audio.
I would expect it to get better over time though.

Just a few more reasons to JailBreak. :-)

Uploading video

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Luisa shot some video of her parents making some wine with a grape press and wanted them uploaded. So I went through a few iterations of encoding+uploading to see what worked best.

Pre-encoding files means you only upload about 1/10th as much, saving tons of time.

I used ffmpegX to encode and eventually found that just using H.264 mp4 encoding at the original size worked best, giving me the much-coveted “Watch in high quality” option on YouTube.
I’m uploading the videos to my YouTube account now,
and then I’ll upload them to my Vimeo account,
which shows them at much higher resolution.


Making Wine 2 from Reid on Vimeo

Cowon A3 – media player handles almost all formats

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Cowon A3
Cowon A3 DivX/other media player
Cowon A3

The original post
is in Japanese, and
my Google translation link
may not work.
I’m not sure, but this device sounds pretty incredible.
It has a hefty $550 CDN price tag though (58,800Â¥), which is the price of a cheap laptop these days.

What really stood out for me was:

  • component output at 1280×720 (720p)
  • DivX support
  • Ogg support
  • AppleLossless support
  • Flac support
  • WMV support
  • H.264 support

.. the list goes on and on.
Note that the actual display is only 800×480, it’s only the component output that can support 720p.

Probably not worth the price, really, but impressive nonetheless.

Maybe they will be able to get the price down after a while, and it will get really interesting..

US $300 Blu-Ray Drive

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Well,
it’s only in China
for now, but still: US $300 for a Blu-Ray drive is pretty good.

Combine this with people figuring out how to install drivers allowing the $300 Xbox HD-DVD player to work on their Windows machines, and it gets even more interesting..

I’m thinking that by the holiday shopping season at the end of 2007, we’ll be seeing a lot more players (and consequently movies) being bought.
I suspect my prediction about rental movies switching to HD will be abeout a year later than I thought. Oh well.

Blu-Ray passes HD-DVD in number of movies available

Friday, February 9th, 2007

According to
enGadget HD,
the count now stands at HD DVD 158 vs Blu-ray 159.

To add insult to injury,
another enGadgetHD article says:

High-Def Digest has already updated their release page which is shows that Blu-ray has more titles with dates for February than HD DVD has for all of 2007.

HD-DVD still has the lower price though.

HD odds and ends..

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

HDMI 1.3: Better DTV images, sound in 2007
Why today’s best HDTVs aren’t worth buying
Blu-ray / HD DVD stalemate boosting interest in combo player?

The first two posts concern HDMI 1.3, which ups the ante from 8-bit to 16-bit colour (!), as well as uncompressed, 3 Mbps audio.

The last post posits that Blu-ray and HD-DVD are tied in the race to consumers, who seem not to care very much about the whole thing.
It is my sincere hope that Blu-ray vs HD-DVD will become just as meaningless and wasteful as the DVD-R vs DVD+R debate was a few years ago.
Who even looks to see if they are buying -R versus +R these days?
I sure don’t.
Actually, all I look for is “DL”.

Update @ 2006-12-22 10:18:
Found these on Slashdot — very interesting!

HD-DVD movies sorted by picture quality
Blu-ray movies sorted by picture quality

HD player of DVDs

Sunday, November 19th, 2006
Helios X5000
Helios X5000

Note, this is not about HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. :-)

I’ve been pretty happy with our two LG players (an LD-530 in the bedroom and an LD-531 in the living room), but one feature has been lacking and it’s getting more and more critical over time.
More and more of my downloaded TV shows are in resolutions higher than NTSC. The LD-530/531 (and the follow-up LD-731 apparently) can’t handle any resolution better than 720×480.

Most of my shows are now in “HR” format, which is exactly one-half the dimensions of 1080, i.e. 960×540. Some are in HD720p and some are now coming in as HD1080i (in raw .ts form, no less; let’s hear it for over-the-air recording!).

So I think I’ve found a new player: It’s the “Helios X5000 HD Network Media Player”.
Not only does it play up to HD1080p resolution DivX and WMV (and MPEG and .ts I think) with HDMI output, but it has an ethernet jack and wireless 802.11g through which you can play HD content on your network.
The highest bitrate you can play wirelessly is 12 MBps, because.. that’s as fast as wireless can go.

Helios X5000 (rear)
Helios X5000 (rear)

It’s has a good review from
enGadget
and people are
saying good things on the AVS forum.

It’s a bit pricey, but it has a lower-cost sibling, the 3000, which I haven’t looked into yet.
It also has a pricier sibling, the 8000.
I’ve spent too much time on this already so feel free to mention the pros and cons of the two siblings in the comments!

Sanyo Xacti HD1A: MPEG4 HD720p Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
Sanyo Xacti HD1A
Sanyo Xacti HD1A

The most recent posting to LifeOfLeo had an amazon link to
the Sanyo Xacti HD1A,
and all I saw was (1) HD, (2) $666 US.

Wowza.
Since it’s so cheap I expect it won’t be as featureful nor as high-picture-quality as other, $3k cameras.
I mean, it’s “only” HD720p – no 1080 here.
But hey, I would actually think of buying an HD video camera at that price.

Intel Mac owners – are you running PPC VLC?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
VLC

VLC is used by many people to play avi’s, especially movies and TV shows.
However, on the Mac there is no “universal binary” version of VLC yet.

We discovered tonight that Iain has been watching movies on his Intel Core Duo-based MacBook using the PPC version of VLC.
Needless to say, this adds a whole layer of performance degredation!

So we copied the Intel version of the most recent
nightly build
and CPU usage dropped dramatically.
Actually, it may have been the other way around (see low CPU usage on Intel, and then try PPC version and see much higher values).

Well, in any case, be sure to use an Intel version of VLC to watch those videos!
Even though it is just a “nightly build”, I’ve found the quality of
the one I got
to be quite high.
No crash or any other problems yet.

(knocks wood)