Archive for category YouTube

Iterative Thorium Documentary in a YouTube Playlist

YouTube allows videos to be strung together in playlists. YouTube allows embedded playlists to refer to video by index, as opposed to video UID.

For my thorium documentary, I’ll be improving chapters, and deprecating old chapters. How can the documentary (or any portion of it) be embedded in a way that will survive such iterations, and always show the latest/best version?

Here is Chapter 2 (the opening credits) embedded in a robust manner that will always show the latest version…

…embedded using parameter index=1…

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

…as opposed to YouTube’s default HTML for sharing…

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

…which does not survive chapter iteration.

Unfortunately, me having a robust embed doesn’t solve the problem of viral propagation… everyone else will be using YouTube tools for sharing. And most social network sites re-interpret the embed to use the video UID instead of the playlist & index combination.

I can only imagine this is why YouTube playlists are not used to propagate evolving content.

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Beefart & Cheenkaw

If you see one movie this year, but District 9 is no longer playing in your neighborhood, be sure to check out BEEFART & CHEENKAW – The Motion Picture.

Blaise Kolodychuk is a renaissance man. Musician. Director. Father. Master of photostatic copiers. He can peer into the multiverse, and see what might of been, or what may yet be. His reports from beyond are dismissed the mainstream press as “pure fiction”. And yet…

Unexplained flying objects are spotted every day in the north Calgary. Occasionally half eaten human remains are found in Fish Creek. TO THIS VERY DAY, no one knows what lurks at the bottom of Lake Bonavista. Only that it feeds… at night.

As you read this, you may find yourself trembling. Fear not! YouTube videos rarely kill. Courage, and a finger hovering nervously over your computer’s power button, will see you safely though the mind of Blaise Kolodychuk.

Fare thee well.

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Protospace vs YouTube Thumbnails

So I’m adding a logo to Calgary’s Protospace teaser video, and none of the YouTube thumbnails look particularly appealing. I don’t want a split-screen of a hacker. I want a Protospace logo dag-nab-it!

Protospace hacker VS Protospace logo for YouTube thumbnail. The choice is clear.

At some point in early 2009, YouTube stopped grabbing thumbnails from 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 positions in submitted videos. Thumbnails were being abused, with brief images of pornography and misleading images placed at 1/4 1/2 3/4 locations in uploaded videos.

I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it. And Protospace logo ain’t no pornography! The Protospace teaser is rendered at 29.970 fps (NTSC drop-frame). I added a frame counter to the video to locate the new thumbnail locations…

And confirmed what I’d heard when Googling the subject… the thumbnail locations are now pseudo-random!

YouTube's proposed Protospace video thumbnails.

Due to the “random” part of the thumbnail grabbing, it took me a few tries before a logo lined up with a thumbnail, but I did manage it…

…and then due to a medical condition the doctors refer to as “borderline stupid curiosity” I began adding frame counts to other videos, uploading them, and documenting YouTube’s 3 thumbnail locations for each.

Notice that the TN (ThumbNail) locations are constant for extremely short videos, and become more pseudo-random as the video length increases. I wouldn’t be surprised if an exact formula could be nailed down, but I don’t see it.

If you can solve the pattern, or have more data points you’d like to contribute then please ping me. I can either add them by hand, or share editing rights to this spreadsheet. I suspect any pattern may have something to do with MPEG-4 and keyframes. Or maybe Dwipal Desai injected a bit of the pseudo into the random because he enjoys the thought of thumbnail seekers endlessly spinning their wheels… heck it’s what I’d do if I were him!

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