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View Full Version : Mandatory screenshots?


harpsichord
2008-11-08, 11:36 AM
Please forgive me if this is out of line, but has it ever been considered to require screenshots when posting a video torrent? It would be VERY helpful, especially in the case of an audience recording.

I'm very grateful for people sharing their shows, and I don't want to appear unappreciative, but everyone has different standards as to what's acceptible quality. A screenshot would save a lot of time and bandwidth, and honestly, if someone can figure out how to post a torrent they can figure out how to post a screenshot or two.

The only reasons I can see for NOT posting a screenshot are lack of know-how (which is easily remedied), laziness (which is not), or shitty quality. I'll be interested in reading other opinions. Thanks in advance.

AAR.oner
2008-11-08, 11:47 AM
can't remember if this has been discussed by Staff before or not, but i don't think this is a bad idea at all

U2Lynne
2008-11-08, 11:57 AM
Yes, it has been discussed. It's hard to decide when you make something an absolute requirement versus highly suggesting something. If it's a requirement, then that means a show can be pulled because of the lack of screenshots. Is that really what we want?

saltman
2008-11-08, 12:10 PM
In my way of thinking it should be a mandatory requirement. I would hope that people come here for quality videos. I agree everyone's standards are different and this would be extremely helpful in making the decision to download or not.

harpsichord
2008-11-08, 12:14 PM
If it's a requirement, then that means a show can be pulled because of the lack of screenshots. Is that really what we want?

Thanks for the replies. I can surely see that concern. But just because a show CAN be pulled doesn't mean it MUST be pulled. It would certainly allow for another prodding/nag/reminder.

I'm sure we've all seen some pretty shitty video - it would really be nice to have an idea of what to expect before spending the time and bandwidth to be disappointed.

U2Lynne
2008-11-08, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the replies. I can surely see that concern. But just because a show CAN be pulled doesn't mean it MUST be pulled. It would certainly allow for another prodding/nag/reminder.

I'm sure we've all seen some pretty shitty video - it would really be nice to have an idea of what to expect before spending the time and bandwidth to be disappointed.
What I'm saying is if we make it a *requirement* then it should be pulled if they don't supply screenshots. Instead, perhaps we should encourage users to post screenshots (I should add something in the upload page about it perhaps).

uninvited94
2008-11-08, 12:41 PM
Screenshots as a requirement is a good idea. A snippet from the upload via YouTube or whatever would also be an useful option, maybe not required.

Branston
2008-11-08, 05:32 PM
Often when I've seen a snippet posted on Youtube there's been a disclaimer saying that the Youtube clip is lower resolution / lossy / whatever, and that the real files are better quality. But sure, you can see if the show is filmed from behind a pillar or whatever so it does help :)

Screenshots can help too, but they can also be taken with the DVD being played in a smaller window to give a misleading indication of the picture quality.

Personally speaking I'd leave things as they are. If someone posts a Youtube clip or screenshots, great. I'll always appreciate them and check them out. But I'd hate to see a show pulled for not having screenshots attached.

Anyway, if you want to see exactly what the quality of a DVD is going to be like you can do it pretty quickly by opening the first few minutes of what you've downloaded in VLC player. And that way WYS is really IWYG.

rspencer
2008-11-08, 06:59 PM
While screenshots can help, I personally don't give them much weight. I've seen so many shows that the screenshots did not give a good representation. It's easy to grab a few screens during the best parts, so we get to see the 2 or 3 zooms out of a 2 hour DVD shot from across the arena. :rolleyes:

mooncusser
2008-11-08, 07:49 PM
^ What he said. I've also see screenshots which were from the few seconds where the camera wasn't pointed at the back of someone's head...

Kung Poo
2008-11-08, 09:43 PM
^ What he said. I've also see screenshots which were from the few seconds where the camera wasn't pointed at the back of someone's head...I've even seen screen shots that were taken from the few seconds that the camera WAS pointed at the back of someone's head.

vladsmythe
2008-11-08, 10:34 PM
I can't remember the last time I omitted screenshots from my seeds. I must say, often times they flatter the video quality. When I see other people's screens, I make a judgement as to the quality of the video. If they are large shots, the video sometimes looks better than the screen.
When I choose a screenshot, I look for close-ups with smiles, or shots that give a glimpse of the interaction so you can get a feel for the video. Most people who grab my Graceful Duck Archive vids know that it is from the edited copy from my master, or in some cases direct off my unedited master (PBS programs without commercial interruptions). The bottom line - Screenshots are merely an indicator, in my case, content - not quality. I suggest a close look at video bitrate if you are concerened with video quality. The bigger issues for video collectors are :
1. lighting
2. tripod vs. hand held
3. camera mic vs. exterior mic
4. lineage
Remember...good audio makes poor video watchable.

pawel
2008-11-09, 02:50 AM
I'd not make it mandatory but anybody uploading an audience video or a VHS transfer should feel obliged to post screenshots or youtube samples - they are lower quality and mono but at least give the idea what to expect.

It's very easy to make a screenshot on Windows. I use Media Player Classic (http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli/) which does it automatically.

Below is a batch file I use for conversion to youtube format from a video container (avi, mpg, mp4). Save it as text file with extension .bat. It uses freeware and very good ffmpeg (http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu) encoder.

ffmpeg -i name_of_your_video.file -ar 22050 -ab 96k -ac 1 -f flv -s 320240 -qscale 9 name_of the_output_file.flv

qscale 9 is a compression factor - lower number gives better quality but of course bigger files. For youtube usable values start from 6, however, youtube very often re-converts uploaded file.

You may also try to change video resolution from 320240 to max. allowed 640x480.

vladsmythe
2008-11-12, 10:54 AM
Excellent tips. Thank you pawel.:thumbsup

Homebrew101
2008-11-12, 03:54 PM
I think if screenshots were mandatory, then audio samples for audio boots would be a must, not that I don't appreciate screens and mp3 samples.

I think screens are helpful at times if it is a pro-shot video but for an AUD you can have a crystal clear screenshot only to find out it was shot handheld by some one with Parkinsons.

rspencer
2008-11-12, 04:43 PM
I think if screenshots were mandatory, then audio samples for audio boots would be a must


I'd be all for that personally.

schmoe75
2008-11-12, 06:00 PM
for an AUD you can have a crystal clear screenshot only to find out it was shot handheld by some one with Parkinsons.
That's why we want it to be noted (Tripod or Handheld)

harpsichord
2008-11-12, 06:58 PM
I think if screenshots were mandatory, then audio samples for audio boots would be a must, not that I don't appreciate screens and mp3 samples.


I'd be all for that personally.

So would I.

Thanks for all the opinions. I know there's no simple solution. I've cut off downloads after getting enough to see an example, and finding out it wasn't 'up to snuff' for me. Done the same with audio torrents. I've also seen videos with bitrates of 4000 that look and sound far superior to video with bitrates of 8000 - not to mention pro-shot and even studio releases that were horrendous (the Police Synchronicity show is a good example of a bad dvd). I just felt that if we demand full disclosure of spec and lineage, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to get a sample, even though it might be 'massaged' to show or sound favorable.

Zordon
2008-11-12, 07:30 PM
I think there should just be an optional sample box in the original upload page, be it audio or video. Either a "Browse..." button, or a link from a website.

schmoe75
2008-11-12, 09:13 PM
I've also seen videos with bitrates of 4000 that look and sound far superior to video with bitrates of 8000 -
I think you're comparing apples & oranges. Tv broadcasts these days are around 4mbs. A proper capture & author of that stream is going to be at the same bit rate and look far superior to even a perfect VHS capture of a master tape.

With old VHS, here's an apples to apples comparison using the same source tape:
standalone capture at 2.6mbs
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=55561
proper capture/render at 8.2mbs
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?p=942634#post942634

Standard Def Audience shot footage to miniDV...if the capture is done correctly, is horrendously degraded when rendered at 8mbs VS 4mbs

arfarf
2013-11-11, 11:56 AM
Has TTD considered requiring, or at least strongly suggesting, screenshots for video uploads?

I'm fairly bandwidth challenged, and it would sure be an aid to me to be able to determine if I'm using my bandwidth wisely.

I'm not sure what is entailed in grabbing/posting a screenshot, so this may be not be practical, but I figured it doesn't hurt to ask.

Homebrew101
2013-11-11, 03:08 PM
I agree it helps to decide just as I appreciate pm3 samples esp. since my ISP is now limiting transfer limits but I think it's best left up to the uploader if they choose to provide that - they are doing plenty just in sharing what they have IMO

Hopefully one can deduce from others comments but I know that doesn't always happen.

vladsmythe
2013-11-11, 03:55 PM
:worthless

I used to add screenshots, but it's a drag to do.

arfarf
2013-11-11, 05:47 PM
Screenshots really would have helped prevent me from D/Ling a lot of really crappy Grateful Dead video, stuff that would later draw comments like "this video was pretty much unwatchable, but now that it's been synced with soundboard audio..." If I'd known that in advance, I would have just grabbed the audio. (Note that comment was from another tracker about a video which I have no idea if it's been offered here or not.)

Unfortunately, most folks don't make comments as to the quality of what they grabbed, unless it's really on one end of the scale or the other.

The comment HB made about what I assume he meant to say mp3 samples is a valid one as well. I'll try to figure that out before I up any audio here, but that's well down the list. I was happy just to have sorted out EAC so I can finally start sharing some of the "silvers" I used to pick up for cheap at record shows in Germany.

vladsmythe
2013-11-11, 06:01 PM
The thing about bad video, is somehow it is vastly improved with nice audio. That's the conventional wisdom behind synching a seperate audio source, whereas, a nice video is not much fun if the sound sucks.

Grateful Dead fans will grab anything they can get their hands on, which is why so many people will sit and watch vids even on youtube. So that is a realm all in itself.

In terms of "bad video" - Pink Floyd leads the pack. Awful video, and equally bad audio, yet they get scooped up. Stones have some real stinkers too. I think if you love a certain band, you are likely to get all you can, if only for historical purposes.

arfarf
2013-11-11, 08:37 PM
I see this issue has already be covered:
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=66068

Staff may feel free to delete or merge this thread, afaic.

vladsmythe
2013-11-11, 10:59 PM
Screenshots really would have helped prevent me from D/Ling a lot of really crappy Grateful Dead video, stuff that would later draw comments like "this video was pretty much unwatchable, but now that it's been synced with soundboard audio..." If I'd known that in advance, I would have just grabbed the audio. (Note that comment was from another tracker about a video which I have no idea if it's been offered here or not.)

Unfortunately, most folks don't make comments as to the quality of what they grabbed, unless it's really on one end of the scale or the other.

The comment HB made about what I assume he meant to say mp3 samples is a valid one as well. I'll try to figure that out before I up any audio here, but that's well down the list. I was happy just to have sorted out EAC so I can finally start sharing some of the "silvers" I used to pick up for cheap at record shows in Germany.

Don't waste your bandwidth on this one. http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=88062 :disbelief

arfarf
2013-11-12, 12:40 AM
heck, I won't even waste my time following the link, lol

Homebrew101
2013-11-13, 08:55 AM
Screenshots really would have helped prevent me from D/Ling a lot of really crappy Grateful Dead video, stuff that would later draw comments like "this video was pretty much unwatchable, but now that it's been synced with soundboard audio..." If I'd known that in advance, I would have just grabbed the audio. (Note that comment was from another tracker about a video which I have no idea if it's been offered here or not.)

are you serious? the Dead? :disbelief

isn't there enough saturation of their shit on the internet that ya can't determine the quality by :google:

I'm done here :wave:

paddington
2013-11-13, 11:21 AM
:clap:

arfarf
2013-11-13, 11:32 AM
I guess I didn't realize that no new GD video is offered here, thanks for the time saving tip!

vladsmythe
2013-11-13, 11:35 AM
Happy Birthday arfarf. I hope you have a great day today. :) ...and I agree - I would love to see some fresh Grateful Dead video here (hint, hint KevTobin).

arfarf
2013-11-13, 11:47 AM
"are you serious? the Dead?

isn't there enough saturation of their shit on the internet":)

As far as my birthday, I just picked three prime numbers to fill in the date of birth blanks, my actual birthday was months ago.

(How come they don't offer "not recently" as an option under the "sex" question?)

U2Lynne
2013-11-13, 11:52 AM
Staff may feel free to delete or merge this thread, afaic.
Please don't say that where James can hear! You really don't know what may happen. :disbelief :eek2:

arfarf
2013-11-13, 12:09 PM
Or in this case, how quickly:lol:

vladsmythe
2013-11-13, 12:34 PM
If Lossless Legs says "Happy Birthday" ( shoutbox congrats http://shnflac.net/ ) and Electric Ladyland says "Happy Birthday" then what the heck...."Happy Birthday" arfarf! I hope you have a great day! :thumbsup

arfarf
2013-11-13, 01:08 PM
Sorry, didn't mean to seem dismissive of your bday wishes, thanks. My "next" bday should pop up on some sites a 5-7-59, and others as 7-11-51, but like Jack Benny, I am forever 39 yo.

Glad to see you've fixed the login problems at EL you were reporting yesterday, you should probably drop a note to that effect in the thread you started about it.
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=107414
I know I'm looking forward to the Police ups you mentioned, especially during this time of deep nostalgia for me, takes me back to a time when I really was 39.

vladsmythe
2013-11-13, 01:11 PM
You can't have too many birthdays. ;)

dasmueller
2013-11-14, 11:27 AM
:thumbsup well said