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  #1  
Old 2008-11-08, 11:36 AM
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Question Mandatory screenshots?

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.
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  #2  
Old 2008-11-08, 11:47 AM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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
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  #3  
Old 2008-11-08, 11:57 AM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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?
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  #4  
Old 2008-11-08, 12:10 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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.
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  #5  
Old 2008-11-08, 12:14 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

Quote:
Originally Posted by U2Lynne View Post
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.
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  #6  
Old 2008-11-08, 12:28 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harpsichord View Post
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).
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  #7  
Old 2008-11-08, 12:41 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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.
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  #8  
Old 2008-11-08, 05:32 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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.
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  #9  
Old 2008-11-08, 06:59 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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.
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  #10  
Old 2008-11-08, 07:49 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

^ 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...
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  #11  
Old 2008-11-08, 09:43 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooncusser View Post
^ 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.
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  #12  
Old 2008-11-08, 10:34 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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.
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  #13  
Old 2008-11-09, 02:50 AM
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pawel pawel is offline
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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 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 encoder.

Quote:
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.
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  #14  
Old 2008-11-12, 10:54 AM
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vladsmythe vladsmythe is offline
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

Excellent tips. Thank you pawel.
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  #15  
Old 2008-11-12, 03:54 PM
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Re: Mandatory screenshots?

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.
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