Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Demonstrating a point.

This is just an attempt to explore some options that may exist with YouTube's embedded players. The following player has been defined as 560x200. But any other set of dimensions should also be possible.

This is an extension of the post made recently, speculating about the reasons for the appearance of the viewers on YouTube itself. I have to wonder... at least I have wondered for quite awhile, whether this isn't some subtle incentive for YouTube's users to focus on using embedded players, rather than sending them to YouTube pages more directly. It's a silly and overly complicated speculation, I know.

Oddly enough, this particular player embeds the video at its uploaded dimensions. In this case, the video was rendered at 1200x496 pixels... a 2.42:1 aspect ratio I mostly invented. The 560x200 player provides a 2.8:1 aspect ratio window... wider than the uploaded video. The result is the pillarboxing you see below.

Below the jump, I'll put up a 600x248 (+30px for the progress bar) player, which should be roughly a match to the video contained there... My apologies to any early readers of this post, which should probably not have been published before debugging everything. I'll try to follow this up with some more technical details on just how to determine the size of your embedded player, once I'm a bit more sure of what I'm doing here.

Below: Bringing widescreen options to YouTube. One crazy person at a time.

This player SHOULD be a half-size match to the original upload.

And here's another example... in this case the image and rendering were matched... this should show neither letterboxing nor pillarboxing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

YouTube does CinemaScope

This video is presented as an example of an odd, and possibly unsupported YouTube feature. Recently, in the past few days, an ultrawide player appeared on YouTube, at least for some types of videos. The aspect ratio was around 2.35:1, instead of the 16:9 aspect ratio introduced back in December 2008.

Hopefully this embedded video illustrates this new format, but what's really interesting is if you follow this video back to YouTube, and use the new large screen switcher. It's a button with arrows pointing left and right. The "mouseover" text reads "Change Player Size." The odd thing at the moment though is that this player is only available if you avoid rendering in a way that triggers HD encoding.  For example, an otherwise identical clip was rendered at 1440x608 and displays on YouTube in the now familiar 16:9 ratio player.  Perhaps that will be fixed in a future update?  (Don't bet actual money on that hopeful statement, though).

Please note: to get the 2.35:1 aspect ratio embedded player below, you will need to (at present) manually change the values (both at the beginning and end) of the embedded player code. In this case the height value was 262, width 560.  If you're not familiar with the method (clicking the YouTube watermark) to open a video on its own YouTube page, you can click this link to get to the video behind the embedded player below.

Here are the detailed specs for the file uploaded above:

Name : Patriots90920cVryShortSM2.mp4
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media / Version 2
Codec ID : mp42
File size : 15.0 MiB
Duration : 30s 30ms
Overall bit rate : 4 195 Kbps
Encoded date : UTC 2009-09-21 04:12:06
Tagged date : UTC 2009-09-21 04:12:06

ID : 2
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Baseline@L3.0
Format settings, CABAC : No
Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames
Muxing mode : Container profile=Unknown@0.0
Codec ID : avc1
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
Duration : 30s 30ms
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 3 999 Kbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 304 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 2.35
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Resolution : 24 bits
Colorimetry : 4:2:0
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.610
Stream size : 14.3 MiB (95%)
Language : English
Encoded date : UTC 2009-09-21 04:12:06
Tagged date : UTC 2009-09-21 04:12:06

ID : 1
Format : AAC
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
Format version : Version 4
Format profile : LC
Format settings, SBR : No
Codec ID : 40
Duration : 30s 16ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 192 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Resolution : 16 bits
Stream size : 704 KiB (5%)
Language : English
Encoded date : UTC 2009-09-21 04:12:06
Tagged date : UTC 2009-09-21 04:12:06

One further point of interest, though. Even though video appears rather ugly on YouTube itself, the same trick used above, should work to conform embedded players to any non-standard aspect ratios you might want to use. See the example below:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Modest's JPEGs

Band season is beginning and I'm starting to slow down my updates to things like this blog. Here's an attempt to integrate the two. Rough cut material from the preview/rehearsal at the end of marching band camp. The program this year is adapted from Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Here's the first video shot from any kind of altitude above the field.

Modest's Pics - Take 3 from B Unis on Vimeo.

More to come.

I sometimes wish I had avoided adding this "jump" in the posts, since my comments are rarely that long, and it's hard to come up with more to say that doesn't seem most likely to bore someone, especially anyone coming to this blog with no particular background in the many things I tend to take for granted. Chalk it up to ambivalence about publicity and "being out there."

The video in this post is essentially a lens test, and also one in a series of rendering tests, this one being probably the most painstaking of those I've done so far. They amount to work product, and probably should just be kept restricted to those most directly involved in production and preparation of Montgomery High School Marching Band videos for the 2009-2010 season.