Monday, March 15, 2010

DVDs w/o the lead-in materials

Lately a comparison of how much bother it is to watch a bought DVD vs. a priated movie has been circulating (I can't find it now...). The point being that on a DVD you have to watch the insulting "you wouldn't steal a bag would you?" thing that MPAA gets on the DVDs, , trailers for up and comming movies, the lead in before the menu, and then finally the menu. Where you can start the movie. Right after the US-federal or local copyright warning and the distributor lead in and so on. Some of these you can skip, some of them you can skip if you press the right button (i.e. Fast Forward works on some, Skip on some, and MENU on some, depending on how conscientious the DVD-issuer-staffer that did the job was).

On my DVD player at least, this is a case of "you're doing it wrong".

1. Insert DVD
2. Wait for it to spin up and start
3. Press "STOP". Wait for it to stop.
4. Press 1.

Most DVDs have the movie on track 1. I think I've seen one or two where the movie was on some other track (track 2 and 5 comes to mind), but they are few and far between.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Our most precious memories

I guess I'm in the first generation of parents that use all digital media to help us remember how it was back when the children were small.

Now we all use digital cameras and camera video recorders for this. And the most thorough of us burn it onto CDs or DVDs just to make sure we can view it in our old age. (The rest of us wait for the disk to crash, and then it'll all be lost.)

Apart from the likeliness that we'll have something that can play a DVD in 20-40 years (seems quite unlikely) it turns out a typical CD-R has a life expectancy of less than 10 years. Even the CDs I bought along with my first CD player are reaching the end of their life nowish (good thing I have backed up all my CDs then :-)

So the movies and pictures of our children growing up and all the great occasions we'd like to be able to recall and treasure for years to come are in double trouble. Fortunately we can buy high quality media to store the bits on:


I'm not sure what to do about the problem of keeping a player around for those disks for 40 years. A player that can talk to our TV in 40 years time may be even harder.