Thursday, August 23, 2007

4:3 is Dead. 16:9 is Now. Discuss.

After about 45 videos posted to Google, this problem is the only one I've found. Now that I'm shooting in the world-wide standard 16:9 "Widescreen."

Google has changed their flash video encoding to letterbox 16:9 video so that it will fit into a 4:3 box:
which ends up being windowboxed on 16:9 screens.

Some have been preserved, many have not.

Monitors today are made in some variant of widescreen (16:9 or 16:10).

Why are the videos screwed up? I contacted the Google video team and it went like this:

From: Me
Subject: Importing 16:9 gets the 4:3 treatment
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 15:47:08 -0700

I'm bringing in a 16:9 clip that Google Video is adding black bars to.
This hasn't happened in the past.

Google Video Team:


Thanks for your email. Google Video recompresses all videos into 320x240 resolution Adobe Flash files with a bitrate of 450 Kbps to ensure reliable streaming from our servers. The download resolution is 480x360 at 800 Kbps. If you upload your video in any other aspect ratio, we will apply a letterbox format to your content to fit within the 4:3 frame.

We suggest the specifications below for the best quality while keeping a reasonable file size:

- MPEG4 (mp3 or mp4 audio) at 2 mbps
- MPEG2 (mp3 or mp4 audio) at 5 mbps
- 30 frames per second
- 640x480 resolution
- 4:3 frame
- de-interlace

Want to discuss Google Video with other users or find tips on the best video encoding technology? Visit to search past posts and stay up to date on any new features or issues. Also, visit the Google Video Status Blog at for system alerts, outages, and status updates.


The Google Team

Pro and consumer camcorders, TVs, DVDs everything is 16:9.

What's the answer? Pillarbox the new 4:3 videos.

That's what all the cool kids are doing....

Google, we love you guys. Please bring the pure 16:9 joy...

All in favor?

P.S. If I lost you, check out this podcast.  Craig does a great job explaining, well, everything video.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

RWF Range: Day 2

We shot some video while we were there. Here's a short clip to tide you over until I get some time to edit a larger piece.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

RWF Range: Day 1

Actually, it's the Redwood Falls Sportsman's Club but, the name would indicate that it was a place for men to go and talk of manly things while honing their hunting skills; afterward, drinking scotch in a log clubhouse with a roaring fire; The walls adorned with animal heads from around the world.

This is our second time out there, both times with women, talking about ridiculously stupid things like rail-mounted iPods and trying to find our six degrees to Kevin Bacon.  We have yet to find the clubhouse, fire or scotch (probably a good thing for us and them).

Side-note: After reading the manual for for my rifle, I found that drinking alcohol and operating firearms may be a bad thing.  No kidding.

For all of it's naming inaccuracies, it is a nice place to go for some stress therapy.
  • Six pistol lanes - Two steel, four paper
  • Three lanes for trap shooting (one appeared inoperable)
  • Three rifle lanes (300m)
It's well maintained and designed.  We ended up expending over 250 rounds on the steel targets and forgot all about taking photos or video.  We'll probably head back out today for the paper targets.

Work only interrupted the fun for three hours today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's OK. I'm Bringin' It Back.

As I was thinking through what I need to bring to the range today, I remembered this video. We shot it at Bill's Gun Shop & Range in Robbinsdale back in February.

If this looks fun, that's because it was. Bill's has all the nice toys with a competent staff who are, get this, friendly. Strange...

As for the video, please let me know what you think. I'll have a new one up there soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Steyr Photos

Adam picked up a new toy.  Here's a few of the photos I took.  Enjoy.

This was a fun one to shoot (photos of). More to follow from the range.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

...and so it begins...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." -- The First Amendment to The Constitution of The United States of America

Enough said.