Youtube changed. Did you notice?

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King Author
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Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby King Author » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:27 pm UTC

Youtube (recently?) changed the way it plays videos. I noticed 'cause I have DownloadHelper installed, and as recently as December, when a video would play in Youtube, it would be available for download in the DownloadHelper as WhateverFile[MediumQuality].mp4 or something like that, and the file would be as large as the actual file really is.

Now, videos appear to "stream" because DownloadHelper, instead of showing a download for the single, whole file, shows many, many 256kb-ish sized files, all with the full name of the video. As if the video is being split up into tiny packets as it's being played, specifically to thwart download addons.

Touché, Youtube.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby SurgicalSteel » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:24 pm UTC

I used to use something similar to download youtube videos and rip the audio out to get songs I couldn't get otherwise, like from out of print records or live performances. I noticed the other day that when I tried to do this I ended up with a 0kb file. Annoying.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby PeteP » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:34 pm UTC

Jdownloader still works for loading youtube videos.

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby Carlington » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:56 am UTC

Could this have anything to do with the way they changed buffering? It used to be the case that I could open a video in a tab, go back to doing whatever else and let it buffer completely, then watch the whole thing at once. Now, since a little while ago, it will only buffer a fraction no matter how long I leave it.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:35 am UTC

PeteP wrote:Jdownloader still works for loading youtube videos.
Wow, this has fucked the shit out of my desktop.
"There's spray paint on the teleprompter
Anchorman screams that he's seen a monster (mayday)
There's blood stains on his shirt (mayday)
They say that he's gone berserk."
--Flobots "Mayday"

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby chridd » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:16 am UTC

Carlington wrote:Could this have anything to do with the way they changed buffering? It used to be the case that I could open a video in a tab, go back to doing whatever else and let it buffer completely, then watch the whole thing at once. Now, since a little while ago, it will only buffer a fraction no matter how long I leave it.
Are you using the Flash player or the HTML5 player? For me, at least (might be browser-dependent or something, or different for different videos or quality settings), it seems to load the whole video if I'm using HTML5 but not if I'm using Flash.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:55 am UTC

TubeMate on Android still works. I haven't tested youtube-dl in Linux yet (I've been overseas at a con). Maybe it's been updated.
I have a bash script to download everything in my Watch Later list, so I can easily mark things in my subsciptions feed that I want downloaded to watch when I have time.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby PM 2Ring » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:39 am UTC

youtube-dl in Linux works, but I did update it using youtube-dl -U before testing.

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby King Author » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:55 pm UTC

Something Else I Noticed: Some videos still download fine in Download Helper, but only videos from small-time channels. Nothing from like, Vevo. To those who said their downloader works, try downloading Sia's SNL performance of Elastic Heart. I first noticed the change trying to download that one.

Carlington wrote:Could this have anything to do with the way they changed buffering? It used to be the case that I could open a video in a tab, go back to doing whatever else and let it buffer completely, then watch the whole thing at once. Now, since a little while ago, it will only buffer a fraction no matter how long I leave it.


For me, it's only been buffering a tiny bit for at least a couple years. Maybe it's 'cause I'm on Wifi and live with people who have fifty-seven devices connected at the same time.

SurgicalSteel wrote:
PeteP wrote:Jdownloader still works for loading youtube videos.
Wow, this has fucked the shit out of my desktop.


What, adware or something?

Eternal Density wrote:TubeMate on Android still works. I haven't tested youtube-dl in Linux yet (I've been overseas at a con). Maybe it's been updated.
I have a bash script to download everything in my Watch Later list, so I can easily mark things in my subsciptions feed that I want downloaded to watch when I have time.


I have no idea what a bash script is, but it sure makes me envy Linux.

chridd wrote:
Carlington wrote:Could this have anything to do with the way they changed buffering? It used to be the case that I could open a video in a tab, go back to doing whatever else and let it buffer completely, then watch the whole thing at once. Now, since a little while ago, it will only buffer a fraction no matter how long I leave it.
Are you using the Flash player or the HTML5 player? For me, at least (might be browser-dependent or something, or different for different videos or quality settings), it seems to load the whole video if I'm using HTML5 but not if I'm using Flash.


I didn't know you could choose whether Youtube plays in HTML5 or Flash.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby Carlington » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:55 pm UTC

chridd wrote:
Carlington wrote:Could this have anything to do with the way they changed buffering? It used to be the case that I could open a video in a tab, go back to doing whatever else and let it buffer completely, then watch the whole thing at once. Now, since a little while ago, it will only buffer a fraction no matter how long I leave it.
Are you using the Flash player or the HTML5 player? For me, at least (might be browser-dependent or something, or different for different videos or quality settings), it seems to load the whole video if I'm using HTML5 but not if I'm using Flash.

HTML5. And, as it turns out, it will buffer all the way. It would not do that for quite some time, I remember. Although I do think that the machine I was using then didn't use the HTML5 player. So that seems like a likely candidate.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby mikael » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:19 pm UTC

King Author wrote:To those who said their downloader works, try downloading Sia's SNL performance of Elastic Heart.


It's still working great with youtube-dl.

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:26 pm UTC

King Author wrote:
SurgicalSteel wrote:
PeteP wrote:Jdownloader still works for loading youtube videos.
Wow, this has fucked the shit out of my desktop.

What, adware or something?
Yep, it installed a browser plugin called Intelli-term and something else called Binkino or Binkina or something. Both of which seemed pretty easy to remove, but were still really annoying. Intelli-term was one of those adware bugs that turns certain words in any page into an ad link, and would pop ads up from the bottom of the browser window randomly. Not to mention when it was installing it closed my browser without asking or warning, and somehow got around my session manager so I had to go back a few days to when I last saved my browsing session manually. Some places seem to think jDownloader is ok, other places explicitly call it bait-and-switch adware. From what I can gather it used to be a good program, but the current (and several past) installers are infected with adware.

Back on the main topic, Download Helper seems to be working with youtube again. Maybe it was just that specific video or maybe my machine was misbehaving.
"There's spray paint on the teleprompter
Anchorman screams that he's seen a monster (mayday)
There's blood stains on his shirt (mayday)
They say that he's gone berserk."
--Flobots "Mayday"

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby PM 2Ring » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:16 am UTC

King Author wrote:I have no idea what a bash script is, but it sure makes me envy Linux.


In Windows, you have the command prompt which can be used to launch programs. Normally, the command prompt is used to run non-GUI programs that take text input and generate text output. Such non-GUI programs are often generically called command line programs; and this interface is known as a command line interface or CLI.

The command prompt supports a simple programming language so that you can automate running a bunch of programs, often with the output of one program being fed into the input of another program. You can use this to (for example) convert a whole bunch of images to one (or more) different image file formats, printing out each file name and any associated EXIF data. Or you might have a whole batch of text files that you want to extract certain data from, or modify in some way. On Windows, such programs are commonly called batch files. As well as its fairly basic built-in batch processing language, the Windows command prompt also supports a few more sophisticated languages that are aimed at batch processing, including a dialect of ECMAScript (aka JavaScript).

On Linux / Unix the equivalent to the command prompt is called the shell (and the window it runs in is called the terminal). Unlike Windows, there are a variety of shell programs that can be run in the *nix terminal, and there are generally at least 2 different shell programs supplied with a distro, a bare-bones one with highly standardised syntax and a fairly small memory footprint, plus a more sophisticated one that makes shell programming more pleasant.

On Windows, people generally only use the CLI as a last resort, unless they are programmers or hard-core power-users. But on *nix systems it's not uncommon for the CLI to be used frequently by more mainstream users, partly because it's a more pleasant environment to work in than the Windows CLI, and because it is very powerful & quite efficient for various types of task that don't really benefit much from a GUI.

Although many *nix users are happy with the default shell that the distro maker has configured it's very easy to set things up to use an alternate shell. The typical bare-bones shell I mentioned above is generally a program called sh or more formally, the Bourne shell, after its creator. One very popular enhanced shell is a direct descendant of sh known as bash which is short for Bourne-again shell. :)

I freely admit that I am biased towards *nix, but IME I found learning & writing Windows batch files painful (even though I'd been programming on various OSes for decades before I started using Microsoft systems) and I found it much easier to learn how to do powerful & sophisticated stuff in Bash. While I do use GUIs for certain tasks I also do lots of stuff in the CLI when using a *nix system.

On Windows, if I have to use the CLI I just do what I need to do & get out of there ASAP. On Linux, I normally use a terminal that allows me to have multiple shells open simultaneously (in different tabs), each with its own current directory. These shells remember the history of commands that have been entered, so it's very easy to re-run a single command or Bash script, modifying the options &/or files supplied to the command, if desired. This can be much more efficient than using a GUI for repetitive tasks. Of course, if I have a repetitive task that I want to perform regularly I'll generally write a script to totally automate the process, but quite often the automation capabilities of the Bash shell itself are adequate, so I'll just write a small "one-liner" throw-away program for the task at hand, rather than writing a script & saving it to disk.

tl;dr: A Bash script is simply a type of *nix batch file.

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:09 am UTC

Windows does have PowerShell.
I don't know how it compares to bash, but I've been told it's less terrible than the standard command line.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby King Author » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:29 am UTC

mikael wrote:
King Author wrote:To those who said their downloader works, try downloading Sia's SNL performance of Elastic Heart.


It's still working great with youtube-dl.

Oh, nice. I want to download that performance and preserve it. It rocked my socks.

Oh, shi-- Youtube-dl is Linux only.

Damn it, I want to convert to Linux so bad, it's clearly so superior to Windows, but I've tried many times and can't -- I just can't get comfortable with it or get it to work or look the way I want (and in some cases need) it to.

PM 2Ring wrote:
King Author wrote:I have no idea what a bash script is, but it sure makes me envy Linux.


In Windows, you have the command prompt which can be used to launch programs. Normally, the command prompt is used to run non-GUI programs that take text input and generate text output. Such non-GUI programs are often generically called command line programs; and this interface is known as a command line interface or CLI.


Like ipconfig?

PM 2Ring wrote:The command prompt supports a simple programming language so that you can automate running a bunch of programs, often with the output of one program being fed into the input of another program. You can use this to (for example) convert a whole bunch of images to one (or more) different image file formats, printing out each file name and any associated EXIF data. Or you might have a whole batch of text files that you want to extract certain data from, or modify in some way. On Windows, such programs are commonly called batch files. As well as its fairly basic built-in batch processing language, the Windows command prompt also supports a few more sophisticated languages that are aimed at batch processing, including a dialect of ECMAScript (aka JavaScript).


Whoa, I never knew that about ECMAScript. I'm pretty comfy with Javascript. Not very good, but comfortable. I had heard of batch files and I've used some before, IIRC, though I don't remember what for. I'll have to look into the syntax and try writing some batch files of my own on my test computer.

Ahh, the joys of a $30 laptop from 2001 -- I can test anything I want on it and no matter how bad I screw the machine up, it doesn't matter because it contains no important info and isn't even connected to the interwebs :)

PM 2Ring wrote:On Linux / Unix the equivalent to the command prompt is called the shell (and the window it runs in is called the terminal). Unlike Windows, there are a variety of shell programs that can be run in the *nix terminal, and there are generally at least 2 different shell programs supplied with a distro, a bare-bones one with highly standardised syntax and a fairly small memory footprint, plus a more sophisticated one that makes shell programming more pleasant.

On Windows, people generally only use the CLI as a last resort, unless they are programmers or hard-core power-users. But on *nix systems it's not uncommon for the CLI to be used frequently by more mainstream users, partly because it's a more pleasant environment to work in than the Windows CLI, and because it is very powerful & quite efficient for various types of task that don't really benefit much from a GUI.


Suddenly a lot more xkcd strips are making sense to me, haha. I mean, I more or less "knew" all this, but I've never had it all explained properly.

PM 2Ring wrote:Although many *nix users are happy with the default shell that the distro maker has configured it's very easy to set things up to use an alternate shell. The typical bare-bones shell I mentioned above is generally a program called sh or more formally, the Bourne shell, after its creator. One very popular enhanced shell is a direct descendant of sh known as bash which is short for Bourne-again shell. :)


It's always a pun with you Linux geeks :p

PM 2Ring wrote:I freely admit that I am biased towards *nix, but IME I found learning & writing Windows batch files painful (even though I'd been programming on various OSes for decades before I started using Microsoft systems) and I found it much easier to learn how to do powerful & sophisticated stuff in Bash. While I do use GUIs for certain tasks I also do lots of stuff in the CLI when using a *nix system.

On Windows, if I have to use the CLI I just do what I need to do & get out of there ASAP. On Linux, I normally use a terminal that allows me to have multiple shells open simultaneously (in different tabs), each with its own current directory. These shells remember the history of commands that have been entered, so it's very easy to re-run a single command or Bash script, modifying the options &/or files supplied to the command, if desired. This can be much more efficient than using a GUI for repetitive tasks. Of course, if I have a repetitive task that I want to perform regularly I'll generally write a script to totally automate the process, but quite often the automation capabilities of the Bash shell itself are adequate, so I'll just write a small "one-liner" throw-away program for the task at hand, rather than writing a script & saving it to disk.

tl;dr: A Bash script is simply a type of *nix batch file.


Awesome. Thanks for the lengthy explanation.

You mentioned converting image file formats. Aren't any given two image file formats potentially drastically different from each other? I mean, a 3kb static gif might be an 8mb bmp. That must mean the data in those files is wildly different. Wouldn't a bash script to convert images be ridiculously massive and complicated? I mean it's not like you can just change the file extension.

Man, I'll have to look up batch files and see if anyone's made one that I could use to convert a bunch of video files to a single format...

(Oh, random question, to see if I've got the right idea of what bash scripts are capable of -- could I write one that would look through all the text files in a given set of directories, and pull out everything from them that it recognizes as a phone number, and then place them all in an output text file and note which text document they each originally came from?)
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby PeteP » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:30 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:
King Author wrote:
SurgicalSteel wrote:
PeteP wrote:Jdownloader still works for loading youtube videos.
Wow, this has fucked the shit out of my desktop.

What, adware or something?
Yep, it installed a browser plugin called Intelli-term and something else called Binkino or Binkina or something. Both of which seemed pretty easy to remove, but were still really annoying. Intelli-term was one of those adware bugs that turns certain words in any page into an ad link, and would pop ads up from the bottom of the browser window randomly. Not to mention when it was installing it closed my browser without asking or warning, and somehow got around my session manager so I had to go back a few days to when I last saved my browsing session manually. Some places seem to think jDownloader is ok, other places explicitly call it bait-and-switch adware. From what I can gather it used to be a good program, but the current (and several past) installers are infected with adware.

Back on the main topic, Download Helper seems to be working with youtube again. Maybe it was just that specific video or maybe my machine was misbehaving.

Ah, should have thought of that I got jdownloader2 without any extra things (at least I didn't notice any) so I tend to forget that I have read about that.

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby phlip » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:37 pm UTC

I don't know if it's specifically what YouTube is doing, but from how you describe it, it sounds a lot like HLS. Or, at least, it sounds a lot like how Twitch works, and I know Twitch uses HLS. Anyway.

It's not specifically to thwart downloaders, though that is (from their point of view) a bonus. But not a major one - the coding for the YT page still has all the URLs of the old single-segment FLV files in it, for it to use as a fallback if HLS isn't available (so specialised YouTube downloader tools still work, but generic browser extensions that track whatever your browser happens to be downloading will instead see all the HLS segments). Evidently backwards compatibility with browsers that don't support HLS was more important to them than making life difficult for pirates.

I imagine the main reason to moving to HLS is that YouTube does actual live streaming now... and if they make it so that the live streams and the traditional on-demand videos are delivered by the same method, that means they can share code between the players and have less complexity there.

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:45 pm UTC

King Author wrote:You mentioned converting image file formats. Aren't any given two image file formats potentially drastically different from each other? I mean, a 3kb static gif might be an 8mb bmp. That must mean the data in those files is wildly different. Wouldn't a bash script to convert images be ridiculously massive and complicated? I mean it's not like you can just change the file extension.

I'd imagine the script simply passes the image files to a program that does the actual conversion.

King Author wrote:Oh, shi-- Youtube-dl is Linux only.

Huh? Google says otherwise.
http://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/
Although I would download Python separately and run the script myself.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby King Author » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:00 pm UTC

phlip wrote:I don't know if it's specifically what YouTube is doing, but from how you describe it, it sounds a lot like HLS. Or, at least, it sounds a lot like how Twitch works, and I know Twitch uses HLS. Anyway.

It's not specifically to thwart downloaders, though that is (from their point of view) a bonus. But not a major one - the coding for the YT page still has all the URLs of the old single-segment FLV files in it, for it to use as a fallback if HLS isn't available (so specialised YouTube downloader tools still work, but generic browser extensions that track whatever your browser happens to be downloading will instead see all the HLS segments). Evidently backwards compatibility with browsers that don't support HLS was more important to them than making life difficult for pirates.

I imagine the main reason to moving to HLS is that YouTube does actual live streaming now... and if they make it so that the live streams and the traditional on-demand videos are delivered by the same method, that means they can share code between the players and have less complexity there.


If it's not specifically anti-download, then why do videos uploaded by random people on their tiny, insigificant channels not use HLS? It's only the big-name channels. Even if there are other reasons than thwarting downloaders, certainly they're using it for that reason.

What do you mean the coding for the Youtube pages have the old flv urls, though? Can I View Page Source and find the flv url? And can I then feed that into Download Helper or some such?

Xenomortis wrote:
King Author wrote:You mentioned converting image file formats. Aren't any given two image file formats potentially drastically different from each other? I mean, a 3kb static gif might be an 8mb bmp. That must mean the data in those files is wildly different. Wouldn't a bash script to convert images be ridiculously massive and complicated? I mean it's not like you can just change the file extension.

I'd imagine the script simply passes the image files to a program that does the actual conversion.

Oh. Yeah that makes sense.

Xenomortis wrote:
King Author wrote:Oh, shi-- Youtube-dl is Linux only.

Huh? Google says otherwise.
http://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/
Although I would download Python separately and run the script myself.

Ah, the Wikipedia page referred to it as "for Linux" and I didn't look any further than that. I shall next time.

It's a script, though? Not a plugin?
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby phlip » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:59 pm UTC

King Author wrote:If it's not specifically anti-download, then why do videos uploaded by random people on their tiny, insigificant channels not use HLS? It's only the big-name channels.

Probably for the same reason that the channel page redesign did the same thing, or the G+ comment section, or replacing the 5-star voting system with thumbs-up/down. All of those were made available for a handful of popular channels first, before being gradually rolled out everywhere. Because that makes debugging any problems that come up much easier than if you just blanket release it for everyone at once.

King Author wrote:What do you mean the coding for the Youtube pages have the old flv urls, though? Can I View Page Source and find the flv url? And can I then feed that into Download Helper or some such?

Search the source for "ytplayer.config". The URLs are in there, amongst a lot of other things. I'm not saying it's simple.

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby Jorpho » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:43 am UTC

DownloadHelper still works properly for me. Maybe I'm not looking at the right videos? I also have Flashblock installed, and I might have made a few other tweaks to how Flash works.

...Truth be told, Youtube videos seem to be entirely unplayable in my installation of Firefox at the moment; the Flashblock placeholder comes up, but clicking on it doesn't do anything. Not that I mind much; I've been having stability problems lately which I've been trying to solve by restricting video playing to Internet Explorer. I also highly recommend SMPlayer, which can not only download and save Youtube videos, but can play them from just a URL. It's open source and freeware and crapware-free, rest assured.

SurgicalSteel wrote:Not to mention when it was installing it closed my browser without asking or warning, and somehow got around my session manager so I had to go back a few days to when I last saved my browsing session manually.
Just FYI, the latest versions of Firefox store numerous backups of your current session in a "sessionstore-backups" subdirectory of your profile. (In the past, I have used Windows' "Previous Versions" functionality to retrieve older versions of sessionstore.js and the automatically-created sessionstore.bak, but whaddya know, it looks like Mozilla has further improved this functionality.)

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby PM 2Ring » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:49 am UTC

King Author wrote:Oh, shi-- Youtube-dl is Linux only.

No, but it's a Python program, so you either need to have Python installed or use a Windows version of youtube-dl that has a minimal Python built into it. Python is pre-installed on many Linux systems, but it's not hard to install Python on Windows. And I agree with Xenomortis that it's probably better to install Python separately than to use the youtube-dl exe with Python built-in. Python is a powerful and elegant language that can be used both for tasks that were traditionally handled by scripting languages, as well as more general-purpose programing tasks. Although many Python scripts are CLI-oriented it can be used for GUI programs too.
Spoiler:
Apropos your remarks in another thread re program code aesthetics: IMHO Python syntax tends to make Python programs look better than code written in many other languages. It strives to make code fairly readable by programmers who aren't familiar with its syntax (unlike eg Perl, which has been described as executable line noise :) ), and Python's not overly cluttered with grouping / structuring markers, although you do still need to use braces, parentheses and square brackets.


King Author wrote:Damn it, I want to convert to Linux so bad, it's clearly so superior to Windows, but I've tried many times and can't -- I just can't get comfortable with it or get it to work or look the way I want (and in some cases need) it to.

Each OS has its up sides and its down sides, and although Linux is superior to Windows for me, I won't claim that the same is necessarily true for you, since we have different needs and different skill sets. But I will say that Linux's open nature does encourage exploration & customisation, whereas Windows' proprietary nature does not. But this is really a topic for another sub-forum...

PM 2Ring wrote:In Windows, you have the command prompt which can be used to launch programs. Normally, the command prompt is used to run non-GUI programs that take text input and generate text output. Such non-GUI programs are often generically called command line programs; and this interface is known as a command line interface or CLI.

King Author wrote:Like ipconfig?

Yes. FWIW, the equivalent program on *nix is called ifconfig (if being an abbreviation for interface).

PM 2Ring wrote:As well as its fairly basic built-in batch processing language, the Windows command prompt also supports a few more sophisticated languages that are aimed at batch processing, including a dialect of ECMAScript (aka JavaScript).

King Author wrote:Whoa, I never knew that about ECMAScript. I'm pretty comfy with Javascript. Not very good, but comfortable. I had heard of batch files and I've used some before, IIRC, though I don't remember what for. I'll have to look into the syntax and try writing some batch files of my own on my test computer.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Script_File

King Author wrote:Awesome. Thanks for the lengthy explanation.

No worries!

King Author wrote:You mentioned converting image file formats. Aren't any given two image file formats potentially drastically different from each other? I mean, a 3kb static gif might be an 8mb bmp. That must mean the data in those files is wildly different. Wouldn't a bash script to convert images be ridiculously massive and complicated? I mean it's not like you can just change the file extension.

As Xenomortis said, the script itself doesn't need to know about the internal details of the different image file formats. The script is simply used to tie together CLI programs that do the actual conversion, rescaling, colour-balancing, etc. The original Unix CLI philosophy was that rather than having one giant program that can do a whole lot of different things to your data you have a collection of small, robust programs that can each perform a simple process, and you use the scripting language to combine those units together into a virtual machine that does exactly what you want.

In these days of plentiful RAM, it's becoming common to deviate from that original modular approach and to make large CLI programs that can take a whole bunch of different options to tell them to do different things, but such monolithic programs are still amenable to being controlled by a script.

One traditional suite of image processing programs is Netpbm. IIRC, there's a Windows version of Netpbm that combines a lot of Netpbm utilities into a single executable. Even though Netpbm is several decades old it is still quite popular (partly because it's stood the test of time), and is often used by Web servers to perform image processing tasks. A more modern CLI-based image processing system program is ImageMagick (or its derivative GraphicsMagick. Because these programs are CLI-based it's very easy for the programmers to make them available for any platform, and it's not uncommon for hard-core *nix users to compile their own versions from the source code.

King Author wrote:Man, I'll have to look up batch files and see if anyone's made one that I could use to convert a bunch of video files to a single format...

The king of video / multimedia processing is FFmpeg. It's a vast program with a zillion options that give very fine control over a plethora of multimedia processing operations. It takes a long time to master its full capabilities, but it's very easy to do simple conversions with it. Many GUI-based multimedia programs actually use FFmpeg libraries to do the actual work. The FFmpeg package traditionally provide an executable called ffmpeg for CLI use, although modern versions of the FFmpeg package provide an executable called avconv; I guess that's to avoid confusing the name of the exe with the name of the whole package.

King Author wrote:(Oh, random question, to see if I've got the right idea of what bash scripts are capable of -- could I write one that would look through all the text files in a given set of directories, and pull out everything from them that it recognizes as a phone number, and then place them all in an output text file and note which text document they each originally came from?)

Yes! In fact, doing that kind of thing is a common exercise for people who are just getting started with writing scripts. So on programming help sites it's not unusual to get questions from people who are trying to write such a script and haven't yet got it working exactly the way they want it to.

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Dthen
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby Dthen » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:21 am UTC

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but I believe the thing where YouTube won't preload a whole video any more is due to DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP). Last time I looked into it, there was a way to circumvent it, but I'm unsure if that is still possible.
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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby phlip » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:05 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:modern versions of the FFmpeg package provide an executable called avconv; I guess that's to avoid confusing the name of the exe with the name of the whole package.

I believe avconv is actually a fork of ffmpeg... I haven't really worked enough with either to know what the pros/cons of the two packages are, though.

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Re: Youtube changed. Did you notice?

Postby WanderingLinguist » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:40 am UTC

phlip wrote:I don't know if it's specifically what YouTube is doing, but from how you describe it, it sounds a lot like HLS. Or, at least, it sounds a lot like how Twitch works, and I know Twitch uses HLS. Anyway.

It's not specifically to thwart downloaders, though that is (from their point of view) a bonus.


Well, since the stream selection is done by the client system in HLS, it doesn't really do much to thwart downloaders at all. The downloaders just have to make the request directly rather than "piggybacking" off the request from the browser, as far as I know. Also, it's really not technically that hard to stitch together different HLS streams into a single file: the resolution will vary, but other than that it's not a big deal. Also, if you just use a really good (and more importantly, consistent) internet connection, it shouldn't switch streams much (if at all).


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