Hypercubed Blog

Incoherent chatter on issues related to science, computing, and philosophy.
Random chains of thought from a scattered mind.

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Save streaming media to disk
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005 8/25/2005 08:38:00 PM

Have you ever needed to watch a streaming video and been ex-stream-ly (haha) annoyed at the brain numbing pause you get when you skip forward or back? You see the every time you change position in the file your viewing software stops the transmission and begins buffering the section you skipped to. It can be very annoying and potentially damaging to your fist (if you're like me and tend to punch your screen). Well, all this can be avoided if you simply download the video to your hard drive. Unfortunately, downloading streaming media is disallowed. This is usually done to avoid bandwidth issues (keeps the flow rate nice and slow for the server) or so that the content provider can control the content. Often times it seams to be just annoy us. However, there is a solution. You can download SDP Multimedia's SDP downloader. SDP downloader enables saving of streaming media over MMS, MMST, MMSU and HTTP streams. With this software you can simply enter a url of the streaming media and choose a location on your disk to save the media file and let it fly. What this software is actually doing is streaming the media from the website and re-recording it to a video file on your HD for viewing at your leisure. Don't be surprised that it will take 60 mins to download that 60 min video.

I have only two criticisms of the application. I think the GUI needs some work. It is a little difficulty to figure out at first. The more critical draw back I see is with the batch downloading mode. You see in this mode the SDP downloader is supposed to download multiple streams in sequence. Unfortunately to get this to work you need to create a asx play list. This cased me to have to search the web for several minutes to find the asx protocol and the create the play list. Why not make the play list directly in SDP downloader, or better yet simply have a grid where users can enter multiple files. But in the end these minor criticisms don't come close to the pain and suffering this application has saved me. They got my $20.

wiki: SDP Multimedia

Edit: Also a "Shut down Windows when finished" option would be really great.


SecondLife cures blogging
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2005 8/24/2005 11:22:00 PM

Ok, I'm a bad blogger. It has been 25 days since my last post. It is not that I haven't had much to say (I always have too much to say). One of the main reasons is that I've been screwing around with . SecondLife is sort of like a multiplayer online game but the truth is there is not really any game to play. Instead we should call it an online virtual world. It is a immersive 3D environment that gives the players (residents) the ability to create the virtual world they live in. Players can create new objects in the game, program them, and sell them for virtual money. And while in other online games it is against the rules to trade game money for real cash in SL it is encouraged. While most residents are there to socialize or role play there is a large community of content creators the make and sell virtual goods. Matter of fact some people make a living playing/working in this game.

I joined the game and right away started programming new scripts. Some people I've met in the game are very good at making new items... I'm good at programming them. What can I program them to do? Anything really. I can make a ball float around and push people (I have to be careful this can get you banned), I can make objects slide/grow/rotate at the click of a button, I can program a streaming video TV with remote, I even saw a SL implementation of forth. The programming language in SL is simple to learn but surprisingly powerful. Any object in the virtual world can be programmed to do a multitude of tasks. If your into programming and you have some free time (and $10 to spare) I encourage you to check it out. I think it is a programmers fantasy... living in a world where every rock, plant and brick can be manipulated and programmed as you see fit.


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