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Random Thoughts from the Twin Galaxies Head Custodian...
01-02-2018 at 12:49 AM
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Video Question for 2018 and Beyond...

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We've been considering making it mandatory that all future video submissions for score performances to be uploaded directly to Twin Galaxies' system and not allowing 3rd party video hosting for adjudication consideration.

Primary advantages:

We will be able to properly and consistently thumbnail/index all future submissions which will in turn allow us to build better/more intuitive score submission display and user access - for instance a submission review slider.

Evidence would be properly preserved and can not be altered or deleted by the submitter. Members could vote with confidence of permanence.

Primary disadvantages:

Members with difficulties uploading to the TG system will have to find workarounds. Typically problems only occur if the member has a very slow or very inconsistent internet connection when uploading.

File size could be an issue if the desire is to upload more than 50GB total in one submission. (Our system can take five 10GB files per submission maximum. This equates to a little more than 15 hours of 720p footage)

Obviously we will continue to work and improve our system's ability to ingest video data, but it for the most part it is serviceable now and has been working more reliably.


We are strongly considering this new policy - however we want to get some early reaction to this idea first before finalizing.

Having all score performance video self-contained within TG can create a lot more flexibility and opportunities for the community.
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  1. nads's Avatar
    I do have to say the TG loader has improved for me.

    I was able to load a 2GB file recently, it did take 8 hrs but it went through.
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  2. jmb's Avatar
    I am completely for this and have been since day 1.

    The only problem for me in the past has been "video is unplayable" and that seems to be resolved.
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  3. Bishop's Avatar
    great idea jace
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  4. HugDD's Avatar
    Happy New Year, Jace! :)

    You're certainly right that there would be pros and cons, especially for super long runs such as marathons. For folks who're able to upload as much as possible, but need more, I'm wondering if it'd be plausible, should they be able to forward missing/remaining components of their run to TG staff (whether digitally or via snail mail), would staff be able to add those to the vzaar database, then embed it in the submission thread upon request. Obviously, it'd make sense for the submitter to inform prospective adjudicators of the circumstance.

    A number of things seem to be needed to be reiterated (because some folks just don't get it), so I'll go ahead and include them here:
    1)No one's obligated to view, vote, nor comment on anything on here, whether verified or not (so no need to insult anyone for not adhering to your preferences, yeesh)
    2)There're more submitters/submissions than there're adjudicators (dare I say, get used to disappointment?). Regardless, most submissions'll go through eventually, I have faith in that, especially if they're more or less straightforward.
    3)The rise in blind voting and bump type posts cometh, I'm so sick of "Nice score, Accepted!" generic comments, no respect, no integrity for the run nor submitter, but perhaps they can't be helped. It's awful when these come when either the submission was just made, the video's still encoding, or the comment was made in far less a shorter time than the actual run, blah. Let us not forget the "reject" comments on MAME submissions that have zipped .inps and no uploaded videos, ugh.

    These are some thoughts I have for the time being I wanted to share. I'm looking forward to hearing other view points, cheers all, and be safe, healthy, prosperous, Happy Gaming!

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  5. MyOwnWorstEnemy's Avatar
    I'm in favor of this approach. It makes sense from a video game performance archival and adjudication perspective. It also will help identify issues with the TG uploader through real time necessity rather than masking issues with a user initiated workaround. Perhaps video performance exceeding the 50MB limit can, with TG assistance, use a manual workaround as more of an exception rather than an automatic option initiated by the submitter (3rd party hosting). To manage traffic and growth scale, you might want to consider a submission point surcharge for these TG assisted workarounds since it involves TG people resources.

    Also as an added side benefit, it might help reduce the adjudication queue by eliminating the submission with evidence hosted by 3rd party providers. Due to events in the past few months and beyond, adjudicators are staying clear from these submissions and may sit in the queue indefinitely. Time for Mario and Luigi to clean the pipes.
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  6. Snowflake's Avatar
    I'll leave out my long answer why I approve and leave that to everyone else. I will though point out a single con, and needed exception. Marathons. While marathons are the minorities of submission, they do exist, and i'd say they're at least common enough that theres always at least 1 in the queue. I think the reason you previously avoided hard and fast rules is because you know theres always excpetions right? Well we found the exception, marathons. So please include an exception for them and I think it will be a good rule
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  7. Megaretroman's Avatar
    I agree with William above. If we have to break it down to a couple separate videos, TG needs to have a way to upload more than 1 video for the submission. Otherwise, the only way is to use a 3rd party site (YouTube or other related sites) to be able to achieve this. Even then, with adjudicators being super careful/strict about voting on submissions with YouTube videos, regardless of the submitter having been in good standings or not, those submissions may be in queue for an eternity.
  8. bensweeneyonbass's Avatar
    There did used to be a way to add up to five video files (if I recall correctly) on the submission form. When the form got a face lift this went away (again by my recollection).

    I think the workaround as mentioned is that TG can manually add videos to vzaar when more than the allotted number of videos is exceeded on the submission form. Extra work for both submitter and admin, but probably better than trying to upload a dozen 5Gb videos all at once when submitting. I dunno.
  9. danman1234's Avatar
    Overall I think this is a good idea.

    1. It doesn't allow for submissions to be located someplace they can simply be deleted at a later date.
    2. It requires everyone to upload a file.
    3. There needs to be someway for people to submit LARGE files (Marathons). Even if these require mailing a USB stick in (Perhaps linking to a twitch/youtube video that can then be downloaded into TG?)
    4. There needs to be a means to upload a video/fix an upload if something happens and the submission doesnt go through. Even if that is as simple as cancel it/get your points back/and resubmit.

    On that note something needs to be done about the submission queue. Either submissions get accepted or they dont but hanging out for months/over a YEAR is absolutely insane. Can't you just change this to say after the "threshold" is met or 3 months (whatever comes first) a submission is either accepted or rejected based on how voting is going? People need to REJECT a submission if there is problems with it just not abstain. Abstaining is why this queue is as large as it is and honestly not that many people are voting stuff in. I do it in waves but I actually attempt to WATCH the submissions vs blind voting so I can only do so much at a time. Also I just type "Accepted..." so i get notified Hug in case someone tries to reject it later. I mean no disrespect to anyone :)
  10. datagod's Avatar
    I would like to see mandatory video uploads. I have terrible video upload speed, but I also learned how to compress my videos into more reasonable sizes. If people don't understand that capturing a 1080p 60fps video of an Atari 2600 screen is overkill, then they shouldn't be allowed to use computers.

    I know it would be difficult to implement, but using FTP to upload videos would be so much better. Error correction, resends, start where you left off, etc. Such a robust protocol.
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  11. CWK's Avatar
    Voting yes for a mandatory upload
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  12. danman1234's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by datagod
    I would like to see mandatory video uploads. I have terrible video upload speed, but I also learned how to compress my videos into more reasonable sizes. If people don't understand that capturing a 1080p 60fps video of an Atari 2600 screen is overkill, then they shouldn't be allowed to use computers.

    I know it would be difficult to implement, but using FTP to upload videos would be so much better. Error correction, resends, start where you left off, etc. Such a robust protocol.
    Do agree on that let people use FTP or SFTP to send files in versus HTTP uploads. Even if the site uses FTP for the upload process itself. It could even resume broken uploads and not time out.

    Plus I assume the videos are getting re-encoded on the back end? I agree most videos do not need to be in FullHD quality.
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  13. DadsGlasses's Avatar
    I agree with mandatory video uploads. I share earlier mentioned concerns about marathons.
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  14. JasonV91's Avatar
    I agree, direct upload should be mandatory. I also agree that further work should be done to allow for marathon submissions - some of the posts above have already provided good ideas for how to handle these situations (which thankfully, are the minority).

    Question regarding YouTube submissions - is TG's policy of not allowing other users to download the video and attach it to the thread due to possible legal issues that could arise? If not, couldn't TG just add in a statement to the TOS saying that by uploading a YouTube video, you are allowing TG and its users to download the performance and add it as evidence? I'm sure there is a reason it isn't as simple as that, but figured I'd ask.
  15. homerwannabee's Avatar
    Jace I'm trying to upload my 1,230,000 Donkey Kong Junior Arcade score as we speak, and I am at 0%. I hit submit like 40 minutes ago. So you do that you ***** over people like me.
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  16. datagod's Avatar
    I would also like to suggest a work-around for the marathoners. Allow them to send in the submissions on an SD card or thumbdrive, and have it attached to a submission. I know time is money, so maybe they could incentivise staff by also sending a gift card for some delicious Wingstop or Tim Horton's coffee.
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  17. thegamer1185's Avatar
    I guess I'll speak for those of us who can't seem to upload to TG. This essentially means I and others will no longer be able to participate in TG simply because we can't upload to TG. I know there was a recent thread done by someone who was saying they were taking the videos from youtube and adding them to TG directly somehow for a friend to make the files permanent. I also know he was told to stop doing it. There has to be some way this same thing can be done outside of youtube. I could talk to my brother who is the director of networking for a very large insurance company about possible ways of moving large files. Not saying you guys don't know what your doing, it's just easier to talk to him before I try to type ideas on here. He even gave me a tour of his databank system stored at some high tech facility. No joke, it was some James Bond type **** just to gain entry into the building...it was awesome. I know he uses a website to upload some of his things if needs to transfer something or just for storage. Not sure if your willing to hear the ideas, but it can't hurt.

    While I do agree with everything you have all been saying about direct uploads should be mandatory, I'm simply on the outside looking in at a scenario that makes my participation no longer a possibility based on my living situation. There has to be an alternative solution to having a permanent record and satisfy us who simply can't upload to TG. Yes, I have the highest internet connection for my area. Speed test as of literally right now with a kid watching youtube is 23Mbps/upload is 1.07Mbps. I've even resorted to turning off every single mobile device in the house every night in hopes of increasing the upload speed by the slighted margin.

    Just to give you guys an idea of what I'm working with here. I had a 2hr 9min video take me over 3 nights to upload to youtube. Roughly 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. The file is 17 GB. The main reason I use youtube is because if I have to stop uploading, I can back out for the day so the kids can watch Netflix and resume again later that night from the previous progress. From what I remember, almost 2 years ago now, if a video file failed for whatever reason uploading to TG, you had start all over again. That just killed me. The last time I tried to even upload a file about a year ago on TG it got to 2% and never moved from that spot after hours. I was even working with the people TG had figuring the networking thing out, so I've tried, trust me I've tried.

    I'm not disagreeing with you guys and the need to make the videos permanent at TG, I'm simply saying if TG does decide to go this route permanently without having possible solutions for myself and others like me, we simply can't participate. And I'll be honest, if I can't participate in something, I'll just not participate at all on the whole site because what is the point.

    The only idea I can come up with on my own is that you allow the unfortunate souls like myself to use a file editing program to edit the video into smaller pieces, then upload them all individually one at a time. That then leads to the obvious adjudicating problems of splicing videos, how do we know you didn't just stop recording to get a perfect section for your run, etc. etc. Which I get as well.

    Since TG is willing to go above and beyond for one Dragster dispute, I would hope it could do the same for the several thousand of its actual ACTIVE members. Sorry to go there, but I did. Not saying TG isn't doing everything it can, but right now I see this move as only limiting TGs potential for increasing traffic flow and activity.
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    Updated 01-02-2018 at 08:53 AM by thegamer1185
  18. homerwannabee's Avatar
    OK, I got it to work, but still for some they won't be able to upload.
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  19. thegamer1185's Avatar
    So I just got a comment in my Slalom submissions. Edit: Here's the link https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthre...131#post940131 This is the part that kills me but again I get it. People are literally not voting simply because I believe everyone is afraid to lose CR. If TG can't figure out a solution, maybe the simplest solution is to not calculate CR for voting on third party submission? Seriously, his exact words where all of my videos look good, he's abstaining because they are third party submissions. So maybe it's not the third party uploading that is the issue, but the policy on them. Which as of right now they are allowed, but people abstain because of the possible CR hit.

    That to me seems to be the easiest solution. People are safe from voting on third party uploads if something happens to the video. I'm happy and able to upload my submissions, adjudicators are able to vote safely, queue gets cleaned up. Win-win for now until a permanent solution is discovered.
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    Updated 01-02-2018 at 09:03 AM by thegamer1185
  20. kernzyp's Avatar
    I'm all for it. It just doesn't work all the time.
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