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View Full Version : The can't-pause-a-diavlog-for-a-long-time-without-losing-your-place BUG


mvantony
09-05-2009, 05:05 AM
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bjkeefe
09-05-2009, 07:50 AM
As many of you no doubt know, there's a bug in the BhTV software that's been there for a long time -- at least ever since the changeover to the new site, if I'm not mistaken. (Are there people who don't experience this?) If you pause a diavlog for more than 10 or 15 minutes, and then come back to resume playing, the time indicator goes back to the beginning, and things don't work without doing a refresh. Whenever I'm away from the screen for more than a few minutes, I note the time I'm at in the diavlog so I can get back to the same spot after a refresh. But it's a pain in the butt! (I've probably done this hundreds of times.) Is there any progress being made with the bug? Is it being worked on? Is there any hope for fixing it? Or has it been discovered that it can't be fixed without some sort of major overhaul that wouldn't be practical to do at the current time? Etc.? With other video sites, you can leave the thing paused all day long, come back, and start up the video exactly where you left without any problems. It's a major blemish on the site which would be great to get cleared up. (If it's something I'm doing, I'd be grateful if someone would offer some instruction!)

That bug still exists for me, so it's not just you.

Two possible workarounds:

1. You do not have to note the time when you get up to leave. You have only to note it when you return, right before you refresh the page, since the timestamp where you paused it will be visible until you click the play button.

2. If you're frequently watching the diavlogs with long breaks, why not download one of the video files instead of streaming? Then you would be able to pause VLC or Windows Media Player or QuickTime or whatever program you use to view WMV or MP4 files for as long as you liked, without having to reload the page.

thprop
09-05-2009, 09:40 AM
As many of you no doubt know, there's a bug in the BhTV software that's been there for a long time -- at least ever since the changeover to the new site, if I'm not mistaken. (Are there people who don't experience this?) If you pause a diavlog for more than 10 or 15 minutes, and then come back to resume playing, the time indicator goes back to the beginning, and things don't work without doing a refresh. Whenever I'm away from the screen for more than a few minutes, I note the time I'm at in the diavlog so I can get back to the same spot after a refresh. But it's a pain in the butt! (I've probably done this hundreds of times.) Is there any progress being made with the bug? Is it being worked on? Is there any hope for fixing it? Or has it been discovered that it can't be fixed without some sort of major overhaul that wouldn't be practical to do at the current time? Etc.? With other video sites, you can leave the thing paused all day long, come back, and start up the video exactly where you left without any problems. It's a major blemish on the site which would be great to get cleared up. (If it's something I'm doing, I'd be grateful if someone would offer some instruction!)

I don't think this is a BHtv bug. It is the way flash video works. Before BHtv switched over to flash, this problem did not exist. And you could set playback speed at any rate you wanted. With flash, you are stuck with the way flash (previously Macromedia and later purchased by Adobe) handles streaming video.

BJ's solution is one way to go - and I often use it, i.e. note the time and move the slider to where you were. If I know I will be interrupted, I just download the video and watch it in a a video player.

thprop
09-05-2009, 11:08 AM
But YouTube and lots of other sites use Flash without any sign of the problem (don't they?). So it's got to be more than just Flash.

Youtube has the same problem.

thprop
09-05-2009, 11:24 AM
I remember YouTube not having the problem. But I'm going to do some tests...

I don't think it is a problem for a standard youtube video which is restricted to 10 minutes. Youtube allows some longer videos - I forget which categories (non-profit educational type). If you pause those, you will have the problem.

claymisher
09-05-2009, 01:34 PM
That bug still exists for me, so it's not just you.

Two possible workarounds:

1. You do not have to note the time when you get up to leave. You have only to note it when you return, right before you refresh the page, since the timestamp where you paused it will be visible until you click the play button.

2. If you're frequently watching the diavlogs with long breaks, why not download one of the video files instead of streaming? Then you would be able to pause VLC or Windows Media Player or QuickTime or whatever program you use to view WMV or MP4 files for as long as you liked, without having to reload the page.

Workarounds! Spoken like a true programmer! :)

I think it's a bug that used to afflict YouTube as well, but I think they found a way to fixed. It's common in a lot of Flash players.

Ocean
09-05-2009, 01:44 PM
The long Obama video resumed perfectly after a pause of 65 minutes. Doesn't look like the YouTube Flash videos have the problem.


Here is my best technical explanation: YouTube is better. :)

thprop
09-05-2009, 01:54 PM
Here is my best technical explanation: YouTube is better. :)

You may be right. I found this article (http://labs.influxis.com/?p=4) which says -
Of course, there’s some bad news for buffering in the Flash Player: anytime you seek or pause the Flash Video clip, the entire buffer is dumped. If you’ve thought that you could buffer the entire video clip for slow connection speeds, forget about it–once the user pauses or seeks the video (if those operations are indeed permitted by your playback controls), then the user has to wait all over again for the buffer to refill. This is just a fact of life (or FOL, in geek terminology) with the Flash Player. Even if you’ve buffered the content that is seeked to by the user, the buffer is dumped.

One of the comments (http://labs.influxis.com/?p=4&cpage=1#comment-349) explains how Youtube gets around this -
Youtube is using progressive download (with some serverside logic to allow for seeking to certain keyframes) and not streaming.

thprop
09-05-2009, 05:49 PM
Thanks for this thprop. I wonder though -- is this not a somewhat different issue? It seems to me that the problem isn't that "once the user pauses..., then the user has to wait all over again for the buffer to refill." Rather it's that once the user pauses for more than 10 or 15 minutes (or whatever) the buffer can't be refilled again at the paused location (or anywhere, without a refresh). Does that sound right to you?

Pause/Resume does not seem to be a built in part of flash video. This search (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22flash+video%22+pause+resume&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rls=DVFC,DVFC:1970--2,DVFC:en) brings up a lot on the topic. Youtube has a robust pause/resume function. I assume this requires resources - including bandwidth. BHtv has a less robust pause resume feature. Maybe they do not want to tie up bandwidth and boot you after a while.

cragger
09-05-2009, 07:19 PM
Workarounds! Spoken like a true programmer! :)


Dunno about a true programmer, but a real programmer would have blamed it on the hardware, Microsoft, or inadequate specification of the user interface by systems engineering.

bjkeefe
09-05-2009, 07:57 PM
Dunno about a true programmer, but a real programmer would have blamed it on the hardware, Microsoft, or inadequate specification of the user interface by systems engineering.

LOL!

Spoken like a real hardware guy.

;^)

cragger
09-05-2009, 10:06 PM
Done enough SW to know the story -

Get systems engineering to revise user interface spec.
Hold spec review and get approval from all stakeholders.
Work up detailed schedule and budget for changes.
Go through management approval cycle.
Rework schedule and budget per management direction.
Repeat approval cycle.
Call in vendors to demonstrate the latest development tools.
Perform trade study.
Generate SW development plan.
Approval cycle for plan.
Get purchase order through for tools and licenses.
Pick SW team.
Work up detailed milestones and metrics to track project.
Hold refresher training for SW team on SW practices and standards and use of new tools.
Ethics training all around.
Bring SW folks, management, quality assurance, systems, and marketing together for team building exercises.
Hold one-on-ones with everyone to clarify expectations and set performance goals.
Hold project kick-off.

At this meeting somebody points out that the whole project was previously done in a programming language that is no longer in vogue and the whole thing needs to be rewritten in the latest flavor of the month to be commercially viable. Management insists there is no budget for that. In successful projects, right about then somebody finds a freeware viewer on a website dedicated to pirating videos, and the whole thing is moot.