Jumping the shark

New from the MySociety genii:, capsule the curiously-capitalised PlaceOpedia. Think Google Maps ? Wikipedia. Brilliant. Except that, as I write, all the links read


  1. re: your ‘lip sync is borked’ comment: why is that so hard in digital video? It’s so common to have the audio go out of sync (and not just with ReamPlayer), and it should be so easy to fix. Just add some metadata saying frame X goes with audio bits Y. Instead, it seems that audio and video streams are launched independently and played at ‘best speed’, whatever that is, without any thought to synchronisation. Come on! This is the sort of problem computers were supposed to be good at preventing.


  2. Keeping sync is hard (as audio cards and video cards run on independent clocks fromt he computers), but it is a solved problem, which the QuickTime team managed 15 years ago, when computers were orders of magnitude slower and less endowed with memory.
    The short version is, use the audio clock for sync, and adjust the video timing to match, as a little video framerate variation is imperceptible.
    Cumulative rounding error can mess you up, as can not taking NTSC’s not-quite integral framerate into account (I’d call it irrational, but 30000/1001 is rational in the maths sense, if potty in the human sense)
    I cannot stand the dodgy sync you get from Flash video, especially the ‘drop framerate when not the foreground window, then go at many times the framerate to catch up’ they do.
    Live streaming makes this worse, as you then have 6 clocks involved, as both local and remote computers have 3 each, but it is also solvable (I had sync drift under a frame for live broadcasts over the period of a week when I was working on QuickTime Broadcasting).

  3. So, let me get this right…. you’re saying the problem’s always been with REALPLAYER, and not my computer set-up? oh happy days. (But not of the Fonz kind).

  4. Ewww! The BBC’s Bill Thompson manages to write three screens of text in one-sentence paragraphs. This is unreadable!

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