Poughkeepsie to Rochester Road Trip: The Movie

With the Sony HDR-AS30V camera Gorilla Taped to the Sienna’s dashboard, we drove it to Rochester with a bank shot off Saratoga:

Saratoga Rt 50
Saratoga Rt 50

I then converted nearly 5000 images into Yet Another Crappy Youtube Movie that is, mercifully, only 00:02:43 long.

The key steps:

mkdir /tmp/Video
cd /tmp/Video
sn=1 ; for f in /mnt/backup/Video/2014-05-29/* ; do printf -v dn 'dsc%05d.jpg' "$(( sn++ ))" ; cp -a $f $dn ; done
avconv -r 30 -i dsc%05d.jpg -q 5 Pok-Saratoga-Rochester.mp4

I tossed out a few images you didn’t need to see, then renumbered the remainder:

sn=1 ; for f in * ; do printf -v dn 'dsc%05d.jpg' "$(( sn++ ))" ; mv $f $dn ; done

The point of this exercise was to find out how Youtube treats “HD” movies. The original 1920×1080 MP4 file weighed in at nearly 500 MB with very good quality (due to the -q 5), but the Youtube “HD” result exhibits terrible compression artifacts; the black cloth crawls with huge checkerboard squares. Because the relatively slow-moving sequences at traffic signals and rest stops have excellent quality, I’d say Youtube’s video bit rate just doesn’t support images that change completely from frame to frame. Makes sense; nobody could watch such a thing, so why allocate that many bits?

Now I have another Youtube movie-making data point

8 thoughts on “Poughkeepsie to Rochester Road Trip: The Movie

  1. Dude, did you see how many times you got passed?

    Maybe Vimeo? I have seen one other person say that Vimeo was better at HD.

    1. how many times you got passed?

      One word: minivan.

      It may be radar-transparent, but it’s not a high-performance vehicle.

      We made our Larval Engineer an offer she couldn’t pass up. She did much of the driving …

      She says it’ll get a custom license plate holder: “When I grow up, I want to be a Zeppelin.” That, plus spirals on the wheels and purple-with-yellow flames on the body, should make it her own.

      Vimeo was better at HD

      I’m still exploring the ahem Youtube parameter space. Vimeo seems unreliable through Linux browsers, which moves it further down my to-do list.

      1. Driving in the high winds of Nebraska, I was passed by a lunatic fearless driver in a Smart car. The only vehicles that were doing OK that day were the big rigs with flatbed trailers with a lot of low weight on them.

        1. fearless driver in a Smart car

          There is another kind?

          Why I have not been informed of this?

      2. I love minivans. Lots of interior space, all of it usable. And modern ones are surprisingly capable. Here’s a head-to-head of a Honda Odyssey vs a Porsche and a Jaguar (admittedly, quite old models): http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/soccer-moms-revenge/

        The minivan came out quite respectably.

        Have you tried a 15 fps version? That would halve the required bit rate and give you a slightly less frenetic experience, although it would then be twice as long.

        1. Lots of interior space, all of it usable

          We got the Sienna specifically to haul the recumbents. Over the years, we would fit all three bikes, a week’s worth of camping gear, and three people inside, slam the doors, and drive off. Can’t be beat.

          Never smoked the tires, but I’m not that type of guy.

          I may get a trailer for the Forester, because it’s not big enough to load two ‘bents and not wide enough to put them on a hitch rack. Fortunately, we very rarely drive to the ride…

          Have you tried a 15 fps version?

          I’ll try that on the next movie…

  2. “When I grow up, I want to be a Zeppelin.” That is good.

    Our 2000 Sienna has been a great car. It tows our (surprisingly heavy 3000+ lbs) 17′ SeaRay well, and is about the only thing out there that will take two adults, two gangly teenagers, two full-size greyhounds and two cats for our family journeys. The radar-transparency does help on the long trips.

    At 212000 miles (1.14 light-seconds) it is still going strong.

    I do suspect that every time I drive it, a little bit of my manliness is irrevocably lost.

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