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Some Feedback Wanted

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Well I’m gradually catching up on email and at the moment only have about 100 to reply to. In light of this, I want to get some more feedback from viewers on a couple of different topics. If you’re registered on the forums, I prefer you just reply to this there, but if not, emailing me is also an option.


All the videos here have been released in WMV format for one simple reason, at the time, it really was one of the most compatible formats out there where people didn’t have to mess with downloading codecs, or finding the right player. By and large, this led to a dead minimum of people asking me how to play the videos, which is quite an accomplishment, considering some of the questions I receive (i.e. “What game do you use for Freeman’s Mind?”). Nowadays, I’m more open-minded about what format the videos are in, so I’d like to see what the majority of viewers want. MP4, AVI, MKV, etc. You tell me what format you want. I know some viewers have expressed interest in the videos being in an iphone-compatible format, which is doable. Beyond that, I don’t know. Whatever format is decided on, I will NOT be providing technical support for how to play it, so you’ll be on your own for that. Also, if you only watch the videos on Youtube, you can ignore all this.


Tying into the first topic, some help would be appreciated by someone who is a video encoding FREAK. Someone familiar with lots of different compression techniques, knows about I-frames, B-frames, quantizers, H.264 compression, different container formats, browses places like doom9.org a lot, etc. If you’re someone who is interested in getting the maximum amount of quality in the least amount of space, whatever the format, I might be interested in your help for converting all the episodes to new formats. I have all the Civil Protection episodes backed up in maximum quality Xvid-compression, and the Freeman’s Mind episodes in a slightly lower quality version. Go ahead and email me if you’re a video encoding veteran of sorts, and are familiar with many formats.


Up to date, I’ve just been using a cheap clip-on microphone from Wal-Mart for all the episodes. This combined with careful recording and sound editing means my voice comes out relatively well in the videos, however the last episode of Freeman’s Mind reminded me of its biggest downfall, which is overwhelming the microphone input with my voice. You may not be able to tell from the videos, but I can get very, very loud when recording. So loud it often limits what places I can live for fear of disturbing all neighbors in a large radius around me. With my current microphone, it doesn’t matter what recording levels I set the microphone to, it sometimes is just too much for the mic and I get volume clipping, which I hate.

One aspect I like a lot about my microphone is it picks up relatively little in the background. When I was working at Machinima.com, they were using a Blue Snowball mic, which generally gets quite good ratings and reviews. I didn’t like it however; on every setting, it simply picked up more background noise and echo than my cheap clip-on one, which is a problem for recording. So my standards for not picking up background noise are higher than what that mic provided. If you have recommendations on microphones that can handle a LOT of volume, don’t pick up much background noise at all, and are relatively inexpensive, please let me know.

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