Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

And so it goes

Posted by Trixter on October 18, 2009

I have finally realized that I have no business blogging, as I lack writing skill.  If that lacked eloquence and sounded a tad too blunt, it’s because I lack writing skill. I was going to start this post by talking about how some people simply operate on a level so far above us that you just can’t help but admire them, but then all my thoughts got jumbled and it faded away.

I have been trying to come to terms with a lot more than that recently, like working at a decent mature job that has hard long hours (note the lack of blog posts in two months), or having all these great ideas in my head that I lack the skill to make real.  I am losing my mental faculties and not dealing with it well.

This has somewhat stalled the MindCandy project, as we found out that the software we already paid for is incapable of producing BDCMF premastering output, which is required for a replication facility — no BDCMF, no glass masters.  So that means authoring a Blu-ray means we have to master from one of four available applications, three of which are too expensive, and a fourth that, while “cheap”, is buggy and unmaintained.  One of those options used to have a monthly license “rental” fee, but they recently stopped doing that and became outside our price range again.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I flexed some very old muscles and found an older version of something we’ll call “Canisters”.  “Canisters” is considered by many to be the gold standard for this sort of thing, so I guess I’m glad that I have the chance to look at it, except that Canisters is less of an application and more of a quirky scripting language, running in a quirky operating system, written in said quirky scripting language.  To compare and contrast:  In Adobe Encore, you define actions and playlists by using familiar concepts like, hold onto your hats, “actions” and “playlists”.  In Canisters, however, it is considered lucky if you can avoid building PGC’s by hand without the use of a hex calculator.

I am exaggerating, but only slightly.  What is NOT an exaggeration are the 360 pages of documentation I must consume to have any chance in hell of attempting to use Canisters — assuming the version I have access to is not broken beyond use.  There was a time, when I had my mental faculties (see above), when I was not only be capable of doing so, but would actually be relishing the thought of consuming all that information.   Those days are gone.  Somehow I have to come up with an alternative.

9 Responses to “And so it goes”

  1. You have writing talent. And the more you write, the more you develop. No limit. That’s all I have to say about that.

    Now, about this BDCMF format — a Google search doesn’t provide much information on what this thing is in the first place. Do you have any references?

  2. Trixter said

    While I can’t explain BDCMF exactly, I can say that it is the blu-ray disc version of the container format used by replication facilities. A list of the limitations is conveniently located at http://www.pacificdisc.com/hdbd.html (which IIRC is the actual facility we’ll use, but it’s not a per-facility limitation but rather an industry-wide limitation).

  3. Trixter said

    It is worth noting that there is a Mac program that sells for $400 that will supposedly take the output of any authoring program and premaster it to a true BDMV BDCMF image, so that you can supposedly submit it for replication. I am uneasy spending $400 on a program that I’m not 100% sure will work, especially since Adobe Encore’s authoring for blu-ray is identical to DVD with the singular addition of floating menus, which by themselves are not wow-inducing.

  4. Regarding this: “There was a time … when I was not only be capable of doing so, but would actually be relishing the thought of consuming all that information.”

    I remember those days too, of wanting to experiment and toy with every technology I could get my hands on. And then there comes a day when you say, “I’m done tinkering! I have a particular, concrete goal that I’m trying to accomplish here and I just want the software that enables me reach that goal, quickly and easily.”

  5. Vorlath said

    Writing is developed over time. I hope you continue. A blog is to put out ideas. And no need to post all the time. I haven’t posted in a while because I’m busy with other stuff. Nothing wrong with that. Just post when you have time. Hope you keep going.

  6. I don’t recall any of your readers complaining about your writing skills, so perhaps they’re not all that bad :-) Besides, I still fondly recall the various oldskool.org articles — what you lack is time, not skill. Join the club…

  7. phoenix said

    Umm, you’re writing skill is good, believe me. In the age of blogs, texts, and twitters, complete, grammatically correct sentences are very admirable.

    It’s a shame about the BDCMF thing – oh well, live and learn. It’s still way too difficult and expensive for independent producers to make replicate-ready Blu-rays. Thanks, Hollywood. Maybe Adobe will finally get it right with CS5. :P

  8. Matt Hite said

    1 – I can understand being busy or uninterested, but lack of writing skills just isn’t a problem you have. Your writing is great.

    2 – There have got to be some options. Don’t give up. I am definitely willing to donate to whatever option that ends up being.

  9. Don’t throw in the towel! You write it and I will read it.

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