About a week and a half ago, I talked about Flash Workarounds for FreeBSD — especially YouTube. I mentioned that my current approach to dealing with Flash on my FreeBSD laptop is to use the open source swfdec plugin for Firefox, which is apparently Flash 5 compliant and catching up with later Flash versions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really solve the problem of Flash video on YouTube. My solution for that is to use
youtube-dl to download YouTube videos:
youtube-dl 'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foo' -o bar.flv
In that example, just replace the
foo with whatever mess of mixed characters identifies the video you want to watch, and
bar with whatever you want to use as a filename before the
.flv filename extension.
Then, with the file downloaded, I use MPlayer to play the video, after having installed the appropriate media codecs. It’s all pretty simple to set up on FreeBSD, though installing codecs may be a bit more of an onerous task on many Linux distributions.
There are many YouTube videos that, when downloaded and played using MPlayer, end up with the video and sound out of sync, however. This tends to take the form of video playing at some incredibly high framerate while sound plays at the usual pace, so that you get a few seconds into a five-minute video’s sound before it stops because all the video has already played at a rate so fast you probably didn’t even get to see everything — and what you did see definitely didn’t look right.
There’s a simple fix for the problem in MPlayer’s command line options, but it’s not exactly easy to find in the (extremely lengthy) manpage: use the
-fps option to set a different video framerate. I’ve found that 30 tends to work well. Try that and, if it’s not perfect, adjust to suit your needs. The command to play your
bar.flv file with the video framerate adjusted would look something like this:
mplayer -fps 30 bar.flv
Nice and simple. Yeah?
Considering the substantial lack of campaign promises about reversing all the harm the Bush Administration did while Obama was running for the Presidency, I’m stunned to see him taking such broad and dramatic corrective action so quickly. Color me surprised — and pleased.
Part of the reason I’m so stunned by this is the fact that he managed to break campaign promises during his campaign, before he even took office. Basically, his actions on the campaign trail trained me to believe he was going to be no better than Bush on matters of privacy, recourse to the courts, et cetera. I considered listing a litany of his “errors” during his campaign, starting with his betrayal of his constituents on the subject of telecom immunity (and the FISA bill in general), but that’s not really the point of what I’m saying. The point is that, in the face of such expectations that Obama would not prove substantially better than Bush on any subject, I’m shocked to see the steps being taken to improve transparency of government policy, eliminate improper executive fiat, and enact similar corrections to the damage done in the Bush years.
At the same time, however, I see a continuation of business-as-usual when it comes to economic mismanagement in the general case, and I haven’t encountered anything to assuage my fears with regard to his likely willingness to encroach upon rights and liberties that are traditionally disregarded as unimportant or even harmful by the Democrats. Despite these initially positive steps taken by the Obama administration, I can’t help but feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop: What liberties will we have taken from us in exchange for those we’re beginning to regain? I guess only time will tell.
Maybe Obama will be two steps forward and three steps back, which is about what I expected from government before Bush came into office. That, at least, would be a marked improvement over Bush’s holding ground on some issues and taking eight steps back on others.
Comments Off on Obama News That Shocks Me