This is a gigantic PUBLIC DOMAIN archive of extremely old rare films reflective of our world's culture in mid-1900's. The problem with them is they are so well encoded none of your standard media players will play them for you! Here's my best responses so far as to how to make these work for your artistic needs. I'm posting only suggestions that have visually verified as true (for Macs and PC's), and tried to make it as simple as possible. Every Man <email@example.com>
HOW TO PLAY/RECORD THE AVI
FILES FOR PC USERS:
The EASIEST way to handle this on a PC is to download the .avi
files, which are dramatically smaller and faster to download, and then use avi2wav
to extract the audio directly into a CD burnable .wav file, saving you the time
and effort of watching the video while recording it in real time with other
recording hardware or software.
(1) To play the avi files on this web page, download DivX:
(2) To extract audio from
them without having to use Total Recorder
or CoolEdit to record them in real time,
HOW TO PLAY/RECORD MPEG
FILES FOR PC USERS:
<Evil Paul> firstname.lastname@example.org
I have found a way to get the sound out of the
MPEGS. Download TMPGEnc
You can use it to de-multiplex the .MPG, which gives you an .MP2 file.
This is ideal because it doesn't alter the audio MPEG data, it just unweaves it from the video and places it in a seperate file. Then you can convert it to WAV and send it to your sampler or play it into your microcasette recorder or whatever the hell you do with it next, in you twisted little sampleologist signal chain. I have noticed that there are heaps more DivX encoded AVIs on the FTP site now, for those of you who have got the DivX MPEG-4 codec working. There is another way to watch the video - in full quality too. I haven't done it myself, but It can be done.
First, to quote from the archive.org site "The movies are digitized with a bitrate between 2.75 and 3.5 Mbps for the video and 128 Kbps for the audio with 44.1 KHz sampling using NTSC standards (29.97 fps). Resolution is either 480x480 (2/3 D1), 368x480 (roughly 1/2 D1) or 352x480 (1/2 D1) - decoders are supposed to interpolate this back up to 720x480 for display." You can take these little babies and burn them to CDr as MiniDVD and play them on a DVD player! Full quality video playback for <$1 per disk!
What is MiniDVD? Well, I'm glad you asked ... "MiniDVD refers to a "supposedly" DVD-VIDEO content written on CDR/CDRW. Made at half D1 DVD specs of 352x480 or 576, would fit approx. 25-30 mins on your MiniDVD, or at ¼ D1, at approx. 40 - 50 mins." Gee, that's really handy, all the videos come in at around 25 minutes or less. It's like this medium is made for the Ephemera Archive.
BASICALLY, you master a MiniDVD exactly like you would a DVD, but you burn the sucker to a CDr or CDRW. You can even do multiple audio tracks, menus, seamless branching. If your are really hot shit you could use the subtitle channel and do a MST3K silouette thingy.
FOR MAC USERS:
Edward Milhuisen <email@example.com>
If you have a fast connection, download a .MPG file at
The easiest and by far the best tool for converting video formats is
Cleaner 5 by Terran.
The latest version is Cleaner 5.0.2. I can't guarantee that earlier
versions will able to handle
the codec used.
It cannot be downloaded at their site. I urge you -> NOT <- to
download it from places
like Carracho or from someone else's computer using a program such as
as this clearly would be in violation of some law or other.
Drag the .MPG file into Cleaner 5, choose the screen size, compression,
QuicktTime file format, etc.
Press the play button, and Cleaner 5 encodes the film. You wait... you
wait some more...
Hey Presto! The encoded .MOV file can be opened in Quicktime
The .AVI files are almost 9x smaller than the .MPG files. They can be
Audio only: open the .AVI file in QuickTime. You'll get a white screen
and a message:
"you may experience problems playing a videotrack in file.avi because
compressor could not be found" ---> just click on continue
You can play the audiotrack of the .AVI and export it to a .WAV or an
Audio and video:
1) you need DivX Player 1.0b9 which you can download from
2) you also need to have Windows Media Player 6.3. You can download it
*This link is also on the site of the DivX Player.*
There's also a WMP7 beta for Mac but it's not compatible with the DivX
3) Open the .AVI file in the DivX Player. The DivX PLayer will open the
file in the Windows Media Player.
Some extra codecs:
* 3ivx Delta 2 Decoder is the next version of DivX;-) (also for
Windozers) downloadable at:
* Intel Indeo Video is codec used a lot by for PC. It allows QuickTime
to play AVI movies.
(but not the ones from ftp://movieO.archive.org/pub/ )
The latest version is 5 but the newer versions don't handle files made
with earlier ones, so you'll need to have
the specific version required. downloadable at
MORE ON MAC OS OTHERS:
You can get many codecs from this place; includes
links to Mac, Windows & Linux versions where available.
The DivX;) codec in particular is available for all 3 and
Mac users, you can find more information on how to find
out which codec you need, and links to some useful codecs,
SHORT ON BANDWIDTH,
HIGH ON CASH?
Perhaps one of the two or three people who *can* extract the
audio from those files could make the MPEG files available somewhere? I'm
assuming MP2 (is that MPEG 1 layer 2 or MPEG 2?) is widely readable.
If you can put the files somewhere where I can get 'em, I'll burn CDs at cost for people with slow connections. (I've got a 16x burner, so I don't mind the workload.) I'll take PayPal payments too.
Since I've let that cat out of the bag, I should probably post a disclaimer: Yes, I have an original Negativland "U2" CD, a binary copy of "Plunderphonic" taken straight from an original CD (although of course I'm eagerly waiting for "69 plunderphonic 96"), MP3 sourced versions of the JAMMS' "1987" and Oswald's "Electrax", a CD copy of Momus's banned song "Walter Carlos" and a good MP3 of his banned "Michelin Man" song, and probably a pile of other amusing copyright violations and demented cover versions that don't spring immediately to mind.
Naturally I would *never* be willing to illegally copy these for people in exchange for the price of postage and a blank CD. So don't even ask. I trust I make myself clear.