Checking Videos Before Downloading & Other Stuff

14 12 2009

Downloading videos is a big part of my internet usage.   Living in Australia, and being an active internet user and very much into pop culture, Sci-Fi and tv is extremely difficult and it’s really for no good reason as far as I can tell.

When awesome new shows appear on US networks, it often takes weeks or months before they are played on television here, and if it’s anything other than a lose weight series or some variety of CSI show, then sometimes it never airs at all.   Star Trek was ruined in Australia because the channel that aired it would put it on late at night, at different times and on different nights of the week.  They end things mid-season and they never return.  Star Trek Voyager ended in a two-part episode and the end was never aired, nor were the last few seasons.  If they were, it must have been at some ungodly hour.

For fans, this means you either wait for DVD, or you download.

Lately the main series I’ve been into is Dexter, and as usual Australian TV is lagging behind the rest of the world and not showing it until weeks later.  If you’re a forum goer or internet user, you already know what’s going to happen and can’t participate in the discussion groups because you’re months or weeks behind.   With a series with as many plot twists as Dexter, waiting to see it is frustrating and ruins the entire show.

Sadly, when downloading tv these days, it’s a massive gamble due to the Internet’s population of idiots and jerks.   For some unknown reason (and if you can explain why, please do) people upload fake episodes, old episodes and rename other shows so that when you download them and open them up, they aren’t the one you want.  Frustrating.

When each episode is 350mb or in Dexter’s case, 550mb then that’s a lot of bandwidth to waste.  Yes, Australian internet has a monthly allocation of data.  Again, it’s retarded.

Luckily I’ve found a way to preview the episodes after they’ve downloaded only partway, so that I can at least save some bandwidth limit if it’s a fake.

To do it, you need VLC media player , an open source player by Videolan.

When you download the file, make sure it’s a single link and not a multi-part .rar file.  There’s no way in Hell I’d trust those because you have to download the whole thing and extract it before viewing.

When you’ve downloaded part of the .avi file, go to the location and you’ll see two parts.  The first will be FILENAME.avi and the second FILENAME.part

Right click the FILENAME.avi and choose Open With > VLC Player

The player will open, but it won’t play.  Then, drag the FILENAME.part into the VLC window, and you’ll be told you need to repair it.   Do so, and the part that’s downloaded will play.

Having said that, make sure you watch until the actual episode is playing because some Internet Dirtbags just re-name old episodes, so you can’t judge by the credits alone.

There are no doubt other ways to preview, but that’s the one I use.   Hopefully it’ll help you save some bandwidth too.




One response

14 12 2009

thanks for that Sav. I was wondering how you watched prior to d/l ing the lot

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