niffiwan (niffiwan) wrote,

A few small notes (on potential resurrection)

So, I've been away for a while. Primarily, because I've shifted my attention to finishing my thesis this year - and also because the Funtik situation rather discouraged me. The original plan was to reupload all the translated Russian animated films that used to be on my Niffiwan account on Youtube in four new places (so that there wouldn't be a single point of failure): a new Youtube account, Dailymotion, DotSub and VeeHD. Those were the only sites I found at the time which supported separate subtitles, but all had various flaws:

•On Youtube, some videos were censored as soon as I tried to upload them
•On Dailymotion, the video quality wasn't sharp and subtitles would often just stop playing midway through a video
•On DotSub, the collaborative translation features were great but the video quality wasn't, and also I couldn't upload just a translation, I had to make a transcription of the original Russian text for every video, too
•On VeeHD, the video quality was great but all videos would need to be transferred to DivX and Sub2DivX used to put subtitles into the DivX file. And it would be impossible to change the subtitles once they were in.

I did finish the Dailymotion uploading, but not the others - in the end, it was just too much work. I started doing this because I wanted to add translations for films I like, share them with others and talk about them, not spend days and weeks transcoding and uploading video files, only to risk having everything deleted and have to do it all over again.

So I decided to wait until some technology came out that would make it easier to keep videos online - either some torrent-based Youtube replacement like the Pirate Bay's once-planned VideoBay, or a .onion video sharing site run through the Tor network.

Neither of those has happened yet as far as I know, but I've recently discovered two other new sites/services that I think might be a solution, one of them existing and one of them in the early stages.

The first is MediaGoblin, an open-source, decentralized replacement for Youtube (as well as Flickr, Thingaverse, SoundCloud and others) that's currently having a fundraising drive (ending in 5 days).

There is no subtitle support yet, but it is something that the developers want to add. Importantly, it should be possible to back up the information for one account (videos and comments) and move it to another instance or hosting provider if anything happened.

The other project I discovered is aka. Amara. This is like DotSub, except that you don't have to upload or transcode any big video files, you just need a link to the video you want to translate posted somewhere online in one of these formats, and then you can create, import or export subtitles in any of these formats. This means that it's much quicker to add translations, and I could even use the officially-uploaded videos (such as ChannelAIR for Ukranimafilm/Kievnauchfilm). If a video is deleted on Youtube, it's possible to just change the video location (although this feature was broken until recently).

For example, check out the translations of the MediaGoblin campaign video:
The actual video is not on, instead it takes the original video from and overlays subtitles on top. There are subtitles in English, Spanish, Arabic and Icelandic. Anybody can edit them or add a new language translation. You can also embed the video with the subtitles on a website, but LiveJournal doesn't seem to support it unfortunately.

Now, it would be really convenient if could work with some of the websites which already have a lot of Russian animation stored in streaming video, such as - it uses JWPlayer which is supported, but they hide the URL so I suppose this can't work.

So anyway, in the coming weeks I'll try to figure this out. :) First Amara, then MediaGoblin once that gets off the ground - because it would be really nice to not lose all the nice comments and discussion when a video has to move.

In the meantime, the Animatsiya Wiki has been getting steady, consistent updates. I also have an archive of many ripped subtitle files from Youtube accounts that are no longer available, and I'll put them up for download eventually (until then, if anybody is looking for something that is no longer up, please ask).

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