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Bergens to Oslo from your armchair, although even more so
April 12, 2010 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Update to the Bergensbanen 7-hour train ride video story: There is a link at their website where you can download the entire 246GB HD Apple ProRes format file.

Update: The original HD-file is now out

We have published a HUGE 246 GB file. The article describing it is only in Norwegian, but the basics are: It’s an Apple ProRes file, it’s 246 GB and the adress to the torrentfile is:
http://nl.nrk.no/torrent/bergensbanen/Bergensbanen.1080i50.ProRes422.Nrk.mov.torrent
posted by hippybear to MetaFilter-Related at 10:43 AM (26 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Google Translate link to English version of the description page.
posted by hippybear at 10:44 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Out of idleness, I was curious if sneakernetting this would be cheaper or faster than downloading it over a standard cable internet connection.

I used nominal values for storage and bandwidth of 7 cents and 5 cents per gigabyte, respectively. That gives you a "download" cost of about $29.52. If you simply go out and buy a new Western Digital Caviar Blue 250 GB drive for your new train obsession, the cost is about $57.30 including the bandwidth.

Ignoring the cost of the hard drive for the moment, getting the producers to ship a hard drive filled with the video "express" - shipping on Friday for guaranteed Monday delivery - would cost your 1839.64 Kroner, or about $312.06 via UPS. Plus the hard drive.

For speed, we know the shipping speed is somewhere around 72 hours for the quoted cost. Actual cable internet speeds range between, say, 1-6 Mbps (I know they advertise higher, but stay with me). Let's say we get 2 Mbps (because I can pick that from my handy download time calculator), and with zero overhead it would take you about 267 hours at a full clip to get the whole thing.

Plus, you know, you've just blown your bandwidth cap for the month if you're a Comcast subscriber.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:26 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, seriously, how is it considered within the realm of possibility to move a file that large? It's great living in the age of broadband and all, but we've got a long way to go before we're at a point where anybody can call a 246GB download "reasonable."
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:02 PM on April 12, 2010


The Winsome Parker Lewis: "It's great living in the age of broadband and all, but we've got a long way to go before we're at a point where anybody can call a 246GB download "reasonable.""

True. I think this is mainly interesting as a non-sexual fetish object, or for filmmakers who want to use part of it.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:34 PM on April 12, 2010


I can totally see the value of a high-quality master file. Whenever I'm working with digital media I want to get my hands on the absolute best quality sources in existence. Maybe "fetish" is a good word for it.

I just have my doubts that even one single person will download this file. Even people who really want it, and begin downloading it in earnest, will likely not be able to finish retrieving the whole thing for some technical reason.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:43 PM on April 12, 2010


If that's too big, there's a 720 50P, 1280×720, 22 GB file available as a torrent on their page. There are a couple of smaller encodings around - checking Pirate Bay turns up a 7GB DVD version & a 4G version for computers.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:45 PM on April 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just have my doubts that even one single person will download this file.

When I was at college, someone wrote up this slick little program that would act as a search engine for all the shared folders on the network. This was before torrenting really got off the ground.

For some reason, there was this small subset of geeks who each independently decided that they needed to be the single repository for everything that was shared over the network. That was mostly music and porn (which some of them would boast about, go figure), but it was just exceedingly strange to see, say, 15 gigs of klezmer music on some guy's computer who I knew personally and only listened to classic rock (to pull a fictitious example out of my ass).

These are the kinds of people that would spend the better part of a fortnight downloading a video of a train ride.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:48 PM on April 12, 2010


I have the 22 GB version on my computer, and I like watching it when I'm sitting and reading or working on something besides my computer.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:49 PM on April 12, 2010


"It's great living in the age of broadband and all, but we've got a long way to go before we're at a point where anybody can call a 246GB download "reasonable.""

Well, back in the day on dial up I would have downloads that literally lasted days. With the internet connection I have now, I could download a 246GB file in under 10 hours.
posted by floam at 5:07 PM on April 12, 2010


What I would like to do is make an art out of this.

I am envisioning a screen, some sort of minimal operating system and a motion detector. Whenever someone was close by the screen would show the view, but when no one is around it would be black - green right? I dont know if the original file has day and night footage, but if it did it would be cool to sync the time of day of the picture to the local time. Failing that, maybe it just works in the daytime.

I really want to do this.
posted by shothotbot at 7:33 PM on April 12, 2010


What would it take to reduce the resolution and/or frame rate to something that still looks good(-ish) on, say, an average laptop screen, and clocks in at under 1GB? And then use it as a screensaver, beginning playback at a random time marker whenever it's activated? I would love this on my Mac.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:52 PM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wonder how long it would take to copy this file to an Atari cassette recorder from 1979, and how many tapes you'd need.
posted by davejay at 10:04 PM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


More importantly: would the resulting tape, unwound end to end, be longer than the rail journey depicted?
posted by davejay at 10:05 PM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Does it still have that "Ding!" whenever it enters a station.
That always pulls me out of the moment.
posted by madajb at 10:50 PM on April 12, 2010


Well I've been playing with Quartz Composer and I've built a Mac screensaver that will silently play any video fullscreen, starting at a random point and looping endlessly. Now I just need a reasonably-sized version of Bergensbanen and I'm good to go!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:07 PM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Would anybody mind trying to reduce it down to <1 GB, for me? For science? Or is that so low that it would lose all clarity? I'm happy to send my Quartz composition to anybody who wants to try it with the big video file, if you don't mind running a 22 GB screensaver. ;-)

I have no idea what that would do to a system. Not sure if Quartz would try to load the whole thing into memory at once... hopefully it's smarter than that.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:16 PM on April 12, 2010


There is a link to a 4GB version in this comment from the main page. I don't know about the quality of it, but maybe that's a more manageable size.
posted by hippybear at 12:33 AM on April 13, 2010


Oh cool, thanks. I'm downloading it now. :-)
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:38 AM on April 13, 2010


I wonder how long it would take to copy this file to an Atari cassette recorder from 1979, and how many tapes you'd need.

Well, Wikipedia says the Atari 410 tape drive that was available in 1979 does 600 bits per second. So...
246GB = 246 x 230 bytes = 264,140,488,704 bytes.

264,140,488,704 bytes x 8 bits/byte = 2,113,123,909,632 bits.

2,113,123,909,632 bits/600 bits-per-second = 3,521,873,183 seconds.

3,521,873,183 seconds / 3600 seconds-per-hour = 978,298 hours. (You'd need this many C-60 tapes!)

978,298 hours / 8766 hours-per-year = 111.6 years.
More importantly: would the resulting tape, unwound end to end, be longer than the rail journey depicted?

From Wikipedia again, cassette tape runs at 4.76 centimeters per second. So...
3,521,873,183 seconds x 4.76 cm/sec = 16,764,116,350 cm.

16,764,116,350 / 100,000 cm-per-km = 167,641 km (104,125 miles).
When they said "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes", these aren't the tapes they were talking about.
posted by FishBike at 7:37 AM on April 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


FishBike, you're my favorite number cruncher ever. That is awesome.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:55 AM on April 13, 2010


I want to make the whole thing into JPEGs, then display them on a digital picture frame at one frame per minute with a subtle fade or dissolve effect between frames. What I'm after is the experience of looking at scenery that doesn't seem to be changing even slightly for as long as you stare at it, yet is undeniably if minimally different every time you walk into the room.

At one frame per minute instead of 25 frames per second, the complete trip would take well over a year.
posted by flabdablet at 7:44 PM on April 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Using TDK C-180 cassettes instead of C-60 drops the number required to a much more manageable 326100. Now take the tape reels out of the cassettes; that gives you a collection of 2" x 0.15" cylinders, for a volume per cylinder of 3.14 x 1 x 1 x 0.15 = 0.471 cubic inches, or a total volume of 0.471 x 326100 = 154000 cubic inches = 154000 / 144 = 1070 cubic feet. Allowing for about 15% packing overhead means you'd need 1200 cubic feet of transport space to transport them. So they wouldn't fit in a station wagon, but they'd easily fit in a 20 foot shipping container.

New York to LA is a 44 hour trip, according to Google Maps. So a container truck full of Atari-formatted C180 tape reels on a New York to LA run would achieve a bandwidth of 246GB / 1000 GB per MB / 44 hours x 3600 seconds per hour = 20 MB / second, which is not too shabby.

Also, running the requisite bank of 326100 cassette players at standard tape speed so the entire data transfer still takes 3 hours: 246GB / 1000 GB per MB * 8 bits per B / 3 hours x 3600 seconds per hour = 2400 Mbits / second, comparable to a modern hard disk interface.
posted by flabdablet at 8:43 PM on April 13, 2010


flabdalet, your idea got me thinking you could make a frame that displayed a full year's worth of scenery in real time, so it would change with the seasons. And then I realized I'd just invented a window.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:24 PM on April 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, back in the day on dial up I would have downloads that literally lasted days.

I still do.
posted by pompomtom at 11:10 PM on April 13, 2010


Exetel has just confirmed in writing that my present access plan gives me unlimited downloads off-peak. I wonder if anybody else in Australia will be torrenting this thing?
posted by flabdablet at 12:22 AM on April 14, 2010


I'd just invented a window

or possibly a live webcam.
posted by flabdablet at 12:23 AM on April 14, 2010


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