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RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

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  #1  
Old 01-30-2011, 09:21 AM
cruel.frames's Avatar
cruel.frames cruel.frames is offline
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Post RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

Hello,

I am in Germany and as many other non-american members would love to watch some of the past shows. I know that YouTube offers the rentals only for the US and that you can't do anything about that. Fair enough. But is it really YouTube the only option? I doubt that.

There are plenty of pay per view platforms already. This probably has been discussed before, and I am truly surprised and a bit disappointed that nothing has been done so far about that.

I know that limiting the access to a feature/product will tremendously raise the interest in it and therefore its value. It is written in probably every marketing book. But I don't think it is fair and definately not healthy for the loyal community of RetouchPro. And I do think that the thing that really keeps RetouchPro and the live events running is the loyalty of its members.

If you don't have the time/resources to research for alternatives of YouTube, I am sure the community will help with that. Tell us what's your criterion for a sharing platform and we'll do our best.

Regards,
Nikolay

Last edited by cruel.frames; 01-30-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:52 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

As long as people don't just do a quick google and paste in links that they've spent a few seconds viewing, I'm fine with suggestions. I've spent hundreds of hours on this already, and don't relish spending more hours dragging others up this particular learning curve.

The criterion that come to mind that have prevented alternatives (not an exhaustive list, just off the top of my head) are:
  • Reputable hosting company integrated with a reputable payment company
  • Secure streaming with a content delivery network that is sufficient to stream uninterupted 2+ hours of HD video internationally
  • No or nominal upfront fee
  • No or nominal contract fee
  • No or nominal storage fee for potentially 1TB of media files
  • No or nominal per-stream fee for 2GB files
  • Turnkey frontend
  • Integral and automatic multi-transcoding
  • Total combined average cost including all maintenance and financial fees must be under $5/stream at a very low volume, yet not raise at a very high volume
Every company I've examined fails on one or more of these. But also every company trumpets passing one or more of these, causing a major headache when comparing them. Even YouTube fails on the international part, but that will change eventually.

So, before posting your suggestions please check each of these. You'll find many will require you to call on the phone or email as they don't publish pricing. Please do not post those unless you've had the necessary communications.

The YouTube Rentals program is not a me-too product. They're attempting something no one has ever been able to do before, potentially a game changer, and even with the resources of Google behind them they're struggling. So it's a bit glib to state an alternative should be easily found.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:15 PM
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cruel.frames cruel.frames is offline
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Post Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

Thanks for your comprehensive reply Doug. Even though I am not a specialist in this field, I could see that we're talking about huge amount of data and bandwidth that is indeed difficult to get, not to mention for a reasonable price, without making compromises. Nevertheless, it is a start and if more interested people take part we may find a solution faster.

Apart from this, I will share some ideas that come to my mind right now. A few years ago I had to do quite a long screencast tutorial on photoshop for my university and had to deal a lot with file formats, resolutions and frames per second issues. I am aware that those may take a lot of time and resources that you probably don't have, but I will write them anyway. Ignore if that's the case.

- You mentioned that the files are around 2 GB each. I suppose this is the raw capture and not the transcoded file.

File sizes (which I think is one of the major issues) can be reduced significantly by:
- reasonably lowering the resolution (seriously, who needs full HD?)
- reducing the frames per second to 1 fps. (As shocking as it may sound, one frame per second is perfectly OK for webinars and screencasts).

Also if 2h streaming is a problem, splitting the files may work.

Having in mind the idea of RetouchPRO Live, slightly lower resolution and frames per second should not in anyway lower its educational value.

-----

And last but not least, have you considered "pay per download" options, or they are out of the question? It will probably be the easiest way.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:42 PM
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Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

Yes, I've tried all those techniques, and more. I've spent far more time and money on it than the half-dozen rentals per week warrant. Once it opens for international viewing I expect that to increase by about 50%.

Yes, I could offer them at 1fps 420 resolution, but who would pay $10+ for that? If I drop the price it would cannibalize the live viewership. Already, lowering the resolution to "just" 1080 makes some of the menus and cursors hard to see and introduces banding and artifacts. Even if people were willing to pay the price I'd feel guilty foisting such a poor experience on them, and I doubt it would inspire anyone to attend a live show.

I appreciate the time you've spent posting on this, but you have the tail wagging the dog. The rentals are merely the archive for the live show. I can't have the archive doing anything that jeopardizes the live show (at least more than it already has, piracy is already hurting me, and would go through the roof if I offered downloads).

I'll continue waking up at 5am to do the rebroadcasts (really the closest thing visually to attending a live show) until YouTube finally opens up international viewing (which I honestly do expect any time).
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:12 AM
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cruel.frames cruel.frames is offline
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Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

Thanks for explaining your reasoning, Doug. I've never come up with the thought that the "archive" might threaten the live shows, but if that's the case - I agree with you. I also think that the live shows are much superior to the recordings, but by the time I started attending them, I've already missed a bunch of really interesting topics and their rebroadcasts, like the Calculations and Masking shows for example. So the archive was my only preferred option left.

Don't worry about Piracy. There's little to be done against it and most of the times it even worsens it. As I said before, the best and only working protection, is a respectful and loyal community. And I believe Retouch Pro has it for many years now.

Any chance of rebroadcasting some much older shows?

P.S.
Honestly, I expected more people to join and contribute to finding a solution, but I guess I was a bit too naive
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:21 AM
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Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

As far as I can tell there's very little actual piracy happening. I've actually tried to download some of the pirated shows and they always end up asking for money (more money than the shows cost). Plus I suspect they might even be fake since I've seen them list shows that haven't even happened yet, complete with download links (it would be so much easier if I could just download my shows and rebroadcast them without having to bother actually making them).

The real cost of piracy is the pollution of the Google search results. Pro retouchers do not appreciate all those disreputable links showing up anytime someone searches on their name.

I have been working older shows into the rebroadcast rotation. PM or email me with a list of specific shows you're interested in and I'll see what I can do.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:23 PM
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Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

Hi Doug,

Find that thread by accident.me too like cruel.frames has missed some good live tutorials. You mentioned that there is something you can do about getting access to some of the ,,lost gems,,. Please inform me on that subject too.Thank you.Nebula.
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Originally Posted by Doug Nelson View Post
As far as I can tell there's very little actual piracy happening. I've actually tried to download some of the pirated shows and they always end up asking for money (more money than the shows cost). Plus I suspect they might even be fake since I've seen them list shows that haven't even happened yet, complete with download links (it would be so much easier if I could just download my shows and rebroadcast them without having to bother actually making them).

The real cost of piracy is the pollution of the Google search results. Pro retouchers do not appreciate all those disreputable links showing up anytime someone searches on their name.

I have been working older shows into the rebroadcast rotation. PM or email me with a list of specific shows you're interested in and I'll see what I can do.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:23 PM
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Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

Just email or PM me with which shows you'd like to see. Obviously I can't run all of them next, but if I see any trends I'll definitely try to accommodate.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:48 PM
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Re: RetouchPro Live from outside USA thoughts

Hello Doug,

Do you have <RetouchPRO LIVE with Amy Dresser 2> video available? Thank you.

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Originally Posted by Doug Nelson View Post
Just email or PM me with which shows you'd like to see. Obviously I can't run all of them next, but if I see any trends I'll definitely try to accommodate.
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