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Posted on August 20, 2014 by Fons "Fonzy" Leenaars

Hello once again awesome people,

It’s been a busy week here at Merlini’s Police HQ. The last post regarding the Twitch VoD changes received some very useful feedback on Reddit as far as our options were concerned, and you have my thanks for that!

So what did we end up doing?

Highlight everything!
We could have highlighted every single VoD in its full duration, thus allowing the backbone of the catalog (the VoDs) to continue existing, but we chose to step away from this option. Although it would fix the current problem we’re facing, we decided to just move away from Twitch as the storage/hosting facility of the content in general. We’ll obviously continue to use it for the live stream, but as far as cataloged content goes; we’ll be switching services.

Export to YouTube
The next logical option was mass exporting everything. I was worried we wouldn’t get this done in time, but after setting up a list of all the VoDs that would have to be exported (a nice round 700 of them) it turned out it wouldn’t be a problem after all. At the moment I’m about 1/3 through but I probably won’t finish the rest of the VoDs as I’ll be using option 3 for the actual catalog content. As for why I stopped with the exports: It turns out YouTube cuts the VoDs into 2 hour segments. This wasn’t a problem until I then discovered that the YouTube editor doesn’t work with any videos >= 2 hours in length. That meant that I couldn’t cut the VoDs into single games once exported. Such a shame, this really would have been the easiest solution otherwise!

Download everything!
A rough calculation gave me “3.3TB” of data as a reasonable assumption for the size of Merlini’s VoDs. “Well shit” was the first thought running through my head. After that I realized that Twitch also divides VoDs into 30 minute segments, and I had never stored those references when indexing the catalog. Luckily a few quick google searches allowed me to obtain all the links to the source files for all the VoDs. The only thing remaining was having all those bits & pieces automatically downloaded and stored somewhere. We went out and got a 4TB external hard drive (and of course whenever you buy something with 4TB, it only has 3.6TB of actual space, love those little facts) and I set up a quick automated download script that is currently running.

So, what about the catalog then?
After the download completes (hopefully in time) I might be needing your help, and I’ll let you know about that in the next post (it has to do with indexing the end time for all the games). Then we’ll upload all the individual games to YouTube, reindex those new YouTube links in our catalog and that should make everything work again! We’ll have some more manual editing work in the future because of this change, but in the end I think it’ll make for better content, and easier for you guys to browse & enjoy.

Last but not least; we would all like to say thank you for your support! “We” being myself (Fonzy), Protease & Merlini. A lot of this stuff we’ve done, from the catalog to the silly sub-olympics streams is with the hope that you can all enjoy & perhaps learn something from Ben’s content. It’s our absolute pleasure to continue providing these.

And as always; stay awesome folks!

Here’s a marginally-awkward picture from Ben at ESL for reading this whole thing. He’s asleep at the moment so he won’t notice for a couple of hours!