Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Buffer me long and hard

extra buffer button
  [vote for,

for media players. When I know my connection speed is too slow for the amount of buffering done I want a button to push to add a BIG buffer to my streaming video.
Voice, Sep 29 2010


       Good idea. Smarter software should even do this for you automatically, no?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 29 2010

       Ian, do you live on high ground, or at the top of a tower block? If so, you've probably just got low pressure. You should install a big header tank in the loft, and connect to that rather than from the rising main.   

       Just be careful you know what you're doing though. If you get it wrong, you'll start siphoning, and then some bugger living further down the hill will get all your Sky channels bubbling up out his earth connection.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 29 2010

       Bun for the idea (I really need this). I fiddle and frick around with buffer size settings on the media player, all to no avail, there is some setting I can't get to. I've found some pages allow you to pause after a second of playing and let the whole thing buffer (youtube) - but others won't load more than 30 seconds or so and just pause waiting for you to catch up. It's like there's an assumed DL speed inbuilt into the player.   

       Another bun for the title.
Custardguts, Sep 30 2010

       The pressure thing's stupid, cause we all know electron flow is turbulent in CAT5 cable anyway. What you need is bigger pipe.
Custardguts, Sep 30 2010

       Bun for the annos alone.
normzone, Sep 30 2010

       A bun just for fun. You guys are great. [+]
Boomershine, Sep 30 2010

       now I'd quite enjoy the sound of the tardis materialising while I ran my bath.
po, Sep 30 2010

       You just want David Tennant to see you in the bath
hippo, Sep 30 2010

       I told you not to broadcast that fantasy.
po, Sep 30 2010

       The thing is, most of the time you aren't watching a streamed video. It's actually a progressive download. Youtube and the like use TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) to make sure the video gets to it's destination in one piece. This might take a little time (and so the buffer is required). If you've got the bandwidth to play the video then something like RTP (Real Time Protocol) would be better - that's what it's designed for, after all.   

       Ah well - enough lamentation about the existence of the problem. Now on to the pastry for the solution: [+].
Jinbish, Sep 30 2010

       You could also realise massive efficiencies in the video-transmission protocol by changing the "video-on-demand" model so that everyone "demanded" the video at the same time such that a single data stream could be transmitted to everyone. The power of suggestion may work for this - you may find, for example, that suggesting a certain time of day for a particular video stream to start is enough. If you printed this time in major newspapers and put it on popular websites, you may find that everyone would then "demand" the video stream started at that time.
hippo, Sep 30 2010

       Replace [hippo]'s innovative suggestion with multiple, time shifted versions and you get a "broadcast carousel". This might, at first sound like the "+1" channel, but there is research out there about the correct scheduling of data into carousel systems to minimise waiting times or maximising data availability and so on.
(A lot of these research ideas have become redundant because they were based on the premise that much of the data transmitted could not not be stored at the end points so would have to be retrieved from source when needed. Of course, now you can store entire movies on a USB stick that costs about £10).

       [ edit: High Five bigsleep!]
Jinbish, Sep 30 2010

       //you could probably get 90% of bandwidth over to a broadcast model//   

       I'm not sure of the %age, but you're not far away. My doctoral studies looked into this and there is a lot of evidence to suggest that file popularity fits a Zipf-like distribution. This means that the most popular file in a system is typically twice as popular as the next... and so on with a long tail of stuff behind. You also see this kind of effect with many web news outlets that supply a "popular" list or a "trending" list.   

       If you can transmit this content out when the network is good and store it on user devices before the users make the demand, then you can improve file access times.
Jinbish, Sep 30 2010

       + ...and you could buffer my bun.
xandram, Sep 30 2010

       A broadcast carousel isn't the right solution -- it would require that the data continually be sent to the entire internet simultaneously. Instead what's wanted is a multicast carousel.   

       With a multicast connection, there's a data originator, and several data recipients; the originator sends out sends out a single data packets, and each router between the originator and recipients will, send a copy of that packet to every router that's connected to it which along a path to a recipient.   

       Unfortunately, not all routers implement multicast routing.   

       However, while a multicast carousel would reduce the load on the internet, and increase download speeds, it doesn't solve the Voice's real problem -- the recipient application not buffering enough data.   

       The obvious solution would be to design your streaming video viewing application so that it downloads the first second or two of the video, and calculates your download speed based on how long that took; it should then buffer enough video so that the video will finish playing a few seconds after it finishes downloading.   

       The obvious problem with that solution is that if your network connection speed drops after the beginning of the download (quite possible on wireless networks), the viewing of the video will catch up to the end of the downloaded portion of the video. Obviously, when the program has run out of data to show, it is forced to pause to buffer more data.   

       The solution to the problem's solution's problem, is to have the viewer *continuously* calculate the rate at which the data is being received. The instant the download rate slows to the point that the program thinks that it *might* take longer to download the remaining video than to display it, it should immediately pause to buffer more video.   

       This will result in the video pausing to buffer earlier, when it's less likely to interrupt something interesting/important.   

       Also, it will only pause to buffer data at most once for each time the download speed decreases.
goldbb, Sep 30 2010

       //The solution to the problem's solution's problem, is to have the viewer *continuously* calculate the rate at which the data is being received//   

       Yep. RTP will do that for us. The application can react as it sees fit.
{P.S. I know that I didn't say anything to the contrary, but I didn't mean using a broadcast carousel on t'internet... }
Jinbish, Sep 30 2010

       I expected to read this idea and see footage of pirates, sodomising their shipmates. Instead I just got ads and a short comedy rotine.
infidel, Oct 03 2010

       Does anyone know of a player that simply downloads the lot before trying to play the file? Bearing in mind most embedded video files can't be right-click-saved.
Custardguts, Oct 03 2010

       Lipid lets you set this as a preference.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 03 2010

       After much deliberation, [Voice], I have decided to buffer your bun. No, wait a minute; that's just not right. I have decided to bun your buffer. <grins> [+]
Grogster, Oct 03 2010

       Apparently the new version will be called Insipid, [MB]. It's a bit like your running joke.
infidel, Oct 04 2010


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