Some notes on RSS feeds, API, set top boxes, and why stuff is poopy

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rorie

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#1  Edited By rorie  Staff

First off ADBLOCK IS PROBABLY STILL MAKING THE SITE VIDEO PLAYER FUNKY. I believe the new video player isn't working well with adblock or ublock at the moment; they're blocking a specific tracking cookie that the new player is using. This isn't intended and we're working to solve it but in the meantime these should work if you disable adblock or watch Incognito.

ANYWAY: Hey there’s been a bunch of weird stuff going on with the site video encoder lately that is having knock-on effects on the RSS feeds and the API, which in turn is causing issues with set-top boxes and apps. I wanted to outline some of the issues here just so everyone is on the same page and honestly some of you probably know more about this than I do, so feel free to let me know if any of this sounds super off.

When we upload a video the video encoder is supposed to take that video and spit out a variety of different sizes and bitrates based on the quality level that is selected. HD should be 1080p (although right now it seems to be spitting out 4k videos despite the fact that we don’t record in 4k), and so on and so forth down to Mobile quality. I don’t have all the bitrates and sizes that should match up to each quality setting, but the problem right now is that the encoder is somewhat randomly not putting up all the quality settings for each video. E.g. the Kirby video apparently has all of the appropriate video settings:

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But UPF only has HD and Low for some reason:

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And Patrick’s Parabox is only mobile quality:

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Unfortunately when the encoder doesn’t spit out the appropriate size files, the RSS feeds won’t update appropriately, leading to odd situations where the All Videos RSS feed for HD will have some videos appearing in them that aren’t in the SD feed, and vice versa. In addition, the API apparently only serves Low, High, and HD feeds, so if some of those files aren’t generated those videos may not play in set-top boxes or apps that are trying to pull those files from the API.

So it’s all kind of a mess, but it’s good to know that most of our current issues with video are probably related to one root issue (the encoder being funky). (The adblock issue is apparently still in there as well making the whole situation even more complicated to track down; that is also being worked on.) The encoder seems to work fine for the videos that GameSpot is publishing, as they all seem to have the appropriate HD, High, and Low quality settings, so one of the first things we’ll probably be asking our engineers to do is to ensure that the GB encoder is putting out those qualities consistently for every video we drop into it. If we can solve that problem, then hopefully the other issues that people are seeing with apps and set-top boxes will in turn be fixed. I don’t have an ETA for fixing all this unfortunately but it is a known issue and is being looked into.

In the meantime, most of our content is being sent to our YouTube channel at this point, so most of these videos should play there without issue. Sorry for the trouble!

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juvigt

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Where is the Ouya app?

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swordstruck

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Should we expect that the impacted videos will be fixed? Or are those just jacked up forever?

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rorie

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#4 rorie  Staff

Should we expect that the impacted videos will be fixed? Or are those just jacked up forever?

I am not 100% sure on this one but hopefully we can find some kind of solution when we get the encoder figured out.

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braintuba

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Thanks for the update! I used to use the Kodi plug-in all the time. I was fumbling updating it to work again, but I don't really know what I'm doing. Just glad you folks put video out like this, for us weirdos that would rather not use YouTube. If I can get the Kodi plug-in working, I'll make a post.

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Bardalien

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Thanks! I've got some work around on mobile but have been catching the free stuff on YouTube since Chewie Bomb is wonky.

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Trevor_A-train

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#7  Edited By Trevor_A-train

Are these issues also the reason so many premium live shows have been going out on Twitch or is this something different?

Edit: that question sounds ruder than I mean it to. Just curious if this is an issue causing streaming weirdness for premium stuff. Thanks!

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poweld

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Possibly related, but I am currently getting 403 errors when trying to download the latest Grubb Snax in HD (https://giantbomb.redvideo.redventures.io/2022/03/24/e598a724-a576-4ea6-b2d7-444ba27dbbc6/gs39_2160h8000k.mp4?api_key=redacted)

The body for the error reads `Based on your subscription level, this content is unavailable`, despite having a premium subscription.

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timeshero

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Thanks for this! I was getting some stuttering when attempting to cast videos to my Chromecast Ultra recently. I presume this is the issue.

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Dornath

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Is this also why videos haven't been working in Firefox for a while now or is that a completely separate issue?

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spiketail

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#11  Edited By spiketail

@dornath: As in every video or something specific? Quality level? Currently watching Playdate: MK8 Deluxe: Booster Course Pass on HTML5 High. Been watching the videos fine via Firefox on these settings for the past couple months just fine.

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Onemanarmyy

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I blame the russian FSB for messing with GB's video encoder. Those darn hackers hit us where it hurts!

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rorie

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#13 rorie  Staff

@dornath said:

Is this also why videos haven't been working in Firefox for a while now or is that a completely separate issue?

If you're running Adblock in FF that is most likely the reason why. We're still trying to get our video player updated so that it works with adblock; apologies for the trouble.

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The_Nubster

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I noticed the YouTube channel getting full-length videos now. Is this due to the encoding issues for ease of access, or will full-length content live on the main YouTube feed from now on as well?

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derFeef

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FWIW The problems also happen with apps that use the API, like Video Bomb, so it probably is not the player alone.

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rorie

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#16 rorie  Staff

Just FYI I believe (I hope) the adblock problem has been resolved; can anyone confirm?

And it looks like we might have figured out the encoder issue as well, but I'll hold out on more updates until I get a firm ETA on a fix!

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JJBSterling

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So is this RSS problem why Overcast is sending me push notifications of "new" Bombcast episodes from like 2009, 2011, 2013, etc? Or is that something else?

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skele_blade

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@rorie I can get into a few more videos now, still some seem to be affected but if the encoder is working through them that could be the issue. On Apple TV app.

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nicolenomicon

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@rorie: I'll check this later today. Some info that might be helpful is that for me ublock wasn't the issue, but 1 specific tracker being blocked in ghostery was what was giving me grief. I'll update this post with its name once I'm at my computer.

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nicolenomicon

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@rorie: I'll check this later today. Some info that might be helpful is that for me ublock wasn't the issue, but 1 specific tracker being blocked in ghostery was what was giving me grief. I'll update this post with its name once I'm at my computer.

@rori: I've tested this and it's now working with both ublock origin on and ghostery blocking all trackers in Firefox, so this seems to be working now!

Here's the minimum scripts I needed to enable via noscript as well to get things running as expected in case that helps?

No Caption Provided

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tyashki

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So is this RSS problem why Overcast is sending me push notifications of "new" Bombcast episodes from like 2009, 2011, 2013, etc? Or is that something else?

@rorie I'm also wondering about this one. I've had to turn off podcast notifications because I get them almost daily.