Author Topic: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?  (Read 11811 times)

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Offline Cary L. Brown

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I miss the old Rifftrax Player...  I have an installer for v1.1.1.5, which installs, but crashes every time I try to use it, and an installer for 1.9.8.8, which gives the well-known "server failure" error.  So, despite how much I LOVED the Rifftrax player, I can't use it.

SO...  most of the time, I just push my MP3 riff file into my little thumb-drive MP3 player, and watch the movie with my earbuds in.  This works out reasonably well, though it's got a few major drawbacks.

Key to those is that it only works when I'm by myself.  Otherwise, the other folks in the room think I'm insane when I laugh at strange points throughout the movie.   >:D

Now, I have a full, Win7-based HTPC where I'd prefer to do this (in my living room).  I'd love to be able to play back the "Matrix" flicks with commentary for not just myself but for a group of my friends.  I'd really, really like to be able to do this without having to install a second sound system in there, too.  But I'm a bit stumped on how to do this.

Obviously, it's not an option going from my standard DVD or BD player, through my receiver, to my TV and speakers.  It cannot "mix" media from various channels, and I'm not aware of any receiver or amplifier (at least any COMMERCIAL one) which can.  Professional setups use separate mixer boards... no way I'm gonna do that just to listen to Riffs.

But on the HTPC, it ought to be possible to play back simultaneous soundstracks, shouldn't it?  The "mixing" is all occurring inside the PC, in software, after all.  This is really all the "Rifftrax player" did, when you get down to it...  mixed them and kept them in sync.  (Well, the "keeping in sync" is probably more complicated than I make it sound...  but we all know that, so no need to belabor the point.)

Ideally, I'd think what we need is just a "wrapper" for something like VLC, where it opens two files at once (essentially two instances of VLC?) but consolidates them under one user interface.  "Syncing" need not be a totally automatic issue...  I'm fine with a set of buttons on the top saying "delay sound by 1 second" or so forth which I can hit to resync "manually" if things get out of whack.  Fully-automatic syncing is wonderful, but just make the non-automatic version SIMPLE and I doubt many of us will complain!

Okay, so nothing like that exists yet, though.  I'm not a coder, so I'm not really able to make it for myself (and I don't have the time or inclination to learn VLC's inner workings anyway).

SO...  I'm curious what you guys are doing?  Just doing what I do and using your "ipod-ish" device entirely separately?  Trying to run two separate media players independently and syncing them manually on a PC?   Rigging up a second sound system (say, an iPod dock?) to provide Riffs?  What?


Offline Thrifty

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 09:42:36 AM »
I create a copy of the DVD with the Rifftrax embedded in it as an optional audio track.


Offline Misty

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 10:05:21 AM »
At first I was downloading the movies already presync'd with the rifftrax and then just donated here.  Then I took a shot at syncing them myself using this guide:

http://forum.rifftrax.com/index.php/topic,413.0.html

You can also use the "Guide to Reauthoring" link in Tony Haywards signature up there ^

I don't think I've ever used rifftrax in the way it was meant to be used: as a separate audio file to be played along with the movie.


Online MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 07:42:15 PM »
 I've been mostly re-authoring since I got a fast enough computer.  But do have several of the movies only on Blu-Ray so can't re-author those.

I would think if you had a dual monitor setup on a PC you could have the movie playing on one full screen and still be able to use the controls on an audio player on a second screen.  Might be tricky to get the sound levels mixed well.

For using an MP3 player just get a cheap pair of powered computer speakers, they will plug into the player the same way the headphones do and it's fairly easy to get the volume just right.  I put mine back by the seats so the riffs mix in with the surround sound (unlike DVDs Blu-Rays rarely have a simple stereo audio option on the disk).


Offline SJP

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 11:11:21 AM »
I'm old-fashioned...I have my laptop near my movie disc player, and all I do is hit play while I watch on my big TV.  I usually have syncing issues starting up, but once I hit a good sync line I usually get it lined up no problem.  I keep my remote nearby, so if I ever have to pause I just get ambidextrous with my remote and my mouse.

It's not a perfect set-up by any means, but I haven't had to re-author anything, and it works 99% of the time.  That's the main reason I made "Stupend-O" editions of various iRiffs, because I assumed most people DON'T re-author, and thus I can use the pausing and sync-lines to add-in extra skits that you really can't do on a re-author.  However, the response to those seems to be lackluster at best, since it appears re-authoring is more popular than I thought.  Ain't going to stop me making those, though...

I will say, even though I don't own an iPod, I think I would prefer having the laptop to do it anyway...the pause just seems more reliable when I can click a button the size of a real button.

I have noticed, though, doing video work, that because of the dynamic increase of sound on Blu-ray discs, re-authoring on those can be tricky...a track that sounds fine compared to a DVD sounds about half as loud as a Blu-ray on the same volume, and lines can be drowned out pretty easily on ones where action gets going.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 11:13:45 AM by SJP »
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Online MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 12:08:57 PM »
I will say, even though I don't own an iPod, I think I would prefer having the laptop to do it anyway...the pause just seems more reliable when I can click a button the size of a real button.

The larger iPods with the click wheel are very easy to pause and restart, I usually use my old 5th generation video one that has the largest area to press.  But some of the smaller mp3 players can take extra time to find and press the button.

Do you plug external powered speakers into the laptop to get more volume?  On DVDs most of the time you can pick a stereo only track so you're surround system isn't blasting from all speakers, but most Blu-Rays only have the one full surround track, and yes if you turn down the action the dialogue gets very soft...  Switching off the subwoofer is an easy way to help even things out so you can hear dialogue and riffs.


Offline torgosPizza

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 03:28:26 PM »

Ideally, I'd think what we need is just a "wrapper" for something like VLC, where it opens two files at once (essentially two instances of VLC?) but consolidates them under one user interface.  "Syncing" need not be a totally automatic issue...  I'm fine with a set of buttons on the top saying "delay sound by 1 second" or so forth which I can hit to resync "manually" if things get out of whack.  Fully-automatic syncing is wonderful, but just make the non-automatic version SIMPLE and I doubt many of us will complain!

This is what the new player is doing, but with MPlayer instead of VLC. If anyone is going to get bluray support first it'll be MPlayer. And actually, it's not really a wrapper, it's a complete set of code (a few thousand lines, last I heard from our dev) that basically has two instances of the player working under one GUI, and it talks to itself using pipes instead of telnet or something like that. So basically you can keep in sync, skip around, fast forward, pause and play again all without losing sync.

Anyway, the private beta is almost ready. The mplayer-based solution works extremely well, and we're working on getting a few test "control files" ready so we can get some of our various users here to test it out.

Once I have an easy installation package for it I'm going to ask a few of you forum members to help us out ;)


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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 04:54:45 PM »
I play the movie in my DVD player on my TV in my living room. In the other room is my computer, so I have cables coming from it to speakers set up below my TV. I play the Rifftrax beginning to find out where the beginning sync point is and then I pause the DVD. Then I play the Rifftrax, and after they say pause, I unpause the DVD. It's essentially the opposite as what they tell you to do, but it works perfectly fine 99% of the time, and I have very little to no syncing problems after that. It's only if I want to pause the Rifftrax that I have to go back to a sync line and line it up again, but that isn't hard either.



Online MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2010, 05:54:46 PM »

Ideally, I'd think what we need is just a "wrapper" for something like VLC, where it opens two files at once (essentially two instances of VLC?) but consolidates them under one user interface.  "Syncing" need not be a totally automatic issue...  I'm fine with a set of buttons on the top saying "delay sound by 1 second" or so forth which I can hit to resync "manually" if things get out of whack.  Fully-automatic syncing is wonderful, but just make the non-automatic version SIMPLE and I doubt many of us will complain!

This is what the new player is doing, but with MPlayer instead of VLC. If anyone is going to get bluray support first it'll be MPlayer. And actually, it's not really a wrapper, it's a complete set of code (a few thousand lines, last I heard from our dev) that basically has two instances of the player working under one GUI, and it talks to itself using pipes instead of telnet or something like that. So basically you can keep in sync, skip around, fast forward, pause and play again all without losing sync.

Anyway, the private beta is almost ready. The mplayer-based solution works extremely well, and we're working on getting a few test "control files" ready so we can get some of our various users here to test it out.

Once I have an easy installation package for it I'm going to ask a few of you forum members to help us out ;)

Wow, when did you guys drop the VLC project?  Don't think I've ever tried MPlayer.  It would be very cool if they do get blu-ray playback working.  Good to hear there is still a player in the works, although my newish computer is much faster at reauthoring it's still a chore, they player was always the easiest way to go.


Offline FordPrefect

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2010, 02:56:43 AM »
I have an MP3 compatible boombox, so I just burn Rifftrax MP3s to a data disc. Having the boombox right next to my TV works pretty well and I've never felt the need to re-author.


Offline bullwinkle

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2010, 09:32:46 PM »

Ideally, I'd think what we need is just a "wrapper" for something like VLC, where it opens two files at once (essentially two instances of VLC?) but consolidates them under one user interface.  "Syncing" need not be a totally automatic issue...  I'm fine with a set of buttons on the top saying "delay sound by 1 second" or so forth which I can hit to resync "manually" if things get out of whack.  Fully-automatic syncing is wonderful, but just make the non-automatic version SIMPLE and I doubt many of us will complain!

This is what the new player is doing, but with MPlayer instead of VLC. If anyone is going to get bluray support first it'll be MPlayer. And actually, it's not really a wrapper, it's a complete set of code (a few thousand lines, last I heard from our dev) that basically has two instances of the player working under one GUI, and it talks to itself using pipes instead of telnet or something like that. So basically you can keep in sync, skip around, fast forward, pause and play again all without losing sync.

Anyway, the private beta is almost ready. The mplayer-based solution works extremely well, and we're working on getting a few test "control files" ready so we can get some of our various users here to test it out.

Once I have an easy installation package for it I'm going to ask a few of you forum members to help us out ;)

That's awesome that it is getting close to a beta.  I hope Rifftrax doesn't venture into bluray though, as linux still doesn't support it.


Offline torgosPizza

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2010, 02:25:46 PM »
That's awesome that it is getting close to a beta.  I hope Rifftrax doesn't venture into bluray though, as linux still doesn't support it.

It doesn't, but when MPlayer does, Linux will. :)


Offline Starman!

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2010, 02:20:41 PM »
I have my laptop playing the track (saved on a USB hard drive) and I play the movie, either on my TV or portable DVD player. I used to watch the DVD on my laptop while playing the riff on it, but my laptop's screen is beat up so I can't really do that anymore.


Offline Cary L. Brown

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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2010, 08:34:25 PM »
This is what the new player is doing, but with MPlayer instead of VLC. If anyone is going to get bluray support first it'll be MPlayer. And actually, it's not really a wrapper, it's a complete set of code (a few thousand lines, last I heard from our dev) that basically has two instances of the player working under one GUI, and it talks to itself using pipes instead of telnet or something like that. So basically you can keep in sync, skip around, fast forward, pause and play again all without losing sync.

Anyway, the private beta is almost ready. The mplayer-based solution works extremely well, and we're working on getting a few test "control files" ready so we can get some of our various users here to test it out.

Once I have an easy installation package for it I'm going to ask a few of you forum members to help us out ;)
Outstanding, and damned glad to hear it!

I've got no problem with using various players...  except in those annoying cases where they require conflicting codecs (which, as it turns out, is why I can't seem to get PowerDVD to work properly on my main "work" computer).  I haven't used MPlayer much, though I did notice that I can install it on either Windows or my Ubuntu "lab computer."  Assuming that the "wrapper" source code is in something convenient, and doesn't use OS-specific "optimizations" (quotes VERY much required there!), then I can see how advantageous this might be.

I'd love to be a tester for the new player, though I'm really much more looking forward to getting the final product, all things considered!  :)

Thanks for the update!


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Re: Lacking a Dedicated "Rifftrax Player," How do YOU play your Riffs?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2010, 07:20:08 AM »
This is what the new player is doing, but with MPlayer instead of VLC. If anyone is going to get bluray support first it'll be MPlayer. And actually, it's not really a wrapper, it's a complete set of code (a few thousand lines, last I heard from our dev) that basically has two instances of the player working under one GUI, and it talks to itself using pipes instead of telnet or something like that. So basically you can keep in sync, skip around, fast forward, pause and play again all without losing sync.

Anyway, the private beta is almost ready. The mplayer-based solution works extremely well, and we're working on getting a few test "control files" ready so we can get some of our various users here to test it out.

Once I have an easy installation package for it I'm going to ask a few of you forum members to help us out ;)
Outstanding, and damned glad to hear it!

I've got no problem with using various players...  except in those annoying cases where they require conflicting codecs (which, as it turns out, is why I can't seem to get PowerDVD to work properly on my main "work" computer).  I haven't used MPlayer much, though I did notice that I can install it on either Windows or my Ubuntu "lab computer."  Assuming that the "wrapper" source code is in something convenient, and doesn't use OS-specific "optimizations" (quotes VERY much required there!), then I can see how advantageous this might be.

I'd love to be a tester for the new player, though I'm really much more looking forward to getting the final product, all things considered!  :)

Thanks for the update!
If you want to help test the beta form is out. Just ask them for access here: http://forum.rifftrax.com/index.php/topic,19617.0.html