All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

TV Guide "Christmas With Elvis"

Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:22 pm

I just got the new issue of TV Guide. The CD-ROM opens and plays fine in my computer, but not in my DVD player. I may be computer illiterate, but I don't think you can download the sound from the CD-ROM. "It Won't Seem Like Christmas" appears to be take 3. It opens with Elvis saying "It feels good after we get into it." It's a little slower than the versions we've had, but a nice version, in my opinion. While the song plays you see Elvis' living room at Graceland and he is on the TV (in the black leather suit). The CD-ROM has a video of Elvis singing "Blue Christmas" from the NBC TV Special, a photo album, a contest, etc. All and all, it is very nice. I just wish I could download the song.

Mystery Train

Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:34 pm

You could just record the sound while it is playing! and then save it as a wave file... :wink:

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:16 am

Nora Sivle wrote:You could just record the sound while it is playing! and then save it as a wave file... :wink:



Then put it on a CDR :D

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:32 am

KiwiAlan wrote:
Nora Sivle wrote:You could just record the sound while it is playing! and then save it as a wave file... :wink:



Then put it on a CDR :D

And then sell it on E-bay :lol:

Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:47 am

I'll be picking this up tommorrow and a few copies for my overseas pals.

Anyone else who's interested, please drop me a private line.

Image
With advance thanks to K-Hoots for the photo!

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... 878#321878



**************************

TAKE

Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:46 pm

Is it a different take to the one that was issued on one of the many, many Christmas compilations from a few years back? (I think this particular one was called "If every day was like Christmas")?!

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:30 pm

Yes, "It Won't Seem Like Christmas Without You" is take 3 (previously unreleased). On the CD, "If Everyday Was Like Christmas," BMG released take 6.

Mystery Train

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:40 pm

MysteryTrain wrote:Yes, "It Won't Seem Like Christmas Without You" is take 3 (previously unreleased). On the CD, "If Everyday Was Like Christmas," BMG released take 6.

Mystery Train


This then is a great early Christmas present from BMG/TV Guide :D

Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:00 pm

The TV Guide CD-ROM is really pretty nice for those who have computers. However, I'm sure that many people who buy TV Guide do not have computers, and they won't be able to enjoy the CD-ROM at all, except to look at it (there are four nice "picture" discs). It is a "read only" disc. Like I said, I'm pretty computer illiterate and I haven't figured out any way to download the song to my computer, if that is even possible. There is nothing on the disc that says it's a CD-ROM. I suspect many people will pop it in their CD or DVD player only to find out it doesn't play. Most of these "free" discs will probably end up in the trash.


Mystery Train

Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:13 pm

How do we know it's Take 3?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:41 pm

I assume it's take 3 because at the beginning of the song you can hear the engineer say "take 3."

Mystery Train

Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:59 pm

MysteryTrain wrote:I assume it's take 3 because at the beginning of the song you can hear the engineer say "take 3."


That could be a clue......
....although these take number references can be repositioned sometimes to trap the unwary !

We only got Takes 6 & 7 [M] so far of this song.

Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:34 pm

MysteryTrain wrote:I assume it's take 3 because at the beginning of the song you can hear the engineer say "take 3."

Mystery Train


So far, I've only listened on my computer, which has terrible speakers. I didn't hear the slate. Thanks for the info.

Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:24 pm

I cannot, for the life of me, get a clean transfer of this song. There are several glitches and dropouts. They appear to always be in the same spots, so perhaps this is just the nature of it. I've checked the CPU, and it doesn't appear to be putting a heavy load on my system. I'm curious if others are having the same problem. If so, perhaps BMG is happy that this is a low-fi mess that beats bootleggers, but it sure doesn't make for a great listening experience for anyone, bootlegger or otherwise.

Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:42 pm

I thought it was just me and my lack of technical ability. I've been trying to burn a CDR to play on my radio show, and the quality is way below anything I could put on air. I've gone from the Line Out (on two different computers) to the line in on my mixing board. I can't get a good level on it without it sounding either tinny or muddy. My DVD player won't play it.

Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:54 pm

Yes, whether it's an unintended consequence of using Macromedia as a platform, an unfortunate bug or a deliberate decision to go low quality on this, it sure doesn't show Elvis in the best light.

Added to that is the fact that his voice cracks at one point -- fine for the collectors, maybe not so much so for the unwashed masses.

I'm not sure whether this was the wisest way to go about things, especially because not everyone who buys it is going to be able to play it and the video quality on the disc is low-res crap.

I'm sure there's some cost rationale involved here, but a standard DVD could have satisfied a lot more people with good audio and video and wider accessibility.

I'm not going to load this one on the bash-BMG bandwagon because they may have just turned the material over to TV Guide, which then made a lame decision on this. But regardless, a pretty disappointing "event" all around.

DVD

Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:01 pm

If this disc plays only in a DVD player, I can transfer any recording straight onto a CD-R via my CDR machine set up. I can also record this way from vinyl, cassettes and from my satellite "Sky" box. Unfortunately I don't have this TV guide though!! (YET).

Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:12 pm

It will play only on a computer CD-ROM drive. It's a computer data disc, not a DVD. Unlike some such discs, the audio is not embedded on a separate track that you can copy or extract without going through your sound card. Everything's built into one Macromedia module. I don't know the constraints of the Macromedia program, but if this disc is an example, apparently they're pretty severe.

Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:23 am

Although I've pretty well resigned myself to poor audio quality from this CD-ROM, perhaps there's a chance someone can do better.

I'm seeking a couple of volunteers who are reasonably savvy in working with audio on their computers and have good sound cards and ample memory and processor speed (and a reasonably fast Internet connection).

Please PM me if you'd be interested in seeing whether you can obtain better results than I have so far.

Thanks.

Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:51 am

elvissessions.com wrote:and have good sound cards and ample memory and processor speed (and a reasonably fast Internet connection).


You shouldn't need a good sound card. The best possible quality would be from digitally extracting the track directly from the data file, not by recording the Line Out from a sound card. Anyway, it sounds like some form of copy protection is being used to deliberately distort the analogue signal.

I don't have the CD-ROM, but my guess is that the audio will be found in a proprietary file format such as Quicktime (.qt or .mov) or Windows Media (.wmv). Are there any logos on the packaging to indicate what software is used? The digital audio is probabley wrapped in a DRM (Digital Rights Management) licences, so extraction would not be trivial. Nevertheless, there are ways around these things.

I would be interested in giving it a try, but the fact that you think I am an deleted - see guidelines #2 is unlikely to endear me to the task.

Chris
Last edited by ChrisM on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:19 pm

I've checked in with ChrisM to see whether he can help, but for the rest of you who are interested, I'll mention that all of this is built into one file (called ELVIS.exe). It's a Macromedia Flash Player 8.0 file, which I'll cheerfully admit I don't know jack about.

Anyone who'd like to pitch in, just let me know in a PM.

Thanks.

Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:37 pm

Thanks to the graciousness of my arch nemesis, I have been able to take a look at the content of the CD-ROM. The producers have converted the audio to a highly compressed format, hence the very poor quality. I have been able to capture the audio digitally using WM Recorder, but this only prevents further losses and it is no better than what elvissessions was able to do himself.

It is a bit of a mystery why such high compression was used. It only uses 86 MB of the CD-ROMs total 650 MB capacity.

Oh well, I expect this track will appear soon enough on the inevitable FTD release.

Thanks again to elvissessions for letting me take a look. I will continue to try and crack the Flash Player itself to get at the source data file, but I wouldn’t expect the difference to be audible.

Chris

Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:52 pm

Thanks to ChrisM and another person who also reports the same results. I'm afraid we're stuck with crappy sound on this.

I assume one of two explanations 1) a failure, perhaps on TV Guide's part, to match technology to technical needs. 2) a decision, perhaps on BMG's part, to prevent piracy.

Regardless of the explanation, the result is an audio file that doesn't put Elvis in a good light, because of a compession strategy that yields thin sound and multiple audio defects.

I don't plan to offer the file to anyone else. Sorry. I don't share official releases this way under normal circumstances. However, I decided the novelty of the problem and the fact that they're giving this track away free on every magazine stand in America this week allowed a one-time exception.

(And for the record, ChrisM is not my arch-nemesis. We had a difference of opinion on an isolated topic that I don't harbor any resentments about or plan to carry over to other topics. Anyway, everybody knows my arch-nemesis is Genesim. :wink: )

Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:50 pm

They really could've done a better job with this CD-ROM. The Blue Christmas video is not even complete. Why is that? At least they advertise the '68 DVD at the end.

Rich

Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:30 pm

The terrible sound is a result of them encoding the audio as a 22.1khz flash audio file. You can have a flash file that sounds like a standard CD audio file, but it takes up more space.

Space cannot be the reason for this defect however as the entire flash file on the disc (video and all) is only 84.5 megs, so they had around 600 more megs free, so it must have been either deliberate or an extreme flub on the part of the person making the flash file.

I personally would have rather seen this come as an "itunes exclusive" so it could at least have been listenable quality and not sound like it was recorded on someone's phone.