Electronic Film Reviews: Customize your viewing!
Long time no blog posts in this corner of my domain. I'll try to do better. Tonight I finally got around to watching Speed Racer with my car-obsessed 6-year-old son, since it hit RedBox earlier this week. The story dragged in a few places and a couple of the scenes were a bit too intense for him, plus the script was a bit too free with cuss words I'd rather not have him repeating: enter the EFR project! I've been working on this software for several years (on and off) with good friend, mentor, and professor Alan Melby at BYU Provo. In a nutshell, it gives you the ability to take any off-the-shelf DVD and make your own, totally customized playback experience: you can skip scenes, blank or mute bits you don't want to see and/or hear, flip between different audio tracks and subtitles on the fly, or even play clips out of order if you want! I did all the editing for Speed Racer in the space of about 2-1/2 hours last night after he was in bed, only just slightly stretching the 2-hour runtime of the movie as I edited while pre-screening it with my son's needs in mind. (In retrospect, I should have cut more of the talking-head parts and just left in the mind-blowing race scenes. But I digress...) Anyway, if any of this sounds intriguing and you wanna "kick the tires" and give the software a test drive, hit the URL up above for the download package. A couple of things to bear in mind, however:
- the authoring system isn't included in the above link -- if you're interested, email me and I'll send it to you. Eventually there will be a full installer for the authoring suite, but we're not quite there yet.
- it doesn't yet support Windows Vista (or non-Windows operating systems for that matter. Sorry, Mac & Linux folks.)
- You need to already have a working DVD decoder on the machine you're going to use this on -- the EFR applications simply build on top of them.
- This isn't a plug-and-play system like ClearPlay and others of that stripe -- you need to either create an EFR (Electronic Film Review) for a film yourself, or acquire one from someone else and create a playlist from that, customizing it to your tolerances