28-Oct-2009 (Wed) Wherein the hearing video is discovered.

Apparently the video of the hearing is, in fact, online, but it's a complete pain in the ass to get to it unless you run Windows. It's here, via the City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee page on SFGTV. Unfortunately, their embedded video doesn't play on MacOS or Linux, because apparently the San Francisco city government thinks that it is OK to require you to tithe money to Microsoft before you are able to watch video of your government in action. Why don't they just upload all this crap to Youtube so that it would work on any operating system? Who knows.

Anyway, if you want to watch this video on a Mac, you have to install VLC and open this URL in it. The Entertainment Commission part of the hearing starts quite far in, at around 3:24:00. Public testimony begins at 3:44:00.

If anyone manages to download this thing and upload it to Youtube, please let me know.

The transcript of the closed captioning is here, but it's full of hilarious errors that make it largely incomprehensible. Search for "Recess until 1:00 P.M." for the beginning of the EC hearing.

15 Responses:

  1. bifrosty2k says:

    Funnily enough, the company that does the video for SF is in San Francisco.

    I can get the video to play in mplayer but seeking doesn't work...
    If it'll play in mplayer, there's a way to rip it I guess.

    • rapier1 says:

      Well, it will display on a Mac... but you need Silverlight which is probably just as bad as needing Windows.

  2. Sheer poetry: "One woman broke her window and the area of fruit."

  3. mackys says:

    So, I could only watch from 3:22 until about 4:12 into the video. At that point it all startefd blurring together.

    What I'm hearing from the two sides is pretty much:

    Neighbors: These club kids are noisy as hell, particularly at 2am when the bars close. Also, fights occasionally break out. Letting this go on until 6am is crazy.

    Nightclubers: Whatever. Squash the clubs and you squash everything that makes SF great.

    Venue Owners: Let's get this Entertainment Commission going.

    While I find myself more on the side of the clubbers, I'm not unsympathetic to the arguments of the neighbors. I, too, would be raging if I was being kept up until 4am every Friday night by obnoxious kids yelling and fighting outside my window. Much as I hate to admit it, I fully empathize with their "get off my damn lawn!" attitude.

    But the one thing that I'd have to ask these neighbors is: Don't you think that allowing clubs to stay open until 6 am, and thus allowing the clubbers to stay inside until 6am, might do something to lessen the problem? I mean, if the obnoxious kids are allowed to stay inside the (sound-proof walled) clubs until 6am, that means they won't be kicked out onto the street en masse at 2am. Right?

    Maybe my thinking here is just too radical and too lateral. But I really think that, paradoxically, allowing the clubs to stay open later would probably decrease overall noise. It would prevent the sort of all-at-once, kick everyone out to the street, surge of people at 2am.

  4. You may not consider this quite user-friendly enough to be a godo solution for playing this on non-Windows systems, but it was good enough for me. I dug into that page a little, and eventually came up with the following URL:


    I was able to play this by running mplayer from the command line on my FreeBSD box at work, though I had to use some evil ssh tunneling to get through the company firewall. (Yes, they block port 1755 here.) vlc or some other media player will probably work too. I happen to be partial to mplayer.

    If someone has the time/bandwidth/motivation/etc, they can also use mencoder to rip the video from the same URL into a file and transfer it somewhere else.

    Pointless explanation of how I found this:

    If you do a 'view page source' on the URL for the video that you found, you'll eventually see the following javascript block

    var MediaPlayer = new GranicusPlayer("MediaPlayerContainer",

    The first URL yields an ASX file containing the Microsoft Media Streaming URL that I posted above. Luckily, mplayer/vlc/etc seem to know how to handle these. The second URL seems to yield a time-coded copy of the closed captioning for the video. I'm sure there's software that can combine the two together somehow.

    • lionsphil says:

      If memory serves, ASX is an XML dialect, so you can also rip it open in your text editor of choice. (Yup, it does. And just look at all that delicious file extension and MIME type abuse hate! Mmm-mmm.)

  5. mattyj2001 says:

    After figuring out how to rip/save video through mplayer on Linux, I've ended up with a 750+ MB video of the hearing.

    Youtube limits me to 2G files, but only 10 minutes of video. WTF?

    How does one get 5+ hours of video to Youtube?

    • mattyj2001 says:

      ... or, maybe just one hour. I'm not sure how long the whole EB and public comments go. Maybe I'll have to chop it up or host it on my own site. Hmmm.

      • jwz says:

        I think the part about EC is around 1:20 or 1:30 long, at the end.

        • mattyj2001 says:

          Okay, so screw this. I don't know what format of video this is, perhaps some sort of Microsoft implementation of MPEG from 1992. I can't find any Linux codecs that can properly demux, much less chop up and edit, this video. I give up. I'm stumped (FYI, tried the two that usally work for me, AVIdemux and Cinelerra. Cinelerra comes close but I can't seem to sync up the audo with the video.)

          If someone with Windows wants to take a crack at it, you can download the raw video (note, 750+ MB) from here. I'll host this until such time as someone figures this out and can properly chop this up into 10 minute YouTube-friendly segments.


          The good stuff starts exactly 3:24:15 in and goes pretty much to the end (5:55:58)

      • Would it be within Archive.org's scope?

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