Spoiler Warning: So What Happened to the Early Seasons?

By Josh
on Sep 10, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

Some of you – okay, a lot of you – have noticed certain… problems with the earlier seasons of Spoiler Warning. More specifically, every single video hosted by Viddler is no longer available and Viddler itself is offering no explanation whatsoever.

Well, allow me to share an email I received a few weeks ago with you:

Hello Viddlers,

Over the last few years, Viddler has invested in the development and support of our superior online video platform features because of our current and future customers’ changing needs. Because of these additional investments, we’re requesting that all of our personal account users using above 2GB of bandwidth per month upgrade to one of Viddler’s cost-effective accounts.

Your account is actively using over 100GB of bandwidth monthly, which qualifies you to upgrade to Viddler’s Business account for half off the regular cost. For just $50 per month, the Business account will give you 200GB of bandwidth!

Click here to sign up for Viddler’s Business account today! Complete the online form and enter promo code “SOBUSY” to apply the 50% discount.

For those personal accounts exceeding the bandwidth usage that choose not to upgrade to the Business account, your account will be removed from Viddler’s platform over the next month.

If you have any questions about your bandwidth usage or Viddler’s Business account, please email sales@viddler.com.

We appreciate your understanding and your continued loyalty.

The Viddler Sales Team

Uh… Sorry, what?

So, let me get this straight; Our account is using over 100 GB of bandwidth per month, which means it must be getting a lot of views every month, and each of those viewers must then be hitting your pre-video full screen unskippable advertisement – which, by the way, we don’t get a cut of. And in recognition of all the traffic and ad revenue we bring to Viddler each month… you’re demanding we pay you an absurd monthly fee so we can retain the privilege of using your incredible video hosting service or you’re going to shut down our account?!

You know Viddler, take it from me – there are many more expedient ways to commit financial suicide.

Needless to say, the first three seasons plus the TF2 Special and Randy’s Best of Spoiler Warning have all gone kaput. Fortunately for you, I keep meticulous backups for just this sort of situation. Therefore, starting this Saturday, we will be launching Spoiler Warning: Rewatch. Each Monday and Saturday, an episode from the earlier seasons will be re-released on Youtube, and over the next several months, we’ll rebuild the archive from the ground up. And since we’re doing Mass Effect 3 right now, it seems only appropriate that we begin Rewatch with the very first season.

Unfortunately, though I’d like to, there’s not much I can do to remaster the older episodes. While I keep backups of all of the footage we record, .AVI files take up a massive amount of space, so I throw the raw footage through the same encoding process that I use for the episodes themselves. Unfortunately, for the first two seasons, this encoding process used Windows Movie Maker, and thus all of the footage is in low-quality 480p. I actually do have the Bioshock season in 720p, but… that’s our worst season, who cares?

So about that’s the shape of it. Any questions?

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A Hundred!2017There are 137 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Jarenth says:

    Seeing as though I’ve never actually watched the first season (I started watching in the second season on the coattails of the Ruts-entrance) this provides an excellent excuse for me to rectify that.

    Farewell, Viddler. You were slow, ad-riddled and terrible, but I can’t remember what good thing I was going to say here. The comments were fun, I suppose?

  2. Moriarty says:

    Well, it’s sad we lose the user comments on the early seasons, but finally being able to make an entire playlist of the fallout 3 season should make up for it.

  3. MrWhales says:

    I enjoyed the Bioshock season till the end when you guys destroyed it with words. Now I can’t even think about playing the game without getting mad.

    But I like the rewatch idea, SW has been going on long enough that there will always be plenty of it to use

  4. De Zwits says:

    I second Moriarty’s emotion – the comments often were the icing on the narrative cake. But anything that preserves that epic FO3 season of bugs and genuine rage for eternity has my vote.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yeah,say what you want about youtube,but its still keeping my videos from years ago for free.

    Also photobucket.I logged in there after a year+,and still had no problems.

  6. Wedge says:

    You know, when I discovered Spoiler Warning a few months ago, I went to watch the old seasons and saw that they were on Viddler. I wondered to myself “how come I haven’t heard of this Viddler?”

    I don’t wonder anymore.

  7. Amstrad says:

    I’m honestly surprised they let you host video game content on there at all.
    Viddler’s rules on that stuff have been really odd. There were cases of Viddler removing videos that indie developers had made for their own games for instance.

  8. TraderRager says:

    That is the single most retarded thing I have ever seen on the internet.

  9. newdarkcloud says:

    If I’m being perfectly honest, good riddance to Viddler. Though I love watching the old spoiler warning seasons, I was tired of going through all of those obnoxious ads on Viddler that would slow down if you went to another tab. I’ve only ever had that problem on Viddler, no other site does that.

    Anyway, I think the re-watch idea is a very good one and I’ll be eager to see those episodes come back, though I imagine it’ll cause havoc for the Spoiler Warning page until it’s completely caught up. Oh well, maybe now we’ll see those Half-Life 2 an Modern Warfare episodes appear on the Spoiler Warning page. XD

  10. Sigilis says:

    I like how on their company blog they still talk about generating revenue through subscriptions, like you could possibly monetize videos you have to pay for at 2.5-5 cents on the megabyte. I wonder if this means that they are going ad free or something, you know, like Youtube has for the last eternity. It boggles the mind how they could possibly justify this outrageous monthly fee when their technology and user experience isn’t even on par with free services.

  11. el_b says:

    I e-mailed shamus this morning suggesting exactly this, therefore I totally tax this as my idea, you can all worship me now :P

  12. TJ says:

    Awesome! The only thing I would ask is for playlists of the various seasons (if you haven’t done it recently – I haven’t checked in a while) – it makes it a lot easier to find the beginning of a season or to pick up where you left off when watching older episodes (the search function is…not always great for that).

    Thanks!

  13. Wraith says:

    I tacked this onto the comments of the last episode last night while I was trawling the Alan Wake season, so in case it was missed (probably) I’ll put it here as well.

    Season 6 Episode 4 is blocked on Youtube on copyright grounds for God-only-knows what reason.

  14. Lame Duck says:

    Well, I guess the upside of Viddler going fucking nuts is that now we get all the Spoiler Warning on the Youtube so it’s all in one place and we can make proper playlists and not have to deal with those super obnoxious ads that make me turn Adblock on whenever I want to watch the early seasons.

    Thanks, Viddler!

  15. ps238principal says:

    When the eventual fiscal implosion happens, I won’t be sorry to see that video hosting site go.

    If I may pre-empt Rutskarn: It will be said that they Viddled while Rome burned.

  16. Zukhramm says:

    Wait wait wait wait!

    With the ten minute limit long gone and less ads, how does Viddler expect people to pay $50 a month for uploading videos? Does it have any advantage over youtube?

    Edit: Avantages other than crashing, failing to load the video and making videos harder to find.

  17. Aldowyn says:

    Well, ME1 is one of the few I’ve watched all the way through, but it’ll give me an excuse to finish watching FO3 when you get there (I’m sorry, I stopped at Operation Anchorage)

    • GragSmash says:

      You watched all the way through ME1 (willingly, I assume? not Clockwork Orange style), but haven’t finished FO3 once?

      Wow. It must be opposite day.

      FWIW, I would like to try to get through ME1 some time, it was just hard to follow for some reason.

      • Aldowyn says:

        For what it’s worth I’m a HUGE fan of ME and the Fallout season was really long. Operation Anchorage was one of the slow parts.

        I saw plenty of reverse-pickpocketing, trust me. Although some things get mixed up with New Vegas.

      • Shamus says:

        The reason would be that it really sucked.

        I honestly can’t watch it. I’ve tried. I always get halfway through character creation before I start yelling THESE IDIOTS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY’RE DOING!

        • Entropy says:

          Yeah… not your best season. I mean, looking back, the only thing I can remember about the entire ME season is that Kaidan is an asshole who attempted to kill you.

          He deserved every megaton he got.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          I give the first season a bit of slack because, as far as I am aware, that was your first time doing a video project like Spoiler Warning.

          Also, to be fair, it did get better once Randy started playing and you guys became chaotic stupid in all of your seasons. To think, without Randy, Reginald Cuftbert might have been a good guy. Could you imagine what it would be like without gems like slaughtering the Brotherhood and carrying a Heavy Incinerator at all times? I’d be horrible!

        • Dreadjaws says:

          Heh. To be honest, I thought the same, but I kept on watching because I knew it was the first time you were doing this and it would considerably improve with the time. I was about to start episode 8 when this happened. Such a bummer.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          You do get better later though.I too started that first episode three times before I ended it.

        • SleepingDragon says:

          Oh I dunno, I remember the early seasons being a lot of fun… though by this time I suspect nostalgia might have set in, I should probably avoid rewatching them so as not to damage the wonderful, if false, memories.

        • hborrgg says:

          I marathoned it a year ago when i first discovered spoiler warning while using the other half of my screen to play minecraft. All I remember is that every time i glanced over you were in an elevator.

        • Winter says:

          To be fair, i like it basically because Randy is an evil man. Other than that, yeah, kind of weak. Gotta start somewhere, though.

        • ps238principal says:

          You mean the idiots writing the main quest, right?

          And I don’t think it was bad at all. How can you hate the series that gave birth (literally) to Reginald Cuftbert, carrying around weapons that were heavy and weren’t matched to Reginald’s skills, and a truly insightfully chaotic evil playthrough? I mean, the ending… I don’t want to spoil it, but Broken Steel became the best DLC ever, thanks to that.

        • some random dood says:

          “The reason would be that it really sucked.” – Shamus.
          I had been boycotting ME1 at the time because of the DRM (on-line activation with a very limited number of installs allowed). Watching your playthrough of ME1 was what made me eventually give in and buy the game (that it was also on sale did help!). So you all must have done something right. For which I may never forgive you considering how ME2 and 3 turned out…

      • Volfram says:

        I have watched neither Fallout 3 nor Deus Ex: Human Revolution, because I wanted to play ahead and not get spoilers for the game.

        Then life got in the way.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      The Operation Anchorage episodes were only noteworthy in the amount of bile they had. It’s easily the worst of Fallout 3 DLC.

      • McNutcase says:

        It made it hard for Josh to persuade the rest of the team to agree to do The Pitt, which they wound up liking. Rutskarn never did have to say muskrat.

        • lurkey says:

          The Pitt had one of my favourite bits, that is silent movie “Collecting a shitton of iron bar thingies”. They really have to give that piano tune more workout. :-)

          While ME char creation was a bit boring (but the season in whole was good, first time and all), it beats the molasses of whole Alan Wake season, which was IMO the worst one, not “Bioshock”. Rage and devastation > ennui and meh. Although you guys are not to blame…well, other than for picking such an utterly boring game.

        • Kel'Thuzad says:

          They did indeed enjoy the Pit, which made me wonder why they didn’t do Mothership Zeta like they said they would in one of the earlier episodes.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            Probably series fatigue, if I had to guess.

            And I personally didn’t like Mothership Zeta. It was far too linear and I got bored of fighting through the same corridors again and again after awhile. It was like Operation Anchorage.

            Though I loved Point Lookout.

            • ps238principal says:

              I didn’t like how it only let you through parts of the ship once before cutting you off.

              And while I found it kind of enjoyable as an homage to the famous Alien crash-landing gag, it begs the question of why a spaceship from another planet has been orbiting the place for two hundred plus years.

              Sure, having the people in stasis filled in the lore and had some decent old-fashioned flying saucer movie moments, but it still makes me wonder if their ship blew a dilithium crystal and their AAA membership had expired.

  18. NonEuclideanCat says:

    So they finally got around to you, huh? This has been going on for months. Viddler was pretty popular in the earlier days of LP, so quite a few LPers who’ve been at this a while (like the Freelance Astronauts) have been finding their old stuff inaccessible as of late.

    Thank God for backups.

  19. JonNeito says:

    Cool, kinda new here and I haven’t watch the old seasons yet. SO perfect opportunity for me.

  20. Adalore says:

    Impressive backups sir, how many External Hard Drives do you keep?

    • Sumanai says:

      I have an urge to note that if you bought a HDD before the floods you could get something like 1.5 TB for 100 EUR in Finland, and that has VAT of 23% and the local “pirate tax”* in it.

      * Okay, so it’s supposedly a payment for the right to make personal backups of music/film/whatever, but that’s not what they used to drive it through the parliament. Teosto or Gramex (RIAA equivalents, it’s stupid) pretty much said that “it’s going to be used for piracy anyway, so we need to get a cut”.

      Not to mention that being able to prevent losing stuff you paid money for should be a right that you don’t have to pay for whenever you buy something that might be used for that.

  21. DrModem says:

    I was hoping the older seasons would get uploaded to youtube eventually. :D

  22. Phantos says:

    Oh lord, Viddler. Those knuckleheads are why I can’t watch the Freelance Astronauts’ best work.

    “I’m not asking you! I’m TELLING YOU! TO COLOUR! A DINOSAUR!”

  23. pneuma08 says:

    Quick question, if you did not have such meticulous backups, would you be able to get your stuff back, or would it be gone for good?

    • el_b says:

      if they didn’t have the original copies I’m assuming so. viddler has just straight up taken down all of the videos. It’s completely retarded in a business sense no matter how you slice it. Even if they were willing to spend the money they have to arduously put up every single video again, and because of the time between uploading and now they might not even exist anymore. I can’t think of a way to better antagonize a customer unless you’re kicking his dog while you’re doing it.

  24. swenson says:

    Thanks for the update, Josh. That really is a raw deal they gave you. What a terrible way to treat people who’ve been faithfully using their service for years!

    Maybe Google secretly bought them and is doing it to drive people to Youtube instead?

  25. Dreadjaws says:

    I’m starting to think the guys at Viddler are the same ones who came up with the idea of activation limits or always-online for single-player games DRM.

    Gotta love that passive-aggressive Viddler e-mail, though. That thing has to have originated as a joke and some idiot bussinessman though it would actually be a good idea. This is the worst way to try to promote your terrible service since bacon-scented electric chair executions.

  26. lasslisa says:

    I would bet they’re already in money trouble. The ads aren’t paying for their bandwidth, so they’re flailing for another source of income… or at least for a way to slow the hemorrhage.

    • Raygereio says:

      It would have been a better idea for viddler to fix their systems.
      I often got no ads when viewing viddler videos and in the rare cases that an add did try to load, it didn’t. Nothing loaded and I had to refresh the viewer until it reverted to the default “load-no-adds” state.

  27. Barleymaster says:

    Could you upload the TF2 special early? I never got to see it.

  28. Steve C says:

    When push comes to shove, they own your content and can charge you access. “They” being every company on the net. Ah the joys of cloud storage.

  29. Sucal says:

    Any chance you could put the old episodes up there for us to download, allowing us to view them at our own leisure?

  30. Artur CalDazar says:

    As long as I can still watch any of the New Vegas season whenever I want I’ll be happy.

    Honestly, I never much liked Viddler.
    Sometimes the videos would load half off the screen and any attempt to fix the problem was undone minutes later/into watching as it ran away from view again. The ads were annoying and the site made my browser sad.

    The comments were neat, so I can’t say nothing of value was lost.

  31. ENC says:

    By the way Shamus, there’s a game coming out on the 14th of September (depending where you live) that you may like to have a look at. It’s a roguelike spaceship game where you control 1 ship, but it uses very simple mechanics to give it depth. You should give it a try:

    http://www.ftlgame.com/

  32. Josh you should mail/message Youtube about what you are going to do, I doubt you’ll hey any benefits, but at least the see that “this guys cool” ;)

    Then again, they are probably “feeling” the effect of this “incident” from others as well, so maybe giving them a heads up might be wise. (no idea how Youtube’s server system is, but if they know ahead they might just auto-place your future uploads on a faster server. That’s what I’d do if I was the server guy anyway.

  33. BTW! Gotta love the “smarts” of a company that goes “Hmm! You know we really aren’t earning that much profit on these, let’s charge the heavy users.” Boom! Most of the heavies run to youtube instead.

    These guys aren’t the first ones to do stupid things like this.
    I changed cellphone operators not long ago, I had a “free” plan, paying only for what I used. Then suddenly they wanted to charge a minimum each month…This means that if I did not use my phone for a month, I would still have to pay. So out of principle (and my wallet insisting) I jumped ship to a operator that provides a “free” subscription (and I pay only for what I use).

    • Eric says:

      It’s an obvious sign of desperation. Viddler is a sinking ship and they’re doing this basically in a last ditch effort to raise profits, because they aren’t getting enough new traffic or users to grow, much less sustain the company – not even the biggest morons out there would be so shortsighted to try such offensive techniques.

    • ps238principal says:

      I’m also not seeing (though I’m not going in-depth) mention of the ads vanishing or a revenue-sharing system if you start ponying up the cash.

  34. cyber_andyy says:

    SO slightly off topic but what happened to the shogun:total war lets plays? They just puttered out without a conclusion.

  35. Kdansky says:

    Ask for donations to buy a hard disk or two. Space is cheap.

    • CTrees says:

      Hell, if drive space is an issue I’m sure some of us could just donate old drives. I know I have some old 250 and 400 GB HDDs lying around in storage.

    • Josh says:

      Well, .AVI files are basically bitmaps for frames with .WAV files for sound as I understand it – no compression whatsoever. An average 80 minute recording session for Spoiler Warning typically requires 70 – 90 GB of space. If I were to store that raw and never touch it, I’d have needed over 12 TB just to store the recorded footage from the beginning of the show. That gets to the point of being a bit ridiculous, not to mention how difficult it would be to keep track of it. Especially when, once encoded into episode-quality format, an entire week’s footage is only about 4 GB.

      • HeroOfHyla says:

        I think AVI is actually a pretty generic file extension that covers uncompressed bitmaps+wav plus a TON of different compressed options. That’s why you sometimes find AVIs that you can’t play; you’re missing the codec for that specific compression algorithm or some such thing.

        • McNutcase says:

          Yup, it’s a container format that can contain all sorts of wondrous horribleness. But yes, the basic uncompressed one is a whole pile of bitmaps and PCM sound.

          • More or less. Few if any store raw images, usually a lossless format is used. I believe even FRAPS uses a compression format (no idea if it’s lossless or lossy) since it reduces not just size but memorydisk bandwidth used.

            1920x1080x24x60 (24bit 1920×1080 at 60fps)
            1 second would be ~2986 mbit.
            A single frame would be ~50 mbit.

            Now consider digital cable tv which usually broadcasts at 2-4mbit.
            Raw audio is a fart in a tornado compared to the video bandwidth,
            2 channel 48KHz 16bit audio is 1.536 mbit.

  36. Randy Johnson says:

    Just wanted to drop by and say everyone is welcome for the windows movie maker thing. I didn’t feel like sending massive raw .AVIs to josh so I encoded all of my footage down to what seemed good and send it that way.

  37. some random dood says:

    @Josh (and the rest of the team)
    Great news, and yet again thanks for all the efforts you are making for the Spoiler Warning fans here!

  38. Mathygard says:

    I like how they make this sound like a great offer.
    A hearless businessman might crap down your throat for the sake of profit, but only a true bastard tries to claim that it’s for your own good.

  39. Jabrwock says:

    So instead of just making the account unavailable, with a note to contact the poster and encourage them to buy the larger account so you can view their video…

    They just outright remove the account, thereby guaranteeing that the OP will move to YouTube or some other service that doesn’t delete videos just because they are popular…

    *facepalm*

  40. John Lopez says:

    That kind of business decision reeks of MBAs taking over a company. Expect bankruptcy filings in 2 years.

  41. silentlambda says:

    This is pretty serendipitous for me. I first found Twenty Sided when the New Vegas series of SW was wrapping up, then binged on everything that had been made up to that point. It’ll be nice to join in the discussion of Fallout 3 this time, nostalgia and all.

  42. Deadyawn says:

    Aw, man. That means there won’t be any of the viewer comments anymore. They were the best parts of the early seasons. Ah well, at least we can salvage the episodes themselves, it’s better than nothing. Hell, I’ve probably watched them enough times that I might remember most of them by heart.

    That’s a little bit sad now that I think about it.

  43. Blackbird71 says:

    So, let me get this straight; Our account is using over 100 GB of bandwidth per month, which means it must be getting a lot of views every month, and each of those viewers must then be hitting your pre-video full screen unskippable advertisement – which, by the way, we don’t get a cut of. And in recognition of all the traffic and ad revenue we bring to Viddler each month… you’re demanding we pay you an absurd monthly fee so we can retain the privilege of using your incredible video hosting service or you’re going to shut down our account?!

    I hope you sent them this exact paragraph as feedback; it perfectly illustrates the complete ridiculousness of their “request”.

  44. Drejer says:

    Despite the end episodes my favourite season was fallout 3, probably going to re-watch that.

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