Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes

Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Curator of the Samples Archive

May 12th, 2011 by Multimedia Mike

Remember how I mirrored the world-famous MPlayerHQ samples archive a few months ago? Due to a series of events, the original archive is no longer online. However, me and the people who control the domain figured out how to make point to

That means… I’m the current owner and curator of our central multimedia samples repository. Such power! This should probably be the fulfillment of a decade-long dream for me, having managed swaths of the archive, most notably the game formats section.

How This Came To Be

If you pay any attention to the open source multimedia scene, you might have noticed that there has been a smidge of turmoil. Heated words were exchanged, authority was questioned, some people probably said some things they didn’t mean, and the upshot is that, where once there was one project (FFmpeg), there are now 2 projects (also Libav). And to everyone who has wanted me to mention it on my blog– there, I finally broke my silence and formally acknowledged the schism.

For my part, I was just determined to ensure that the samples archive remained online, preferably at the original address. There are 10 years worth of web links out there pointing into the original repository.

Better Solution

I concede that it’s not entirely optimal to host the repository here at While I can offer a crazy amount of monthly bandwidth, I can’t offer rsync (invaluable for keeping mirrors in sync), nor can the server provide anonymous FTP or allow me to offer accounts to other admins who can manage the repository.

The samples archive is also mirrored at I understand that service is provided by VideoLAN. Right now, both repositories are known to be static. I’m open to brainstorms about how to improve the situation.

Posted in General | 9 Comments »

9 Responses

  1. Jim Leonard Says:

    While rsync is not critical for mirroring, FTP is. So I think you need to look at changing your service provider. (Who is your service provider?)

    FTP at an extremely cheap place like dreamhost is under $10 last I looked; maybe getting them only for the repository might work? is my provider and I pay $50 a month for unlimited 10mb/s bandwidth and 500G disk space on a dedicated server. $50 a month is a bit much for a samples repository but you have full control over what happens to it. appears back up — what is the story with that? Is all well again and the above now moot?

  2. Multimedia Mike Says:

    @Jim: resolves to, which is why it appears to be back up (indeed, the point of this post :-) ).

    I actually do have some FTP privileges with my hosting plan. I guess I finally have a reason to study them more carefully now.

  3. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Another option would be Amazon S3 to store the repository with a micro EC2 instance on the front doing anonFTP/rsync duty. I calculate the S3+EC2 cost at ~$20/month. Outgoing bandwidth is a wildcard but the idea would be to restrict access to a few authorized parties (mirrors).

  4. Jim Leonard Says:

    When I meant “it’s back up” I meant nothing was wrong with, for example,

    Why did it go down in the first place? Why didn’t it come back up?

  5. Jim Leonard Says:

    Amazon S3 is “an elegant weapon for a civilized age.” It is overkill for an ftp/rsync file dump. See what kind of FTP options you have. (I’m also curious who your provider is.)

  6. Multimedia Mike Says:

    @Jim: There has been a substantial amount of turmoil in the open source multimedia community lately. One aspect is that the person who originally provided the physical server and bandwidth resources for declined to do so going forward. While all of the other project assets were migrated elsewhere, the samples archive requires someone with the right mix of resources and sheer insanity to host.

    My provider is Acenet ( ) since 2004, since I put online. I’ve had a few hiccups along the way but things are still working out for the most part.

  7. compn Says:

    i think mphq can host samples (and incoming!) again , but our new admin is as busy as our old admin. so we wait patiently for harddrives to be added and services to be configured.

    now if only i could get and to stop resolving.

  8. JudgeDeadd Says:

    (NSFW content)

    …Clever. Hiding stuff like this in a folder called “broken-gif” so that nobody will peek inside. >:)

  9. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Oh boy… and there’s probably a ton more stuff like that in the archive that no one ever happens across.