[Hpr] The End (of this topic for me)

Ivan Privaci epicanis+hpr at dogphilosophy.net
Tue Feb 10 00:34:47 PST 2015

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015 07:37:41 AM Ken Fallon wrote:
> On 2015-02-10 07:21, Klaatu wrote:
> >[...]some of
> > us (I'm counting myself in) are interested, on some level, to learn what
> > will break mp3 players with regards to meta data.
> > 
> > While I don't think it's the right place to do experiments in the main
> > feed[...]
> > - klaatu
> You nailed it on the head as far as I'm concerned.

This is why I don't think I should ever touch this topic again around here: 
there are now TWO people who appear to think my point was to break people's 
players, and one who believed that the point was to find ways to make things 
hard for future contributors.

hpr1393 was a demonstration of valid metadata, not a carelessly released 
destructive test. If I had believed there was substantial risk of breaking a 
listener's player I wouldn't have even made the episode. I DID kind of hope 
somebody WOULD come forward to say they'd had a problem for much the same 
reason a biologist would like to meet bigfoot: the unlikeliness  of the event 
would be interesting and educational (not to mention, I was assuming, "of 
interest to hackers"). Even then, any such unlikely problem would take the 
form of "the player's display was messed up while this episode was playing" or 
at worst "this file wouldn't play at all, though all the other HPR episodes 
do", or in the EXTREME case "my player locked up and I had to wait for the 
battery to run down so it would turn off", not "my mp3 player has been damaged 
by this data.".

I had actually thought that having the episode on audio metadata actually 
being properly tagged with examples of the metadata being discussed would be 
interesting and useful for someone who might have a real interest in the 
subject - I know I would have if someone else had made the episode. 
Unfortunately instead of "Wow, you can do that and still be standards-
compliant?/That's an interesting use-case I wouldn't have thought of/Hey, that 
functionality could be handy for this other audio project I'm involved with" 
followed by "I'll have to look at this file once I get to the end and see what 
it looks like, I conveniently already have it right here because I'm listening 
to it right now!" I'm getting "you probably broke a bunch of people's stuff 
and made HPR look bad and they're just not saying so" and "I'd stop 
participating because of this" and "yeah, breaking people's mp3 players IS 
relevant and interesting but you shouldn't have done it here". 

I'm regretting even submitting this episode at all, let alone bothering with 
the demonstration metadata labors. 

I think I should just recuse myself from this topic entirely around here. 
The way today is going just this last reply probably means there are now 5 or 
6 people who think I'm trying to break things, 2 or 3 more who think I'm 
trying to weed out contributors by demanding complications, and one who found 
the steganographic message mentioned in the episode and now thinks I'm sending 
maliciously-crafted coded messages to try to make bigfoot's ipod explode.

The only reason I'm even posting THIS reply is that the assumption of malice 
or callous destructiveness on my part is really bugging me, ESPECIALLY after I 
explicitly discussed what I wanted to do and why openly on this list before I 
did it, two or three weeks before it hit the feed, and made sure there were no 
objections before I did the work on it.

I've scrapped my plans for a followup episode on the topic. It's not worth the 
shocking level of fuss it's causing. I've got plenty of other topics in my 
backlog to take its place.

Speaking of which: the real kicker is that the question about problems with 
metadata was casually included just because I was thinking of doing a followup 
at the time and figured I'd check just in case there'd be something to report 
as part of it. I was actually much more urgently hoping I might luck out and 
someone would be able to help with the OTHER now-forgotten question. 
It's probably not likely, but if someone out there DOES have both a condenser 
microphone AND an XLR-1/8" adapter that they could do a quick experiment with, 
it'd help.

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