Archive for the ‘downloading’ Category

New Download Labels

Hey VideoBoxers,

I’m sure many of you noticed that we changed the labels on the download links and rearranged the order of them recently, as shown below:

dl-rename-final

Popular technology is changing rapidly, and we felt that the labels and grouping of our links were a bit behind the times. For instance, calling a smaller .MP4 file an “iPhone” file seems a bit restrictive, given that you could play that file on an Android phone, an iPad, a PS4 or a Windows Surface.

We also felt that it made more sense, especially once they were renamed, to have the MP4s and the WMVs grouped together rather than intermingled. While this may disrupt you a bit at first if you’re used to going right for the link you always hit, we’re expecting that this will make everyone’s lives easier in the long run.

So enjoy the new labels, and we hope they make things a bit clearer and a lot more current. Rest assured that we have not removed any file types, we have just renamed them and rearranged them.

Download Porn

Cheers,
Bob and the VB Team

*UPDATE* Bandwidth Switch

*UPDATE #2* – Phase 1 of our bandwidth switchover went off without a hitch. There was actually no downtime on the site associated with this work. Thanks for your patience and your membership, and we’ll keep you posted on developments for Phase 2!

*UPDATE* – The Bandwidth switchover has been rescheduled for Wednesday morning, 2/19. Unfortunately the upstream providers ran into a minor issue w/ their hardware this morning and contacted us last minute to reschedule.

We will be doing some network-related maintenance tomorrow (Tuesday) morning between 8am – 11am PST that may result in brief service disruptions. The site may seem inaccessible or downloads may fail during this time. If a service disruption occurs, we will do our best to ensure it is restored as quickly as possible.

Please bear with us as this is one step (of many planned) towards improving video streaming/downloading experience for everyone. With this change, in particular, we will be reducing the number of hops to get our content delivered for many of you.

Our customers are extremely important to us and we want to make you all happy!

Let us know if you have any questions.

Video Issues Update

As some of our members have mentioned on this blog and via email, we have recently had issues with some of our video servers. Aging hardware, heavy recent traffic and content scrapers repeatedly blasting the servers requesting videos (including what is likely a purposeful denial-of-service attack) have created a storm of activity for our Ops team to deal with. Sometimes the issues disappear completely and then return suddenly as attacks change, and we always respond as quickly as we can.

hamsterserver

Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this has caused you, and rest assured that these issues are being addressed directly and will continue to be until service is not only restored but improved. We are literally working 24/7 to make things better, but with such a huge library of content any solution takes longer than anyone would prefer.

One important note: a common suggestion we have seen members offer up in scene comments is to change the mcache URL in a download if a particular scene is not downloading. This trick has actually made things worse, and as part of our operational improvements, it will stop working at all in the near future, so please refrain from doing it. If you have trouble with a given file, please let us know via our contact form, or try downloading it again a little later. In the meantime, hopefully one of the other 94,000+ scenes on the site will also be to your liking. :-)

sparks

P.S. If you are frustrated or unhappy with any aspect of the site, send us a message using our contact form and our customer service team will do their very best to make you happy again. We believe it is our job to provide you with a satisfying service in return for your money and loyalty, and contacting us is always more effective and direct than blog or scene comments which we may not see until later.

Best Regards,
Bob and the VB Team

MP4 Clips Fixed

Just a quick note to let you all know we have discovered the source of our problem with MP4 custom clips. Content released from here forward should not be affected, and will play on the major video playback programs for both Windows and Mac. Last night we began re-encoding affected files that are currently on the site, so those fixes will hit the site as they are completed.

If you see any issues with custom clips, please use the form on our contact page and give us as much info as possible on the affected scene.

Note: full-scene downloads were not affected, and will continue to be fine, and we have no plan to remove full-scene WMVs at this time.

Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Cheers,
The VB Team

Clip Download Issues: We’re On It

Hey VideoBoxers,

As some of you have noticed, we have recently removed WMV custom-clip download options from the site. We made this decision because of the complexity involved with creating this particular file type, and the fact that WMVs are fast becoming an obsolete format that most modern devices don’t support. We view this decision as similar to the one we made to drop support for Internet Explorer 6 & 7 a while ago.

Custom clips can still be downloaded as MP4 files, and full scenes can still be downloaded as MP4 or WMV; it’s just the custom-clip WMVs that are no longer available.

Some users have reported difficulties with playback of the custom-clip MP4s in certain software programs, however. We are aware that this is an issue and are working as quickly as possible to resolve it. In the meantime, we recommend VLC player to all of you. VLC is a free software program that can play all media types and provides the user excellent control over playback. It plays our MP4 custom clips without issue.

VLC can be downloaded for free at: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused, and will post here again when we have a solution for MP4 playback for a wider array of programs.

Sincerely,
The VideoBox Team

HD is here!!!

Hey Videoboxers,

I know you guys have been chomping at the bit to get HD and I’m happy to tell you that it’s finally here! Woohoo! We took a little longer than expected so to make it up to you we’re dropping the first HD title tonight as a bonus to today’s 5. It’s gonna be a Digital Sin title which is one of the many studios you’re going to start seeing in HD including some awesome new studios like Wicked and Burning Angel. So the way it’s gonna go is you’ll get your five DVD’s a day and the first one displayed will be in HD starting tomorrow. You’ll recognize it by the little banner that says HD on it. Ok, I think I’ve said HD about 20 times now. You’ve got the point, we’ve got HD. Enjoy.

-Noah

VideoBox Diary – 2/20/10

0226header
Today’s post is a download log of a typical day at VideoBox. The day in question is 2/20/10, which was a week ago Saturday. I’ve provided my download times if you wish to compare them to the speed you achieve on the site. I believe my download rate is “middle of the road.” I can’t manage the blistering speeds that some have claimed on the blog, but they move along at a pretty good pace. I’ve been downloading the H.264 files, which I find to be a combination of very good video quality and modest file size. I highly recommend the FLV Player (freeware) for viewing the H.264 files. I’ve embedded the flash player within the post, along with a couple of still images to preview the scenes. If you wish to view the full scene, click the link above the images.

(more…)

Riding ‘Em Lightly

geekery.jpg
The Site-Ops and Development teams are always looking at ways to improve site performance. Typically most of these engineering efforts are focused “behind the scenes”. However for the next two weeks we’re test driving a very user facing change, CDN’ing our images.

CDN’s are Content Delivery Networks; these companies place thousands of servers in geographical diverse locations around the Interwebs. The concept being that these servers can dish out images and other navigation elements (such as CSS or JavaScript files) faster then our single colo in San Francisco. Our goal in this experiment is to decrease the page load time for members both domestically and internationally.

Please feel free to leave comments if you’re noticing faster or slower load times; please leave the name of your ISP and location. Thanks!
pixel

Connection Speeds: What’s yours?

According to our site analytics, more than 96% of visitors to the VideoBox site have a high-speed internet connection (DSL or faster). That doesn’t surprise me in the least, considering how little a dial-up or ISDN user could probably get out of our site. What I’m wondering, though, is how many folks suspect their ISP of throttling (or limiting) their bandwidth usage. Comcast has been pretty reliably accused of throttling bit torrent users with the help of a company called Sandvine. ISPs all deny it to the bitter end, but there’s clearly something funny going on here, especially in the UK.

Have any of you ever noticed anything out of the ordinary when you’re trying to download a lot of scenes? Here is a link to a speed test. Check it out if you think you’re not getting the download speeds your ISP promised you. In fact, if you want a more accurate picture of the speeds you’re getting try it at different times of day and see how much it varies.
pixel

Hiding Porn from Your Wife on a Mac

macdock.jpg

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m going to point you to an excellent article about hiding porn on a mac by Adam Knight at Mac Geekery.