A good explanation of the Solarwinds hack using candy.
Downloading audio from Youtube using youtube-dl
I saw Mike over at Initial Charge link to Listenbox Turns YouTube Channels Into Podcasts. This is a neat idea and something I’ve been doing sparingly with longer-form Youtube content that is mainly audio.
However, I don’t need to pay a subscription for another thing in my life I’ll use on occasion. So I tweaked my Youtube-dl setup to pull audio from Youtube videos instead of the video itself.
First, I have to thank Jason for his youtube-dl setup which I replicated in a container on my server at home. He’s updated his configuration to support M1 Macs and some fancy iPhone shortcuts.
I have mine running on Ubuntu sitting in a container in proxmox in my office.
I’ve created a small shell script called
music.sh. The contents are below, which I’ll explain.
# YTDL-Music Playlist - Audio Only - Goes to Music folder /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl \ --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 --embed-thumbnail --ignore-errors \ -o "/mnt/Youtube/Music/%(title)s.%(ext)s" \ --download-archive /var/www/video/music.txt \ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9C818BCBDA822A24
The first line is a comment reminding me of what this is and does.
/usr/local/bin/youtube-dl – The location where I have youtube-dl installed.
--extract-audio – Downloads only the audio and discards the video.
--audio-format mp3 – Sets the format to MP3 for compatability.
--embed-thumbnail – Embeds the thumbnail from the Youtube video. Sometimes useful, sometime not. But it’s nice to have some kind of artwork on the file.
--ignore-errors` – Skips errors like if a video is removed or not able to be downloaded for some reason.
-o "/mnt/Youtube/Music/%(title)s.%(ext)s" – The
-o stands for output and tells youtube-dl where to save the file. In my case, I have it saved to my NAS mounted through NFS at
The title and extension are pulled right from an example output. I don’t know what the lowercase
s means. I just used it because the examples showed it.
--download-archive /var/www/video/music.txt – I write a log of everything I download so if I delete it after watching it, it doesn’t get pulled back down every single time. The file logs the youtube ID as opposed to the title or something human-readable but it’s better than nothing.
Finally, the URL links to the Youtube playlist where I want to download from. This makes triggering the downloads as simple as adding a file to that playlist and letting youtube-dl do the rest.
How does youtube-dl know to check the list for new videos? I have a cron job set to run the script every 10 minutes. So anything newly added to the playlist will get downloaded.
*/10 * * * * sh /var/www/video/music.sh
Once I download the audio, it gets picked up by Plex. Plex is set to watch that folder and add new content it finds to the library as audio. So I can download music, podcasts uploaded to Youtube, or technical shows where the content is largely audio.
It works well other than the hiccups any self-hosted setup can run into and it costs my nothing additional since I’m already paid for the computer and pay for the electricity/internet anyway at home.
Recording All the Melodies
In this recent TED Talk, lawyer, musician, and technologist Damien Riehl talks about the rapidly diminishing number of melodies available to songwriters under the current system of copyright. In order to help songwriters avoid these melodic legal landmines (some of which are documented here), Riehl and his pal Noah Rubin designed and wrote a program to record every possible 8-note, 12-beat melody and released the results — all 68+ billion melodies, 2.6 terabytes of data — into the public domain.
We are running into this with our podcast. When I take our show, add video to it and upload it to YouTube, we inevitably get hit with some copyright claim.
Often for innocuous audio behind something that, if removed, would have no bearing on what’s being said. It’s a bit of sad music. Or a guitar riff that meanders on.
We aren’t at the level of making any money off YouTube, but if we were, it would give me a strong reason not to upload the show to their service.
Two Titans and a Hunter – My Podcast
I have been playing Destiny since September 13, 2014 and poured 1518 hours into it. I have played Destiny 2 since September 6, 2017 and have poured 1063 hours into it so far. I say so far because I continue to play it almost daily. From a 15 minute dip into the pool to an almost 14 hour gaming session where 5 hours 55 minutes of that was our first attempt at the raid, a 6-player team-based activity.
And of course, people in the community have made apps and web sites where I can look up all this information.
Destiny is a lifestyle. It’s the only game I spend much time on. It’s where I went into battle with a real-life friend and have made so many more in the years I’ve spent chatting and shooting with them. I count my friends reaching from my home near Washington DC to the UK, Canada, Australia and those are the ones I can list off-hand.
For a couple of months, we thought about doing something with Destiny. None of us are good enough to be streamers. We’ve not Youtube stars. Nor do we aspire to be. We love playing the game and talking about it. So that’s what we’ve been doing since early last month.
Two Titans and a Hunter is my Destiny 2 podcast.
It was Nitedemon’s idea to start it. He was talking about it and I was interested. No1RespawnsinRL was excited about it too. Together, we make a good trio of opinions, styles of play and what we want to get out of the game. We released our first episode on Feb 6th and have kept up a weekly pace. With an extra bonus episode mid-week once since we had a great conversation that didn’t really fit into the episode so we released it on its own. After 7 episodes and 320 downloads it’s been a blast to do and I look forward to it every week.
It’s been a fun challenge trying to work around life and schedules and a 5-hour time difference between the east coast of the US and the UK. That’s been an interesting challenge running with my clanmates from across the world as well. Trying to remember what time it is in Australia when I am online. Am I catching a buddy at the start of his day or as he’s struggling to stay awake choosing to exchange game time for rest.
It’s a niche podcast for sure. And as I tell people I’m podcasting, they ask what about, then their eyes roll as I say it’s about the video game that I play. But that’s OK. It’s not for everyone, nor should it be. We are not gaming professionals. We’re three guys talking about a video game (with occasional guests from the Fr0zen Clan. Motto: “We tried to win, but we let it go.”)
In addition to the audio podcast, we release a video version on Youtube where I take the show and put some gaming footage I’ve collected that week behind it. It’s more interesting than the static image we had up for the for few shows and since we don’t record with webcams, it would be a very dull video watching Skype icons light up when we talk.
I am a very amateur video “editor” and I have all the respect in the world for the folks who do this professionally in the gaming realm, television and on the web. It’s a ton of work! A lot fewer kids would want to grow up to be Youtube stars if they knew the hours of work behind it.
Each week we put out 60-90 minutes of show. During the week, I try to record 5-6 hours of footage that’s clean. Games where I don’t open my menu and switch armor and weapons too much. Complete matches where the game hasn’t errored out. I’m always looking for fun little moments to bookend the show with. A clip of a buddy and I using the same special attach at the same time. A couple of people dancing or doing the same emote in a group. An absolutely epic failure where I lunge off a cliff to my death. I try to find a little Easter egg for someone in the clan each episode or something that makes me laugh (or cry).
After I collect the footage, I open it up and review it, seeing how much unbroken game play I can string together. I review the footage, usually playing it at double speed or more to look for any glitches or things I don’t want to make the audience sit through. Then I split the clips together with natural cuts in the action, usually fading to black between them since it’s the transition I’ve figured out and works reliably.
Then after putting it all together, I rend out the video file which went from 6 hours on my first try down to just under an hour once I better understood what I was doing. Then it’s time to upload to Youtube. That’s an adventure in itself. I have no idea how long it will ever take to upload. Sometimes it’s an hour. Other times it’s multiple hours. It loves to sit at 95% for a seemingly random amount of time.
Once it’s up there, it’s time to name it, add in the show notes from the podcast page, tag it as a podcast, add it’s gaming footage with the hopes it’ll catch someone’s eye or get picked up in a search and then go to sleep since it’s usually between 1 and 2am when I do this. I try to get the show up on Youtube as close as I can to when the podcast gets released.
If you’ve stuck with me this far. This is all to say, I am doing a Destiny podcast. It’s a lot of fun. It’s made me appreciate the game and my friendship with my co-hosts all the more. I look forward to sitting down to talk with them every week and I hope at least some of that comes across in the show. As much grief as Nitedemon (the suave British voice of reason) and No1RespawnsinRL (guaranteed to be angrier on a random Tuesday than you ever will be in your entire life) give each other. We love this show and playing together.
If you are interested at all, you can find our show on Podbean. It will give you the RSS feed to put into your podcatcher. We’re on iTunes, PocketCasts, Overcast, Spotify, and Youtube. Search for “Two Titans and a Hunter” and you’ll find us in your audio purveyor of choice.
Most of you will roll your eyes or skip this post entirely because who cares about a gaming podcast to a game you don’t play. It’s OK. I fully expect most of you to be the Merlin Mann to my John Siracusa. And that’s OK. Because we don’t all have to like the same things. This is my little thing and it’s been a ton of fun to make.
Joe Kenda Returns (to Nerdist)
I started listening to the Nerdist Podcast: Joe Kenda Returns | Nerdist and got about halfway through before I had to restart it and sit next to a text editor as I listened. There are way too many things I wanted to write down from his interview.
Who is Joe Kenda?
Joe Kenda (Homicide Hunter) returns to the Nerdist podcast! He and Chris talk about how would break the news to someone that a family member had passed away, statistics of murders and Joe talks about his interrogation techniques. He also talks about being married for 50 years, his show Homicide Hunter and his new book I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime!
So without further rambling, here are the bits of Joe Kenda’s interview I found notable.
On delivering the worst news someone can receive
It’s a very unpleasant task to be the angel of death.
I didn’t want to face picking someone. Let me torture you today. So I would do it, if I possibly could do it. And I would go to the house and it was in the middle of the night usually. You’re on the porch in a suit holding up a badge. They know when they see you, you can see it in their face someone’s not here that’s supposed to be and now here’s this man on my porch. I would stay away from bullet words. I wouldn’t say murdered. I wouldn’t say killed. I would say your son/daughter/husband is no longer alive. It’s not much but it’s something.
There’s no hard and fast rule for human behavior. But generally speaking, people will start lying when they’re little to their mother. They’re four or five years old and they’re confronted by the parent. Did you do this? No, no I didn’t do it. They are determined to continue to deny. That has been successful in the past on a few occasions so I’m going to keep doing it. I’m not going to admit to this because A) it’s too horrible B) if I do I’m in real trouble and if I just continue to lie maybe somebody will believe me.
Let me tell you what I hear you saying. You are in the kitchen saying to your mom that you remember being in the kitchen and you were near the cookie jar. And you seem to recall perhaps the lid was not on the cookie jar and there could have been a moment and maybe there was a cookie in your hand. But take a bite out of it. Oh no. Not you.
When you lie as a child, the parent knows you’re lying but they consider it insignificant so there’s no point in getting into a disturbance over it. And they let it go. This reinforces to the child that it was a successful attempt. I lied and nothing happened to me.
The entertainment media. The news media. They beat the drum everyday. Death. Death. Death.
People all over the world are dead.
People in your country are dead.
People in your state are dead.
People in your city are dead.
People in your neighborhood are dead.
We’ll be back after these messages.
Unless you’re dead.
You need to stay out of bars at closing time. Nothing good happens after midnight.
Do not associate with people who buy, use or sell narcotics.
And try to marry well. Don’t marry a psychotic.
On Gun control
Picture yourself at Broncos stadium during a Denver Broncos football game and it’s halftime. You’re on the 50 yard line. You’re surrounded by 79,000 emotional drunks. On a table behind you are 79,000 guns. Would you give one to everybody or would you be selective on who you gave one to?
Take five days off. Don’t listen to the news. Don’t look at social media. You will feel immensely better. You will realize that life just sort of goes on for you.
It’s always good to say every child has a right to be alive. I’m a right to life person. Ok.
Unwanted children suffer. So what are you going to do about that? Should we bring them to your house? We’ll bring 1200 over to you on Monday. Don’t forget to send them to college.
Now the following Monday we’ll be back with 1200 more.
And a few one-off lines that I found worthy of writing down.
It’s human nature at its worst possible moments. That’s all murder is.
The Internet is a sewer and swans don’t swim in a sewer.
It’s not about being smarter than anybody else. It’s about being determined. I’m stubborn.
I will leave you with the line that stopped me in my tracks.
Emotion overcomes judgment. Murder results.