Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Redditor Successfully Squeezes Full-Sized Movies On To Floppy Disk

It goes without saying that the world of hobbist and modders is home to some interesting characters and a ton of “what if?” projects. To that end, while the world looks forward to a future of 8K TVs and highly advanced multi-channel audio, one Redditor decided to backtrack and see if they can fit an entire movie on to the floppy disk.

The Redditor in question goes by the name of GreedyPaint and the answer to the question is: yes, they did. And yes, it is obvious that there were some workarounds. For a start, they wrote an x265 codec that would compress full-sized, high-resolution videos down to just 120 x 96 pixels. As for the movie of choice, it was Shrek, which they ripped from a 4.7GB DVD.

Bear in mind, the maximum storage capacity of a floppy disk was merely 1.44MB, and GreedyPaint was able to, by some miracle, shrink the entire movie file down to just 1.37MB; approximately 0.03% of the size of the DVD. In addition to the floppy disk, they also created a custom VCR player that could play the movies installed on the storage medium.

The final result of GreedyPaint’s efforts is…well, what you’d expect of a machine that clearly isn’t optimised to run movies off a floppy disk. At its best, the old-school TV connected to the “disk player” was stuttering, rendering the movie at what is clearly single-digit framerates.

All things considered, this is still just a personal project by GreedyPaint, all done in good fun; it’s not the first time they’ve tried to squash movie into an unconventional medium. In fact, it seems that the next medium they’re going to try and fit a movie into is a vinyl record. 

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