I am not a technical wizard. I might be able to work my way through problems on PCs, build them and figure things out over time, but I’m not really familiar with things like video editing software or the logistics of streaming. For a while, I had been making plans to record videos, and publish them on the Youtube. It has been surprisingly frustrating and difficult, a comedy or errors, a stramash even. I finally finished uploading some today.
In my last place of residence, conditions were not right to do technical work. My laptop was too feeble to handle Magic Online at the best of times, much less editing programs and multitasking. The internet was too terrible to stream. I gave up on the plan.
However, time passed, life carried on, I was going to be moving to Romania and with someone who can only be described as some kind of saint, I figured I would give it a shot. Here was the plan:
- Construct a reasonable PC. Choose parts to maximise what I needed to do, get maximum power by low cost by building it myself. I would buy a few of the parts in the UK, order the rest from some reputable Romanian places and have them delivered to the flat, ready to build when I arrive.
- Record some videos, figure out how streaming works and so on.
- Get some video editing software. It doesn’t have to be fancy, all I really needed to do was trim out dead air. I can learn how to make decent title cards and intros later.
- When I find a real job, keep it up in my spare time since really, it doesn’t take too long since you know what you are doing.
As you may have guessed, it didn’t quite go to plan.
What Happened To Step One?
Step one started out okay. Working with some very smart and handsome individuals that know about modern PC technology (I hadn’t looked into desktops in years, behind the curve, old man etc.) I used PCPartPicker to figure out what I needed, where I needed to get it from, and the most cost-effective ways to do it. With a couple of weeks to go before the move I started to pull the trigger on purchases. I even had a Windows 10 Key from a very nice person to save funds!
Problem: The Romanian Websites would not take my money. It’s still not exactly clear why. I made sure with collaboration that everything was entered correctly. I made sure to inform my bank I was buying things in Romania, okay. Verified by Visa nixed it. I called Verified by Visa, and specifically authorised payments to the pair of online stores. The stores wouldn’t accept me. This meant that building the PC had to wait until I got to Romania, and had to personally visit the stores to slot my card into the card readers. This added about a week, since some parts needed special ordering.
Problem 2: When finally everything was bought, delivered and/or collected, I built it all in an afternoon. But. BUT. I very foolishly ordered an incorrect part. I hard the right part on my shopping list, but added the wrong thing to the basket. I had some useless DDR4 RAM, when I needed DDR3 RAM. They do look very similar, but since it was a weekend into a holiday, and the exchange process with the store was slow, that added on another week and a half until I could get started.
“Yes, I know what I’m doing, don’t worry about it.”
Upside: eventually, it was fully armed and operational, and blew my expectations out of the water. For example, when I was making sure the internet would be solid enough to do these things the prior month, I was told to expect download speeds of about 32Mbps, and uploads of about 9Mbps.
Classic basic plan Romanian Internet. This isn’t even the best reading I’ve taken!
What Happened To Step Two?
This part honestly didn’t go that badly, though I did learn some (more) things about why streaming with Magic Online is trickier than it ought to be. Things like the multiple-window design making capturing it with broadcasting software impossible unless you record the whole screen. All the parts of the game layout changing between games and log ins and the cards being too small if you don’t already know all the cards by the art and so on.
I managed to figure out before later that my recording test runs were by default set to a file type that video editing software doesn’t like, so this resulted in some of the first videos having to change file types multiple times, leading to losses of quality that hopefully won’t happen in the future.
In the meantime, one day, my new PC was bricked for 7 hours one day.
Woah, What? What Happened to Step Three?
I downloaded a free video editing program that came quite highly recommended called Hitfilm 4. For the first 4 videos I link to later, I used that, and honestly it seemed to work out okay. When I was using it, everything seemed fine minus some upload errors I was able to work around. I figured out how to add layers of effects and so on, I was getting used to it.
Unfortunately, though there’s too much technical mumbo jumbo to wade through here, *basically* some background function of Windows 10 was occasionally triggered by it, causing the Hard Drive to grind to a screeching halt, and corrupting it a bit. This means that doing anything was glacially slow, and I had to try multiple things to locate exactly what was wrong, and then try to fix it. While every click was taking 5 minutes.
It was incredibly frustrating, because why wouldn’t it just… work, you know? It was new! Diagnostics would say everything was fine, sometimes the slowness would go away again leaving so sign of problems.
Eventually I figured it all out, fixed the Windows 10 things so it wouldn’t happen with anything else, removed Hitfilm just in case, and replaced it with Lightworks, another highly recommended program. No issues there so far!
The End Result
So far, all I have to show for this saga is this playlist.
Am I happy with it? Hell no! Definitely not. My voice is too monotone. I don’t know how to edit the sound to remove fan noises completely yet. I punted in the games, and mispoke. I made some mistakes trimming the footage. I learned how to use some special effects, realised they were going on for too long, but didn’t know how to get rid of them without making everything worse. (Round 2, game 3)
I know for sure I will look back on this and cringe. But I’m putting it out and sharing it anyway. Why? Because I spent too much time on it not to. Because for all I am heavily critical of myself for it, no one expects a first try to be great. (I did record some drafts in the past, but someone else dealt with all the video side) Gotta start somewhere.
And best of all, now, *touches multiple pieces of wood* all the most irritating and time consuming problems have been dealt with, I can get back to doing things that I wanted to do in the first place, and I can only get faster and better and doing them.
Oh, and I don’t normally say this each post, since it generally goes without saying if you are interested in such things., but I would appreciate it if you would like to subscribe to my stuff if you like things I might do.
Whether the blog, or my youtube channel (who wants to claim the crown as first subscriber?!), or follow me on Twitter @JechtMurray. I will mostly be posting on there to let people know when I get around to streaming.(JechtMurray there too.)
Thanks for reading, have a nice day!