It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

is Apple able to track down every video sold in itunes store?

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 02:58 PM
link   
it's a theory. it may be a stretch, because the proof i'll present could be - in theory - a result of human error (that's doubtful though, at least in my opinion). it may even not be apple - but hey, everyone needs a catchword for their thread, right? and it's probably about them anyway.

i was comparing two videos of marvel's agents of s.h.i.e.l.d. new episode, and i got surprised. one video is a video stream directly from abc's website - they allow their show to be watched online, and i've downloaded it directly from there (i know there's no download button there, but that's beyond the scope of this thread). the second video, well, i've downloaded it from the internet. it's most likely from itunes store - high bitrate with 5.1 sound, and only paid versions have that, and only 3 companies sell those episodes online.

www.tv.com...

after taking a look at their sites, i suspect both amazon and vudu sell exactly the same videos (when it comes to format/bitrate and so on) as apple does, perhaps they're even some kind of a reseller, hard to tell. xfinity and tv.com show videos using hulu's platform, and hulu doesn't have that quality as far as i know.

so that leaves us most likely with apple. but what happened?
well, both video streams (from abc and from itunes) have the same resolution - standard 1280x720 (they both have 1080p versions as well). here are direct links to two images - exactly same video frame, two separate video streams. both images weren't processed in any way, those are direct captures from the video streams discussed here.

wstaw.org...
wstaw.org...

i hear you saying 'BS, that's different frame'. no, it isn't. here's an archive with 166 frames in sequence from each stream.

www.sendspace.com...

why would they zoom and then crop the video? my theory is watermarking. you cannot really put a watermark on a video that's going to be distributed by torrents for example, because - unless people will just copy the stream, which happens to preserve quality - each recode of that stream will likely destroy the watermark (because when people do recode such streams, they usually aim for the smallest file possible). noone will notice a few missing pixels at the edges though, right? and no recoding will recover them.

here's a strech of such theory: what if they have prepared 1000 or more preencoded versions of each episode they sell? if any of you have bought said episode from itunes store, please check those frames with the ones provided. are they zoomed and cropped differently? because if yes, that means it's a watermark. they don't need to hunt down every single copy, just the first one that surfaces on the web, and that usually happens fast i guess. by that time, no more than 1000 copies would be sold probably, and with few pixels to cut at each edge, they would be able to track thousands of copies. don't underestimate it because it would need reencoding of the entire episode, with hardware encoding and cheap storage that wouldn't be any problem for someone like apple.

now, i don't have anything against watermarking something they sell - personally i wouldn't buy it, because the quality of free abc stream is comparable, and the stereo sound is enough - but they sell it, it is their right. i'm against destroying the content being sold though. perhaps it's just me (it's hard to tell even after overlaying those frames on top of each other in gimp), but it seems like the version from itunes is very slightly distorted - the aspect ratio doesn't seem to be preserved. now, the difference is so small it's hardly noticeable, and without seeing the comparison you wouldn't even know anything was cropped - but it wasn't just a human mistake and they're doing it to watermark their videos, it's just wrong.

obviously they cannot admit that's the case, because then people would just zoom in and crop a little bit more, screwing up their recognition software by deleting a few more pixels at the edges. still, for me it's selling crippled videos for the purpose of hunting down those that upload them on the internet. commercially it makes sense, because of the quality of their streams, at least for some. but if i would be their customer and i would find out, i would be seriously pissed.

apple and their dirty tricks. what's your opinion? can anyone compare those video frames with their own copy bought directly at itunes store?




posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 05:56 PM
link   
a reply to: jedi_hamster

the photos look the same to me..what is different about them?



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 06:09 PM
link   
a reply to: rockpaperhammock

watch them in full size on a computer, switching between one and the other.
if you still can't see it, i can't help you.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 07:29 PM
link   
a reply to: jedi_hamster

you can't help me? this is your thread dude lol...if you can't get your simple point across then how is anyone gonna get it...im just asking for what it is you are seeing. The only thing I notice is that one is like a mm smaller or something but that is it...so please enlighten me...that is why I went to YOUR thread.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 08:18 PM
link   
a reply to: rockpaperhammock

oh yay. smaller. you saw it.
now, since you went to my thread, be so nice and read it before posting, preferably with understanding, because so far you've failed.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 08:36 PM
link   
In all this is likely nothing more than differences in content delivery. An online stream and downloading a file are close, but often just slightly different that it isn't the same thing.

It is most likely that the original source is slightly different, you point this out in that the sound is different, it can simply be that the software used to deliver the online content just delivers the stream differently cropped, or it is a differently packaged video stream itself. Doesn't matter what the encoder settings are.

It is like the old days of DVD and VHS, often DVD versions of movies would be just a VHS transfer, or a Laser disc transfer, and the difference is very obvious. But in instances where movies have additions or differences between countries, everyone is left confused when they pick up the DVD and things are different.... like why do that?

It is possible it is a watermarking plan, except that you wrongly point the finger at apple. Apple will do what ever the contract they sign stipulate. If the source of the video wants it to be a different size, for the reason you say, then that is that. It's not Apple, it is the rights owner of the video.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 09:18 PM
link   
a reply to: ErosA433

as for the contract and who's responsible - perhaps, with one detail - it's not different size. it was zoomed and then cropped to preserve the original size.

as for the rest, you're just wrong. there is no point for the source to be different. NONE AT ALL. this is a digital video, with clearly defined resolution, and what gets in any specified frame, was decided during production. noone has any right to change that.

content delivery doesn't play any role in this - it's all digital. downloads and streaming platforms use the same source - some master source that came from the producer, and at NO point there's a change in picture other than the quality itself during steps like encoding, changing the container, encrypting for streaming and so on. NONE of those steps require different cropping and zooming a video.

so no, it cannot simply be that the software used delivers the stream differently cropped, because if that would be the case, it would mean a serious error in said software - and you can be sure that they've double-checked any piece of it by comparing the results with the source frame by frame. the sound doesn't play any role here either, it's just that paid downloads have higher bitrates (single episode is around 1,3gb), so they put 5.1 audio in there, while there's no point in having that in something that gets streamed online. the audio basically lets us limit the possible source of said video, because no free streaming version has 5.1 sound (there are hdtv recordings online that have 5.1 audio, but those look different - abc logo and stuff).

whoever did this and for whatever purpose, it WAS done on purpose. there's just no way that a company which had a CEO so obsessed about spacing between letters in text, would randomly zoom and crop a video they sell without knowing about it. also, there are strict standards at the tv stations when it comes to the content that goes in and goes out, so they wouldn't send some crippled video to apple.

my point is, noone, at ANY point in the whole 'final copy from production - content delivery (streaming/download/air on tv)' chain, has to do anything with the video that would cause such changes. nothing explains it. i've used to work with video processing, encoding and such stuff, so i know what i'm talking about.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 09:26 PM
link   
I did read it...and I didn't understand it...I still really don't understand the significance of it because 1 mm distance really isn't that big of a deal..that could be anything..instead of helping me you become rude. I think there is a reason no one is interested in this thread.

On topic: So are you suggesting that they are making different formats to easily track pirating? Because that is the only reason I could see. You would be able to tell exactly where it came from if there were "special" versions. But honestly I think there could be quite a few reasons it is different that are explainable....id tell you but of course....if you can't see it then i can't help you


Edit: You seem like a smart guy and you seem to know a lot about this video stuff...but the average person doesn't. Remember even though we have are tizzies on here we are all on the same team trying to seek truth and answers to some weird #. Neither one of us are trolls are long time members if you count some of my past accounts...it is our responsibility to help people on topics that we are good at, and maybe get more people interested in things that we are interested in. I have no ill will towards you and genuinely was interested in your thread, and I am sorry if you felt my first response was disrespectful. We are on the same team brother.
edit on 28-9-2014 by rockpaperhammock because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 09:56 PM
link   
a reply to: rockpaperhammock

as i've said, there's no technical limitation during any stage of content delivery that would make any zooming and cropping mandatory. i've worked with it, i know it.

so i'll repeat it again: there is no reason behind it, nor 'quite a few reasons'. call me rude, but i'm just being sarcastic because of the oblivious ignorance of people. i guess i've overestimated the average intelligence on ATS this time.

also, it's not 'nothing'. they did it on purpose, unless you imagine that the encoding of a movie/tv show for itunes store involves some person sitting in front of a desk, with some zoom and pan physical controls, and that he accidentally touched the zoom one because he spilled his coffee, while the software politely maintained proper resolution, cropping the picture. i assure you though, that's not how it works. such things are so heavily automated there's no room for such error, it's a whole content delivery chain used over and over again thousands and thousands of times, and it's all designed to preserve every single pixel of the video that was produced to ensure that the end user gets what the producer, director and the whole team behind such tv show created, UNTOUCHED.

so yeah, i guess it's to hunt down those releasing such files using torrents. it's a paid download after all, so unless the account used for purchase was created with fake credentials and used some gift card, they may be able to track down the person responsible in no time - and even in case of fake identity, there's still the location and device used for initial download from itunes store - people can be tracked by their IP address.

i'm a little bit surprised at the lack of outrage here to be honest. you choose to shoot the messenger instead of thinking about the implications of what they're doing. personally i'm more pissed about the fact that they dare to touch the content they're supposed to just sell untouched, but the fact that they're probably treating every single buyer as a potential criminal and that they're taking steps to be able to track every single copy sold, is just wrong and has serious implications. imagine a world 10, 20 or 50 years from now, assuming the nukes won't fall. some nuthead releases a picture of a murder done in a living room and the police is all over it. there's a tv on the wall, showing some movie, and an apple tv below it. police asks apple if they can identify anything, and they point them at you - next thing you know is you're sitting in a police car, humiliated, with metal bracelets, just because that nutjob stole your laptop with all your itunes content few months earlier. insane? you bet. impossible? not so much.
edit on 28-9-2014 by jedi_hamster because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:20 AM
link   

originally posted by: jedi_hamster
it's a theory. it may be a stretch, because the proof i'll present could be - in theory - a result of human error (that's doubtful though, at least in my opinion). it may even not be apple - but hey, everyone needs a catchword for their thread, right? and it's probably about them anyway.

i was comparing two videos of marvel's agents of s.h.i.e.l.d. new episode, and i got surprised. one video is a video stream directly from abc's website - they allow their show to be watched online, and i've downloaded it directly from there (i know there's no download button there, but that's beyond the scope of this thread). the second video, well, i've downloaded it from the internet. it's most likely from itunes store - high bitrate with 5.1 sound, and only paid versions have that, and only 3 companies sell those episodes online.

www.tv.com...

after taking a look at their sites, i suspect both amazon and vudu sell exactly the same videos (when it comes to format/bitrate and so on) as apple does, perhaps they're even some kind of a reseller, hard to tell. xfinity and tv.com show videos using hulu's platform, and hulu doesn't have that quality as far as i know.

so that leaves us most likely with apple. but what happened?
well, both video streams (from abc and from itunes) have the same resolution - standard 1280x720 (they both have 1080p versions as well). here are direct links to two images - exactly same video frame, two separate video streams. both images weren't processed in any way, those are direct captures from the video streams discussed here.

wstaw.org...
wstaw.org...

i hear you saying 'BS, that's different frame'. no, it isn't. here's an archive with 166 frames in sequence from each stream.

www.sendspace.com...

why would they zoom and then crop the video? my theory is watermarking. you cannot really put a watermark on a video that's going to be distributed by torrents for example, because - unless people will just copy the stream, which happens to preserve quality - each recode of that stream will likely destroy the watermark (because when people do recode such streams, they usually aim for the smallest file possible). noone will notice a few missing pixels at the edges though, right? and no recoding will recover them.

here's a strech of such theory: what if they have prepared 1000 or more preencoded versions of each episode they sell? if any of you have bought said episode from itunes store, please check those frames with the ones provided. are they zoomed and cropped differently? because if yes, that means it's a watermark. they don't need to hunt down every single copy, just the first one that surfaces on the web, and that usually happens fast i guess. by that time, no more than 1000 copies would be sold probably, and with few pixels to cut at each edge, they would be able to track thousands of copies. don't underestimate it because it would need reencoding of the entire episode, with hardware encoding and cheap storage that wouldn't be any problem for someone like apple.

now, i don't have anything against watermarking something they sell - personally i wouldn't buy it, because the quality of free abc stream is comparable, and the stereo sound is enough - but they sell it, it is their right. i'm against destroying the content being sold though. perhaps it's just me (it's hard to tell even after overlaying those frames on top of each other in gimp), but it seems like the version from itunes is very slightly distorted - the aspect ratio doesn't seem to be preserved. now, the difference is so small it's hardly noticeable, and without seeing the comparison you wouldn't even know anything was cropped - but it wasn't just a human mistake and they're doing it to watermark their videos, it's just wrong.

obviously they cannot admit that's the case, because then people would just zoom in and crop a little bit more, screwing up their recognition software by deleting a few more pixels at the edges. still, for me it's selling crippled videos for the purpose of hunting down those that upload them on the internet. commercially it makes sense, because of the quality of their streams, at least for some. but if i would be their customer and i would find out, i would be seriously pissed.

apple and their dirty tricks. what's your opinion? can anyone compare those video frames with their own copy bought directly at itunes store?


Gonna jump out there and say yes. Amazon can track its kindle items, so why not Apple doing the same. Granted, maybe there is some software out there that allows for the DRM removal so you can save it as a fresh file on your computer like what is available for kindle items.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 04:26 AM
link   
Some DRM watermarking techniques can survive re-encoding, including lossless encoding. That why sometimes your PS3/XBox/BluRay player etc will refuse to play videos downloaded from non-legit sources. I wouldn't be at all suprised if Apple are using one of these techniques.

The stretching/cropping might be because the video was converted from 16:9 to 16:10 ratio..just enough different that you'll see a bit of stretching & cropping. I think the different is something to do with removing the black bands at the the & bottom of the video that you normally get on movies designed for widescreen.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 08:28 AM
link   

originally posted by: jedi_hamster
a reply to: rockpaperhammock

so i'll repeat it again: there is no reason behind it, nor 'quite a few reasons'. call me rude, but i'm just being sarcastic because of the oblivious ignorance of people. i guess i've overestimated the average intelligence on ATS this time.



You just like to keep digging huh? I must not have average intelligence? You thread has 1 flag.....which probably came from a mod like most new threads. That means the average ATSer didn't find what you were saying intelligible or interesting. Maybe you should evaluate your own intelligence.

How about I start a topic on the benefits of a reverse slope ambush...would you even know what that is? Should I declare all people who don't as unintelligent? You are more than sarcastic you are obnoxious.

I'm sorry you didn't get enough attention for your theory....and they do indeed have quite a few other ways to track this stuff that would be much more easier than shrinking it approximately 1 mm. They can tag videos and pictures and track them in quite a few ways...maybe apple just wants its own thing. So what?



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 10:02 AM
link   

originally posted by: LordGoofus
Some DRM watermarking techniques can survive re-encoding, including lossless encoding. That why sometimes your PS3/XBox/BluRay player etc will refuse to play videos downloaded from non-legit sources. I wouldn't be at all suprised if Apple are using one of these techniques.

The stretching/cropping might be because the video was converted from 16:9 to 16:10 ratio..just enough different that you'll see a bit of stretching & cropping. I think the different is something to do with removing the black bands at the the & bottom of the video that you normally get on movies designed for widescreen.


what 16:10 has to do with it? that was an aspect ratio used on lcd monitors for computers, it was never used in tv. this video in particular, like all other tv shows produced these days, is in 16:9 ratio, and that's what is being delivered by itunes store, live tv broadcast, every other channel - 1280x720 is 16:9 after all. besides, the kind of cropping you imply would look different and the amount of cropping would be much bigger. this is something entirely else, so please, stop guessing about things you obviously don't understand or didn't try to analyze.

and i guess you meant lossy encoding - lossless encoding will always preserve any watermarking, because it's - surprise surprise - lossless. also, the video gets far more compressed than the audio, and people releasing stuff using torrents often go as far as encoding a 2h movie into 800mb - 1gb file. no video watermarking invisible to end user can survive that, i don't think.

what does survive is the cinavia protection embedded in the audio stream, which is so robust it can even survive things like recording the audio in a cinema using a mic (that way, in theory, they can track where the sound was recorded), and as far as i know, it's that cinavia protection that gets detected by ps3 and other players.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 10:22 AM
link   

originally posted by: rockpaperhammock

originally posted by: jedi_hamster
a reply to: rockpaperhammock

so i'll repeat it again: there is no reason behind it, nor 'quite a few reasons'. call me rude, but i'm just being sarcastic because of the oblivious ignorance of people. i guess i've overestimated the average intelligence on ATS this time.



You just like to keep digging huh? I must not have average intelligence? You thread has 1 flag.....which probably came from a mod like most new threads. That means the average ATSer didn't find what you were saying intelligible or interesting. Maybe you should evaluate your own intelligence.

How about I start a topic on the benefits of a reverse slope ambush...would you even know what that is? Should I declare all people who don't as unintelligent? You are more than sarcastic you are obnoxious.

I'm sorry you didn't get enough attention for your theory....and they do indeed have quite a few other ways to track this stuff that would be much more easier than shrinking it approximately 1 mm. They can tag videos and pictures and track them in quite a few ways...maybe apple just wants its own thing. So what?



first of all, i wasn't saying about your intelligence. seeing your reply and how you get all butthurt about this, i would guess that lack of self esteem is kinda likely in your case though.

reverse slope ambush? you mean military tactic? i would be an idiot if i wouldn't be able to google that in literaly few seconds, so is everyone that cannot.

i wasn't talking about embedding encrypted watermarks in the lowest bits of DCT coefficients of H.264 codec, i was talking about SIMPLE CUTTING OFF FEW PIXELS ON THE BORDER. four borders. if you'll cut between 1 and 10 pixels at each, that gives you ten thousands combinations, because each border works as a single digit. is that so damn hard to understand?

'quite a few ways' - describe at least one or stop talking nonsense. every simple tagging using metadata gets removed when the container is changed - and that's what people do, copy the video and audio streams into new container format.

'so what?' well, when you'll get hit in the future by this or similar invention of corporations while being innocent, don't say you didn't know. this is different than most other techniques - it's so blatant and obvious it can be detected with no effort and no access to the copy analyzed, a single photo of poor quality would be enough to get a match. i don't think you understand the possibilities it gives.

i wasn't willing to attack you, nor did i have anything against you. i've even removed one sentence from that post after seeing that you've edited yours, because i figured you would consider it offensive. well, you got butthurt anyway. seeing your attitude, i would say that "Location: that crevice between a womans thigh and butt" that you've got below your avatar fits you.



new topics




 
2

log in

join