Movie creation limits changed temporarily to meet high-demand


In response to the huge demand resulting from yesterday’s spectacular eruption, we are going to temporarily decrease the maximum size of the movies created on Helioviewer.org.

When you request a movie on Helioviewer.org we attempt to use as many images as are available for the requested time period, within a specified limit. Normally that limit is 300 images. For a single-layer movie this meant that the movie would be created using about 300 images. For multi-layer movies, the number of images allowed is divided by the number of layers included or order to deal with the increased strain. For instance, if you requested a two-layer movie (e.g. AIA 304 and LASCO C2), the limit would go become 300 / 2 = 150 images. Similarly, for a three-layer movie the limit would be 300 / 3 = 100 images. All of this is simply to make it possible to create movies in a reasonable amount of time, within the constraints of the server Helioviewer.org runs on.

In order for us to be able to process the large amount of movie requests waiting to be processed (currently about 3000), we are going to temporarily decrease the maximum movie image limit from 300 to 150. In order to keep the frame-rate high, we will also decrease the default movie duration by a proportionate amount: instead of each movie being 20 seconds long, movies will be 10 seconds long instead. So basically, if you either requested a movie during the past 24 hours, or request one sometime during the next several days, it will likely be half as long, and include half as many images as usual. Once movie demand returns to a more sustainable level and we have caught up with the current queue of movies these limits will be returned to their normal values so users can continue to make the high-quality movies they are used to.

Thanks everyone for your patience.

Update June 09, 2011: We have decreased the image limit (from 150 to 100) and movie duration (from 10s to 6.6s) once more to account for the continued high-demand. Once things slow down a bit we’ll increase the limit first to 150, then back to 300.

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  1. #1 by Matt on June 8, 2011 - 9:51 pm

    Why not make a variety of videos of the event available and distribute through other means, such as torrents?
    I’d imagine that would decrease the load greatly, if most video requests are for this eruption.

    • #2 by keith on June 9, 2011 - 12:47 am

      Hey Matt,

      That’s a really good idea. This has definitely been a learning experience for us. I think in the future we will try and make it easier to explore the videos that other users created, and provide suggestions for similar movies. For the more near-time, we might try to put together a few more blog posts with links to other videos that users have made in the past that are particularly interesting. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. #3 by Loly on June 9, 2011 - 11:53 am

    I think I expected too much and can not be generated videos of current events. Because there are many videos of the event on 7 June. It should remove the applications, which are only preventing the current monitoring

    • #4 by keith on June 9, 2011 - 2:11 pm

      Hi Loly,
      We actually came to the same conclusion, and decided to clear the existing queue which were largely made for the same event, in order to allow more recent movies to be made. In the future we will make changes to the web-site to try and avoid these kinds of situations and ensure that it is always possible to make movies in a short amount of time. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  3. #5 by Loly on June 9, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    eeeeeeeehhhhhhhhh!!!

  4. #6 by kevin on June 9, 2011 - 3:15 pm

    en una parte del video aparece una extraccion de la misma radiacion. y hace que no se desconponga por el espacio.

  5. #7 by Thewatcher on June 9, 2011 - 4:16 pm

    Rather off topic, but why do the EIT spectrums lag so far behind the SDO spectrums? They seem to always lag 12 hours + ? Thanks beforehand Keith.

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