19 July 2005

- DVDs -

I spent the last two days compiling a wish list of DVDs for two research projects. Making these sorts of lists, checking prices, and so forth takes a lot more time than you might imagine. You also learn just how little is actually out on DVD, especially the films I'm interested in (1927-1933). So I also scoured the TCM schedule to see when such films were playing (TCM plays a lot more films than Time-Warner is willing to release at this point).

On a related note, it's getting harder all the time to rip clips from DVDs for use in class. This is getting to be a real hassle, because DVDs themselves are virtually impossible to teach from. I'm sure you all know how ridiculously long the menu sequences for DVDs are getting. Moreover, many DVD players shut themselves off after a certain period of inactivity, and most of those players do not remember the place they have been cued to once they have powered down, so it's not even like you can cue the DVD up before class. No, you have to imagine sitting there in class for 2 minutes as the menu sequence runs, then input the time code. Just think about what that does to teaching!

So what have I done? Well, I have one computer that is devoted to digitizing for class. I won't upgrade the software, the system, nothing. Still, the way things are going I'm going to have to stoop to figuring out how to turn off the macrovision, which would put me in direct violation of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). Gotta love this forced choice between effective pedagogy and upholding the law!