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Star Wars Prequels Media Movies

Weird Al: The Saga Begins 79

BrotherPope writes "I had to make sure I got everything I wanted off of Weird Al's new site, before submitting this. The site has his newest video, which is for the Star Wars based parody of American Pie, and behind the scenes info. It's the best thing I've seen and heard from Al yet, and I've always been a big fan! Share and enjoy! " Its actually really funny. Hemos and I just sat here and laughed our butts off.
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Weird Al: The Saga Begins

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  • Everybody who went to my high school a couple years ago thought he'd gone into the witness protection program and become one of the math teachers there. Mr. Addamson didn't have the long hair or the moustache, but he *did* have the glasses, and he *did* take other peoples' songs and screw with the lyrics (e.g. he turned Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" into "We Didn't Make It Up", a song that he taught the other math teachers to think about when they're dealing with disgruntled students). He was definitely the best teacher I've ever had (even including the couple great profs/TAs I've had in my one year at UIUC so far).
  • This is something that I would really like to see. I surfed around, and found that this is something that is on cURL's [] wish-list. There is a reference implementation [] at licensed under the GPL. The RTSP spec should be easy to find. I looked at the code; it doesn't look trivial.
  • has anyone sucessfully made a mirror with the whole QT or MP files (esp the highest qual)?
  • i've setup a mirror of the .rm file in australia
    for *.au and *.nz users (only).

    you can find the file at: starwars.rm

    (please note the spelling correction from the original filename)

  • or you can use this and bypass the registration entirely []
  • Call it more of the dreaded "click here" syndrome...pseudo-HTML and gibberish instead of good solid design that degrades gracefully and offers something for everyone. Control and condescension both play an equal part, I think; "they" (the infamous "man") want to control your experience both because they're happier that way, and they can't imagine that you might be happier without it.

    Like you, I think streaming has its time and place...but the old ways are still the best ways a lot of the time. (Unix, Ethernet and "just plain hyperlinks" all fit this category.)

  • don't talk about Windows media here please.

    Why, because it's not linux?

  • Did anyone catch the "Latin Variant" version at the bottom of the page? ;) EIRDWAY AL YANOKOVIC UNNINGRAY ITHWAY ISSORSCAY lol ;)
  • I should hope we won't have to run this test on Linux (at least not with Media Player!).

    I could understand RealPlayer, and maybe QuickTime.... but not MediaPlayer!

    (next thing we know, they'll be SELLING Microsoft XWindows with IE bundled in and MP part of it, which will almost definitely crash the kernel 60% of the time!)
  • That one seems to be gone.
    Here's the originals...

    or when that one gets /.'d then try k/uncook.html

  • by 7lc ( 63210 )
    Did anybody find an mp3 of this song? I've been searching for it, but can't find it.

  • I kinda doubt it would be from pretty hate machine, as the ALbum (bad pun) is 10 years old.
    It'll probably be of The Perfect Drug or something
  • I have always thought that Wierd Al was some sort of twisted genuis, and this just reinforces that thought. I laughed so hard watching that video that it hurt. The "may be Vader someday later" line is classic.

    -- "Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
    -- Help! Help! I'm being repressed...."
  • How well does MS MediaPlayer work under Wine?

    It's not an ideal solution, but it would work as an interim solution.
  • I agree. The Cantina song was ok, but this one was great! :>
  • i downloaded it ok, but i get the fault when trying to play it. and was wondering if it was just realplayer on my pc that was stuffing up

    anyway, thanks for putting the mirror up

  • Making us stream these things every time is insane (damn people) Does anyone have the high quality quicktime available anywhere? Realvideo sucks, and probably always will ;)

  • im having the same problem. i downloaded the file
    (8,430,301 bytes) but i've tried playing it with several different versions of realplayer, including, of course, the newest, and its not working. Im getting a "General error" upon loading the file, or in some cases a GPF.
  • Maybe that's done on purpose? The ways of Weird Al are many and subtle.
  • Great video... but Wierd Al looks so *wierd* without his "trademark" glasses and frazzled hair...
  • Slashdotted... and only one post up. Must be a new record.
  • Last month this [] silly story about Weird Al and Larry Wall was posted.
  • They may be limiting the number of simultaneous connections allowed (wise! very wise!), so be patient if you want to get through.

    It is pretty good.

    I'd swear I could watch the slashdot effect kick in... the farther the movie got, the worse the video got... though that could be an effect of me selected "Really, Really Fast"... sorry, everybody else!
  • According to the FAQ [] on his official home page, Weird Al has had LASIK and no longer needs glasses. The short hair is, evidently, a wig.

  • nope. no qt4. no wmp. no G2 player for linux, either.

    Could someone do a conversion? Maybe write up a nice stable algorithm this afternoon for qt4?

  • i'm gonna have to agree with that....funky!
  • Can Xanim play any of these file formats?
  • This is one of Wierd Al's Best I've seen. It's great!!

    Anyone have an MP3 of this? if so, post and be ready to be /.'d. ;-)

  • Ok, how about a mirror? If I could get a copy of the file I can put it up [for a couple users at a time anyway] but I don't know how to retrieve the file itself :(


    Indecision is the key to flexibility...

  • Heck with mirrors (although it'd be really nice).. i just want a copy for myself! If someone finds a way to get it, post it (please)!
  • Great video... but Wierd Al looks so *wierd* without his "trademark" glasses and frazzled hair...

    Actually, I think the correct statement would be: "He almost looks *normal* without the glasses and frazzled hair"


    Eat right. Stay fit. Die anyway.

  • /. is also not the only news site with links to it...
  • by Yupnik ( 5094 ) on Friday June 25, 1999 @12:45PM (#1832908) Homepage
    Sure there is! It's alpha quality, but it works on this stream and a lot of other sites.

    Linux RealPlayer G2 Alpha []

    Daniel Butler

  • They're all streams, nothing that can be downloaded. Maybe try pointing realplayer at rtsp:// _al/wierdal_starwars.rm , that will avoid the web page slowdown.
  • Ahh, the ending is just ... priceless. Al really is a SW nerd! Maybe the song for Episode 2 will be to the tune of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

  • It's a spoiler (so if you haven't seen the movie...why are you on /.) but a funny one. Wierd Als been a SW fan since way back, everyone remember "Yoda"? (sung to Lola)

    Has Al reached American Icon status yet? He's been around for a good long while now....

  • Actually, there is a port of G2 for linux but its not exactly the most stable piece of software I have on my computer. And I was unable to access the G2 version of it anyway. But search the slashdot archives for G2 if you want the player.
  • MPEG4 .. MPEG is an open standard .. right?

    So how do I play it in Linux?

    How do I download that .ASX? Has anyone figured out how to mimic a player so that they can transfer it? I do not want to have to download it again tomorrow ... maybe Squid will cache it?

  • Alight kids, you download the thing from Netscape and it saves the file to the disk as a bunch of text, right? Right..

    Hmm.. that sure sounds like a famaliar problem. Oh yeah! Some MP3s do the same thing when downloaded by a browser. Some smart, smart person out there developed a piece of software called "uncook" (uncook.exe) that fixes it.

    And ya know what? It works for this Real Video file, too! Kick ass, eh? Where do you get this uncook.exe? Right here: p/uncook.exe []

    PS: usage of it is: uncook.exe badal.rm goodal.rm

  • That page has moved. (Well, it's slightly more complicated than that. Trust me. I know.)

    It really lives at []. There it will stay. For now.

  • Does anyone else see a disturbing trend here? "They" seem to be trying to turn the web into television. Bad enough that so much of the web economy is based on advertising (which is at least not as bad as spam), but now these various media systems force you to stream the video. It doesn't seem to be incompetence -- they definitely seem to by doing everything they can to make it so that you can only view it as a stream, without being able to save it to disk. Aside from the control issues (which make this offensive enough), this reduces the quality of the experience in so many ways:
    • You can only view the video at the quailty dictated by your internet connection; they (try to) deny you the option of waiting through a long download in order to view it at higher quality.
    • Even the fastest internet connection will skip occasionally, so it's impossible to get really perfect playback.
    • Playback through browser plug-ins always sucks -- even with a local file, it skips more than with a separate player.
    • You can't resize the window or, better yet, put it in full-screen. Someone else said he was impressed that the stream (on a cable modem, of course) was broadcast-TV-quality, but even so, if it's in a little window, you don't get the full TV experience.
    • What I assume was |Cozmo|'s point: bandwidth -- even if they had the right to control how the content is used once it's on my system, why would they ever want to make it so that every single viewing has to be streamed from their server? Aside from annoying the hell out of us, all that does is cost them bandwidth.
    Now, I think streaming is pretty cool stuff, and I've always been a fan of QuickTime (certainly vs. the other two lame formats on the page), but it should be an option, dammit! A good site would always provide an ordinary link to the actual file as well as the stream, but even more, a good media system would make it so that they wouldn't have to: it would be user-centric, so that by setting a browser option, or at most making a trivially obvious change to the URL, you could get at the file directly.

    David Gould
  • Open standard... well, open may be a relative term in this case.

    M$ did a (not-so-nicely-working) version of NetShow awhile back. Don't think it'll play these tho (that player's too old). And no, Squid won't cache it. Does ANYONE know what the hell protocol rtsp:// URLs represent?
  • real time streaming protocol, it's quicktime streaming. Good stuff, I'm runnng a QTSS server. Currently only runs on OSXS, but it's open source so anyone who wants can port it. Se
  • Well, I'm no good at creating mirrors, but I did successfully download the RealMovie .RM file and threw it up on my server.
    It doesn't stream, but if you have time for 8 megs to download, then visit: []

    and see if that will help! :)
  • Just a confirmation that Slashdot really is a News for Nerds site. You just can't get much more nerdy than Weird Al.

    The cool thing about Weird Al is that he never ages.
  • by Brian Kendig ( 1959 ) on Friday June 25, 1999 @01:03PM (#1832924) Homepage
    "Yoda" and the newest Weird Al song are both funny, but the absolute funniest Star Wars parody I've ever found has got to be "The Cantina Song": music/mp3s/cantina.mp3 []

    Also, "Yoda's Sunscreen" is pretty funny: /humor/music/mp3s/yoda_sunscreen.mp3 []

    You can find these and more at" []".

  • Kinda. I managed to get the RealPlayer version of it. It's 8.0 megs, so don't everyone crash the server all at once: rs/wierdal_starwars.rm [] If anyone knows a way to save RTSP media to disk, please let me know.
  • Weird Al has done it again. Just wish he'd come down into Texas on this tour. I missed his last one cause the closest he came was Kearne, Nebraska.

  • Wow! I was at the Kearney, Nebraska Weird Al show! I even had a back stage pass! I got to meet him after the show. Of course, I had absolutely nothing intelligent to say ("Uh, people say I'm weirder than you!" and he just looked at me like some kind of freak!)

    Does ANYONE remember "The Weird Al Report" (I think that was what it was called) on HBO or Showtime around 1986 or 1987? In one of the shows, he took a long, rolled up piece of paper and stuck it up his nose and pulled it out of his nose slowly while making weird faces and noises. (I know that sounds stupid and lame, but it was one of the funniest things I had ever seen, about peed myself!) I said something about it to Al, and he said I must have him confused with someone else. He was nice, considering he was very tired and putting up with a bunch of stupid hicks from mid-Nebraska. Still, I walked away feeling like a fool! :)

  • ...this is going to be great. Now I'll have a bookend to Yoda. Or if he makes a few more songs with Star Wars themes in them, he can put out, "The Star Wars Album". Then he'll hate it as much as he does the Food and T.V. albums... :)

    (No, I didn't have anything to say, but hey... it's "Weird Al"! Had to say something! :)
  • Ooooh... wonder if one could reverse-engineer a client to stream to a file... *bad thoughts enter my mind* Any thoughts on that possibility?
  • I took the time to try and see what format of "The Saga Begins" was better. These were tested on a dual processor 200 MHz Pentium Pro, 64MB ram, running Windows 2000 Beta 3, connected to the net via a 256K ADSL modem. The sound card was an old ISA C. L. SoundBlaster output to a Bose Acoustimass Multimedia speakers.

    I rated the players in 4 catagories:
    Video: The subjective video quality;
    Synch: The ability of the video & voice to stay synchronized.
    CPU: The CPU time consumed by each player
    Mem: The memory required by each player

    The results are:
    Video: RP > QT > MP; mainly because the QT & MP videos appear very dark.
    Synch: QT > MP >> RP; Quicktime seemed to keep things in sync well, while MediaPlayer seemed to lose sync periodically and RealPlayer consistantly stopped at various points in the video (even when loading from a network file on an unloaded 10Mbps net!)
    CPU: MP > QT >> RP; ~50% vs. 33% vs 12% of the dual CPU (100%) system)
    Mem: RP > QT > MP; ~ 11.2 vs. 8.5 vs. 5.5 MB

    I ran all three players simultaneously to get the CPU & Memory figures. Since the line is rated at 256K and I was using the 128K ISDN for MP/QT data sources and the RP video was on the local net this should not be network bandwidth constrained. Running in 3 part harmony appears to be difficult to do because you can't seem to balance the sound source volumes.

    I'm rather stunned that W2K Beta 3 actually didn't crash during this test!

    It seems to me that MP might be the best choice on a faster system. QT wins in terms of maintaining presentation quality. RP doesn't offer much but a good looking video that fails to stay in sync. The MP & QT sound quality was richer than that of RP, but the QT sound seemed to have occasional clicks in it. I don't know if that is a network problem or a software/hardware glitch. I don't believe any packets were lost during these tests.

    When you can run this test on Linux let me know (:-))
  • Posted by OrpheusPC:

    weird al didnt write either of those songs, the guy used to work for premrad radio, i dont remember his name, though its in the official weird al FAQ, al didnt sing them either.
  • If you're talking about the Cantina song that's a parody of the Copa-Cobana, his name is Mark Davis. He also did a song called "The Phantom Medley" which I guess is getting airplay on Dr. Demento.

    My take on the Weird Al song-- Pretty lame. At least "Yoda" had some jokes and some energy behind it.

  • Yes, that is done on purpose.
  • Yes, I agree. QUITE priceless. I didn't even get it at first that, but it is a definite stab at Episode 2. :)

    I've always loved Weird Al, ever since I got a tape of his "even worse" album when I was 15.
    There are many cases where I like his versions of the songs a lot better than the originals. :)

    Then there's always the thrill of discovering an original of one of Weird Al's songs which I'd never heard before. Fond memories of the song "Lola" come to mind. :) and in that case, the original song was even funnier than the parody. Gotta love it. :)

  • this worked like a charm! thanks a bunch.

  • Al has outlasted most of the bands he's parodied. I think he qualifies for "Icon" status. :)
  • Nope, sorry, the link doesn't work...real networks redirects you to a different page.

  • the Yoda Sunscreen song had me ROFLing...

  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Friday June 25, 1999 @02:50PM (#1832943)
    (Not that I'm bitter that I've been submitting this to /. for the last week & a half >:-).

    The new album, "Running with Scissors" will be
    out this Tuesday. No track list, but the
    parodies that have been mentioned include
    "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi", "It's All About the
    Pentiums", and parodies of "One Week" by BNL
    and "Zoot Suit Riot". Also, rumor of a NIN
    parody (!!! They haven't done anything for
    years !!!).

  • I'll assume you mean NIN hasn't put out anything in years but if you check out with somethign that can deal with flash there's a snippet of stuff that'll supposedly be put on an double album set out due this fall
  • I have downloaded the entire file off the mirror but i still get an general? error... anyone else find that it doesn't work for them?
  • Well, Al generally parodies sufficiently entrenched music. (His latest off this album
    is probably One Week, months old.). If
    the NIN rumor is true, I'd expect it to be from
    Pretty Hate Machine (the most easily recognizable
    of the NIN albums).

  • Wow, took me long enough, but I added in a silly little 'guestbook' thing on my "mirror" site for the RealMedia movie.

    Either way, since I posted earlier this afternoon, there's been over 150 downloads... wild! :) [] to nab a copy of the video and avoid the lagged server. :)
  • I'm working to fix the problem. Here's my alpha solution, which is weak at best:

    Downloading the file from Netscape is useless. It pulls up garbled text instead of saving it to disk. Saving it to disk will (as you've seen already) cause a GPF.

    Using a download manager helps. I used GetRight and everything ran smoothly. You can get a copy of GetRight from Headlight Software's webpage, This still doesn't solve the problem, but it does offer a mediocre workaround.

    I think the problem here may be that the server is my friend's, and is not configured to handle RealMedia. If anyone has a suggestion on how I can fix the situation, I'd be glad to hear it. Until then, I'll just keep working on a fix on my own.

The absent ones are always at fault.