determine MB in advance of download?

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Old 03-26-13, 02:56 PM
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determine MB in advance of download?

What is a method by which I might find out in advance of downloading a video off the web (YouTube video from YouTube website) the MB size of the video?
 
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Old 03-26-13, 03:07 PM
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I wasn't quite sure of that answer myself so I went to YouTube and right clicked on one of the videos and found View Image Info. I am running Windows 7 so if you are running a different version it might say something different. I would think though with about any version of Windows you can find out by right clicking it and then looking for the information.
 
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Old 03-26-13, 04:07 PM
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Okay, but hmm... when I right click on one particular video in YouTube and then click on View Image Info, I get a page info box that pops up. If I select General in that box, I get various info displayed, one of which is the Size info, which shows this particular video size at 22.71 kB. But when I download it, then look at the Properties info on my downloaded file the size shows as 540.4 kB for this particular video. I wonder what accounts for this apparent discrepancy?
 
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Old 03-27-13, 05:46 AM
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File size is tough to figure in advance because the download is dynamic. It is dependent upon the speed of your connection. Best way to determine file size is to download, then right click on the file (not the video) and select Properties.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 09:33 AM
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File size is tough to figure in advance because the download is dynamic. It is dependent upon the speed of your connection. Best way to determine file size is to download, then right click on the file (not the video) and select Properties
I see. I didn't realize the actual size of the downloaded file would be affected by the speed of the connection. The reason I was hoping to be able to know in advance of downloading is because my ISP plan has a usage limit which I don't want to exceed. I know I can log onto my ISP account and monitor my usage (usually up to through the previous day) and that there are software programs with which I could even monitor my usage in real time. But I was just thinking it would be helpful to know the actual final size of a potential download (the amount of MB usage deducted from my allotment) in advance of deciding whether to download it, instead of only afterwards.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 10:00 AM
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That's not entirely accurate. The file size is not actually dynamic in these cases, that only holds true for 'streaming' video sites like Netflix and Vudu where the stream bitrate is continually adjusted based on available bandwidth in order to minimize buffering.. "Tube" sites do not 'stream' like that, they 'embed' video into the page.. They hold several different files in several different qualities for each video (depending on the original upload). Depending on what quality the viewer chooses (240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p) or what is chosen by the 'autodetect agent', that dictates which file is loaded from the CDN and played. When you change quality in the middle of playing, all it does is load the new quality file and start playing it from the same timepoint. It doesn't dynamically change the bitrate like a true stream does.

You CAN find out the file details using a browser plugin called a download helper (basically lets you download and save files from Tube sites), but would be very clunky to use in the manner you want. Basically you would have to initiate a save to find out what the total file size is, then stop it. There's really no other way. The reason you saw 22.71kb when the file size was 540kb with the right click, is that the properties only reported the size of the thumbnail image on the page, NOT the actual video file. Embedded video does not report its size to the browser like that.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 11:06 AM
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Just a note on Netflix you can cap the quality of the streaming video to limit the amount you download. I have mine set to the lowest bit rate and it looks fine but I view on an old CRT low res TV anyway.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 11:07 AM
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That's not entirely accurate. The file size is not actually dynamic in these cases, that only holds true for 'streaming' video sites like Netflix and Vudu where the stream quality is adjusted based on available bandwidth
Would that mean with a streamed video the size of a downloaded file with a lower speed connection, such as 3bps, that that file would end up being bigger (thus my ISP usage higher) that that of the same streamed video being downloaded at a higher speed connection (such as 12bps)? Or not necessarily?

"Tube" sites do not 'stream', they 'embed' video.. They hold several different files in several different qualities for each video (depending on the original upload). Depending on what quality the viewer chooses (240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p) or what is chosen by the 'autodetect agent', that dictates which file is played.
Does watching in real time such embedded video from "tube" sites use up more or less MB usage compared to actually downloading the file using a download helper plugin, as described?

You CAN find out the file details using a browser plugin called a download helper (basically lets you download and save files from Tube sites), but would be very clunky to use in the manner you want.
I tried using a download helper plugin with my browser and stopping a few downloads from YouTube before it was apparent they downloaded all the way, but it seemed like even though I thought I stopped the downloads before they finished they loaded all the way anyway. Maybe I didn't move fast enough. Like you said it seems clunky that way.

Generally, does obtaining streamed video use more or less than "downloading" embedded video to a file and watching it later?
 
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Old 03-27-13, 02:53 PM
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I decided (like I probably should have before asking a bunch of questions here) to do some Googling on the subject (downloading vs streaming), the differences, advantages/disadvantages of each, etc., differences between various services, the methods/technologies, the trends, etc. etc. So it ends up being too complicated an endeavor (for me) to try to determine in advance how much actual usage I might be charged on my limited use plan, and too complicated to determine if it's even worth the effort to attempt to do so. Looks like I'll just resort to the guessing game try-as-I-go-and-see-what-happens approach. Like usual. Thanks for all the replies though.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 06:31 AM
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I don't recall saying the file size is dynamic, but I am getting old ...

Sgull, the codecs used to encode and decode videos on the 'net have become very sophisticated. Typically the file types (extensions such as MP4 and MOV) are "containers" or "wrappers" that can hold a number of different compression schemes and bitrates. That's why it's tough to determine how large a file will be in advance.

If it helps ... I have a 4G mobile hot spot for the boat with a 5-gig monthly data limit. I back its speed down to just over 1Mbps* when we watch videos. The quality at that point is somewhere between a VHS tape and a DVD. Not horrible, but it does have some artifacting.

Four or five Netflix movies or a few Youtubes a day is all it will handle without getting into extra monthly charges. With the air card set to full speed the picture is pristine, but we chew up the entire month's allotment in a couple of hours.

* Megabits per second, not megabytes. A byte contains 8 bits.
 
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