The 2022 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and another useless FLIR video (#R16)
Do I rant too much? I probably do.
Is it unfounded? Probably not.
So, I’ve done a slightly insane yet enjoyable trip to Scotland and covered 2000 miles in 8.5 days, thanks to the wonders of free lifetime supercharging on my Tesla. End point of the trip was the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo show on 25th of September, for which getting a single ticket on the desired “7” block was a bit tricky, but worked out in the end. And while literally hundreds of the crowd of around 9000 people had their phones up quite a lot of the time (does anyone watch those hour long videos of wobbly footage?), I had a blast enjoying the actual show. Except for one bit, which I think has not been recorded for the interwebs yet, which was the Electro Pipes part that uses a bunch of remotely operated, umm, fire effects. Big Clive probably knows exactly who operated and programmed these
Without further ado – here’s a part of the Electro Pipes performance with terrible audio and in glorious 80 x 60 pixel resolution as seen by the FLIR camera in my CAT S61:
(no need to endure the entire video, it’s pretty repetitive and the extremely loud audio clearly overwhelms the microphone)
First observation: Despite the poor audio, the YouTube content ID analyzer actually recognizes the original song:
Shake That Bagpipe
Video uses this song’s melody
Content found during: 0:07 – 2:13
Well, I did not know this was a pre-existing piece of music, and I can gladly report that this copyright thing causes “No restrictions”, i.e. they probably won’t claim royalties or demand a video takedown. But we’ll see how long that lasts.
Second observation: FLIR apparently got acquired by Teledyne in early 2021. I would not have noticed, but the current desktop PC did not have the FLIR tools installed, so I tried downloading them – and was told they’re EOL and no longer available. That’s a lie since they still can be downloaded after login and knowing exactly where they are hidden in a long list of dropdown options, but they probably need an old account for activation – which I still have. Anyway, the old FLIR tools do not support video post-editing, which I already ranted about in WHL #56 since that produces this very useless video due to lack of any kind of temperature scale, fixed or not:
Third observation: The new software is called Thermal Studio Suite and comes in three flavours: Free, 200 and 400 bucks. Annually. Plus tax. The latter two also include a “Stream and edit radiometric video” feature, but guess what: I will not shell out that kind of money before testing a feature that was not available in previous versions of the software. Neither do I view basic editing as a premium feature, so a software for YOUR HARDWARE should be free – of course, charge whatever you like for bulk report generation and other business features, but not being able to just view raw data? That’s piss-poor.
And fourth observation: It does not even work. This piece of shit locks up on almost all actions – at first I thought it had some problems with the SMB network folder, but then realized it also freezes on accessing files from the desktop or locks up at 100% when directly importing a file. There’s also no One Drive on my computer, but thanks for offering it…?
And when it does terminate ungracefully while opening it for the first time, it also asks for registration details again on the next try. And again. And I found out they don’t even check the name, it’s just a free text field for, dunno, greeting you or inserting your name to reports? Anyway, my copy is now registered to that name:
(#FAFAFA as background “white”? Really?)
After half an hour of wild clicking I somehow fixed it by just saving settings again and/or rebooting after installing the previous FLIR tools. Accessing the video and clicking the screenshot button now yields this:
So Teledyne FLIR now denies the free user to directly take a screenshot of a video, while it also denies temperature scale readout of the same file. Basically it’s 200€ per year for that feature, and nobody will promise you that this actually will work after paying?
Well, let’s put it that way: Fuck you, FLIR. You make great hardware, you made shitty software before, and after being bought by Teledyne, you’ve gone the way of all formerly innovative companies that made a bunch of money on their formerly great products: You’ve become greedy and try charging your existing customers for BASIC functionality. I hope you fail in doing so.
Also, this very likely has ruled out the CAT S62 as my next phone. I will not tolerate this BS a third time (after the S60 and the current S61, all of which use FLIR sensors) and I will rather go with an inferior competitor that still has some business ethics.
Rant over – if you want to enjoy the Tattoo 2022 in better quality, check out this summary. The Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps starting around 26:00 is especially impressive and they did perform absolutely flawlessly on that Thursday. And their LED drum sticks in pitch black…