ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Flash —

So, here’s an example of how I archive without utilizing, you know, me.

4chan.org, which is a popular image posting board, has a sub-board in which people post flash animations. All the time. 24 hours a day. Many are funny and many are disgusting and some are sublime. They repeat often and occasionally good ones are turned into “shock” versions that go horribly wrong and basically every thing you can do under the sun ends up going by there.

I used to go out and hunt down flash animation collections because I found them fascinating (when done right) and because you’d grab a little file (if it was done right) and you’d see something amazing (if it was done right).

Well, anyway, the page that 4chan runs is here. I don’t suggest clicking on anything from work or home. I suggest having a teenage runaway click on it from a truck stop using a stolen computer while you’re safely thousands of miles away and ideally have never met the runaway. I understand these optimal circumstances cannot always be easily met.

So, I wrote a script that downloads all the flash animations uploaded. And deletes already-grabbed ones. And puts them where I can do sorting (headings include MUSIC VIDEOS, VIDEO LOOPS, ANIME LOOPS, EPICS and so on).

I’ve been doing this all year.

I now have 9,000 of them.

What do I do with them? Well, I have a directory with the best of what I’ve seen gone by, and that always represents amusement to me. I send along amusing ones to friends. I study techniques in the more epic ones. And so on, all the stuff one does with artwork they acquire.

Is there bad stuff in here? Oh, oh yes. This is a completely unrestricted board, and even more critically, they do delete stuff that’s way way way over the top, and my script downloads them before they’re deleted. As a result, I can assure you, there are real actual flash video files in which you see actual animals die. I do not recommend seeing them. I don’t even recommend seeing them for myself; I have these files in my collection mostly so my doubler can get rid of them immediately. They end up getting names like “happybirthday.swf” and “calculator.swf”, because, as you know, people are jerks.

That unpleasantness aside, I’ve really seen some amazing works. People work hard on good animations, and if you use Flash properly (just like PDF), you can make simple, well-working and smooth-flowing animated works that border on broadcast-quality art and animation. I hold out for those.

So yeah; if you were wondering if anyone was collecting 4chan (and other) flash animations, I’m your point man. 9,000 of them, totalling over 12gb.

And now you know.


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9 Comments

  1. pSYCHEDELIC bUTTOCKS says:

    There is a website call youlube.com.

  2. Anonymous Coward says:

    Any chance of seeing the guts of this script..?

  3. Kizzle says:

    Now I really want to see the amazing ones. Could you throw a few in a directory somewhere?

    Oh and your blog still has the problem of spitting back a “wait a short amount of time before being able to post again.” error when you hit preview and then the post button.

  4. Andy Baio says:

    Seconding the call for sharing the best ones.

  5. Shii says:

    “There is a website call youlube.com.”

    No there isn’t. Also, Scott, you should have said “over 9000″.

    I was going to do something like this last year, and put the loops up on a YTMND-like website. I really want a stable place to link to the video of Tom playing the violin. The problem is that I’d have to have a whole advertising thing set up to break even on it. I didn’t want to bother with that so I never executed the idea.

  6. Jason Scott says:

    I believe I just fixed the “wait before commenting” bug. Pray.

  7. Kyle says:

    I’ve got a small cache of good 4chan flash myself. I’d love to see the good, the bad and the god-awful that you’ve amassed.

  8. Jason Scott says:

    Here you go:

    cd /teat/cudchew/4CHAN/4CHANFLASH
    rm -f up.html
    /usr/local/bin/wget –user-agent=”Sinzilla 4.0″ http://cgi.4chan.org/f/up.html

    cat up.html | sed ‘s/href=\”/\
    \
    /g’ | grep -i swf | sed ‘s/”.*//g’ | grep swf | xargs /usr/local/bin/wget -q -nc

    Note that there’s a linefeed in there, but I figure you’d figure that out. This is in freebsd, as well.

  9. Anonymous says:

    IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAND!!!!!!