Transfering Videos to DVDs

Submitted: Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 11:20
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Excuse my ignorance, we have a heap of videos from trips we have had over the years. Is there an apparatus that can help transfer the videos to DVD, mainly for longer life reasons and storing convenience. JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Reply By: David N. - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 11:42

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 11:42
Yes,
You can get a card which slots into your computer which converts them into Mpeg2, which can then be burnt onto CDs and played as Video CDs in your DVD player. You can also do it into the higher detail Mpeg3 (DVD quality??) but I haven't gone down that path... Mpeg2 (video CD quality) is fine IMHO
Have done many, but the downside is it's very time consuming as you have to sort them out into appropriate size file to fit on the CDs.
Good idea though, as Videos do slowly lose quality with time and worse still can be attacked by fungus or mould which all but destroys them. To avoid this keep your valuable ones in an airtight container with silica-gel.
Cheers
AnswerID: 42340

Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 12:44

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 12:44
Thanks David, for the great hints in storage, and sharing your knowlege. We did have an older camera when these were taken, and now that it has given up the ghost, we will be getting a digital. So, are we able to connect our video player to the computer, somehow, download and then burn , through having this card? Jen (knownothin)Looking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Follow Up By: David N. - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 17:05

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 17:05
Sorry, suffering from CRAFT disease... Sam is correct...
MPEG 1 is video CD
and MPEG 2 is the higher quality SVCD and DVD depending on "bitrate".

As I said, I believe for your old videos, the VCD or MPEG 1 is completely adequate for most people including me.
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 17:24

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 17:24
David, never heard of Craft disease, I interperet mature cheese, with a few holes, am I right??? I have Geoff on the task of working out what he sees now, so he can figure the best way to suit. Thanks JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Follow Up By: David N. - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 22:59

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 22:59
Jen
Can't remember a F%#*&^% thing disease....
Sorry.
If you have any further questions technical or otherwise I'd be glad to help.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 23:08

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 23:08
David, I don't have to worry about my memory. Its one part of the brain that doesn't click in until this time of night. HAHA I may ask you a technical question, but its the "otherwise" I may hesitate,
after this.:-) JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Reply By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 12:29

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 12:29
Jen,

There are a number of ways which this can be done. As was previously mentioned, you can purchase a capture card which will allow you to capture to MPEG (1 and 2) or AVI. VCD (Video CD) is MPEG1, SVCD (Super VCD) is MPEG2 and DVD is a higher quality MPEG2 (by higher quality i am refering to a higher bitrate, SVCD uses a lower bitrate of MPEG2 to DVD. i will touch on bitrates later on). MP3 is an audio format. Once captured to MPEG2, this can then be imported into the necessary editing software to allow you to create a DVD (its not just a matter of burning the MPEG2 files to the disc as they need to be setup in a certain way so that DVD players can read them and this also allows you to add menus and other features if you want. ie a slide show of photos).

The other method to capture is using your digital video camera and a firewire card. Most digital video cameras have the ability to input an analogue signal (say from a VCR). You can then use your video camera as a pass through to capture to DV-AVI. This method though requires you to encode the video into MPEG2 (capturing direct to MPEG2 bypasses this as the video is already in MPEG2 format) and will also increase the amount of free hard disk space required.

The quality of the video also depends on the bitrate at which you capture the MPEG video. Most DVD's use between 6Mbit/sec and 8Mbit/sec (this can be variable or a set bitrate - variable allows for smaller files, but not always as it depends on the actual content of the video) The audio for DVD is also at 48Khz 16Bit (compared to 44Khz 16Bit for standard CD). The higher the bitrate used, the more free hard disk space required.

All this probly sounds confusing (just wanted to give some background intfo), but to make life easy, there are plenty of software packages (many come bundled with DVD writers and also capture cards) that make life easy (Ulead VideoStudio, Adobe Premiere 7 to name a couple). They even provide facilities to capture the video for you and import it directly into your project. Then once you are happy with the final product, you can burn it directly to a DVD.

The other thing you need to be aware of is the two main formats of DVD (i wont go into DVD-RAM). There is DVD-R and DVD-RW (for re-writeables) and DVD+R and DVD+RW. Most new DVD players and drives can play both standards, but many older players were not compatible with one or the other.

Don't be put off by all the above jargon (again i just wanted to give you some background info) as I realise it could be very confusing and daunting for first timers to this stuff. For about $400 tops, you can have a DVD writer and capture card and the required software to do the job. And providing your computer has enough power and storage space, it really is a simple process to convert your old VHS videos to DVD.

If you want anything explained more clearly or you need any other info, drop me an email at hall_sa_99@hotmail.com and I will be happy to answer your questions off forum.

cheers,
Sam.
AnswerID: 42344

Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 12:54

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 12:54
Sam, My eyes nearly popped out of my head, I thought it would be easy, like plugs, ports, and click and that would be it. Geoff will be home soon, he has a better understanding for this type of thing, so I will get him to read your information. I'd choose the $400 DVD writer but he may think different. Ask me anything about the basics in life, and I'll be in on it, but this.......... I get lost. Thanks for your help, JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:15

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:15
Jen

It can be a lot simpler than the impression my post might have given. With the right capture card and the right software, it can be very straight forward. As I said, if Geoff or yourself want me to explain anything further (be it equipment needed, software, PC requirments etc) please don't hesitate to drop me an email at hall_sa_99@hotmail.com

cheers,
Sam
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:33

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:33
Thanks Sam, I have saved your address, it sure may come in handy. Geoff works on a computer all day using C.A.D for our business, so he tends to keep away from them when he comes home, so what the little I know I have picked up myself. So in the near future you will hearfrom us. Jen Looking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 22:33

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 22:33
Sam

Is it possible to write to DVD from Adobe Premiere. I have made up a short movie using premiere 7 and can't work out how to burn it directly to DVD from Premiere.

Any info much appreciated

Jason

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Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2004 at 11:07

Saturday, Jan 10, 2004 at 11:07
Jason

Making sure any window except the Project window has focus (is highlighted), if you go to the file menu -> Export, there should be an Export to DVD option (this option is greyed out if the Project window is selected).

Naturally you need a DVD burner installed for this to work(although the dialogue will still come up and you will be able to change all the settings and set it up, you just wont be able to burn it). Here you can set the video standard to use (NTSC or PAL), the bit rate, audio settings etc. I hadn't actually used this feature until you asked me the question, but I gave it a shot and it works well.

However you can't add stuff like menu's etc. It just burns the video straight to DVD. Once you insert the disc in the player, it automatically starts playing. If you want to add menus and other stuff, Adobe Encore is the DVD mastering software from Adobe. I haven't had much of a play with this yet either. But there are other products on the market from companies such as Ulead, Sonic.

If you dont have a DVD burner, you can still use the Adobe Media Encoder (also under the Export option in the file menu) You can just set the Format to MPEG-2-DVD and then specify the required settings, and it will output the video and audio files (the default is to output to seperate video (m2v) and audio files (wav - for PCM audio) but you can set it to multiplex it into one MPEG file. Some software prefers two seperate files for the audio and video streams, but most of the consumer based stuff is happy with single MPEG (or AVI) files containing both the audio and video) Once the files have been encoded, you can then move them to a machine that does have a DVD burner and just use the software on it to compile the DVD. This will allow you to add in menus etc if you want.

As I said to Jen, if you want to know more or want me to explain anything again, feel free to drop me an email at hall_sa_99@hotmail.com

cheers,
Sam.
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Follow Up By: Jay - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:55

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:55
Sam,

I think you seriously need to get up to spec on technical information, DVD-RAM is far superior to DVD+RW or -RW for a whole host of reasons. I'll just name one. With DVD+RW say you've recorded 2 hours info and want cut a half hour out of the middle of the recording. Fine. That half is now gone. Wasted disk space. With DVD-RAM that half automatically gets added on as free space at the end of the disk. Ohh and also It dont have near the compacity DVD-RAM does. Another major turning point.
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Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:19

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:19
Jay,

Will all home DVD players play DVD Ram....I was of the understanding that DVD - minus was the industry standard for DVD players.

I may be wrong as I know Jack Sh#$ about DVD

Jason

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Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:56

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:56
Jay

I am fully aware of the specs of DVD-RAM and its advantages over the other two standards. I was more concered about the compatibility issues with many DVD drives and standalone DVD players and their ability to play the DVD-RAM media.

I was merely thinking from your average punter's point of view (considering the majority of dvd writers on the market are for - and/or + standards). On top of this, from my understanding, this standard is still not being widely supported in standalone DVD players.

The advantages of DVD-RAM lend itself to being used as an alternative storage medium for Digital Video cameras (ie the Hitachi DZ-MV 380) and people requiring temporary space for editing video etc, however, the additional cost of the media and the lack of support for the standard in the consumer home entertainment market wouldn't make it my first choice for the task required (simply copying VHS to DVD, with maybe some small amount of editing, for archival purposes).

As for capacity, my understanding was that the larger capacity 2nd Generation DVD-RAM discs are double sided. There are now double sided DVD+ and - discs on the market that have a capacity of 9.4GB, the same as the larger capacity DVD-RAM discs.

Anyhow, as I said, I was approaching it from your average punter's point of view (ie in terms of compatibility with the majority of consumer hardware aswell as availability and cost of the hardware needed to do the job as well as the media - with one DVD-RAM disc being significantly more expensive than a DVD + or - disc)
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Follow Up By: Jay - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 19:49

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 19:49
Hey Jason,

DVD-RAM is a type of re-recoderable DVD. You really only use this disk if you want to have something temporarily on disc and you want to delete and record over, say if your a die hard Neighbours fan or something like that. DVD-RAM discs are supports by Panasonic products across the board. Companies tend to unite to support different technologies to get marketshare and get up too spec with the bigger n better companies. Like Sony and few others push DVD+RW or something like that. Same with Panasonic. As I've explained previously DVD-RAM is far superior but thats irrelivant. If your going to burn a final copy of something you want to keep you use DVD-R which basically you can burn this disc only once. Dosent matter what anyone tells you DVD-R is the most widley used format and pretty much all brands should play back DVD-R standard now. If you have a unit that wont play back DVD-R you may aswell put it out the front for the next council pick up cause its useless.

Hey Sam,

Its true that the DVD Recorder doesnt have as many options to edit as a PC, though, programs like Premiere you really only use if you want to do extreme editing like frames or forms of audio dub over and things of that nature which the average Jack and Diane dont need to do. Not too say there isnt an extremely large selection of editing features you can do on the unit, which you'll be surprised if you give one a whirl.

Peace Out, Jay

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"4WD'n? I've always found 2WD'n in the mud so much more fun"
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Reply By: Member - PatC - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:37

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:37
There are also commercial operations around that offer this service, some will go right back to the old 8mm movies and convert them to DVD.Make plans... not excuses.
AnswerID: 42348

Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:40

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:40
PatC, that sounds interesting, but I bet they charge the earth. Anyway, worth thinking about, and weighing up. As we have many videos of trips & our kids in the period when we didn't take a lot of photos, it might be time we went with the times,and build up our education in technology. Or try, haha. JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Follow Up By: Member - PatC - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 16:46

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 16:46
There's one at Agnes Waters (Qld) that does it and a lady in Gladstone is getting set up. I'll see if I can get hold of them over the weekend and get an idea of prices. I don't remeber what they charge at Agnes but I remember thinking it wasn't to bad.

Also once the films are converted to DVD you can get programs that will let you capture individual frames and convert them to photos for printing.

See Ya
PatCMake plans... not excuses.
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 17:16

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 17:16
PatC, Sounds good, they are not far from us. Any way if you want to pass on prices etc. our address is...... gocruise@bigpond.com JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Follow Up By: Coops (Pilbara) - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 10:00

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 10:00
Pat C
I would be interested in learning of prices too as I am contemplating this as a sideline.
Could you e-mail me details at allyn@wn dotcomdotau please

many thanks
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Reply By: Member - Bob - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:46

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:46
Jen,
if don't already have the computer for this task can I recommend that you seriously consider a Macintosh. You will need a computer of less than 3 yrs age to have sufficient speed for the task. I use a Sony digital camera as the analog to digital converter. This plugs straight into the firewire port on the back of the Mac. You can then record your old Tape onto the Mac where you can edit it using iMovie (free with the computer), or a more sophisticated video editing programme. Having finished editing you can then export the movie to a CD in Video CD format (which most DVD players can read) or if you have a DVD burner (or combo drive) to that using iDVD (also free). I use a 3 yr old 400 MHz Mac Powerbook with external CD burner. No doubt the newer, faster releases would do the job quicker. On the Mac it is so simple - as you initially thought it would be. The cheapest Apple iBooks are now about $1800 - with nothing else to spend!Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:53

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 13:53
Jen,
the eMac with superdrive is $1899, the iBook is the same price but can't burn DVDs (just CDs).
http://store.apple.com/133-622/WebObjects/australiastore?family=eMacBob
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Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:13

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:13
Putting Mac and PC allegiances aside, both are capable of performing the same task, with the same quality of outcome, for pretty much the same price.
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:49

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 14:49
We have just bought a new computer for home use, now does this sound right "Acer AspireT300 windowsXP". This may give you some hints, as to how we are situated. JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 15:08

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 15:08
Jen,

Was just looking at the specs for that computer (should be enough to handle the work), and the mention of the USB 2.0 ports made me think of another approach. Rather than using a plugin card, you can also obtain USB devices that allow you to capture the video from the VCR via the USB port. This saves you having to worry about opening up the case and installing the card.

cheers,
Sam.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 16:18

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 16:18
Sam,
perhaps with your level of expertise. For the average punter like me the Mac is vastly simpler to use because it is ready out of the box. I have run both systems for nearly 20 yrs so am not unfamiliar with their respective advantages and disadvantages.Bob
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Reply By: GOB member vic - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 21:53

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 21:53
hi jen
i am currently setting up to do exactly what you want too do after pricing all the bits to upgrade old computor including 80-100gig hard drive as the analogue videos need a lot of space to transfer i ended up with a new computor with all the bits to do both analogue and digital videos to dvd in about a week when i finish our fernery outside i may be allowed to come inside and try my luck at transferring
point is you need lots of hard drive for the transferring
ps i am retaining my hair at the minute as adsl is working and so are the emails

steveimagine a 03 gu 4.2tdin the picture
as i am having trouble sizing the picture
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Jen - Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 22:16

Friday, Jan 09, 2004 at 22:16
Hi Steve, I think if we went through our videos we could irradicate some of the nonsense on there, which would cut back the transferable amount. As with the hard drive, I am not up with all this stuff, so I have set it before the pros and have them work it out for me. Geoff is as useless as tits on a bull, sitting in there watching TV, the cricket I think, he tends to having a wonderful time, while I am writing letters to one and all. Nevermind at least I have my fernery. JenLooking forward to the cruise and snooze years.........Retirement
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Reply By: guy (sydney) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2004 at 09:14

Saturday, Jan 10, 2004 at 09:14
Not sure where you are but theres a place at birkenhead point in sydney that do it for about $8 a dvd (i think) it might even be $10.
Guy
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Reply By: StephenF - Saturday, Jan 10, 2004 at 10:14

Saturday, Jan 10, 2004 at 10:14
I recently upgraded my video camera from a analogue video-8 to a digital mini-DV and am in the process of putting all the old video-8 tapes on to DVD.

I converted the video-8 tapes to digital by simply copying them to the digital camera. As the digital camera has a firewire port I had to buy a firewire card for the PC (about $75) so that I could connect the camera to the PC (some newer PCs have built-in firewire ports, also called IEEE-1394). I used Windows Movie Maker to copy from the digital camera to the PC, storing the contents as AVI files. I then used Movie Maker to edit the AVI files to split them into "episodes" and get rid of mistakes, boring bits and stuff I didn't want.

I bought a DVD burner (Pioneer A06 - about $260) which came with the software to burn the AVI files to DVD. You just add the AVI files in the order you want up to the 4.7gb maximum for each DVD, add titles and pictures for each section to make them look good, and burn away.

Once you have burned your DVDs you can then delete the huge AVI files from from the PC. If you think you may need them later to do further editing you can copy them to DVD or even back to digital tape via the camera.

You will need a big hard drive (I bought a 120gb) and lots of time (a 1-hour compilation takes over three hours to process to DVD). It's worth it though - the results are impressive and you can easily distribute copies to family and friends.

Good luck,
Stephen.
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Reply By: Jay - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:50

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:50
Hey Geoff & Jenn,

Not too cut anyones grass or anything but these replys are all do-able, yes, but semi complex to the untrained and unnessicaraly time consuming. I work for Panasonic Australia, and the quickest simplest way to go about would be to buy a DVD Recorder. www.panasonic.com.au under DVD's. These work the same as your run of mill VCR just with with DVD. You run your CAM via AV straight to back of the DVD Recorder. Put your CAM in VCR mode and hit play and then record on you DVD recorder and presto. Some models also come with harddrive like your PC up to 100 gig (a DVD disk single sided is 4.7 gig, you do the math) which means you can record straight to the unit first with out a disk. Edit on the unit, cut out, chop n change scenes, name and split scenes. The firmware is state of the art and worth every dollar. Prices range from under a grand to about 2 grand. Just to bounce some model numbers off you. DMR-100H has a 100gig HD. DMR-E60 no hard drive so you need a disk, no biggy if you dont mind forking out 4 bucks for a disk when you buy the unit. Alternativley contact 132600 Panasonic Customer Care for more info or post a follow up and I will be happy to give you more information. Hope this helps.

Jay
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Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:23

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:23
Jay

what is the cost of one of these units versus an internal DVD burner for your PC. I was of the impression that the burners you refer to in your post are worth from $1000 up to $2000?
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Follow Up By: Jay - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 20:04

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 20:04
Jason,

Yeh thats right they are in that price bracket versus a couple hunge for a PC one, but you cant record normal TV for a WEEK straight with a PC DVD Burner? DVD-RAM or media too expensive ? Who cares, units got a 100gig harddrive. Store it there till next pay day. Or even leave there for a couple months, until the overall price of media comes down :) Also you have the option to record in Standard Play, Long Play or Extended long play, so thats gives prolly a few weeks. Price tag seems a little high, but for what it can do its worth it and it gives you the best of both worlds, so you can kiss the VCR goodbye, something thats been in a thorn in the side of humanity so quite some time.
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