Scarred Sun

Literally: How do I give scans to Retromags

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Hey there! I have about 45 full magazine scans (~250MB-350MB), all Japanese, OCRed, that I want to give to you guys (if only because my hosting setup can't handle the OCRed versions and someone should have them.) I've tried to use your "Create+" function, but the titles don't even exist in your Publication DB and it seems there's no real recourse to getting them. What would you all like me to do to get these to you?

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First things first - are these all your own magazines that you scanned and edited yourself, or did you acquire them elsewhere?

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Upload it to some torn-down file-sharing site (dropbox, mega, whatever)  or your personal cloud (OneDrive, Google Drive where you can create a share link for the file), and put the link in this thread. We'll look over the scan and if it's good quality and is up to our par, you get moved from Newbie to Team Member which will allow you tp upload on your own. 

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9 hours ago, Scarred Sun said:

The magazines were acquired myself and then scanned, yes.

I'm not trying to be difficult, but semantics can be a tricky thing.  So just to re-confirm, for clarity's sake: these were scanned and edited by you and no one else?

If you can, let me know what titles you plan on uploading so I can create cover galleries and databases for them. 

Also, it sounds as if you have non-OCR versions as well, and I'm assuming you still have the individual pages saved as jpgs somewhere which can be archived as a CBR/CBZ.  Considering that we usually don't host PDFs at Retromags and pretty much no one here has a use for Japanese OCR, it might be worth considering uploading regular CBR/CBZ versions here, and hosting the OCR'd PDFs at archive.org.

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...or, just upload them to Archive.org and skip all this. Jeez, guys, it's almost like you *don't* want new mags.

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5 hours ago, Trinity said:

...or, just upload them to Archive.org and skip all this. Jeez, guys, it's almost like you *don't* want new mags.

He could do that too. Unlike archive.org, we want all the stuff we host to be of great quality.

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Well, that's an admirable goal, but when it comes to magazines that *no one else* has, I'd be happy with whatever quality he has them in. I mean, look at the GameFan explosion a while back: Not exactly the best scans, but everyone I talk to is just so grateful to have anything. I just think it's kind of rough to tell someone who actively wants to contribute, "Hey, go upload them somewhere else and if we feel they're good enough, then we'll allow you the privilege of re-uploading everything to our site". This guy has taken the time to scan and edit everything, he just wants to contribute. Maybe Archive.org really would be a better outlet.

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You're new here, so you're not aware of the issues we had years ago when anyone could upload and we got a lot of crap-looking scans from members. Some people may be fine with that, and that kind of stuff is fine for archive.org, but we're different. Content owners know we exist and almost all of them leave us alone. Part of that is because we represent their content well. If Steve Harris comes along again and sees nice looking scans of GamePro and Game Players, but sees that a bunch of EGMs are terrible quality scans, he might take exception to that and instead of asking if he could use our scans for a project, he could tell us t take them down.

On top of that, Scarred Sun wouldn't be re-uploading everything. The would upload one to some file sharing site. If it's good, one of us would upload it here for him. Then he could upload the rest. You're assuming he already uploaded them somewhere.

He can definitely upload them to Archive, and we can link to them, though if those scans get removed, we now have a bunch of broken links.

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9 hours ago, Trinity said:

Well, that's an admirable goal, but when it comes to magazines that *no one else* has, I'd be happy with whatever quality he has them in. I mean, look at the GameFan explosion a while back: Not exactly the best scans, but everyone I talk to is just so grateful to have anything. I just think it's kind of rough to tell someone who actively wants to contribute, "Hey, go upload them somewhere else and if we feel they're good enough, then we'll allow you the privilege of re-uploading everything to our site". This guy has taken the time to scan and edit everything, he just wants to contribute. Maybe Archive.org really would be a better outlet.

Yeah, this is completely missing the point.  He has scans.  That's great.  He wants to share.  That's awesome.  And you're right, we'll be happy to add anything of readable quality to our personal collections.

However, in regards to hosting, depending on a number of factors, there are different ways/places to share those mags.  If he scanned and edited them himself and they adhere to our quality standards, then we would be happy to host them here (these are the same rules we all follow.)  If he found them elsewhere or they aren't up to our standards, then we can't allow them here, that doesn't mean we wouldn't be extremely grateful to see them uploaded somewhere else.  Either way, the mags get shared.  Either way, we're happy.  You seem to be trying to suggest that we're trying to keep the scans from being shared, or insulting Scarred Sun in some way. Which is ridiculous.  We're trying to help by determining the best place possible for him to share the mags.  Whether here, there, both places, or somewhere else entirely, as long as they get shared, we can all be happy about that, can't we?

In the world of magazine scanning - this isn't a contest.  We aren't competing with other sites hosting scans, and no one gets a prize for having the most scans.  No one cares what is available at one site versus another - just so long as it's available.  I know when I go to Retromags, I'm going to get a scan of a certain quality.  The same holds true for most of the other sites that actually release new scans.  Archive.org has no such standards, so in many cases the scans they host are of low quality.  But if those are the best scans available, you can rest assured that I'll download them and be happy with them regardless.  The Internet is a free and wide-open space, and we encourage you to visit whatever website you need to to get what you're looking for, whether that means RM, KW, OOPA, IA, or elsewhere.

*Back on topic* Looking forward to seeing those scans, Scarred Sun!

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...well, that's been a whole thing.

Anyway, since I normally distribute as PDF on my site, here's a CBR preview for you--note that I didn't do a ton of manual correction on these in terms of skew (because, as you probably guessed with the OCR comment, I'm mainly interested in bulk extracting text.)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m7rk6sxrbvd215m/メガドライブFan 1990-12.cbr?dl=0 

If that works, I'll send over the rest to you all to mirror as well.

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Man, it looks great! If they don't feel it's up to their standards, definitely upload this to Archive.org. If you need any help, just let me know!

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Aside from the cover, it looks good to me, but the pages really DO need to be straightened.  That shouldn't take too long.  If you or anyone else is willing to do that, they should be ready to go (assuming the rest are of similar quality.)

The pages will also have to be resized to a constant height (the width of each page will vary), but that should be done after the pages are straightened.

Barring that, you could always just  post a link to your site for anyone who doesn't care whether the pages are slightly askew.:)

ps I hear Trinity might be willing to straighten those pages for you.  He's dying to help!:P

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In the past we have had members upload magazines they did not scan, but said they did.....and then I had other sites coming here asking for us to remove their scans. Then I have to field a whole bunch of PM's of "Where did the X releases go?" If Retromags just uploaded any quality, and any scanned items we found, this site would have thousands upon thousands of scanned magazines and game manuals and strategy guides.

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Since the cover/inside cover is the only unacceptable page, I went ahead and fixed those for you, free of charge.:P

Like I said, the rest of the pages just need to be skewed correctly - not every page needs fixed, so it really shouldn't take very long at all.  Probably less than a quarter of the time I just spent cleaning up the cover.

OLD:

Img1.jpg

NEW:

Img1-1.jpg

(I'm not showing the inside front cover here, but I removed the tears and a stain from the page.)

Full-size files are here if you want to include them with the finished scan:

https://mega.nz/#!IFBlgZ4Q!F3RrR8sXU-2YEm2hK1eaMXu71IxCngRw8RXM2Kr2Yqs  (cover)
https://mega.nz/#!YdgjVBrQ!_RXi5jLLDkIG1aBkrBQ-DJYd6l-H5ufAVHd2OObcRsY  (inside cover)

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Oh yeah, and one last thing (well, a few things, actually):

I know you're used to working with PDFs so you probably aren't aware of this, but there are some problems with your CBR.

  1. Most (all?) CBR readers take issue with reading files with Japanese filenames.  So before your file can even be opened, it has to be renamed "Mega Drive Fan."
  2. OK, let's say you've renamed the file using alphabet characters, but it still isn't possible to open just yet...since you apparently created the CBR using a newer version of WinRAR that uses RAR 5 compression, which is incompatible with CBR readers.  When archiving the files in WinRAR, you have to select "RAR 4" as the archive format, or else the file can't be opened.
  3. OK, so now that you've renamed and recompressed the file so that we can open it... OOPS!  We see that the images are out of order.  That's because you named the image files as 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.  In order to have them displayed in the correct order, each page number must be the same number of digits.  So since there are 124 pages total, each number should have 3 digits, thus you'll need to rename the files " 001, 002, 003, 004......010, 011, 012...etc."

A program like "Bulk Rename Utility" would come in handy with renaming all of the files correctly. 

Hope this helps!

 

 

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I believe he decided he wasn't interested in properly editing the files (I can't really blame him - editing is certainly the hardest and most time consuming part of the scanning process, and isn't actually necessary for the strict purpose of reading the scan).

So rather than worry about making the scans meet Retromags' quality standards, he's chosen to upload them to RetroCDN instead.  If you don't know RetroCDN, they're a site that scours all of the actual scanning sites for mags and mirrors them at their site.  Well, I say mirrored, but they actually take scans from other sites and then shrink the pages and save the files at a low-quality compression level in order to make the filesizes smaller.  So I should say that they offer low-quality mirrors of other sites' mags, although very recently it seems that they've been uploading some slightly larger filesizes without compressing them.  BlackSquirrel is our own resident RetroCDN member who logs in dutifully to Retromags every day to see if we've released any scans he can copy and upload to RetroCDN, so perhaps he can break his posting silence to let us know if they've changed their policy on size limits?

At any rate, go there to download his mags.  Ironically, ScarredSun along with Akane are the only people providing original scans to RetroCDN, and both of them are scanning Japanese Sega mags.  So rule of thumb - if it's a Japanese Sega Mag from either of those two, it's an original scan.  If it's any other mag on their site, it was taken from somewhere else and possibly recompressed as a lower-quality file, so depending on your feelings about image quality vs. filesize, you may want to seek out the original version of the scan.

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Hi.

Sonic Retro, Sega Retro, Retro CDN and NEC Retro are all actually my sites, so thanks for the warm feelings you clearly have. Also, I'm a woman.

The only reason lower quality magazines scans are on the site is actually due to a HTTP upload limit; obviously, as the owner I can get around that, and I'm looking at ways to make multi-part transfers that alleviate that issue, but until then, there's a hard 100MB limit. I understand people choose to downsample to get around that, and while unfortunate, it's just the reality of the situation.

I honestly had meant to come back and basically say "hey, you're free to clean up and edit these as you will as I upload them" but got sidetracked working on some discrete logic arcade game documentation that, ironically, came up in one of the issues I was cross-referencing. So yes, you are free to clean up, edit and redistribute whatever I upload.

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10 hours ago, Scarred Sun said:

Hi.

Sonic Retro, Sega Retro, Retro CDN and NEC Retro are all actually my sites, so thanks for the warm feelings you clearly have. Also, I'm a woman.

The only reason lower quality magazines scans are on the site is actually due to a HTTP upload limit; obviously, as the owner I can get around that, and I'm looking at ways to make multi-part transfers that alleviate that issue, but until then, there's a hard 100MB limit. I understand people choose to downsample to get around that, and while unfortunate, it's just the reality of the situation.

I honestly had meant to come back and basically say "hey, you're free to clean up and edit these as you will as I upload them" but got sidetracked working on some discrete logic arcade game documentation that, ironically, came up in one of the issues I was cross-referencing. So yes, you are free to clean up, edit and redistribute whatever I upload.

I have plenty of my own magazines to scan and edit, so I'm content to download yours from RetroCDN if I'm interested.  Maybe someone else will take you up on your offer, but I don't really feel it's necessary for every site to have every scan, so I'd recommend other people do the same and just grab your mags from your site rather than waste time making what are honestly very minor adjustments for the sole purpose of making them available here as well.

Apologies on the incorrect pronoun, these things happen on the internet when people aren't using actual names - no offense was intended.

And as for my...feelings...about your site:lol::P.  Yeah, I'll admit I was rubbed the wrong way when I noticed that all of the scans I had put such loving care into creating were being uploaded to your site in a super-compressed low quality format.  I even contacted BlackSquirrel and gave him permission to mirror our files so long as he uploaded them "as is," leaving the files uncompressed and leaving the Retromags credit page in place, but was told "no can do."  So yeah, the lack of respect coming from your site's direction has created a mutual lack of respect, I suppose, although those feelings aren't directed at you.

Btw, I keep hearing this "100MB limit" thing.  And yet there are files on your site that exceed it, including all of the files you yourself recently uploaded.  I don't know what the deal is, but yeah, I'd look into a way of working around it if I were you.  All but the shortest of magazines is going to exceed 100MB unless saved in a noticeably poor quality.

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22 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

I have plenty of my own magazines to scan and edit, so I'm content to download yours from RetroCDN if I'm interested.  Maybe someone else will take you up on your offer, but I don't really feel it's necessary for every site to have every scan, so I'd recommend other people do the same and just grab your mags from your site rather than waste time making what are honestly very minor adjustments for the sole purpose of making them available here as well.

Apologies on the incorrect pronoun, these things happen on the internet when people aren't using actual names - no offense was intended.

And as for my...feelings...about your site:lol::P.  Yeah, I'll admit I was rubbed the wrong way when I noticed that all of the scans I had put such loving care into creating were being uploaded to your site in a super-compressed low quality format.  I even contacted BlackSquirrel and gave him permission to mirror our files so long as he uploaded them "as is," leaving the files uncompressed and leaving the Retromags credit page in place, but was told "no can do."  So yeah, the lack of respect coming from your site's direction has created a mutual lack of respect, I suppose, although those feelings aren't directed at you.

Btw, I keep hearing this "100MB limit" thing.  And yet there are files on your site that exceed it, including all of the files you yourself recently uploaded.  I don't know what the deal is, but yeah, I'd look into a way of working around it if I were you.  All but the shortest of magazines is going to exceed 100MB unless saved in a noticeably poor quality.

I promise you the "100MB limit" over HTTP thing is, in fact, a real thing—basically, it's a security tradeoff we have with a service in order to allow us to keep things running smoothly, and to alter that agreement would cost us upwards of $200/mo. Unfortunately, this is the one area where it dings users. I'm able to get around this because I have root server access, but that's something we obviously keep locked down to a few people max. I've been an advocate of self-hosting files on the server exactly because I've seen what's happened to places like here and am trying to prevent an inadvertent wipe of data.

I'm looking at using plupload to fix this and effectively eliminate the issue, but it's just been a lower priority right now.

Also hi Depressor! 

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25 minutes ago, Scarred Sun said:

 

I promise you the "100MB limit" over HTTP thing is, in fact, a real thing—basically, it's a security tradeoff we have with a service in order to allow us to keep things running smoothly, and to alter that agreement would cost us upwards of $200/mo. Unfortunately, this is the one area where it dings users. I'm able to get around this because I have root server access, but that's something we obviously keep locked down to a few people max. I've been an advocate of self-hosting files on the server exactly because I've seen what's happened to places like here and am trying to prevent an inadvertent wipe of data.

I'm looking at using plupload to fix this and effectively eliminate the issue, but it's just been a lower priority right now.

I won't claim to know anything about running a website.  I may be the one adding most of the content around here, but I leave the technical and financial runnings of the site to wiser hands.:)

But I do hope you realize that your filesize limit isn't just burning your users.  I'm not alone in my dislike of your site's practice of lowering the quality of other sites' scans before re-distributing them.  I can't speak for the entire Internet, of course, but I can tell you that none of the scanners here or at Kiwis World is a fan of your site's practices of compressing files, either.  It doesn't bother us that you distribute the files (if we didn't want the files shared with as many people as possible, why bother scanning the mag in the first place), but rather that you're distributing lower-quality corruptions of our work.  It would be like if I was a musician who shared my music freely, but there was this one site out there that converted all of my tracks into 96kbps Mp3s before distributing them.  It would piss me off that people were downloading a copy of my tracks that didn't sound the way they were supposed to.

I've got my fingers crossed that you find a way to overcome this (not insignificant) issue.

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On 6/6/2018 at 4:41 PM, kitsunebi77 said:

I believe he decided he wasn't interested in properly editing the files (I can't really blame him - editing is certainly the hardest and most time consuming part of the scanning process, and isn't actually necessary for the strict purpose of reading the scan).

God, yet another set of quality scans denied here. I am *glad* places like Retro CDN and Archive exist.

Scarred Sun, don't let the crying here discourage you in any way, shape or form; not all of us required 500MB+, {insert ridiculous resolution here} scans to be happy with the quality. I have downloaded a huge amount from both Retro and Sega CDN and have been utterly grateful for both.

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Ah, Trinity.  Our resident bundle of discouragement.  No matter how much selfless work we put into bringing something special to the community, we can always count on Trinity to tell us how we're ruining the hobby.:lol:

The scans were not denied.  There isn't a judgement process where Phillyman sits in a Very High Chair with his finger poised over a Big Red Button that drops unworthy scans into a pool filled with acid and acid-resistant robot sharks.  We don't have the budget for something like that.:P

The scans won't be posted here simply because they don't meet the requirements in our rules.  The same requirements everyone here abides by.  The same requirements that have been in place for years, well before the scans being discussed in this thread were created.  The scanner did not create the scans with the intention of hosting them here.  If they had, they no doubt would have followed the rules in our guide.  But just because they don't meet our requirements doesn't mean we think they're garbage.  We're just enforcing the rules.  Think of us like the guy working at the amusement park who occasionally has to turn away a kid who doesn't meet the height requirement for a ride.  We aren't telling them they're a worthless human being because they aren't tall enough, we're just enforcing the rules that everyone else on the ride has to adhere to. 

I say again, Retromags has not denied anything.  The fact that the scans cannot be hosted here is not due to any action on our parts, it is entirely due to the failure of the scanner/editor to adhere to our minimum guidelines.  Also, the fact that the scans cannot be hosted here in no way shape or form impedes anyone from downloading them.  They are freely available elsewhere and anyone interested in obtaining a copy can easily do so.

Scroll up a bit in this thread and look at those two covers again.  The first one is what happens when there aren't any standards in place.  Is there anything wrong with it?  Not really.  I can still read all the text and make out all the images.  It's a high quality scan of a bad quality cover.  The second image is the one I edited.  Does it make the text more readable, the images more viewable?  Of course not.  Does it look a hell of a lot better?  I'd like to hear anyone try to claim otherwise.  Was it a simple 5-minute edit job?  HAHAHAHA I wish!!  Magazines don't often jump out of the scanner looking perfect.  It takes a lot of work, which is why editing a 200 page magazine is often a 5-hour minimum process (usually it's significantly longer, and the cover alone is often an extra hour's worth of work, since it usually needs the most restoration).

Not everyone feels the end result of having a scan that looks as beautiful as we can make it is worth the amount of work it takes.  That's fine, not everyone needs to have the same philosophy.  We here at Retromags recognize and respect that.  I have never once told anyone their scans are worthless - if they don't meet our requirements, I'll be the first to suggest they upload them at archive.org so that they can be shared, and I'll be first in line to download a copy if it's anything I'm interested in.  In Trinity's eyes, this makes us a villain for some reason, but luckily for everyone we are able to tune out that kind of negative noise and keep on working hard to give new content to anyone who wants it, even the Grumpy Gusses and Negative Nancys out there.:)  Scanning is a ^%$@-ton of work with very little reward and demands a sacrifice of time, money, and materials from the handful of people out there willing to do it.  Let's try to keep that in mind and be grateful for whatever we've been given, and not get hung up on petty details like what URL we have to visit to receive it.

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