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Author Topic: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files  (Read 1672 times)

Offline rbcp

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Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« on: March 21, 2013, 11:27:29 AM »
Back in 1997, me and some other people prank called Carolyn Meinel, the wacky lady who runs happyhacker.org, and listened to her rant about crazy stuff.  I encoded these pranks to RealAudio because that was the best way to listen to audio files on dialup back then.  For some reason, I never got around to turning them back into mp3 files.

Yesterday on IRC we were talking about listening to them and we tried to hear them, but always failed.  I found a website that claimed it would turn RA files into mp3, but the mp3 it sent me was all messed up.  Another guy said he had RealMedia (or whatever it's called now) installed, but they still wouldn't play properly.  It's possible that the files are just corrupt and won't ever work again.  Or maybe I just encoded them at such a low bitrate that current RA players won't play them anymore.

So rather than waste my own time trying to figure this out, I'm going to ask if any of you would like to waste YOUR time to do it for me.  Someone do me a favor and install Windows 95 and version 1.0 of RealAudio and see if you can hear these files and maybe convert them to mp3 for me.

http://www.phonelosers.org/stuff/pla_carol01.ra
http://www.phonelosers.org/stuff/pla_carol02.ra
http://www.phonelosers.org/stuff/pla_carol03.ra
http://www.phonelosers.org/stuff/pla_carol04.ra

Honestly I don't even remember if these calls are that funny.  I know they were funny to us back then, but by today's standards they might be the most boring thing ever.

Offline oneangstrom

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Re: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 07:55:24 PM »
I wasn't able to decode it properly, but I found some information that might be useful if anyone else wants to try. After looking at the files in a hex editor they appear to be RealAudio 2.0 files (.ra version 4) according to file structure information here: http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=RealMedia#RealAudio_2.0_file_.28.ra_version_4.29

Offline curzondax

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Re: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 09:18:39 PM »
I tried, but could only get bits and pieces, never the full file.

Offline Legion303

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Re: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 02:49:33 AM »
I use Super to convert old-ass .ra files and this is the first time it's output garbled crap. Pretty sure the inputs are toast. Do you have another archive somewhere?

On the plus side, this one sounds badass on a loop and I will be happy to steal it to use in a song: http://neutronstar.org/pla_carol03.mp3

Offline rbcp

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Re: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 12:58:17 PM »
It's possible that the RA files are archived on archive.org, because I know I had them linked from PLA's sound clips page for at least a year in the late 90's and possibly longer.  Here's a snapshot of the sound clips page from 1999:

http://web.archive.org/web/19990202043543/http://phonelosers.org/sound.html

Originally the sound page was at http://phonelosers.org/sound.htm

Sometime between 1997 and 1999, it changed to http://phonelosers.org/sound.html

Then a year or two later it changed to http://phonelosers.org/sound/ which is where some of it still remains today.

Maybe if you look around for those 3 pages, you'll find them.  The calls happened in 1997, but may have been on one of those pages for years, even after I converted most other things to mp3.

Offline rbcp

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Re: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 01:09:14 PM »
There's only 1 working archive of the old sound.htm page in 1997 and it doesn't have the Carolyn files.  I noticed, though, that all of the RA files on that page link to files stored in http://phonelosers.org/sound/realaudio/ , but that directory isn't indexed on archive.org

I also tried having archive.org look up http://www.phonelosers.org/sound/realaudio/pla_carol01.ra and http://www.phonelosers.org/sound/pla_carol01.ra but still no luck.

Oh wait, I think I may have something here...

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.phonelosers.org/sound/pla_carol01.ra exists, but it plays silence.  And that's weird - the archive is from 2006.  Why would I even have that in there?  Maybe we were trying to make these files work back then too.

Oh shit!  File 2 is playing!  It's from 2000.  Here it is:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000824171643/http://www.phonelosers.org/sound/pla_carol02.ra

I'm listening to this now and it all seems to be there.  I'll try for #3 next.  Now that I think about it, I probably had a special page for carolyn, something like phonelosers.org/carolyn.htm or something.  But I could be wrong.

Damn, files 3 and 4 also just play silence, even though one of them is from 2000 again.  Oh wait, there are snippets of voices in the silence, but not enough to tell what they're saying.  Weird that #2 archived, but the rest didn't.  Dammit dammit dammit.  At least we got one of them, I guess.

If anyone feels like looking around the site site from 2000 and earlier, maybe you can find a separate page I had for the Carolyn files, assuming that really exists.  And maybe those files are in a different directory.

One other thing to look for might be the same file names, but they'd be .wav instead of .ra.  I deleted a lot of my original wav files back then because I kept running out of hard drive space.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 01:18:57 PM by rbcp »

Offline Legion303

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Re: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 05:05:56 PM »
1 and 3 are fucked, you recovered 2, and I recovered 4 (also from 2000):

http://neutronstar.org/tmp/pla_carol04.mp3

I searched archive.org for everything with "carol" in it. That's probably the best you can hope for unless someone (Jefe?) has it saved offline somewhere.

Offline rbcp

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Re: Help me fix these Carolyn Meinel files
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 10:01:44 PM »
Thanks, Legion!  I've saved both of those files to the media pack and they'll be in the next torrent update.   Maybe someone will come up with the other 2 someday.

Jesus nipples!

 

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