Huaojozu

No voiced Technic set video reviews?

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Hello everyone, I am just getting into the Technic game with the 42009 and 42030 coming in a few days. I have been reading up on some reviews (which, combined with the diminishing availability is why I chose the aforementioned sets), but what has kind of surprised me is the lack of voiced video reviews. Don't take me wrong, I think Sariel's videos are awesome, but I personally prefer pictures + text or video + voice. This comes as a surprise since I have so far been collecting mostly CCBS sets, where there are more reviewers for every single little set than you can count.

As an example, take 42040 - it's quite a large set and, judging from the various posts I've read here, also quite well liked. However, I couldn't find a single comprehensive voiced video review (and the large majority are speed builds). Considering the amount of views Sariel gets on his videos, I don't think you can say there is no market for them. And people seem to already have the equipment given the amount of speed builds. Looking at the "market" today, why make yet another speed build, which are by definition mostly the same regardless of the builder, than a nice review where each one is personalized? Are people afraid of not knowing the technical terms of all the blocks and the real life counterparts in actual trucks and cars (as a non-native English speaker, I can tell you it's a lot to take in :laugh: )? Or maybe I just haven't been searching in the right places?

Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this topic. Oh an by the way, if you have a link to a nice text review of 42040, I'm all ears :classic:

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The problem with voiced videos, is that you have to have proper audio equipment in addition to the video equipment. And then you have to process the audio, make its synced to the video, etc.

Finally, if someone wanted to make a video for different languages, it is much simple to change text, than it is to dub a new audio track.

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Hi Huaojozu, welcome to Eurobricks, i think your point is valid, i haven't seen many voiced reviews of Technic sets, most of the voiced videos that i have seen (of Technic) are custom creations (MOC´s) or tips and ideas (except for a few reviewers), i think this is because is easier to put words instead of voices, because with words you only need to add the text and in case of a misspelling, you only fix it, and also it doesn't need to be exactly synchronized with the video, and the voices in the other side, they must be fully synchronized with the video, and have the same duration, even doing this with pre-recorded voices divided in small parts can be not too hard, but lazy (and also if you need to make multiple languages, as deehthe said); and also, i think that a few reviewers don´t like to speak, either for accent or only because they don´t like their voice in the videos (if i would make a video, i will surely have these problems), and they feel more comfortable to use words, but we could maybe see in a near future that some of the reviewers start to use voices in their videos, for me it is a great idea, and i also think that this topic will make some reviewers to start trying this feature.

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Thanks for the responses. All of your points do seem logical, but what leaves me scratching my head is the disparity between Technic and CCBS in this regard.

Take any of the recent Bionicle sets (e.g. Tahu, Uniter of Fire) - there seems to be pages of voiced reviews of Youtube, from all age categories and in a range of qualities (both audio and video). And most of them are fairly long (multiple 10+ minutes for a <200 pieces set).

Is it just that Technic AFOLs are more concerned with quality in all aspects that they do not want to voice/shoot a review, if they don't have proper equipment? Is the Technic market that much smaller than the CCBS market (doubtful given the cancellation of Bionicle after G2), that this is simply a matter of the same buyer:reviewer ratio but in a much smaller population? Maybe the Technic buyers are just less interested in sharing their opinions with the world, given that the age distribution is probably on the higher side than CCBS?

And even looking at the text reviews here on EB (looking at the review index), there are multiple recent sets that don't have a single review. Very strange.

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The problem with voiced videos, is that you have to have proper audio equipment in addition to the video equipment. And then you have to process the audio, make its synced to the video, etc.

Finally, if someone wanted to make a video for different languages, it is much simple to change text, than it is to dub a new audio track.

Not really, an ok external microphone would work fine for voice. It is not like you are singing and need high fidelity. You can film the video and do a simple voice over narration. You don't have to talk and film at the same time. Windows Moviemaker allows you to do narration of your videos in post production.

Doesn't YouTube do automatic translation subtitles?

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Why voice? I don't see why a review should be voiced, Technic is about functions, not describing how this sticker represents this, how the minifigs quality is, etc...

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As a Technic reviewer I have a few comments on this matter - I've been considering pros and cons for a long time, and experimented a bit.

My thoughts:

  • voiced reviews work well only if the speaker has an impeccable accent and a pleasant voice. I don't consider myself to have any of these, and I think that few people have really good voices in general. It's easy to sound annoying.
  • voiced reviews are generally less accessible than reviews with subtitles for 2 reasons. One is simply that more people understand English in writing than in speech. The other is that these days YouTube is watched largely, if not mostly, on mobile devices, where listening is generally more difficult. You can watch a video with subtitles on a bus, for example, but a voiced video will require using headphones or making your co-passengers angry.
  • YouTube's own closed captions are horrible. They look different on every device and every screen and you really have zero control over e.g. how much screen they take. But they are editable, which can be very useful.
  • YouTube's automated translations are the worst. I'm sure some very simple languages can be tolerably handled by an automated translator, but e.g. English/Polish translations all end up as an utter nonsense simply because Polish is so difficult. One simply does not auto-translate difficult languages.
  • hard-coded subs, that is subs embedded in the video itself are technically probably the best solution. You have a total control over their appearance and how much space they take, and they look the same everywhere. On the downside, they add a lot of work during editing, they can look too small on small screens, and there's no way to edit them once the video is uploaded.

To sum it up: if I was a really good speaker, I would speak in my reviews. But I know my limits :)

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I agree, YouTube's captioning is awful. Your Volkswagen Beetle review's subtitles took up so much of the screen (Samsung Galaxy S6) that I couldn't see the bottom fourth at all. I much prefer the hard-coded captions. Also, Sariel, that profile picture is awesome. :laugh:

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I think Sariel already cleared everything up. Just an addendum regarding automated/machine translation (not necessarily the same thing) - it's not so much a matter of language complexity but, rather, language connotation. As long as connotated language exists - and we'd better hope it always will - machine translation cannot replace human translation.

Edited by suffocation

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Even as a native english (Australian) speaker.. I generally prefer videos without speaking - with similar reasons for Sariel...

I'm often in a room with others, and its easier to just put the sound on mute, and watch informative videos..

you only have to look at the example videos by Oracid - http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=139522

to see how much can be demonstrated with no speaking at all! :)

and at least with captioned videos - or slides.. I can pause and read the text.. and look at the pictures too!

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Frankly, I prefer web page reviews to video reviews for a lot of reasons:

  • Web pages allow hyperlinking while video reviews are linear by nature. I like it when reviewers refer to other sets, building techniques or websites. When I watch a video review, and I hear something interesting, I have to stop the video and google for it. On a web page I can just CTRL-click it and read the content at my leasure.
  • When watching a video, you are forced to process the information at the same pace as the reviewer. But often I'm not interested in the same aspects as the reviewer. I might want to skip the bits about the minifigures (sue me ;)), while I'd like to spend some more time examining a mechanism. Which brings me to my next gripe with video reviews:
  • High resolution pictures. Video review quality usually allows for less detail than a good Flickr photostream.

Looking at the external reviews on Brickset set pages, it seems that more and more reviewers switch to making video reviews, so there's obviously a market. To each their own but I hope I can keep reading good quality reviews at my own page here on EuroBricks.

To sum it up: if I was a really good speaker, I would speak in my reviews. But I know my limits :)

Judging by your written English, you have nothing to worry about. Your video reviews are among the few I actually enjoy (which is saying something, considering my rant ;)), so keep up the good work!

Edited by DaFokka

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  • When watching a video, you are forced to process the information at the same pace as the reviewer. But often I'm not interested in the same aspects as the reviewer. I might want to skip the bits about the minifigures (sue me ;)), while I'd like to spend some more time examining a mechanism.

I think this can be largely mitigated if the reviewer splits video into separate sections and adds a clickable timestamp for each of them (AKA video chapters). I always do that these days, can't imagine making a 20+ minutes long review without it.

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I really dislike voiced reviews. My kids watch them on YouTube all the time for toy reviews, unboxing, game walkthroughs and such.

Most presenters are annoying, just not engaging or pleasant to listen to. Some are really outstanding and funny and engaging, but even these get annoying when heard often.

Also there's no way to skip around a voice review. Text panels or subtitles can be skimmed or jumped through much faster.

My kids love them though.

Edited by andythenorth

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Frankly, I prefer web page reviews to video reviews for a lot of reasons:

  • Web pages allow hyperlinking while video reviews are linear by nature. I like it when reviewers refer to other sets, building techniques or websites. When I watch a video review, and I hear something interesting, I have to stop the video and google for it. On a web page I can just CTRL-click it and read the content at my leasure.
  • When watching a video, you are forced to process the information at the same pace as the reviewer. But often I'm not interested in the same aspects as the reviewer. I might want to skip the bits about the minifigures (sue me ;)), while I'd like to spend some more time examining a mechanism. Which brings me to my next gripe with video reviews:
  • High resolution pictures. Video review quality usually allows for less detail than a good Flickr photostream.

This are for me also the reasons why I don't like video reviews.

The only parts where video reviews add value (for me) is to show how things move. In e.g. Sariel's reviews I skip everything until the "Functions" part. I think a voice over would be useful there, because then you don't need to read while looking at the mechanism at the same time (I often find myself watching sections twice: once to read the explanation and once to see the mechanism move).

I like how Jim does his reviews: mostly text and pictures and a few videos to show how things move where it adds value. No voice over needed, as those video clips rarely exceed 20 seconds and they are presented in context. In this way I can consume my reviews in silence :classic:

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