Spy Point

News for nerds

In the world of multimedia, bigger is almost always better. More data, higher resolutions, larger screens… these all contribute to an enhanced viewing experience. But have you ever wondered what would be possible on the opposite end of the spectrum, where excess is the enemy?
Reddit user GreedyPaint recently embarked on such a journey and in the process, managed to cram an entire feature-length film (90 minutes) onto a single 1.44MB floppy drive, complete with audio. Let that sink in for a moment.

How’s that possible, you ask? Compression, lots of compression.

Along with a Raspberry Pi, the Redditor employed a custom x265 codec to shrink the movie down to a minuscule 120 x 96 pixel resolution. Worse yet, playback is limited to just four frames per second.

It’s one of those classic cases of being “so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” In other words, it’s incredibly impressive while being about as far from practical as humanly possible.

Earlier this year, we shared the story of a YouTuber that managed to work out a method to record video onto a standard audio cassette tape. This is sort of in the same wheelhouse.

The best part of the whole project might be the hardware. GreedyPaint created a faux “VCR” complete with custom splash screen that automatically plays the contents of the disk when inserted.