Topic: The first playthrough of a new synth is usually 100% low res

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NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Does it concern anyone else that the first playthrough of a new synth is almost universally 100% pixelated and low res?

It isn't usually until until the second time through that about 85% (if you're lucky) of the medium resolution proxies are loaded and even then, sometimes four or five playthroughs later, there are still some straggling images with the lowest resolution proxies still being used until you pause the slideshow, go back to that image, and rest on it until it loads.

I love Photosynth and am willing to put up with this, but I tend to wonder what goes through the minds of first time users.

After all, this doesn't happen when they play a video on the web and that's far more frames than the 200 maximum in a new synth.

I'm fully aware that the stills in typical synths are far and away higher quality than typical videos and that you're doing the best to show something + be usable while the synth continues to load.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
I'm mainly concerned for the patience + understanding of those who don't already love you.

I'm also mystified at the loading order of the medium-res proxies because it does not appear to me to follow chronological or spatial order (hence we have the stray lowest res proxies still being used in the middle of others during the slideshow, multiple playthroughs in).

Maybe you've sorted the medium res shots by file size and you just transmit them lightest to heaviest? I don't know.

I was just curious as to what others' thoughts on this were.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
I also find it unfortunate that after all these years of Seadragon at Microsoft, all the different resolutions of an image used are still redundant to store + transmit, rather than the higher resolutions building on top of the lower resolutions and only storing what the lower resolutions haven't.
PhotosynthTeam (Over 1 year ago)
We designed the experience so that for walks and walls you should get 0 low-res experiences if 1) you let it autoplay, and 2) you broadband connection can give you 2mbps. We could have made you wait until *all* the normal res imagery was loaded but we thought that would be more annoying than getting sme of the low-res.

For spins & panos, the autoplay is currently set to 15s per 360 degrees, so a full spin of 40 photos requires a bit more like 3mbps to not pixelate, and a spin of 80 photos requires a whopping 6mbps, which very few people have.  This is one reason why we are considering discouraging people from taking more than 40 photos in a spin.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for the explanation regarding the different synth types.


Admittedly some of this impression comes from using computers at a local Best Buy where the WiFi was atrociously slow, but I've seen it on computers around my house as well.

My current ISP claims that I get a consistent 20 Mbps down, but it is divided among 7 PCs, two game consoles, and four smartphones.
I just ran a test at and I'm currently averaging 18.35 Mbps download speed on this machine. 
(For those not on the Photosynth team, this is megabits per second, not megabytes - divide by 8 to get 2.29375 MBps or megabytes per second).