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0487 Watching Videos on the Internet

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 487: Watching Videos on the Internet.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 487. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. You can download a Learning Guide, which will help you improve your English even faster by going to our website.

This episode is called “Watching Videos on the Internet.” It’s a dialogue between Sheila and Rudy talking about watching videos on your computer versus on your television. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Sheila: Where are you going?

Rudy: I’m going to the video store to rent a movie for tonight. Do you want to come?

Sheila: You don’t need to do that. We can watch nearly any movie you want online.

Rudy: Oh, you mean we can pay to download it?

Sheila: Yeah, we can download it, but we don’t have to pay for it.

Rudy: What do you mean? You’re not using a file-sharing site, are you?

Sheila: Of course, I am. Everybody is doing it.

Rudy: Aside from the ethical issues, it’s so frustrating watching videos online. The ones that stream are constantly pausing to buffer. The interruptions drive me crazy!

Sheila: Yeah, sometimes, but there’s usually a workaround.

Rudy: Even so, the movies are usually pirated and they’re so grainy. I want to watch something in high definition. Come on, let’s go to the video store. It’ll be my treat.

Sheila: All right, if you insist, but why can’t we just pay to download it right here at home?

Rudy: We could do that, but where would we get the popcorn?

[end of dialogue]

Sheila asks Rudy, “Where are you going?” Rudy says, “I’m going to the video store to rent a movie for tonight.” A “video store” is a store where you can rent or buy a movie; you can rent it for usually two or three days, sometimes longer. Video stores became very popular in the 1980s, after videocassette players became popular. Now they have DVDs instead of the old cassettes. But, because of the new Internet services and other mail services, video stores are not as popular now as they were, say, 10 or 15 years ago.

Rudy asks Sheila if she wants to come with him. He says, “Do you want to come?” meaning do you want to come with me. In some parts of the country, you would say, “Do you want to come with?” The idea is “come with me.” Sheila says, “You don’t need to do that,” meaning you don’t need to go to the video store. “We can watch nearly any movie you want (almost any movie you want) online.” “Online” means on the Internet, on the World Wide Web.

Rudy says, “Oh, you mean we can pay to download it?” “To download” means to save a file from the Internet or a website onto your computer. If you are listening to this on your MP3 player, such as your iPod, you downloaded the file from the Internet to put it on your player. Rudy says, “you mean we can pay to download it?” meaning we pay money and then we download the movie. Sheila says, “Yeah, we can download it, but we don’t have to pay for it.” This is, of course, common on the Internet nowadays, people downloading things that they did not pay for.

Rudy says, “What do you mean? You’re not using a file-sharing site, are you?” “File sharing” is when you exchange files, often files that you have copied illegally, with someone else. This is, of course, against the law but it is common, at least it is common among some people on the Internet. I don’t to it myself.

Sheila says, “Of course, I am (of course I’m using a file sharing site). Everyone is doing it.” This is a common excuse for people who do things that are wrong; they’ll say, “Well, everyone is doing it,” meaning it must be okay if everyone is doing it.

Rudy says, “Aside from the ethical issues, it’s so frustrating watching videos online.” “Aside from” means in addition to, or besides. So, in addition to the ethical issues, Rudy is saying, there are other problems: it’s frustrating to watch the videos online. “Ethical” means something that is right or wrong; “ethical” refers to whether something is correct or incorrect morally, from a position of right and wrong. Rudy is saying that there are ethical problems, meaning it’s wrong to steal someone else’s files without paying them. But it’s also frustrating; it’s not very satisfying, not very pleasing to watch videos online. He says, “The ones that stream are constantly pausing to buffer.” To “stream” on the Internet means that you’re not saving the file onto your computer, you’re just watching or listening to the file from the website but you’re not downloading it, necessarily. In fact, you’re usually not downloading it if it’s streaming. When it streams, sometimes because of the slow Internet connections, it has to stop so that it has enough of the file to continue going. This is called “to buffer,” when a computer holds data or information for a brief time before using it. “To pause” means to stop doing something. So, the video stops – it pauses to buffer, to get enough data (enough information) to continue. “Stream,” I should say also, is a word that has a couple of different meanings in English, so of course, take a look at our Learning Guide for some additional explanations.

Rudy says, “The interruptions drive me crazy!” An “interruption” is something that stops you from doing what you are doing right now in order to do something else, usually for a short period of time. If a parent is talking to a friend of theirs, and their four-year-old child keeps saying, “Mommy, I have a question,” and the parent has to stop and answer the child, the child is interrupting the parent. The verb is “to interrupt,” the noun is “an interruption.” Normally, it’s something that you want to avoid, that you don’t want to happen. In this case, the video keeps stopping, and that is an interruption for Rudy.

Sheila says, “Yeah, sometimes (sometimes there are interruptions that drive you crazy, that make you angry or upset), but there’s usually a workaround.” A “workaround” is a solution that doesn’t fix a problem, but let’s you do something in a different way to get around the problem, to get what you want to have done. Even though you haven’t solved the problem you’re able to do it. So for example, your email software stops working. Well, you can also send email online with your email account, let’s just say, so a workaround would be to use the Internet browser to send email until you can get your email software program fixed. You didn’t solve the problem of your program, but you found a workaround – you found another way to get the same things done.

Rudy says, “Even so (even though there are workarounds for these interruption problems), the movies are usually pirated and they’re so grainy.” “To pirate,” as a verb, means to, in this case, to copy without permission, especially when we’re talking about music or movies, or podcasts. That’s “pirating” something. Rudy says, “the movies are usually pirated (meaning they have been pirated – stolen) and they’re so grainy.” Something that is “grainy” is an image that is not clear or seems a little rough because it has some small spots on it. If you take a photograph and you try to enlarge, or make bigger one part of the photograph, sometimes that will cause the photograph to become grainy, you can’t see things clearly.

Rudy says, “I want to watch something in high definition.” “High definition” is a certain technology now that you can use with your television; you can buy a television that is HD, or high definition. It’s supposed to be a much clearer picture, something that is much higher quality. I don’t have a high definition television, so I can’t tell you. My television is black and white, from the 1960s; so, I guess there are color televisions now, people tell me!

Rudy says that he wants to watch something in high definition, he says, “Come on, let’s go to the video store. It’ll be my treat.” A “treat,” in this case, means that you are going to pay for something as a gift for someone else. You can use it as a verb: “I will treat you to dinner.” That means I am going to invite you to dinner and I will pay for your dinner. So, Rudy says, “It’ll be my treat (I will pay for the movie).” “Treat” has a couple of different meanings in English, so take a look at our Learning Guide for some more definitions.

Sheila says, “All right (okay), if you insist.” This is a phrase used to show that you will agree to do something, what another person is suggesting, especially if that person has made a generous offer and it’s something that you want to do anyway. So, for example I don’t want to go shopping, and my wife says, “Well, I’ll buy you a new pair of shoes if you go with me shopping,” so I say, “Okay, if you insist,” meaning I want the pair of shoes, you are asking me, you are giving me this gift, therefore I will go. Then she uses my credit card, so it doesn’t really matter!

Sheila says, “All right, if you insist, but why can’t we just pay to download it right here at home?” She’s saying well, we can pay to download a high quality movie here and not go to the video store. Rudy says, “We could do that, but where would we get the popcorn?” “Popcorn” is a food that is commonly eaten at movies, at least in the United States. It is made from heating dry corn in oil or hot air, and then putting butter and salt on top of the popcorn. Many video stores sell popcorn in addition to renting videos. It’s very expensive there, however; it’s much cheaper just to buy it at the regular grocery store – if you like popcorn!

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Sheila: Where are you going?

Rudy: I’m going to the video store to rent a movie for tonight. Do you want to come?

Sheila: You don’t need to do that. We can watch nearly any movie you want online.

Rudy: Oh, you mean we can pay to download it?

Sheila: Yeah, we can download it, but we don’t have to pay for it.

Rudy: What do you mean? You’re not using a file-sharing site, are you?

Sheila: Of course, I am. Everybody is doing it.

Rudy: Aside from the ethical issues, it’s so frustrating watching videos online. The ones that stream are constantly pausing to buffer. The interruptions drive me crazy!

Sheila: Yeah, sometimes, but there’s usually a workaround.

Rudy: Even so, the movies are usually pirated and they’re so grainy. I want to watch something in high definition. Come on, let’s go to the video store. It’ll be my treat.

Sheila: All right, if you insist, but why can’t we just pay to download it right here at home?

Rudy: We could do that, but where would we get the popcorn?

[end of dialogue]

Aside from all of her other work here at ESL Podcast, Dr. Lucy Tse has also written today’s script.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2009 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
video store – a store where one can pay to rent a movie for one or a few nights

* This video store has a lot of interesting foreign films.


online – on the Internet; on the World Wide Web; on a website

* How many hours do you spend online each day?


to download – to save a file from the Internet or from a website onto one’s computer

* You can download U.S. tax forms from www.irs.gov.


file-sharing – exchanging electronic files with other people via the Internet, especially when one does not own those files and does not have legal permission to share them with other people

* Musicians don’t like it when people get their music from file-sharing sites instead of paying for a CD.


aside from – besides; in addition to

* Aside from working all day, he has to go home, make dinner, help the kids with their homework, get everyone ready for bed, and clean the house. No wonder he’s so tired!


ethical – related to what is right or wrong; moral

* Is it ethical to keep the extra money if someone pays you too much for something?


to stream – for a video or song to be seen or listened to from the Internet, not after it has been saved to one’s computer

* Kelvin listens to streaming radio at the office.


to pause – to briefly stop doing something; to hesitate; to stop doing something for a short period of time and then continue

* Can you please pause what you’re doing and help me for a minute?


to buffer – for a computer to hold data for a brief period of time before using it, especially before showing video or playing audio

* If you don’t like to wait for the computer while it’s buffering, you should save the file to your computer before you try to listen to it.


interruption – something that makes one stop what one is doing for a short period of time; something that makes it impossible for one to continue what one is doing for a short period of time

* Working from home is difficult because there are a lot of interruptions from children, the telephone, and other things.


workaround – a solution that doesn’t fix a problem, but lets one find a way to do something even though the problem is still there

* When his car broke on the freeway, Ashton was able to find a temporary workaround, but he’ll need to take it to a mechanic soon.


pirated – copied without permission, especially when talking about music or movies

* Many people like buying pirated CDs because they’re so much cheaper than the originals.


grainy – used to describe an image that is not clear or seems rough because it has many small spots

* Wendy’ photos were too grainy, so she decided to buy a new camera.


high definition – used to describe images that are very clear on a television or computer screen

* Can you see the difference between regular TV and high definition TV?


(one’s) treat – a phrase used to show that one will pay for something as a small gift for another person

* Let’s go get some ice cream, my treat.


if you insist – a phrase used to show that one agrees to do what another person is suggesting, especially if that person has made a generous offer and it’s something that one wants to do anyway

* I really shouldn’t go shopping because we’re trying to save money, but if you insist, then I can’t say no.


popcorn – a snack food made by heating dry corn in very hot air or oil so that it opens and is covered in butter and salt, often eaten at movie theaters

* Popcorn is a healthy snack if you don’t put any butter or salt on it.

Comprehension Questions
1. What can you do on a file-sharing site?
a) Rent a video.
b) Download a video.
c) Download a workaround.

2. What might cause an interruption when watching a video?
a) Streaming.
b) Buffering.
c) A workaround.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to stream

The verb “to stream,” in this podcast, means for a video or song to be seen or listened to from the Internet, not after it has been saved to one’s computer: “It would be easier to watch streaming videos if we had a faster Internet connection.” The verb “to stream” also means for a liquid to move quickly: “Tears streamed down her face.” If people “stream,” it means that they are all moving in the same direction: “Children stream out of the school at 3:15 every day.” If light “streams,” it means that bright light is coming through a hole or opening into a darker place: “It’s nice to wake up with sunlight streaming through the window.” Finally, if hair is “streaming,” it means that it is moving in the wind behind oneself: “She loves having her long hair stream behind her on windy days.”

(one’s) treat

In this podcast, the phrase “(one’s) treat” means that one will pay for something as a small gift for another person: “He took me to the zoo as his treat, paying for my ticket.” Normally a “treat” is something nice and special that one does to make another person happy: “When I was younger, going to a restaurant was always a special treat.” A “treat” is also something that tastes very good and is not eaten regularly: “It isn’t a good idea to eat chocolate every day, but it’s okay to have it as a treat every once in a while.” Finally, on Halloween, children say “trick or treat” to ask for candy from their neighbors (see ESL Podcast 73).

Culture Note
Video-sharing websites like YouTube.com have created an easy way for people to share videos with each other. People are only supposed to share videos only if they created them or if they own the “copyright” (legal permission to use something) to them. Unfortunately, many people use the sites to share videos when they don’t own the copyright.

When someone shares a video without owning the copyright, he or she is “committing” (doing something illegal) a copyright “violation” (breaking a law or rule). When people create accounts on YouTube and other sites, they have to “accept” (agree to) a contract that specifically says they shouldn’t do this, but some do it anyway. YouTube and other sites can’t “prevent” (make it impossible for people to do something) copyright violations, but they can do things to stop the video-sharing once they have identified a problem.

YouTube and other sites often “handle” (deal with) copyright violations by “pulling videos,” deleting them or taking them off of their website so that other people cannot view or download them. They might give the “user” (the person who “uploaded” (put on a website) the video) a “warning” (a statement that one has done something wrong and should not do it again). If the user continues to commit copyright violations, then his or her account might be deleted. Of course, he or she can always create a new account, so this is only a temporary solution.

The person or company who owns the copyright could “sue” (bring to court) the copyright violator, but this is unusual because it is too expensive. Instead, some copyright “holders” (owners) want to sue YouTube and similar sites. But those sites argue that they have only create a video-sharing website and cannot be “held accountable” (blamed and punished) for how people use it.

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - b