AfterDawn: Tech news's 4th birthday

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 10 Jun 2003 3:10 User comments (6)

Our little project, called, is now four years old. On 10th of June, 1999 our site went public for the very first time.
Since then, we've grown quite a bit. I was slightly shocked, when I yesterday took a look at my last year's birthday post and noticed that we've tripled our traffic within the last year.

For those of you, who are interested of this kind of stuff, here are some specs about our site. Our site contains three domains --, and Under these three domains we have various "sub-sites" -- all of the sites are available in English and in Finnish (all of our site's admins and owners are Finns). contains the main site itself, Finnish version of the main site, English and Finnish discussion forums and official DVDXCopy support forums.

Anyway, as a whole, our site has now 70,000 registered members and on monthly basis we have over 3 million visits to our site which generates appx. 10 million page impressions each month (and if you're stuck with the good olde 1990s thinking of "hits", this converts to around 150 million hits a month). People download over half a million tools and utilities from our site each month and the downloads and pages generate traffic of over 2 terabytes each month.

During the last year we've seen both, audio and video, businesses trying to find a legit and profitable model of distributing multimedia content over the Net and trying to overcome the impossible situation P2P networks pose to existing music/movie business models. Most of the attempts have been seen as failures, but some of them have been pretty successful -- it seems that it requires people who can design good usability and user interfaces to create a service that people are willing to pay for.

No one knows what will happen in A/V future, as the industry seems to be in rather chaotic state -- new formats and new ways to transmit and store A/V data pop up almost weekly. In near future, it seems inevitable that TCP/IP will change the way how video and audio are being transmitted -- and if the TV and radio transmissions are moved to TCP/IP platform, this might eventually mean that the traditional geographical restrictions of broadcasts are being abolished. Also, the ever-expanding storage capacity of HDDs and -- in slower scale -- optical discs added with the fact that the broadband connection speeds are growing rapidly (cheap 10M synchronous VDSL connections are relatively common in various countries already), can also mean the death of much-hyped new compression formats, such as MPEG-4, WMV9 and VP-6. They might be needed in current 2G and 2.5G wireless networks, but are they really needed when the time comes that majority of population have Net connections that are well capable of streaming DVDs (not just DVD-quality MPEG-4, but actual DVDs) over the Net. This will be the situation in not-so-distant future.

MPEG-4's problem is at the moment with standards -- MPEG-2 is almost too well-established institution; DVDs use it, SVCDs use it, TV networks use it, etc. Can MPEG-4 offer enough to replace MPEG-2 (it can, it tech-wise, but can it prove that the savings associated with it are worth replacing the existing hardware and infrastructure in place?) in cable networks, in DVDs, etc. Much of this will be determined when the next-generation optical disc war between AOD and Blu-Ray finally ends and which format the discs will eventually end up using. But then again, it is definately possible that while tech companies and movie studios try to determine which format to choose, there will come a new format that will offer much, much bigger storage space and a superior technical specs over the two existing rivals.

Anyway, just couple of my ideas on what might happen during next couple of years. Finally, I would like to thank all of our users for making the past four years a truly amazing experience for us. Without you guys, your positive feedback, your comments, ideas and spirit, this site wouldn't exist today. Thanks!

Petteri Pyyny

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6 user comments

110.6.2003 9:11

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AFTERDAWN !!! Guess what? Today is MY birthday too! (June 10th). I am.....(um) ...oh gosh... I am 50. (Yeah, the Big Five-Oh; don't tell _anyone_). I wish I could say that I hope I'll get to see your fiftieth birthday, but as that would make me 96, it's unlikely. <gg> 'Course, ya never know. We Klingons are alien beings. Happy birthday(s), Lasse, Jari and Petteri. -- Mike --

210.6.2003 9:54

indeed: Happy Birthday! Sure hope you can get as much good vibrations out of your helpfulness as I do. Thanks for you being around and giving me a chance to learn all that I didn't know and where I need to start focusing my re-education.

310.6.2003 11:45

Happy birthday...n00bs.

The old school is back. All hail the new !

410.6.2003 15:43

Very happy, bloody birthday, from Paul in London :-) We wish you many more. What is the bet someone will post a 'I've got this avi file, now what?' question to this thread ;-)

I'm back...
...can't you smell the fear?

511.6.2003 3:06

Another year of great service. Happy birthday AD.

611.6.2003 13:23

Happy Birthday afterdawn and congrats for keeping the place going for 4 years! Hopefully another 4 more will be great and i'll sure be here for the next 4 years anyway!

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