Madlad Fits All of 'Shrek' Onto a Single Floppy Disk

Madlad Fits All of 'Shrek' Onto a Single Floppy Disk

Remember floppy disks? The little disks that could store a whopping 1.44 MB of data were the ubiquitous choice for portable data storage for decades until faster and (much) higher-capacity options came along. Still, that did not stop a clever and nostalgic tinkerer from managing to compress an entire feature-length film enough to fit it on a single floppy disk.

Modern 4K Blu Ray films can easily push past 50 GB for just a few hours of footage. Even DVDs, which hold 480p video, are 4.7 GB. Keep jumping down the ladder, and you will next stop at CDs, which typically hold 700 MB, just 15% of their DVD counterparts and less than 2% of their distant Blu Ray cousins. We'll skip past Zip disks at 100 MB and make our way down to the humble 3.5-inch floppy disk with its 1.44 MB capacity, less than 1% of even a CD. 

And so, the thought of compressing all of "Shrek" onto a floppy seems almost delusional, when such a disk couldn't even store a single modern JPEG image. But that's just what one clever Redditor, u/GreedyPaint did. Using a custom x265 codec, they compressed the film to a resolution of 120 by 96 pixels, playing at four frames per second. And while that sounds slow, they actually quadrupled the frame rate; originally, the codec could only fit a frame per second on the disk. What's even more impressive is that the audio track is still there as well. The floppy is actually played using a custom-built "VCR" featuring a Raspberry Pi named the LimaTek Diskmaster. It's quite the neat and nostalgic accomplishment! 

Check out the video of the setup in action here.

Lead image by Antoine Taveneaux, used under Creative Commons.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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and how does this relate to Fstoppers, photography in general ?
And why is this news ? I can fit Tenet in 1px by 1px resolution on an Amstrad CPC6128.
Damn, I'll be famous soon with my masterpiece :D

So much of this website is clickbait and not related to photography, tbh.

Is not entire, because is running at 4fps

Exactly. If he compressed it to play all the frames of the movie that might be more interesting. But otherwise it's actually doing a disservice to his accomplishment by trying to make it sound complete for the clickbait headline.

Geez, my first PC used single-sided, single density 5.25-inch floppies, like 160 KB.

Still own a TRS-80 model 2 with 8in floppy drives, and a "new" box of disks. heh