Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a list of common questions that have been encountered so far. If you think a question should be added, feel free to send an email to Dr. Turkstra.

Q: Why is access to most videos limited to band members and alumni? (I.e., I wasn't in the band can I please have an account?)
A: Unfortunately, particularly with halftime shows, the band only has what is called a "performance license" to most of the musical arrangements. This means that we cannot legally reproduce copies of the performances for public consumption or sale.

In order to make the videos publicly available we would have to obtain "mechanical and synchronization" licenses, which cost significantly more (and often are not granted at all). People that are/were in the band can view the videos on the site because they qualify under the U.S. Fair Use Doctrine.

So, in short, unfortunately there is no way to legally grant public access to the site. My one suggestion would be to contact your state and federal representatives and voice your opinion on Copyright Law reform. It doesn't have to be the way that it is now.

Q: Do you have video from the year X, and if so when will it be posted?
A: All known, official footage of the band is presently available on the site. Unfortunately if a year is missing it is because the footage from that time period is presumed lost.

Q: I like this site so much that I want to give you money. How can I do this?
A: Thank you! But, please don't. Make a donation to Purdue Bands instead. (It's even tax deductible!) If you send me money, I will turn around and donate it to the band anyway.

Q: How do I change my password?
A: You can change your password and account details by clicking on your username, which appears next to the "Logout" link, once you have logged in.

Q: I can't get the video to play at all. It doesn't even show up. How do I fix this?
A: You probably need to install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. If that does not work, try going to YouTube and viewing any of the videos there. uses a somewhat similar setup, and should work once you are able to view videos from YouTube. If all else fails, email Dr. Turkstra.

Q: The video plays for a few minutes, and then loops back to the beginning and starts over.
A: If your Internet connection is relatively slow, it's possible that you are hitting the server-side timeout value for downloads. Right now the timeout is 10 minutes. If you actually encounter this problem, please email Dr. Turkstra. He would be happy to increase the timeout value. Thanks to Josh Koon for reporting this problem when the timeout was originally set to 60 sec.

Q: The video plays, but it only goes for a few seconds, then it stops for a while. It does this repeatedly. What's wrong?
A: Each video ranges in size from about 10 to 30 MB. In order to play the video without pauses, you need some type of broadband Internet. If your download speed is not fast enough, you will encounter the problem described. One way to deal with this problem is to press the stop button and wait until the entire video has downloaded before clicking play. The other alternative is to get a better Internet connection.

Q: The video plays, but it's really jerky and choppy. What's wrong?
A: Your computer is probably too old to play the videos at a reasonable speed. Buy a new one, or use someone else's.

Q: Why does video X have a low score?
A: Because someone chose to assign it one when voting. If you don't believe the video should have that score, vote yourself. Votes are calculated in the following manner:
(Sum of scores) / (Number of votes)
The more people that give a particular video the same score, the closer the average will be to that score.

Q: What software do you use to generate this site?
A: The short answer is: none. That is, if you're hoping that I'll name some really cool WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor/creator it isn't going to happen. I don't use one.
The long answer is that the HTML (or, more precisely XHTML) that travels through the magic tubes and ends up on your computer is a combination of two things:
1) hand-written markup loosely based on a CSS template freely available from Free CSS Templates. And I emphasize loosely. The color scheme itself is a hodgepodge of colors taken from Purdue's official site and even the basic layout has been heavily modified. I use a template because in all honesty I'm much better at coding than I am at creating sane layouts and color schemes.
2) markup generated by the server-side scripting language PHP that interfaces with a MySQL database. The server-side code used to generate each page is written entirely by me.
Finally, I use Vi for an editor. Its purpose is identical to notepad, though functionally it behaves quite differently.
I bet you're sorry that you asked now, aren't you? ;-)