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Introducing Zarban.com

One stop for audio commentaries

2008.02.19 — Entertainment | Movies | Internet | by Derek Jensen



We at Tysto have been doing audio commentaries for movies for more than a year now. There is a small cadre of regular fan commentators out there, including Renegade Commentaries, MMM Commentaries, Adudathuda DVD Podblast, Sofa Dogs, and the pay service Rifftrax, which is the new project from the guys who brought you Mystery Science Theater 3000. But how do you find a commentary for a movie or TV episode you want to watch? Go to Zarban.

Zarban.com is another sister site of Tysto and the home of the House of Commentaries. It's an aggregator that makes it easy to find tracks all over the Web. There have been other commentary aggregators in the past: DVD Tracks, Big Damn Commentaries (Firefly only), Commentary Central, and Sharecrow. All of them have gone defunct, altho Sharecrow is still live (they haven't added any tracks for months, despite submissions). Of these, Commentary Central is the most unfortunate loss, since the submission process was automated and searches were slick. Sharecrow still offers an interesting piece of software that helps you synch up a commentary with a DVD you play in your computer's drive, but the bugs were never quite worked out. Rifftrax now offers a similar piece of software, but I think it only works with their special files.

Zarban offers a clean design with a grouped list of commentaries on the front page. Find the movie or TV series you're interested in, click the title, and select any of the tracks found there. For many of the available movies and TV shows, there are multiple tracks to choose from. Currently, more than 300 are available now, but about 400 more are coming.

You can find several commentaries each for popular franchises like Star Wars, Terminator, Batman, and Lord of the Rings. And there are numerous tracks for the TV shows Scrubs, Doctor Who, and Firefly. Some of the tracks are even official commentaries from the makers of the show, such as Star Trek and Scrubs.

Each track is tagged with the decade, source, and franchise (if any), so you can find all the tracks from Hurricane Andy or that are part of the James Bond franchise.

You can make your own audio commentary for a movie you love—or one you hate—and submit it to Zarban too. You'll need a location to post it, like your own blog or an account at Archive.org.


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