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Please note that some, if not many of the links on this page may be broken. This is just an archived copy of the news for this month. We cannot guarantee that the links will work because we remove old versions as we update. For the newest software releases please always refer to the main news and software pages. If you really need a file then please contact us and we'll do our best to help.
Last day of the year.... this is usually the time when we look back to see what we've achieved. Honestly, I don't think I fully lived up to my last new year's resolution.. I added some stuff about DVD basics but not too much.. and a better navigational system is still in the works as is a newsbackend. It's just hard to take care of "extracurricular" activities when you have to ensure flawless daily operations and still want to work on some guides from time to time. And of course... neither studios nor judges lived up to the resolutions I came with for them :(
However, 2001 still was quite a success. Ripping programs finally matured (even though SR still has a tendency to fail a bit more than its competitors), a new codec has emerged as has a bunch of very interesting programs. To mention only a few of them (in no particular order): Nandub, Gordian Knot, azid, BeSweet, DVD2SVCD & IfoEdit. And on the downside a few important people have left us: PX3, Nando (at least there's no news), Jackei (same here), Flask. And a few programs have gained much in importance, like lame, toolame or DVD2AVI.
Only time will tell what 2002 will bring us but let's have a small outlook: Integrated programs like DVD2SVCD or GKnot will become more popular as they implement more functionality (I have a lot of ideas for GKnot for instance) and become very easy to use (not that they are already but there's always room for improvement). Especially in the case of GKnot I see a lot of potential and it could become the next Flask even. If not for a miracle (bug free XMpeg) I think the time of Flask has passed and sooner or later something will come along that will be as easy to use but work much better and atm I'd bet on that program being GKnot. If we go over to VCD and SVCD I see more potential for VCDImager which I hope will one day completely replace I-Author (easy and good authoring programs are sill in low supply). DVD recorders will become more affordable (though I don't think they will be a valid replacement for CD-Rs for the next 1-2 years at least) and thus programs like IfoEdit will attract many new users. When it comes to true DVD authoring I wouldn't expect any miracles... powerful tools will still be out of reach for the largest part of us due to the specs being hard to get ($$££ ). Last but not least 2002 might be the year where DivX3 will find its match. DivX4.5 should be around the corner with v5.0 coming later, Xvid is making progress, VP4 encoding tools might become available and then there's a whole bunch of startups working on new codecs.
And after that reading torture: Happy new year to everyone. Make sure to come back here often in 2002 ;)
DVD2SVCD 1.0.5b4 can now be minimized to the try, has a global priority setting for all involved programs (so that you can play games while encoding), ssrc will no longer be run in 2 pass mode (was never needed and created unwanted temp files), synch problems with 0 byte VOBs (Swordfish, etc) should be fixed as should the file not found bug when converting title/changecd picture and the number of colors for the subs should no longer make submux fail. DVD2SVCD also completely disregards the "create vaf" option in the CCE tab, all references to TMPG have been removed and both CD Label and Movie Title will only allow characters known not to create any problems.
Looks like I was expecting too much from SVCD authoring yesterday... time to have a look at the full specs.
Ifrance was down a long time today so I didn't get much in terms of mails and my right hand guy who's dealing with all the submission had his account rendered useless because somebody mailflooded him so there's effectively no new software today. However, I made a small change to the (S)VCD Chapter guide.
Now.. I got something: Lame 3.91 stable which has a bugfix for
--alt-preset, that present has been added to the man page and some
missing files have been added to the distribution.
Also, does anybody have a Thomson DTH5000 DVD player? I recently got one and I'm wondering about SVCD compatibility. I know SVCD works as I've tested it, including chapters, but I can't get multiple audio tracks and subtitles to work because every time I press the audio or subtitle button I have to use the navigational button to make a change, upon which I either advance /go back by chapter (left/right) or get some sort of pseudo chapter selection menu (up/down). Has anybody got dual audio and or subs to work on that particular player?
||HeadAC3he pre16a fixes the crash-tendency at the end
of mp3 encoding and contains some additional small fixes. TSCV 0.83r1
has a CD cover generator, the plugin bug has been solved and some
internal code change. However, it is beyond me how anybody can properly
use that tool so if you can help me with my problems please reply
thread (no emails please.. I want a public discussion). The VirtualDub
subtitler v2.2 fixes crashes in the text parser and font renderer.
MaestroSBT 126.96.36.199 has corrected preview for color depths different
from 24bit. Also, here's the changelog for the latest PowerDivX: MP3
desynch should be fixed and the crash when changing resolutions as
2.5 has a new project wizard, an option to set the number of frames
in a GOP, SSE is disabled for AthlonXPs for compatibility reasons,
real time CBR and real time CQ have been removed, better compatibility
with DirectX (audio wouldn't work in a high bitrate file), in CQ mode
you can change the amount of P/B frames freely now and improved AVI
import compatibility. As usualy, don't forget the VFP
HeadAC3he pre16 adds mp3 encoding and the whole process is being done in 32bit floats for optimal quality. 32bit float WAV output has also been added and there's a lot of small fixes and enhancements. PowerDivX NextGen 3.12 is a minor bugfix release.
And.. I almost forgot about that one: Robshot has released a new guide on how to get the max out of CCE. The procedure may be a bit more complicated than just pressing a few buttons but knowing Rob you can expect excellent results. And I haven't been idling either, instead I wrote a guide on how to create VCDs and SVCDs with chapters and how to burn them in CDRDAO (free burning program;)
||MaestroSBT 188.8.131.52 has a preview option with positioning
capabilities, .sst support (Scenarist specific format), SMPTE drop
frame time support, SMPTE absolute positioning in time from the SSA
file to override calculations, the program configuration is now saved
to the SSA file and the UI has a new look.
Hope you all had a great Christmas. I have some after-christmas presents for you today:
I updated the AC3-> MP2 and AC3 -> MP3 guides using BeSweet.
Finally all the screenshots match the actual release version of
the BeSweet GUI. I've also updated all GKnot guides to correspond
to the latest version. Both GKnot guide
for DivX3 and GKnot guide for DivX4 now contain the auto-crop
feature and the latter also contains the compressability check.
Furthermore I've updated the guide on GKnot using its features for
manual curve correction and other Nandub features. Last but not
least I've also updated the DVD2SVCD
On the software side IfoEdit 0.8 contains a reworked re-mux function,
a new option to rebuild PTS which can be used to re-mux .m2v files
created with CCE or TMPG, the HexEdit function should work better
and a problem creating new ifo files if the DVD is an NTSC disc
has been fixed as has a bug in VOB extras where the use of Create
IFO's and strip would overwrite the vts_ts.ifo file. VirtualDub
1.4.8 has an improved MJPEG decoder (improved field order determination,
restart markers and other YUV colorspaces), MPEG-1 files with small
amounts of junk at the beginning are now recognized, BMP image sequences
can now be loaded and saved, frame rate changes are reflected in
the timestamp panel, the hex editor no longer locks files and can
highlight important fields in AVI files, a workaround for audio
synch problems caused by malformed AVI files with VBR MP3 audio
has been added and there's a lot of bugfixes.
The forum seems to be back up after a 24h blackout. And I just verified that there's a bug in automatic 2 pass DivX4 encoding using GKnot 0.22.
Merry Christmas to everybody. I know it's only Christmas Eve but my family always celebrates on this day.
I forgot to upload the GKnot 0.22 update yesterday, it's online
now. BeSweet GUI 0.5 adds the following features in the BeSweet
section: tooltips, support for standard .lst files, a switch that
will color all BeSweet supported switches in the rest of the GUI
and changes the output extension for the -6ch user. In the LAME
section we have the addition of the -r3mix preset for BeSweet and
2 options from the VBR options have been moved to the VBR/ABR options.
In the SSRC mode we have the removal of the 6-ch wav input ->
6 mono wav output (it's now in BeSweets -core params) and last but
not least the buttons in the batch mode have been renamed and some
bugs fixed in that mode. I know the release version doesn't match
the guide properly.. I will update the guide at the earliest possible
moment. DVD2SVCD 1.0.5b3 should start CCE in almost every case as
it no longer uses keystrokes to control the program, but windows
messages. bbMPEG has been enhanced into a CLI version which completely
eliminates keystroke sending to any program in the process chain.
This means that you no longer have to worry about executing other
programs when DVD2SVCD is working, you can even use the user switching
of Windows XP. The subtitle palette bug has been fixed, as has the
problem that when you didn't use Selectable Subs and CD Overlapping
the chapters would fail. Last but not least you can new select if
you want your ChangeCD picture on all images, including the last.
Plugin 0.93 adds audio support for the Wrapper server mode,
external audio encoder input for the multiplexer, automatic default
detection for each application, if the timeout function is selected
the timeout is enabled after 2 frames being read (this prevents
the problem that the plugin times out when the user is setting the
properties in TMPG), post processing support for VCD, an audio encoder
check (checking for the correct sampling rate), some GUI fixes and
an audio only fix for MPEG mediator. As usual you can find some
updated guides on the official
GKnot 0.22 adds a DivX4 compressibility check. The values seem to be generally about 10% higher than with DivX3. It's now possible to start a 2nd pass only, an autocrop function has been added (not perfect yet), and there's 2 bugfixes: the audio bitrate for the 2nd audio track can now be changed and the comp-check is being deleted from the queue. BeSweet 0.9 now comes with DSPGuru's lame_enc.dll v3.90 and supports full floating-point processing. Other new features are: stereo-wave output, six mono waves output, azid dialogue normalization support, azid real channel filtering support, timestamping in logfiles, minor improvements to the program's interface and support for SmartRipper's list files. DivxManager 0.5 supports import of all the info, pictures and actors from imdb.com, import of all info, covers & posters from dvdempire.com, two new read avi engines, fully working multilanguage support, a new config section and many bugfixes. And for those wondering what DivxManager is, it's a program to manage your DivX collection.
Last but not least, is anyone out there working for a company manufacturing DVD recorders or in a computer store and could spare a unit? I tried to talk the guys from Philips into sending me a DVD+RW drives but they wouldn't despite a lot of sweet talk and getting a link on my page. I'd really like to get into DVD -> DVD-R/W conversions but there's no much sense to it if you can't test it in a real environment (meaning on a standalone unit) and at the moment I can't quite afford to buy a recordable DVD.
||VobSub 2.06 a resolution doubler for higher quality fonts
(requires a really fast CPU) and the saving of textual formats in
Subresynch has been fixed.
||Lame 3.90 contains some more finetuing auto adjustments
of the ATH, speed and quality improvements in the VBR code, improved
noise shaping, quantization selection usage and joint stereo usage
and a bunch
of other stuff.
||DivX 4.12 fixes a couple of bugs in DivX4.11: P4 crashing
when encoding in YUV12 mode and crashes related to VIA based boards.
It also adds complete support for future advanced DivX video features
(dunno what that means). The complete package also comes with The
Playa 0.6.6 which features reduced CPU usage, S3 GFX card display
bugs fixed, MiroDVD subtitles support finished, the GDI leak bug has
been corrected, streaming of AVI files has been improved, a right
click now pauses in fullscreen, the post processing slider is working
properly and there's a new skin.
Morphix goes GPL. You can download the source now. TSCV 0.82b6
is the latest developer release of TSCV. Use it at your own risk
;) Lots and lots of changes but as it's tagged development version
it's probably not as stable as the latest release version you can
get here. DVD2SVCD 1.0.5b2 has some fixes concerning chapters and
There were a couple of problems with the donation page. As I had the pages into my frame structure the PayPal site wasn't being shown as secure even though it was. I've now changed both links so that they will open a new browser window. The first Kagi page where you enter the amount is not secure.. but as soon as you go on entering your data it will be secure.
No new software today but you can expect new versions of certain popular tools soon...
Due to the server problems many may not have read my Christmas bit yet: If you're wondering what to get my for Christmas, make a donation. Due to popular demand I've added a PayPal account, and Kagi now accepts Checks, Money Orders and sending money via mail as payment methods (the start page won't mention it but you'll see it at the bottom of the 2nd page). Thanks to all future donators ;)
All the server problems are fixed now. However, if somebody can step up and offer an additional hosting I certainly wouldn't decline.. the past few days have shown how little it takes to bring the whole operation to a halt and therefore a failsave switchover would really be useful.
SmartRipper 2.41 can create DVD2AVI projects in parallel to the
index file creation. Madrona 1.2.0 is a tool that automates the
steps in my Fair Use guide, that is the audio encoding steps. DVD2AVI
1.85 restores the openDVD plugin support and the source includes
the missing file. And just in case.. this build contains mp3 encoding,
and no resizing code. VobSplit 2.6 fixes the starting from the beginning
of a file problem of v2.5, adds a dll plugin to split and a new
I've also updated some of the audio encoding guides, most notably the AC3 -> MP3 guide is now based on BeSweet and the tooLame guide as well. I know that the GUI in the screenshot is a non public version but v0.5 should be out soon and the differences are not really huge anyways. In any case.. no more intermediate WAV files that can grow beyond the 2GB limit and cause problems.
HeadAC3he pre15 has lame support (direct mp3 output), WavBooster support, drag&drop support and it fixes various minor bugs. IfoEdit 0.75 is now resizable, video attributes are now editable and the region free option also removes Region-PGC command checking.
The server problem hasn't been solved yet but we're looking into possible solutions. If you have a lot of bandwith you're not using let me know, at the moment I'm skating on really thin ice here.
About the server issue: please read this message. Things don't look great atm.
The contact page has been changed again. Once again, please respect what's written there. There's no help via email, only the forum. The submission email is there to submit new programs or useful links. The feedback page is there to report broken links, problems with guides, etc. The submission email does not get directly to me anymore, all submissions are checked by a third party first. As a general rule mails that are misplaced will either be deleted right away (when you're asking questions about ripping related stuff) or treated as very low priority. Program authors who already have their work on this page already know my email and can send new stuff directly to me, but every new submission has to go through this screening process from this moment on. But if you've submitted software before and it was accepted you can use my regular email addresses and bypass the screening process. And please send feedback to the feedback email not the submission addy.
BeSweet 0.81 (formerly known as AC3toMP3 and VobToMP3) adds MP2
output, SSRC support, adid surround and stereo output support, some
speed improvements and the logfile can be appended. It also comes
with BeSweet GUI 0.4.
If you're reading this you got the up-to-date server. For the time being you can always get the latest news via this url: http://server2.doom9.org.
ZoomPlayer 2.21 contains two DVD stability fixes. MPEG Mediator is an open source DVD decoder with adobe premiere plugin support (so it can use all the plugins you can use for Flask or DVDx). It also contains a self-developed A/V synch ant timing mechanism not seen before in free MPEG converters. And a little trick: If you have PowerDVD4 (also known as PowerDVD XP) you can get Dolby Surround II decoding even with your AVIs when you just load them into PDVD. If you get a screwed up aspect ratio YXY might come in handy.
In case you're wondering what to give me for X-mas... Kagi
accepts checks too, now and you can even send money via snail mail
if you like (see at the bottom of the page). And I got a paypal
account too, now. Just sent the money to email@example.com (and
don't bother sending emails there because it's a dummy account)
and I should get it. Thanks in advance :)
DVD2SVCD 1.0.5b1 is out inofficially and for you to test. The official release should come within a weeks time. In order to get rid of the DVD2AVI problems the program now uses a new version of DVD2AVI which is commandline based which shouldn't have such problems anymore, the bbMPEG stalling problem should be fixed as should be the ifo file not found bug (due to having multiple CD drives), the XML routines have been totally rewritten, NTSC2PAL conversion should no longer have problems with subs, ssrc support for downsampling has been added and last but not least I-Author has been dumped. The program now uses other routines which allow you to create selectable subtitles which will work with any burning program and without having to use a commercial program. The subs should even work on more players than I-Author subs. Then, since there's already free DVD codecs on this page maybe you're looking for a free DVD player, too. Actually, it's not quite a full free DVD player since it lacks MPEG-2 and AC3 decoding capabilities but that's where the beforementioned filters come into play. Anyways, MaXimus DVD is such a player that has most of the features WinDVD and PowerDVD have, plus some additional features like DVD cataloging, capturing and an auto-capture function. And then here's another link for the dvd2avi GUI 1.08pre.
Last but not least, and please keep this in mind before you bug me about it: I'm having some trouble with writing operations on one of my servers so it might be that at some point in the future you will suddenly notice you're only getting old news, and then suddenly you'll get the most recent version again. This is due to round-robin and you getting different servers. The admin of the server in question has been notified but so far he hasn't taken care of the problem.
|12/12||ZoomPlayer 2.20 is out. As usual the changelog is huge. DriveInfo 2.0 fixes some W2K/XP related issues.|
|12/11||There seems to be quite a lot of confusion about DVD2AVI GUI so maybe I should give you some more info about it. It's a GUI for dvd -> avi creation, based on mpeg2avi for video encoding and vobtomp3 for the audio part. At least it was using mpeg2avi in older versions and atm the download is down due to the Geocities bandwith limit so I can't get the soft and verify. So... it is NOT a new version of DVD2AVI!|
|12/10||The IVTC plugin for Avisynth v2.101 has been released, unfortunately without a changelog. Chappy is a chapter creation tool for DivX movies. It has quite a lot of features, including its own player and chapter import from other programs. DVD2AVI GUI 1.08pre supports W2K, has accurate VOB time calculation, uses state of the art audio encoding tools, supports all DivX codecs, accurate spliting, overwrite checking, preview works, etc.|
||Since it's already in the GKnot pack, here's the separate
edition of VobSub 2.05. The changes since 2.03 are: DVobSub will autoload
textual subtitles from URLs and has support for DBCS in the unicode
binaries. VobSub itself contains a lot of bugfixes, and there's unicode
binaries for NT based OS. Vidomi 4.05 can work in YUV12 colorspace,
contains DivX4 support and probably a lot of added features since
the last version I had online (3.60). IfoEdit 0.7 has a new function:
VOB extras. Definitely a must for all people interested in DVD ->
DVD-R conversions. SubMist 0.3.2 is mainly a bugfix release and it's
released under the GPL now.
Gordian Knot 0.21b is a bugfix release. All known bugs (check the GKnot forum) have been fixed. As reported in the forum, there will be update packages so you won't have the download the full 5MB each time there's a new version. One of the things that's neat in the new release is that all programs are started in idle priority be default and don't take away the focus... so no more interruption of my RTCW (Return to Castle Wolfenstein) sessions. There's just one catch... Nandub/VirtualDub is still running in normal priority. Anbody knows how to change the thread priority in these two programs from the commandline? VCDEasy 1.05 adds chapter list import, automatic fill-in of volume and album names, don't show again options for several messageboxes, the option to delete the XML file after burning, cdrdao is now isabled by default as it could cause machines to crash if they didn't have an up-to-date aspi layer. PBC interactivity and menu support is still in the works. Last but not least, it comes as an installer package now.
Maybe I should have been a bit more specific about the priority thing. It is NOT possible to set a priority via the regular start /low commandline as both Nandub and VirtualDub have their own internal priority (the one in the status window). And that one would have to be modified. Now, it can be set globally in the Options - Preferences dialogue. But how can this be changed from the command line? And just in case, post possible suggestions to the GKnot forum as TheWef needs to know it, not me.
TMPG 2.02 has improved performance when too long GOPs are split into more than 2, the parameters for constant quality have been changed, the progress of 2 pass VBR can be shown more smoothly, dual channel mode is supported via external encoders, and the original, copyright flag and emphasis is being preserved when such encoders are being used. Last but not least there are two bugfixes: some MPEG files were not detected in the MPEG tools and sometimes selecting the SVCD stream setting didn't produce a valid MPEG file. As usual, don't forget the VFP plugin.
And this is probably old news for you, but I had the link up earlier and some people informed me that the previously given info wasn't quite correct and not all SBLive models had XP drivers. Well, as of now all models are supported. And if we're talking hardware, NVIDIA has released some new drivers. The 23.11 set of drivers has the quick shutdown and it's official, just not WHQL certified. And, if you are using XP, NVIDIA cards and are getting blue screens because the driver hangs in an infinite loop you might want to check out this thread in my forums.
Another day with many viruses and no new software. Well, this is not entirely correct. Blight has released another RC of ZoomPlayer. Certainly worth checking out if you are using ZoomPlayer already. Once the final version is out it will be hosted locally.
Also, I'll take up some old news now: 2600.org lost their appeal against the DMCA decision (you can read all about it via the links in the top frame). So.. what does this mean? Even if it's bad news, it's hardly surprising. And it's not the end of the world either. From the very beginning it was clear that this case, or a similar one will eventually end up at the supreme court. The delicate matter of the subject at hand and the whole free speech aspect make it predestined to go all the way up. So.. unless the last word has been spoken let's not jump to any hasty conclusions. Hopefully, the supreme court will see reason. You can all read up in my previous articles what the current decision would mean for your rights. And not to forget the influence on cryptography research it could have. Maybe we should let researchers and engineers decide on this, they are more likely to see beyond the paragraphs of law (that's just imho but these people base their opinion on facts and physical evidence.. not some interpretation of some paragraphs which are not that well written to begin with).
IMPORTANT: Yet another worm seems to be spreading. I haven't yet received one (thank god) but I'm sure it won't take too long as there are hundreds of people out who are really good at catching bugs and have me in their address book. So, if you get an email having only Hi in the subject, DO NOT OPEN IT!. Don't view it, don't look at the attachment.. send it directly to your trashcan. For more info, visit Symantec.
Once again a day without any real news in terms of software. Just the usual badtrans flow.
About Dolby Pro Logic II. I've been browsing the Dolby site and what I found was only related to decoding. Apparently DPLII is just a superior way of decoding stereo and Dolby Pro Logic sources... you'll get 3/2 channel output (instead of 3/1) with better channel separation and bass treatment than with regular DPL. For more info visit the Dolby Site. Then there's some interesting info in the DVD authoring forum about removing RCE plus that forum was in the press recently. The German PC mag CT' had an article about DVD ripping which certainly was inspired by some of the threads that can be found in that particular forum.
As you may have noticed, updates have been a bit sporadic and at random lately. The reason for this is that something very important came up that kept me busy in all my free hours. Hopefull I'll have some more free time in the future.
Eugenes DVD Player 0.98.0 has been released but since the official
site is down I have no changelog. Cyberlink has released PowerDVD4
which catches up with WinDVD: DTS decoding, AC3 5.1 channel decoding
available in the web-version now, and it even offers some additional
gadgets like Dolby Pro Logic II decoding (anyone ever seen a source
having that particular audio format?), multichannel SVCD playback,
And about the latest GKnot again...you may get an error message saying that aviKnot.dll is missing. To get around this for the moment create an file in the GKnot directory having that name and you're fine.. the file is not actually being used.
Ok... the Gordian Knot 0.20.1 pack is out. The only difference to yesterday's pack is that one single line has changed. It no longer checks for aviKnot.dll. But if you already got 0.20b there's absolutely no reason to get the new one. Just open notepad, write whatever you want and save the file as aviKnot.dll into your GKnot folder and you're okay.
VOBtoMP3 0.7 is the latest versions of the software formerly known as AC3toMP3. The syntax and interface of the program has been enhanced: It now supports multiple VOBs/AC3s -> single MP3, list-file support including support for long filenames, bbdmux has been optimized for speed, the latest lame_end.dll is included, the negative timestamp bug has been fixed, a logfile option has been added, inner error handling has been enhanced and there's a disable switch for WaveBooster. To use this program with a you you'll need azid/lame GUI 0.4b4.
Gordian Knot 0.20b includes full audio support, the automatic encoder
works properly for SBC and DivX4 (hopefuly... we tested for weeks),
audio is done using 2 pass azid and then lame, the program comes
as a full installer package including all the software you need
to make DivX3/4 rips (the only thing you need is a CD burning program
and a computer ;), the interleave calculations have been corrected
(mixed mode), a special files box has been added to the bitrate
tab so you can enter the size of additional files like subtitles,
the preview window now includes player control buttons and some
small bugs have been fixed. To make your life easier I have rewritten
both DivX3 and DivX4 guides using