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.
Finally it is done: The latest codec
comparison is also the largest one yet, featuring the following
codecs: 3ivX, DivX3, DivX5, ffvfw, NeroDigital, RV9, VP6 and XviD.
All images are now available in PNG format, and it's possible to
switch between images and even to zoom in and out. Since the image
sizes are considerable (9 MB for one test), I have also added a
low bandwith version using JPEG images. They are both accessible
via the same url (you can select the high bandwidth version at the
bottom of the first page).
And happy new year to everyone. Thanks for having visited this
site so frequently in 2003 and I hope to see you again in 2004.
Many thanks also to all the people working behind the scenes. Without
the server administrators this site could not exist.
Over at CDFreaks they have two
interesting goodies for LiteOn DVD drive/burner owners: A Bitsetting
tool for DVD+R/W discs (for higher compatibility on DVD-ROM drives
and standalones) and a regionfree tool that should work on all LiteOn
DVD drives and burners.
The NY times has a long article
on HD DVD that might be interesting even though it will take
at least another year for such devices to enter the marketplace.
||DVD Decrypter 184.108.40.206 has an additional
user error check in ISO writing mode, fixes a CLI bug and a problem
with the update checking mechanism during the installation.
||DVD Decrypter 220.127.116.11 allows you to
set the read speed, shows the write speeds supported by your burner
in ISO write mode, handles 24 bit PCM streams, can write both PCM
and WAV output in demux mode, can create BSPlayer chapter files in
IFO mode, has an improved subtitle detection, supports more image
formats in burning mode and fixes a few bugs.
Player 3.30 RC1 supports swf (Flash) files, has an improved
DVD disc info customization and fixes many bugs.
1.0 beta 3 AKA Selam has been released. It fixes a couple of
bugs, supports display aspect ratio settings, contains some SSE2
optimizations and is generally quite a bit faster. It also offers
a turbo mode which once again brings XviD to a good position in
the speed league.
Merry Christmas. Santa had a DVB-S card for me (actually a coupon
to get one) so that opens up some interesting possibilities for
LiteOn has released a batch of new
DVD burner firmwares, which add support for more media types.
Ahead has released a new
version of their Nero 6 pack 2 (which contains Recode 2). So
far no changelog has been posted but the version number has not
been increased and the hotfix download page is gone so I presume
they have integrated the SMP fix into Recode 2.
Last but not least, it seems as if the
movie industry has found a way to use their self-destructing DVDs
after all: Members of the French Cesar award jury have been sent
self-destructing DVDs for review purposes in fear of piracy. I guess
we'll be seeing a lot of jurors visiting sites like these in the
future so that they get the chance of viewing a movie again after
the disc has become unusable.
By now, some of you might already be having Christmas dinner (assuming
that you celebrate Christmas on the 24th as my family does), so
I wish you all a merry Christmas, a good time with your loved ones
and many cool tech gadgets under the tree. And don't forget that
if your gifts have anything to do with DVD, you might find some
useful information regarding their use right here ;)
1.4.0 allows cell, chapter and layer selection for the movie-only
and join mode, has improved input I/O and a check to verify whether
the VOB files match with the IFO file.
Plextor has released a new
firmware for the PX-708 DVD burner series that supports more media
types (including 8x DVD+R media) and improves writing performance
for all types of media except CD-RW.
It looks like a Norwegian appeals court has given the MPAA an unwanted
Christmas present: They acquitted
Jon Johansen and upheld an earlier decision by a lower court.
While there is still the possibility of an appeal to the Norwegian
supreme court, it appears that the MPAA is steering another course.
They want the Norwegian government to implement
a DMCA-like law (AKA "your fair use rights down the drain"
legislation). Personally, I cannot see the "apparent weakness"
in Norwegian law. I think the lack of any DMCA like law upholds
the balance between content providers and content consumers, a balance
which has been severely upset with the introduction of DMCA like
laws in several European countries this year (I'm sure Justitia
is already turning in her grave because her scales are so uneven
BeSweet GUI 0.7b2 support big endian PCM input. OagMachine 0.11
has an improved GUI.
18.104.22.168 should improve quality, fixes some keyframe related
bugs and contains an updated playback filter as well.
0.8 has an improved try menu, restricts the minimum width parameter
to a maximum of 640 and offers customized subtitle settings (for
angle and PGC selection). The guide
has also been updated.
Media Player Classic 22.214.171.124 contains an improved AVI and OGM splitter,
fixes bugs in the audio switcher, dshow renderer and SPDIF output
and allows more fine-grained control over the always on top option.
Azid 1.9 supports Dolby
Pro Logic II downmix, fixes popping when playing AC3 files with
low volumes, the decoder performance has been improved, 32 bit integer
WAV output is now supported, the default LFE downmix level is now
-3dB and there are now P3 and P4 optimized builds (though the speed
difference is minimal).
BeSweet 1.5 beta 24 already uses Azid 1.9.
If you have a dual processor system and are trying to use Recode
2, download this patch
which fixes quality problems on SMP systems.
The DVD+ system is one step closer to dual layer recording: Philips
has released the dual layer specifications to the DVD+RW alliance
(the promoters of the DVD+ format) for review. The final specs are
expected in January 2004.
Good news on the online rights front: A US federal appeals court
the previous RIAA vs. Verizon verdict, thus barring the RIAA
from subpoena ISP subscriber data by merely alleging that a user
has committed copyright infringement.
0.77 works with VDubMod 126.96.36.199, has a try icon when minimized,
autocrop, smartcrop and XviD quality based mode have been improved
and the chroma optimizer option is on by default.
3.30 beta 2 has simplified options and context menus, full multilingual
support, improved DVD customizations and contains a number of bugfixes.
As usual, you can find the full
changelog on the Inmatrix forums.
Apple has released QuickTime
6.5 but I seem to be unable to figure out what has been changed
/ improved. Yet with its focus on portable multimedia terminals
and streaming I doubt it will be extremely interesting for DVD backup
NEC has created a hybrid
DVD / AOD recorder (AOD is supposed to become the standard for
HD DVD in the future) which as the name says, records both DVDs
and HD DVDs. However, those drives won't be available before 2005.
With DVD burner prices steadily dropping, Sony has decided to leave
the business and have its drives manufactured by Taiwanese LiteOn.
Apparently, with DVD burners becoming a commodity, Sony no longer
makes high enough margins on their products.
Last but not least, TEAC has announced yet another 8x dual format
DVD burner with the usual technical data (8x/4x DVD+R/W, 4x/2x DVD-R/W,
40x/24x CD-R/W), the DV-W58G.
With all the announcements but most drives not yet on sale (except
maybe in Japan) we should see an interesting 2004.
If you're in the market for a MediaTek based DivX capable DVD player,
make sure you read this
thread. And there should be a new firmware
update for the elta 8883 player which looks pretty interesting:
It improves DivX3 playback, supports AVIs with PCM audio, plays
back Ogg and WMA audio files, handles SRT, SSA and SMI subtitles
and it supports progressive output up to 720p and 1080i. elta also
promises to support XviD GMC by mid February as well as OGM.
Classic 0.91 checks for all required files, generates a default
Volume ID based on the source directory, forces setup when being
run the first type and has an XP skin.
If you thought you were safe using P2P tools in Europe, think again
as the music industry has plan to start
suing next year. Obviously, any other means to get people to
buy your product doesn't make sense, now does it? Actually, the
EFF has some pretty interesting suggestions on how
P2P could be used to the advantage of the music industry, but
then again have they ever listened?
The MPAA is also getting even busier (or at least one of its members),
yet another lawsuit against 321 Studios in the UK, this time
under the new Euro DMCA.
And if you need another example why the patent mania needs to be
stopped: CD burning software developer Optima Technology (I have
never even heard the company name, let alone seen one of their product.
Have you?) has sued rival Roxio since they were granted a patent
on creating a disc image prior to writing a CD, a technique
for which there is likely to be prior art somewhere (in other words:
it was known before the patent was granted, making the patent void..
but of course it's up to the plaintiff to prove that on his own
||Today I had to replace the search for news by trying
to get this damned hosting problem fixed, and it still isn't. Thus,
effectively both the Portuguese and French mirror are looking for
help for their hosting, which I can no longer provide. The requirements
are not huge, we're talking a couple of GB a month, a vhost entry
and an apache/php/mysql setup. Volunteers are more than welcome...
If you have a LiteOn 811S burner and are the daring type, this
might interest you: Using a hex editor it's possible to
increase the burning speed for certain DVD media, though use
it at your own risk. CDR-Info also has a nice review
on the drive. And staying on the subject of DVD burners, Traxdata
has also announced their 8x
DVD+R discs. It's about time I get some for my burner though
it will also burn the 4x TDKs at 8x.
And while emails are once again getting through I'm still not convinced
things are back to normal. Of course, abusing the contact addressing
to ask ripping related questions will not earn you an answer so
if you have questions, use your time productively by posting in
the forum or asking in our IRC channels.
||Pinnacle has released the first update for InstantCopy
8.05 is more compatible with other Pinnacle products and improves
CD/DVD writing performance.|
0.74 allows MP3 bitrates up to 320kbit/s, supports quality based
encoding for both DivX and XviD, up to 32 subtitle streams are supported
along with external Vobsub subs (requires an installed version of
0.5 now has a DVD backup mode which turns it into a full one click
DVD transcoding application. Currently, streams still have to be demuxed
and remuxed so the space requirements are considerable, and it's not
as configurable as commercial transcoders yet, but that should change
Finally people will stop drooling in the forum: Recode
2 has just been released, along with Nero 188.8.131.52. Nero 6.3
features improved usability and support for AMD 64 and Hyperthreading
platforms. Package two which contains Recode 2, also has an improved
NeroVision Express package which support AAC, two pass encoding
and has a number of new filters. Recode 2 itself is a more streamlined
version of Recode, and now supports main movie only DVD-R backups
along with joining multiple movies / flipper DVDs, and main movie
only backups to NeroDigital (MPEG-4 ASP video, 2ch/6ch AAC audio).
Of course, I have both DVD-R and
NeroDigital backup guides ready
;) Note that if you're using NeroDigital, only the Nero Media Player
can handle the subtitles and chapters.
AVI isn't dead yet: AviMux GUI 1.15.5 can now mux AAC streams into
an AVI. With support for AAC, AC3, MP3, DTS and SSA/SRT subs, AVI
isn't as bad as some people might want you to think...
While the chip is already available in a variety of players, MediaTek
has now officially announced their MT1389
chip. It's DivX certified, can handle 1 warp point GMC (so no
XviD or NeroDigital GMC), but it fully supports GMC and DivX3 (no
more freezes on 2 CD rips) and it also includes image postprocessing
so you can get rid of those nasty blocks you can see quite well
on your TV.
We're having some major problems with the email hosting. For reasons
unknown the existing hosting seems to have been shut down without
prior notice and without account data having been moved, but I got
a new account from the same company, which doesn't seem to work
(I can send email but I don't get anything). If you can, use forum
PMs for the important stuff or try to catch me on IRC as I might
not get your emails. I'll let you know when these problems have
been fixed. For the record, expect mails sent since yesterday's
news to be missing in action.
If you can wait until after Christmas, you'll be able to buy a
handful of dual 8x DVD burners, that actually burn DVD-R at 8x as
well as DVD+R (it is rumored that existing 8x/4x burners could be
upgrades) from Creative,
(it's Swedish, I didn't find any info on the US NEC site) and Pacific
Digital. The drives all burn DVD±R at 8x, DVD+RW at 4x
and DVD-RW at 2x, and CD-RW at 40x/24x except for NEC which is limited
to 32x/16x CD burning. If you can't wait, the Plextor
PX 708A is a good choice if you're willing to spend a bit more.
is a program that helps you create DVD-like menus in the MP4 container.
Now if only MP4 could be edited properly..
If you've been holding off because you didn't understand it, there's
no need to wait any longer: I've finished a guide
for XviD 1.0 (you can select from stable to dev-api 3 to XviD
Last but not least, video rental giant Blockbuster
is calling for an end of region codes on DVDs. They say that
since so many people have regionfree players which permits you to
buy wherever a disc is released first, region coding only hurts
the industry. I can't say I would shed a tear of region coding were
The first dual layer DVD burners are not that far off after all.
BenQ's DW820A is based on the 8x DW800A
model but adds 2.4x DVD+R9 recording. BenQ is also still looking
into the possibility of upgrading the existing DW800A burner to
burn dual layer media.
What used to only affect DVD-R now also seems to become an issue
for certain DVD+R drives. If you own a Ricoh MP5125A burner, better
wait for a firmware upgrade before you try to burn 4x and 8x DVD+R
discs (but the drive cannot burn at those speeds anyway, so stick
to 2.4x media for the time being).
In the matter of Screener DVDs, the MPAA has lost in court. The
MPAA may not ban screener DVDs, but they are not required to send
them out either (only the small independent studios that sued because
they were afraid that without screener their own productions would
no longer be seen by jurors will continue sending out screeners).
It remains to be seen how the big studios react to that.
Do you recall the laws of Ohio against the use of a camera in a
movie theater? California has a similar bill now that is enacted
in January 2004. If you see a guy with night vision goggles the
next time you go to a movie theater, you know what he/she is looking
BeSweetGUI 0.7b1 now supports AAC encoding.
Knot 0.28.7 supports mpa muxing, works on standard accounts
on NT based Windows versions (NT, W2k, XP), relies on KernelDeInt
rather than Field deinterlace for deinterlacing, auto and smart
cropping now produce resolutions divisible by 4, the autosplit has
been improved, XviD and DivX pass settings are properly picked up
from default to prevent problems when multiple versions of one codec
are used at the same time, all the latest tools are included and
the installer is smaller. The Gordian
Knot Pack 1.6 now comes with the DivX5.1.1 codec.
0.7 fixes output size problems with DivX5, has a new installer
and some new buttons, works without requiring an administration
account on NT based systems and has a new installer.
Last but not least I have finished the 2nd part of my Recode 2
review / guide. This time, it's all
about DVD±R output.
While DivX capable standalones are getting more popular, consumer
electronics manufacturers are already preparing the next generation
of standalones, which can not only record to MPEG-2, but also to
MPEG-4. In fact, both
Philips and Sigma are preparing MPEG-4 capable encoder chips
which might see the market in 2004.
There is also a new
AutoGK release (version 0.68), but right now I don't have the
changelog because the forum is down with yet another SQL problem
Last but not least, it's only a rough cut but if you're interested
in Nero Digital or Recode 2, you might want to check out this Recode
2 guide. There will be more as time becomes available (and of
course I'll also cover the DVD transcoding part of the application).
I've updated the Big3 guide to
take the latest DIF4U version in account. The guide now also contains
instructions on how to use ReJig as encoder, rather than CCE. I
have also added Eyes'Only
guide to Finding Nemo, which deals with the duplicate VOB ID
removal feature introduced in the latest DIF4U build, and Oxp's
Infinifilm guide (once again Button over Video).
There is also a new Media Player Classic, but so far the changelog
is rather empty.
BatchCCEWs 0.9.1.2 fixes a memory (leak?) problem that was introduced
in the last version.
1.40 supports DivX5.03 and higher as well as 3ivX, splits the
movie after encoding, includes a compressibility test for both DivX
and XviD, multiple audio tracks in the output are supported, the
OGM overhead calculations are more accurate, BeSweet profiles are
supported and cropping has been improved.
I've recently acquired 811S 8x DVD burner and I've tested the regionfree
possibilities along with the ripping speed. Changing a drive to
RPC-1 has never been easier than using liteonutil (I've reported
about that a few days ago), and the drive has no speed lock for
CSS encrypted DVDs. I got an 8.5x average and 11.9x max ripping
a DVD-5 (the drive is rated 12x for DVD-ROM), and 6.2x average /
8.3x max ripping a DVD-9. This makes the drive a pretty good one
drive solution for both reading and writing DVDs (and CDs for the
1.4.0 can detect duplicate PGCs and automatically remove superfluous
entries from the source PGC selection, adds cell information to
the doitfastnotes.txt file, reports angle information in the DVD
structure along with their seamless / non seamless attributes, can
switch to VOB ID demux for each VTS set containing angles, uses
BatchCCEWs if DoCCE4U is not found, contains some integration with
the NuMenu4U project and it supports Rejig (0.4h+) as CCE alternative
(much faster but lower quality). Starting with this version, betas
will also only be distributed to VIP members.
Speaking of DIF4U you might also want to check out SceneAid,
a program that helps you out with DVD reauthoring by VOB ID.
0.65 is the first "public" release to support DivX5.1.1
and does away with all the bugs found in the DivX5 department so
1.0 beta2 fixes a couple of bugs so that the codec should once
again be standalone (and MPEG-4) compatible, interlaced encoding
should be working now, the CBR mode has also been fixed along with
184.108.40.206 is based on VirtualDub 1.5.10 and fixes
a long list of bugs, and also features some improvements.
More DVD manufacturers are jumping on the 8x bandwagon: Companies
like GigaStorage, Lead Data, etc. will start
shipping 8x DVD±R/W discs in the first quarter of 2004,
just in time to profit from DVD player sales during the Christmas
1.5.10 accepts partial MPEG-1 streams by default, notifies filters
whether a renderer is for preview or output purposes and a couple
of bugs have been fixed as well.
0.64 fixes bitrate calculation problems for NTSC content when
the DivX codec is used.
8x DVD±R discs will be available in respectable quantities
very soon. Taiwan's top 3 - Ritek, CMC and Prodisc, have
started to produce such media or will start shortly. The article
is interesting though, 8x DVD+R drives have been around for a while,
not only since late November. But I've already spotted 8x Ritek
media at Meritline
and I also have an 8x burner since today :)
And some info about DivX/XviD capable standalones. If you're in
the market for such a device, make sure it contains the MediaTek
MT1389 chipset, which has no problems with high bitrates (even DivX3),
and can handle QPel motion estimation and multiple b-frames. It
also supports 1 and 2 warppoint GMC (DivX uses 1 warp point, XviD
uses three so it's not properly supported and it remains to be seen
if this can be fixed with a firmware upgrade). So far, players based
on this chipset are the Grand
Prix player, the elta
8883 MP4 and the Ascomtec
DVD-3004. If you have any of those players (or any other for
that matter), please share your experiences in the hardware
players forum. Likewise, if you know of other players that use
the same chipset please let us know.
Last but not least, Ahead has released a beta of the much awaited
Recode 2 transcoding application. Recode 2 combines the DVD transcoding
part of Recode 1 (possible using an improved engine?), with NeroDigital,
Ahead's MPEG-4 solution (both MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile codec
and HE-AAC audio compression) into an all-in-one backup solution.
Due to time constraints I have not been able to have a closer look
yet, but there's a nice
preview of Recode 2 at hyrdogenaudio.
Just recently he has liberated the DRM laden iTunes service, now
he's back to court. Jon Johansen, or DVD Jon is once again on trial
for having created DeCSS in '98. Found innocent in an earlier trial,
the MPAA backed Norwegian Economic Crime Unit has appealed the verdict,
making way for a 2nd court battle.
0.6 adds support for DivX 5.1.1, has a preview that no longer
requires analysis, and audio encoding & sub indexing is done
after the analysis step to speed things up a bit.
ImgTool Classic 0.90 build 9 is a minor bugfix release, and ImgTool
Burn 1.1.0 fixes the "insert a blank media" issue and
has a button to clear the log. Both can be downloaded here,
or from the software archive.
BatchCCEWS 0.9.1.1 exports the audio bitrate to the ecl file, during
the first part of the RoBa method, the mpv file is no longer created
which speeds up the process, there's a check for multiangle files
when importing the CCEData file which triggers the angle checkbox
and corrects frame lengths, the installer includes EclCCE 1.7a and
the layout has been modified.
Ahead has released new
Nero 6 packs, including a new version of pack2 which contains
the Nero Recode application. I have been unable to verify if there
is indeed a new version of Recode (the download is taking forever),
but it certainly does not include the much awaited Recode 2 application.
Before I forget it again: the search engine for this site is based
on an old index (more than a week old) so it still contains all
the documents that were removed 8 days ago. Hence, if you encounter
a non working link, you'll just have to go the hard way and navigate
the site structure (it's not that hard). Don't bother sending an
error report because if the search engine turned it up and it doesn't
work, it's the search engine's fault and I've done what I can, but
the search engine operator site is down for maintenance and nobody
has gotten back to me regarding my request for a reindex.
Media Player Classic 220.127.116.11 supports matrixmixer and fixes bugs
in the ogg splitter and vmr9 mode.
I've written a guide about AutoGK,
THE one click tool for DVD -> XviD conversion.
Influenza has updated his Button
over Video guide and added some useful information about finding
Don't forget about the XviD
Last month's news can be found here.