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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.

Date News

ProgDVB 5.12.6 has a blind search function.

TsRemux 0.19 has an option to bypass audio alignment and has an option to remux Blu-ray TrueHD tracks to regular Dolby Digital.

As previously reported, changes are coming to online music - and this one just managed to beat 2008: Amazon's MP3 store now carries music from Warner - previously known for their unlimited DRM lovin'. That just leaves Sony..

Movie rentals are getting more and more likely for iTunes as Apple appears to have made a deal with Fox.

Another one bites the dust: Wal-Mart's online video download service has been canned after less than a year of operations. Does it surprise anyone to learn the service featured high prices and DRM but little else?

And with that said, let's turn our attention to 2008: Will Warner's recent move to unprotected MP3s encourage Sony, the last remaining major, to follow suit in 2008, thus once and for all ridding us of the annoyance called DRM? Will we finally be able to resurrect old MP3 players and put them to good use and kiss PlayFair, PlayForSure and all the other crap good-bye? And will Hollywood learn anything from the music industry and finally become serious in online movie purchases by realizing that online content should both cost less than the physical medium, and still be more convenient (so allow people to burn the content to a DVD, as well as being able to play them on any of their computers regardless of OS, and via their home entertainment network, regardless of the manufacturer of said equipment)?

Will high definition content become more than a tiny blimp on the radar or will Sony's unwillingness to settle for a format others have developed keep customers on the sidelines (with $799 for a dual format player, we're a long way off from a price most consumers would feel comfortable with, and PC drives are a far cry from the price of a pure DVD burner as well)? And fully understanding that I will catch flack for saying this - here's my suggestion to everybody considering high def media in 2008: Do NOT buy Blu-ray. Forget about the 20GB smokescreen (if you think size is all that matters head over to my forums and discuss with the experts that more space doesn't necessarily translate into better quality (or read a codec comparison of mine) and how quality depends on a lot more than raw bitrate and how codecs max out at a certain bitrate) and focus on your rights: especially in this early phase, being able to get content from other countries can come in quite handy - and even more when studios decide to align them into one of two camps. There are plenty of so-called exclusive titles that are available in the other format if you just know where to look - and unlike Blu-ray, HD DVD is guaranteed to be region free (and unlike we had it back with DVDs, regionfree Blu-ray standalone players are nowhere to be found). And besides keeping region codes, Blu-ray enters a whole new era of copy protection: Unless SlySoft gives us another reason to drink champagne tonight, the rumored BD+ crack has yet to surface - so, at this point it is uncertain whether you'll ever be able to back up those recent Fox titles (and there's no stopping Sony, Disney and Warner adding BD+ to their titles as well). Even SlySoft - the only ones who can get the last 3 months worth of high definition content decrypted, strongly encourage you to go for HD DVD instead - if anyone has an idea about breaking copy protection it should be them.
While an older PowerDVD release and some standalone players can play an AACS less BD+ titles, creating such a backup will set you back more than buying the original disc, plus both Cyberlink (PowerDVD) and Sony (Playstation3) seem to have already plugged the BD+ workaround and it would be unreasonable not to expect that future firmware upgrades wouldn't take care of that for other manufacturers - plus there is no way to turn any BD+ titles into any other formats (the Return of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray rip comes from the German Blu-ray disc which has no BD+ - it may not even have AACS (at least my HD DVD copy from the same distributor has no AACS)).

Buying into any format that could reliably prevent you from ever making a backup copy goes against everything this site has ever stood for - so if you care at all for what you can do with movies you pay good money for, you should stay away from Blu-ray just as any music buyer should stay away from DRM infected online music. And just so that it is said again: Blu-ray champion Sony has single-handedly killed RipIt4Me, is behind ArCCoS, has infected millions of PCs with a rootkit and has been peddling proprietary formats over standards for decades (MiniDisc, ATRAC, MemoryStick and UMD are just a few examples leading up to Blu-ray).

Anyway, I hope this didn't turn your champagne sour and Happy New Year :)


I hope you all had a merry Christmas and mostly got gifts you liked :)

eac3to 2.12 allows adding delay for all types of DTS audio and (E)AC3, shows the number of video frames when processing EVO/VOB files, writes the correct framerate when rewriting timestamps and shows the video resolution, framerate and video type (interlaced/progressive).

DVDFab HD Decrypter supports even more DVD format corruption schemes and fixes a few bugs.

Mpeg2Schnitt 0.9 has a new overview window including a helper function to find ads in your video stream, shows the first and last frame of a cut in the cutlist, always uses the cutting tool to make the actual cuts, uses script files for audio and video effects, encoding and postprocessing and it can write new bitrate and aspect ratio sequence headers in the output file(s).

Just in time for Christmas, the IFPI presents a would-be gift to the EU: a list of Internet filtering options they'd like to be implemented. And those of you who think ISPs throttling certain kind of traffic (e.g. P2P or just users that have unusually high traffic) is a reasonable thing to do, you should pay close attention to what the IFPI bases their wishlist on: they cite existing throttling mechanisms already in use as precedent that filter is not unreasonable. Just as the saying goes.. if you give the devil one digit, he ends up taking the whole hand - accepting any filtering will inevitably lead to an expansion of such practice beyond what you initially agreed to, but then it will be too late (the same argument applies to data retention by the way.. the IFPI is already lobbying lawmakers to get permission to access the vast data dragnet that is currently being built up). You might also want to read the article at ars that does away with the alarmist predictions that the Internet will soon collapse if throttling isn't implemented (and let's not forget that we already know the cost of remaining neutral using established and well tested technology - adding a bunch of new (and thus lest tested and more prone to cause problems) devices not only costs a lot of money, too, you need resources for planning, implementation and maintenance (plus spare devices if something breaks) - all of which won't come for free either).

And if that weren't enough, have a look at what the IFPI proposes: measure 2: filtering at protocol level. What about legal uses of say Bittorrent? I'm not even referring to downloads of large files (though that's an obvious use) - but there are businesses built around the use of Bittorrent, for instance from our friends at the MPAA. Or measure 3: filtering. The dynamic nature of the Internet makes this a futile attempt. We've seen it firsthand with isonews (where the domain was transferred to a US government entity) - DNS level blocking might make things less convenient but it's in no way shutting down anything. Likewise, blocking on an IP address level is problematic because sites can easily be moved, and there are millions of websites that run off a shared hosting where different sites have the same IP address - thus if you block one, you block them all. And as for number one: this just drove people to other even less tightly controllable services. In the end, we'll end up having fully obfuscated and encrypted protocols - imho the industry should be careful not to push people too much towards such solutions if they want to keep up the current practice of mass lawsuits.

Last but not least, in the last instance of a deal between the record labels and an online music service that got too popular for the industry, Imeem has settled with Universal music - under terms that essentially bar the site from ever becoming a commercial success. And that's the other side of the picture: if the industry isn't busy suing their customers and paying off elected representatives to sneak through more and more unbalanced copyright law, they go after any business model that threatens the established one.


It appears there was some confusion about the news as of late - all of a sudden, weeks' worth of news appeared in everybody's browser. What actually happened was that the news never made it from me to the distribution server. So don't blame your browser or ISP, it was human error.

And the time between today and the last news posting can be explained by a business trip and a seriously bad cold that kept me in bed for an extended period of time.

DGMPGDec 1.5.0 has made it up to RC2 in the meantime, which shows the picture coding type in the info display, has an option to enable/disable automatic logfile creation, shows the maximum bitrate in the info display and fixes a hanger that was reintroduced in RC1.

DVDFab HD Decrypter supports yet another structure "protection" variety, should output more compliant content when structure cleanup is necessary and the PathPlayer has been improved as well.

H264TS_Cutter v110 contains some GUI improvements and fixes a bunch of bugs.

h264tsto v1.5 has two new switches that allow rewriting timestamps.

eac3to v2.1 now supports simple (E)VOB joining using the + operator on the commandline, replaces the -auto operator and fixes a crash when using the Surcode DTS encoder.

CutterMaran 1.96a fixes a few bugs in the last installer and contains a Vista compatible CuttyEnc provider.

VirtualDub 1.7.7 fixes a bunch of bugs.

Then some HD news: even though the Blu-ray camp vowed not to enter the fight for the cheapest HD player, Blu-ray players have suddenly dropped in price anyway: Both Samsung's BD-P1400 and Sony's BDP-S300 have dropped below the $300 mark.

After essentially leaving the add-on drive market to the Blu-ray camp, Toshiba is finally gearing up to give the Xbox 360 add-on a run for its money (being external, bulky and loud, I can't say I like the unit a lot - I much rather added HD DVD playback to my internal DVD burner) and should start releasing standalone HD DVD drives for PCs next year.

It seems the Canadian DMCA has been at least temporarily delayed - so use that time to get in touch with your elected representatives and let them know about all the damage DMCA style legislation has caused all across the globe.


h264to 1.3 can rewrite timestamps to 23.976fps (and the option is automatically activated when dealing with EVO/M2TS source files), uses Haali's media splitter for demuxing, supports WMV input and doesn't need you to specify a destination filename anymore.

Since I got a NAS device a bit back and looked at various models, here's one manufacturer you certainly shouldn't consider: Western Digital prevents sharing of all popular content types over their network drive if you use WD's own tools. You can bypass that by creating a samba (standard Windows filesharing) share if you can figure out how, but the tool shows a clear contempt on the part of WD towards their customer's free choice.


Unlike their government, the Songwriters Association of Canada has another plan to compensate artists for filesharing (if you recall, the government has taken a prohibition hard-line): a 5$ flatfee per Internet connection that should be distributed to the artists. They even have a petition on their website.

Across the border, prohibition is once again taking a step ahead with the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO IP). The idea is to bump up civil and criminal penalties, and seize computers. I'm starting to feel reminded of the ever lasting War on Drugs - despite more and more prohibition, more draconian laws (including mandatory minimums), have things really gotten any better?

Taking the ball graciously delivered by the French government as well as AT&T, the MPAA is now taking up the subject of ISP side filtering. Besides the obvious, I wonder if anybody is considering what this could mean for many of today's laws (including the DMCA takedown provisions)? If ISPs start filtering, then they no longer are simple content providers, but they bear direct responsibility for whatever they deliver on their network. Of course, big content would like that and I'm sure there are plenty of companies that would like to get a firmer grip of what happens on the Internet (squash rumors or news that hurt your bottom line anyone?), but it goes against the fundamental nature of a free Internet. If you want government control if what content you can access, you could as well relocate to China or Myanmar..

And in anticipation of the Blu-ray camp's upcoming death songs for HD DVD (expect various dates of HD DVD's impending doom being thrown around between now and CES 2008), analysts still predict that neither format will go away any time soon.

DGAVCDec 1.0.0 alpha 13 has a real helpfile, fixes incorrect seeks, some bugs and prevents AviSynth wrapper based encoder tools from freezing when libavcodec reports warnings or errors.


DivX 6.8 supports custom quantization matrices and has an SMP optimized decoder.

A few days ago, I reported on the MPAA's anti piracy toolkit. It was only short lived - in apparent violation of the GPL, the kit had to be removed again. Once again, a major player in the battle for more draconian copyright law, has been caught with the hand in the cookie jar. I wonder how long it takes until copyright law will contain an RIAA/MPAA exemption.


While the WIPO broadcast treaty is dead for now, big content has set their eyes on an easier prey: instead of using WIPO to push even more stringent laws into every country, they're now going after Europe (most European countries completely embraced the industry's position).

And in something that probably won't ever touch you (bit it's still good to know.. who knows, maybe if copyright law continues to become more draconian and Universal gets its wish of piracy being considered more important than violent crime), it doesn't matter if your home country has an extradition treaty with the US - they can simply kidnap you and once in front of a US court, you have no right to appeal the way you made it to that court (then again, you could have ended up in Gitmo).

Last but not least, Arstechnica reports that Apple has caved in on the one price fits all scheme for movie downloads via iTunes. I wonder how prices that rival DVD prices are going to sway anyone, but the industry will have to figure that one out the hard way (do you recall the CEO that has no idea about business development - this is exactly the same thing).

eac3to 2.08 writes its output into a log.txt file, contains two new undocumented switches and fixes a few bugs.


With the RIAA targeting more and more US universities (except Harvard), one state seems to take a different stand on the issue: Oregon's Attorney General is actively trying to squash the RIAA's subpoenas to reveal the identity of 17 students from the University of Oregon.

Despite all the denials earlier this year, the Venturer HD DVD player actually made it to Wal-Mart. Of course, $199 doesn't sound too attractive anymore now that we have tasted the $99 HD DVD player, but it's another brand and having more choice in players certainly ain't a bad thing.

In yet another small sign of times changing, MTV has revealed plans to make their South Park series available online for free. A previous experiment with free episodes actually showed that giving content away would not only not harm ratings, but actually get more people to watch the show.

And in a potentially much larger sign of things changing, word has leaked on a planned promotion by Pepsi and Amazon. Starting in February, up to 1 billion tracks will be given away, as DRM-free MP3s, and from all the labels (even DRM lovers Warner and Sony). At the same time, Wal-Mart has given labels an ultimatum to supply the retail giant with DRM free content for their online music store. So, between Pepsi and Wal-Mart, we could face, for the first time ever since the big content decided not to resurrect Napster in a viable way, a DRM free music future. I just hope they don't forget about the people not living in the US (Amazon are you listening?)


Last month's news can be found here.

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