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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

EVOdemux 0.622 can show a bunch of EVOB info, calculates the frame number, has an auto clear option and some minor GUI changes.

While Sony and their allies in the Blu-ray camp are busy claiming victory, they are not beyond losing more money in bringing down player prices. Faced with a $350 street price for Toshiba's HD-A2 HD DVD player, Sony can't even keep up with the PS3 (could it be consumer electronics' most subsidized product ever? Sony seems to be cutting major corners down to cut on PS3 losses), so they are now cutting standalone player prices, too: the $599 BDP-S300 Blu-ray player will have the same capabilities as it's $999 brother the BDP-S1, and like Toshiba's second generation of players, it will be considerably smaller. By the way, the article with the announcement contains some Sony Blu-ray PR spin that I just have to contradict: If the disc per buyer ratio so much higher for HD DVD, how on earth can you claim 80% of PS3 buyers also buy Blu-ray discs? If you look at the sheer size of the installed hardware base, Blu-ray out to crush HD DVD disc sale numbers.

Meanwhile, the HD DVD camp is getting serious about triple layer discs that would nullify the - mostly paper based, reviews even favor HD DVD slightly in terms of picture quality despite the lower capacity and despite more space eating features - size advantage of Blu-ray: Toshiba is submitting the triple layer specs to the DVD forum for approval and hopes that the first triple layer discs will be ready by the end of the year.

And so it begins: the first DMCA takedown notice has been filed against BackupHDDVD.


BeLight 0.22 RC1 supports AVI input as well as a bunch of new audio encoders, allows a more fine grained control of thread priority, no longer bundles the Nero DLLs, uses updated Lame and Vorbis libraries, contains updated presets and fixes a lot of bugs.

DGAVCDec is a new AviSynth filter that can handle MPEG-4 AVC streams.

It was to be expected: talks between EMI and online music retailers on the subject of selling unprotected music have broken down. Not surprisingly, the studio put the hurdles for a deal so high (they asked for large upfront payments to "compensate" the studio for the higher risk of illegal copies) that no retailer would go for it - and now they can conveniently blame retailers when the customer asks for a DRM free product.

What does it take for a large smuggling enterprise to be lucrative? Eric Flint argues that the reasons are basically the same as the reasons for widespread piracy of music and movies.

Has the WIPO - dominated by countries who do nothing but push the entertainment industry's agenda - finally realized there's a whole world out there besides big media? They have at least taken the first step towards recognizing that they can't slap laws and protection on everything and need to respect public domain works (recall the WIPO broadcast treaty that threatens to turn public domain works into protected works if somebody broadcasts them). To be continued in June..


A small update on the hosting search: the machine needs to be dedicated (or near dedicated - there was an ftp running on the existing box) - the shared hostings you can get for a couple bucks a month don't cut it if you have one site eating up nearly all resources - the host will simply demand that you upgrade to a dedicated hosting (we asked around a little).

And so it continues: the first AACS device key has leaked - now we're eagerly awaiting to see the revocation mechanism in action. And personally I'm also curious about all the derogatory terms the mainstream media will find to describe our community when they report on this on Monday - the current high point is the Guardian's "famous haunt for hackers and pirates". I wish the author would come around asking for help on shady content to see how fast his butt it striked into submission. Slashdot's "fair-use community" is much more to the point.

MP3 as we know it could face a drastic change if the patent madness continues: A jury has just awarded $1.52 billion in a patent case between Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent (Microsoft has an MP3 license from the Fraunhofer institute - the institute that was thought to hold all the applicable MP3 patents). If the ruling makes it through the inevitable appeal, Alcatel-Lucent will go after all the other software and hardware makers that offer MP3 playback / recording, and unlike Fraunhofer, Alcatel-Lucent has made no promise not to come after open source software. And while Alcatel-Lucent has already made their move, little known Texas MP3 technology claims to have patented concept of an MP3 player and extort money from any company dealing in MP3 players.

Here's one for our American readers: The shift in power in congress obviously did very little in slowing down big media in their assault on consumer friendly technology and consumer rights: the PERFORM act is back and would bring mandatory DRM for any digital radio broadcast and Internet webcast, so that you may not record anything anymore. So please contact your elected representatives to shut this down before it is too late.

It is a well known fact outside the media industry, that the industry opposes every new technology - at least initially until they catch up with their consumer base. It just happened again with the upcoming launch of the BitTorrent Entertainment Network - based on BitTorrent technology (remember, that evil bit of P2P technology developed by remorseless hackers with the only goal of screwing honest Americans out of their job - NOT). Fox, MGM, Paramount and Warner have teamed up with the creators of BitTorrent to offer a P2P based movie rental and TV show download store. TV episodes will retail for $1.99 whereas movie rentals will cost between $2.99 and $3.99 and last 3 days. The content can only be played on WMP 11, thus you need a HTPC or Notebook to watch the content on your TV (unlike e.g. Apple's AppleTV which has its own hardware that can be plugged directly into your PC).


For starters, a few internal things: yes the forum is down and we can't remotely reboot the server and it being the weekend, we might not be back up until Monday. Also, and this is important, the hosting for the forum is still unresolved and we're in dire need of a host that can offer a fast dedicated machine (dual core, 2 gigs of RAM, RAID-1) and pump out a couple mbits per second (I believe the average is around 3mbit, but getting slashdotted/digged/whatnot means 2.5 times that traffic) as ateme decided they no longer wanted to host us. While we'll bend over backwards to try and find a solution, please be aware that the admins aren't about to foot the bill for the hosting out of their own pocket (on top of already spending many hours every week looking after the forum in various ways). Just remember that a place that big isn't just there and will stay afloat forever, it takes people who are willing to make considerable investments to provide the basis upon which a community can function (that starts with hosting and continues through management where we have 50 odd people who volunteer a considerable part of their free time).

ProgDVB 4.82.3 includes fixes in the engine and the BDA module.

HC 0.20 supports HD resolutions, has two new functions (ZONE and MASK_SHIFT), contains improvements in the auto GOP function as well as some SSE2 optimizations, supports the latest DGDecode release, has an updated GUI, includes more matrices and contains some bugfixes. Unfortunately, it's still not ready for the quad core chip I have on my personal shopping list :(

DGPullldown 1.0.11 fixes the drop frame option.

GSpot 2.70a supports Windows Vista, supports WMV, MOV, has improved support for MP4 and includes a bunch of bugfixes.

In the HD DVD backup area, there was a new release of EVOdemux and BackupHDDVD - I'd give you the changelog but guess what, they're in the forum, too.

Continuing with HD news, it appears Blu-ray has caught up with HD DVD in terms of software sales. However, as usual, no hard data is presented so I'd be exceptionally careful before drawing any conclusion. The article mentions a few pertinent things though: there are a lot more Blu-ray capable players, meaning Blu-ray owners buy less discs, and that in recent months, the Blu-ray camp has been churning out more discs. Let's analyze a bit, shall we: More players: That is if you count the PS3. But, the PS3 is a gaming console (not selling so terribly by the way) that Sony is using to cross promote Blu-ray. Hardly anybody buys a PS3 just to play Blu-ray (it might be a cheaper player but a noisy gaming console is no substitute for a player that fits in with your other equipment and which is quiet). Moreover, around Christmas people buy a lot of consoles - and that's where the novelty factor of Blu-ray comes in: While on your way from the PS3 pile and the register, you are likely to come across a bunch of Blu-ray discs, so you'll be tempted to pick up a couple discs just for the heck of it. Hey, I have a bunch of UMD movies for when I got a PSP and I'm not the only one - UMD even got considerable software support in the beginning but the format simply tanked after the novelty phase had worn off.. people much rather wanted to rip their DVDs and play them on their PSPs (the interest in making backup copies, unlike the interest in UMD) has not faded. I see the same thing in my http statistics.. around Christmas, people get new electronic gadgets, which results in a spike of interest in the matters we deal with on this site and the forum. With both HD formats still being in the early stages of the early adopter phase, the considerable increase in units sold in December and January (versus earlier months) may not continue that way as most people still stick back and let things develop.

The Blu-ray camp will argue many HD DVD players are just Xbox360 add-ons - which is true - but keep in mind that you don't buy a HD DVD drive for the Xbox360 (or your PC.. the device works on both) unless you care about the format in the first place, making every sale of a HD DVD add-on a lot more significant in the overall picture than the sale of a PS3 unit.

Now let's have a look at software: Blu-ray has the edge in studio support. But, recall DIVX? The two studios with a stake in the DVD format (Sony and Warner), supported DVD exclusively. Fox was DIVX only (so now not surprisingly they are in the BD camp since it has more stringent DRM), Disney, while officially supporting DVD, exhibited a very lackluster DVD commitment - and one of their main sellers, animated features, were DIVX only. The same thing can be said about Paramount. The only company firmly in both camps was Universal (now the only remaining exclusive HD DVD supporter). So, software wise, despite the two holdouts, I was always concerned that DIVX had an edge since the studios standing in both camps seemed to favor DIVX. In the end, studio support mattered little - all studios quickly fell in line and went down the road where there was money to be made (so they followed the lead of the customer). Hence, I disagree with assessments that the format war is over, or would be over if Universal caved. Paramount's decision to drop DIVX is often seen as the point where the scales tipped - so if one of the studios standing in both camps is going to drop support for one of the HD formats, that's when I'd get worried, but before that you shouldn't spend too much time worrying about the numbers the Blu-ray camps is throwing at you - it's just spin.

And now to continue with our news, we all expect to see the same speed bumps in the HD burner area as we've seen in the DVD area - and a first step has already been made: Nichia Corporation has developed a laser that can handle 10x burning on dual layer Blu-ray media.

Another music download store is setting out on the right track: Canada's Puretracks has taken a first step to convert their current Windows DRM protected offering into unprotected MP3s.


EVOdemux 0.621 has a new message supporting rich text, has a button to browser for the destination folder, displays TrueHD audio and LPCM audio information and has new options to auto read, demux and rebuild.

Well, we tried - it doesn't come as a surprise that the UK government isn't about to take one for the little guy and ban DRM.

It seems we can't shake DRM out off the news these days (though I'd wish the news were worse for the consumer... it takes a lot of angry paying customers for lawmakers to see past their corporate sponsorship) - JupiterResearch sides with Apple and claims that interoperable DRM won't mysteriously solve the music industry's problems. Well, how about trying to offer what your customers actually like? It works for pretty much any industry and has worked even when there was no music industry.

Some might call it the poor man's HD DVD: Dubbed 3X (how did they come up with that name), HD DVD content on a regular DVD can offer a full length movie at 720p resolution (most consumers currently don't have 1080p capable playback devices and those special offer HD ready TVs they throw after you are only capable of handling 720p natively) - including all of HD DVDs interactivity features, codecs (of course you can forget about pulling a Sony and use MPEG-2 compression) and even AACS. One company even offers free equipment upgrade to DVD mastering facilities. Perhaps we ought to call it miniHD DVD instead - in remembrance of miniDVD (I still remember writing those guides back in the day when we didn't have DVD burners).


ProgDVB 5.01 contains base OSD windows (whatever that might be.. I can't quite figure it out).

In a rather lengthy article, the NY Times paints a pretty picture of how the RIAA conducts their business - they pay DJs to release semiofficial compilation albums, then arrest them for doing so, and while at it, actively participate in law enforcement (I thought that was the government's job..), and while DJs were dragged away at gunpoint, major retailers can keep on selling the same albums that were cited as the reason for the arrest. Make sense anyone?

And in another example of private business overstepping the boundaries of law enforcement, FBI and MPAA investigators are training Swedish police in P2P matters.

In light of the above, is anybody surprised that a BBC column labels the US copyright lobby as out of touch? (the article also gives a nice compilation of all the countries that dare not to fall completely in line)

By the way, copyright infringement is only evil if you're a little guy - the MPAA happily violates software licenses as they please.


EVOdemux 0.619 can display DTS HD audio stream information and uses a different filenaming scheme when using the "Continue on second EVO" feature.

SlySoft has released the final version of AnyDVD HD.

Russia is on the software industry's list of worst copyright offenders. The Russian depute IT minister has a simple explanation for the rampant piracy: software costs too much when taking into account average Russian wages, and the licensing terms, especially those by Microsoft, are overly strict. Now we can sit back and wait for the BSA spin department to come up with some tuned numbers to contradict the price point argument, rather than accepting facts. It's not like you can compare the Russian government with a warez release group or a bunch of filesharers after all.


2007 didn't turn out to be a good year for AACS so far: the AACS LA just had to bite the bullet for the second time and confirm that the processing key first released in the forum is for real.

In what may or may not be related to the attacks on AACS, Fox has delayed a significant number of Blu-ray releases. I wonder if they're working feverishly on getting BD+ onto their discs.

Now Macrovision - inventor of the signal distortion found on analog video tapes as well as audio CD and DVD corruption schemes they sell as copy protection mechanisms, and last but not least the company who is directly responsible for bringing down DVD Decrypter - speaks up on DRM. However, considering remarks as "DRM increases not decreases consumer value", I'd seriously suggest mandatory drug tests in Macrovision's PR department.

As if there were any doubts that the DMCA is essentially an industry tool to circumvent fair use, here's just such an example of making a TV broadcast sample available for educational purposes that resulted in a DMCA takedown notice. The snippet wasn't even something worth watching, but just a copyright notice.

Here's an interesting take on the industry's "we can't compete with free" line of reasoning behind their crackdown on P2P.

EVOdemux 0.617 has a clear button on the status page and should fixes a SUP export problem.


ProgDVB 4.82.1 supports DiSEQ for the Technotrend BDA driver, and fixes a few bugs.

EVOdemux 0.616 contains some GUI changes and fixes a bug that would occur when demuxing MLP audio.

So, if a majority of the music industry in Europe thinks that DRM slows the adoption of digital music, you might find yourself wondering why we still have to fight DRM on most downloads..

Is Canada about to become part of the 'axis of evil', oops, I mean the list of countries that don't do enough to enforce copyright laws? A coalition between music, movie and software industry aims to put Canada in the same category as China and Russia - undoubtedly in an effort to pressure the government to pass legislation that would put the consumer at a disadvantage.

Is Norway about to mimic China's great firewall? In an attempt to fight online gambling, child pornography, and other illegal activity, Norway's Datakrimutvalget (if my Scandinavian serves me right it's a commission to investigate data crime) suggests a solution that should send chills down your spine.


EVOdemux 0.614 can display information about AVC and MPEG2 audio/video streams. Since my last report about the tool two days ago, there were two more releases which added a detailed info option as well as VC-1 stream information and display of the first PTS of a stream.

ImgBurn continues the tradition of almost indigestible changelogs. Amongst the additions is UDF 2.50 support which enables ImgBurn to read HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs and enhanced Blu-ray burning.

Blu-ray has been launched down under and that particular launch also marks the launch of the format war between retailers: Sony has persuaded (with monetary incentives?) 20 retailers to only sell Blu-ray, and not HD DVD.

Last but not least, in another excellent look at patents, author Michael Chrichton has a look at patents in the genome area and the undesired sideeffects they could have.


Undoubtedly as a valentine's day gift for the MPAA, SlySoft has released a public beta of their AnyDVD HD. AnyDVD HD is the first on-the-fly decrypter for HD DVD titles.

Yahoo's general manager dared to make an intriguing prediction in USA Today: He predicts that by the end of this year, most of Yahoo's music catalog would be DRM free, and that sales would increase by 15% - 20% if the DRM on their songs was gone.

Is Google's adsense program going to be the latest victim of the media industry's suing spree? The WSJ reports that big media is accusing Google of profiting from online piracy by selling ads on sites that facilitate piracy.

The Hollywood reporter offers some insight into the recent MPAA roadshow.

Last but not least, in response to Sony's latest Blu-ray marketing attempts, I decided to a little digging on my own, and visited the largest consumer electronics store in the region (incidentally there's a huge shopping area right next to my highway exit:). So while walking around I tried to spot any sign of HD DVD and Blu-ray, and didn't spot anything in the area where they sell DVDs or DVD players/recorders. I finally spotted the one and only HD DVD player in the TV section, along with a bunch of discs from Warner and Universal. Two 46" LCD TVs were showing a HD DVD movie. Not far from that, I spotted a Sony sponsored Blu-ray disc exhibit. The titles were mostly from Sony and Warner, resulting in quite a few titles that were available in both formats. Two TVs featured some Blu-ray trailer but there was not a single player to be seen. Amidst all the other huge flatscreen TVs also showing HD quality trailers, neither HD format made a rememberable impression, and the disc display reminded me off the DVD launch where Warner came up with a cardboard stand holding about a dozen DVDs, and there was but one player available - Panasonic's first generation model which cost about as much as today's Blu-ray players. All in all, while both formats are available, neither one was prominently displayed, there was no attempt to show the formats' superiority over traditional DVDs, and the lack of available titles and players really do not allow to draw and definitive conclusion on the format war. I'd say right now we're in the very early stages of the early adopter phase.


EVOdemux 0.61 can write "traditional" SUP files and displays the duration of the video stream.

Nero's AAC reference encoder was tuned for better quality at certain bitrates as well as more speed, supports 16 and 22.5 kHz sampling rates in HE AAC, handles temporary files properly on Windows Vista and fixes HE AAC configuration problems.

Just when you thought levies on blank media were off the table, they are brought up again in Canada. If they are not stopped, you could end up paying up to $75 extra for an iPod.

A study be the Journal of Political Economy on file sharing and their effect on music sales has come to a conclusion that makes sure it'll never be quoted by the RIAA: the study found that the influence of P2P downloads on legal music sales is not statistically distinguishable from zero. The study focused on units sold, versus units shipped which the RIAA uses for their studies. The study also looks at DVD sales, which seem to benefit from lower CD sales (didn't I say the money was simply going someplace else?).

Sony, apparently undeterred by their recent disappointments in the PSP platform and the PS2 outselling the PS3, is using the incomplete VideoScan numbers in the US to launch a Blu-ray marketing campaign - toting the format as the winner in the format war. Those numbers leave to be desired though - the number one Blu-ray title in January came out in January whereas the number one HD DVD title in January was released back in November, and there were twice as many new Blu-ray titles in January than HD DVD titles (HD DVD still has a larger catalog though).

While EMI is discussing selling DRM-free songs online (though it's just that.. keep pestering them for songs without DRM but don't expect wonders, the music industry has traditionally opposed any change in the market), Warner is dead set in the DRM camp (and a note to the editor: it's DRM free music, not copyright free music;)

In response of the MPAA's latest lobbying efforts on congress and attacks towards the Consumer Electronics Association, the head of the CEA has posted a response to the MPAA's attacks. Gary Shapiro actually spares me from having to dissect the MPAA's arguments - it's great to have parts of big business on the consumer's side for a change.


MuxMan 0.15Q fixes a few bugs.

DGMPGDec 1.4.9 beta 14 checks if an audio stream to be demuxed wouldn't get the same name as an already existing file with the same name, has a new tool to analyze synch and it supports streams that have one indexed unit containing more than one I frame.

EVOBDemux 0.6 can dump Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus parameters.

SUPread can show demuxed HD DVD subtitles.

HD DVD, due to its similarity with existing DVDs, has always been touted as cheaper to manufacture as existing product lines can be used to press prerecorded content. An analysis of numbers provided by pressing plants confirms the theory, but with most HD DVDs being dual layer and most Blu-ray discs being single layer, the cost equation favors Blu-ray. Then again, at 30GB Vs 25GB, you can now use Blu-ray's size argument: currently, the HD DVD variety used for movies offers more space than the Blu-ray variety.

It appears, title and volume unique keys aren't the only AACS keys you can find when you know where to look: media keys, volume IDs and processing keys are also available for the taking.


Are you recording transport streams containing AVC content (e.g. via DVB-S 2) and find the task of demuxing the TS files tedious, here's a tool to make your life simpler: h264tsto. It requires a bunch of DirectShow filters though.

Some of you - the author included - might rely on AnyDVD for not being bothered by region codes, encryption and corrupt DVDs. Now the company behind the tool is looking for beta testers for AnyDVD HD - an AnyDVD release that also supports HD DVD.

Now the chair of the MPEG standards committee is also chiming in into the DRM discussion that Steve Jobs launched. Not surprisingly, he suggests that all would be better if everybody would use the MPEG's own DRM standard. I need to rebuff a few statements right here: GSM and DRM? Yeah, there's something and it's called OMA and I just read an article in c't yesterday on how DRM on mobile phones is restricting the music business for cellphones. The radio channel encryption in the GSM standard is not DRM, it's encryption to keep your conversation from prying ears (not that it stops the NSA and Co but it's a lot harder to eavesdrop on a GSM call than on the analog system we had before that). Or would you call SSL and VPN a DRM mechanism? Also, CSS is transparent? Perhaps if you have AnyDVD and Co installed on your machine, but if you want to play the latest store-bought DVD on your video iPod, PSP, computer without DVD drive or computer running Linux, it is not transparent anymore.

In an attempt to get Congress in line to come up with even tougher copyright legislation, the MPAA brought out the big guns last Tuesday and even recruited a bunch of celebrity actors for a daylong event for lawmakers and lobbyists and aides. Now who's going to tell them the truth instead? For instance, a pirate copy doesn't necessarily amount to a loss of a DVD sale - it depends whether the person in question had any intention at all of buying the movie in case he couldn't get it for free. Similarly, the money "saved" by not buying the DVD isn't going to end up in some bank vault but is spent for doing something else, so there's another part of the industry that can reap the benefits. If we go with the MPAA tagline and accept their inflated piracy figures, imagine what would happen if billions of dollars were suddenly pulled out of other parts of recreational industries - sales of games, computers, and consumer electronics in general would take a noticeable hit (along with probably other industries) and suddenly a lot of non movie business people would be out of a job.

If you want the gist of copyright legislation in 2006, and legal action by the music and movie industry, DRM Watch has a nice document wrapping it all up.


Hot on the heel's of Apple's probably not so honest call for DRM free music comes news that EMI is at least considering DRM free online music. Bring it on - I'll buy a few songs just to show my support. Back when I got my iPod nano I browsed the iTunes store, and there's quite some stuff I'd consider buying if it weren't for the DRM. And even though I know how to get around it, I have yet to spend a dime on DRM'ed music and I guess I'm not the only one - most iPod owners just put MP3s onto their players anyway. Meanwhile, add SanDisk to the Apple skeptics. Even Microsoft is skeptical - they like DRM after all.

In an interesting experiment, we see just how much trust we can put into P2P tracking companies that the music industry uses to sue people - the bottom line is: the IP address harvest is dangerously misleading and identifies people that have not done anything wrong, and the records contain no proof that anything illegal took place.

DVDFab Decrypter contains updated language files and fixes several minor problems.

RipIt4Me fixes a problem with recognizing DVD discs on Windows 98, but it cannot fix the problem called Windows 98 ;)

FAVC 0.92 fixes problems with non digit decimals, generates the number of titles and chapters in accordance with the DVD specs, uses an ini file for BatchMux and ships with the latest version of Aften and QuEnc.


Wal Mart is entering the movie download business: backed up by all the major studios, they currently have a catalog of 3000 movies that cost between $12.88 and $19.88, and TV shows for $1.96 a pop. And what do you get for pretty much the same amount as a DVD: DRM'ed, Windows-only content that you cannot burn onto a DVD. It's going to be huge, right? Here's some free advice: if you're going to sell a crippled product, at least cripple the price, too.

In a well publicized move, and hot in the heel's of the trouble in Norway, Apple's CEO has posted an open letter on music and DRM - bottom line: "we'd rather do without it but the studios won't allow that". The gist of that message has quickly come under fire from various sides: The Norwegian consumer council points out that Apple is still selling songs in violation of Norwegian law. DVD Jon points out that there's a number of songs sold on iTunes that can also be gotten without DRM in other stores. The RIAA meanwhile considers the letter as an offer to license Apple's DRM called PlayFair - something which Apple has refused to do in the past, claiming it would make PlayFair less secure (needless to point out that this is not true, Microsoft's DRM - even though also beaten - is still a tougher nut to crack than PlayFair, and multiple PlayFair removal utilities have appeared in the news of this very site). Back on the old continent, Germany's record industry points out that iTunes' success is closely tied to PlayFair.

CDs should cost significantly more - at least if the RIAA is concerned. Hot on the heels comes the rebuttal - and you might recall other companies having tried to pull the same fast one in the past. Perhaps the RIAA would need higher CD prices to pay the attorneys' fees they have to pay to people they wrongfully sued?

When is law & order getting overboard? When it involves keeping track of every citizen without so much as the suspicion of wrongdoing. What is commonly practiced in states run by non elected governments like Nazi Germany, the German "Democratic" Republic, the Soviet Union and communist states in general, was blessed upon us Euros almost a year ago, is now making its way through US congress. Hidden inside a bill against child pornography called the Safety Act (who in their right mind would be against measures to bring those people to justice), comes language that would bring the US in line with the EU when it comes on unwarranted snooping of people's Internet traffic.

And here's some bad news if you live in Canada: your government is intent of letting your ISP prioritize traffic any way they please - in other words, no Net Neutrality for you and too bad if your ISP slows down access to your favorite sites.

VirtualDub 1.7.1 shows the FourCC code in the AVI info window, "display decompressed output" can be enabled or disabled while encoding, there's a new warp resize filter, animated GIFs are now supported, there are some improvements in using Direct3D as well as the capture mode and a bunch of bugs have been fixed.


SubtitleCreator 2.1 can import and export color palettes with SUP files, creates VobSub files directly from textual subtitles, uses Google to automatically translate textual subtitles to another language, can convert image based subtitles to textual ones using OCR via Office 2003, can cover forced subtitles, supports WAV and MPA files in the DVD wizard, automatically selects the prefered palette and it can set the font for a single subtitle as well as increase and decrease font sizes. Besides all those new features there's a considerable list of bugfixes.

Last month I reported on the MPAA's astonishing "figures" on copyright infringement in Canada. Of course, the numbers don't add up when you take a closer look..


If you're in for some serious reading, Edward Felten's blog contains some fascinating insight into AACS as well as information on what the available decryption software could mean for the struggling HD formats.

In what might have a chilling effect on MP3 software, the Alcatel - Lucent seems to have a rather unfortunate side-effect: the new telecommunication giant seems determined to enforce their MP3 patent portfolio and sue manufacturers of software that incorporate MP3 en/decoding.

In what will have the BSA heads scream out in pain, Romanian president Basescu is openly admitting that software piracy helped to build Romania's IT industry.

Windows Vista has barely been released, and already the driver signing on the 64 bit version has been circumvented. The 64 bit version only permits signed drivers in an attempt to enforce that every driver fully implements the Protected Media Path that was incorporated into Vista at the behest of the major media conglomerates (and at the cost of the consumers who now have to live with less stable/proven - drivers need to be re-engineered which takes time and money - drivers for crucial system components).

VideoScan has for the first time reported a bunch of sales numbers on the HD disc formats: While HD DVD still has a lead in terms of available titles, the release of Sony's PlayStation 3 has boosted sales of Blu-Ray titles so that in January, Blu-Ray outsold HD DVD by a 2:1 margin. Then again, since most Blu-Ray players are PS3, the novelty factor might eventually wear of (who isn't going to buy a couple discs if you already have the player?) and in my opinion, a noisy game console is no real replacement for a regular noiseless player. On top of that, we have yet to see the effect of BackupHDDVD (tech savy early adopters are surely going to encourage their friends to go with the less DRM laden format). Last but not least, no hard data was presented in terms of discs sold since the formats launched.

FAVC 0.91 fixes a problem in the PAL -> NTSC conversion mechanism.

DivX 6.5.1 has a registry key that can be used to disable hardware overlay for predefined applications and contains various fixes.

RipIt4Me contains important changes in the analysis code that should work better with complex DVDs, checks if a PSL file has been imported into DVD Decrypter, updates the display to show the IFOs being read during step 1, checks whether a disc to be processed is indeed a DVD, has some more debug information and fixes a couple issues.

Aften 0.6 contains various speed enhancements, should provide higher quality and there's now a working dynamic range control.

EVOdemux has been improved several times since I was last around to write news and now shows the framecount in the GUI, handles subtitles and writes their PTS information into a separate file and it can create new EVO files containing only the selected stream while renumbering the streams properly.

ProgDVB 4.82 supports NEWMI Advanced DVB cards and contains small fixes in the engine.

The latest release of Haali's media splitter supports DTS audio in MPEG TS streams, has a much better deinterlacer in the video renderer, supports Type 1 DV content in AVI files, supports references in MOV files as well as Blu-ray m2ts files, and the video renderer uses multiple passes instead of complex shaders. Besides that, there are various bugfixes.

TAK is another lossless audio compressor which offers a mix of compression efficiency while being easy to decode. I'm not aware of any video container supporting this format but I'm sure Matroska will come to the rescue again ;)


Last month's news can be found here.

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