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
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need a file then please contact us and
we'll do our best to help.
Rebuilder 0.51 can now remove subtitle streams, fixed bitrate/size
problems of the 0.50x release and has an extra option to reduce
the bitrate of extras.
You might recall my report about Belgium's consumer protection
agency test-achats suing music studios for their copy protection
mechanisms. As it turns out they
lost, as the judge found that Belgian law does not foresee a
right for private copying. I don't have the law available (judges
can be very biases in favor of big money as we've seen countless
times over.. perhaps consumer protection agencies should get access
to financial records of all lawmakers and judges just to be on the
safe side), but if that's true, I guess it's time Belgium got its
On a personal note, emails have been down since Sunday morning
(the server has been hacked), so if you have something to send via
email, please hold off until we're back up.
DGMPGDec 1.06 fixes an error in random access, properly parses
transport streams using stream IDs between 0xE8 and 0xEF, audio
can be demuxed separately from transport streams and TMPGXpress
3 can properly open the new d2v files now.
0.0.0.6 can now copy from the authored directory while updating
and fixes a couple of bugs.
mp4UI 1.0 beta3 is based on mpeg4ip 1.1, displays private streams
and fixes a couple of bugs.
4.38.7 fixes video lagging and crashing while recording.
If you're going to be at Computex (starting tomorrow in Taipei),
make sure you visit the Nero booth, as they're showcasing their
H.264 and parametric AAC enhancements to NeroDigital.
And another burner upgrade story: The BenQ
DW800A can apparently be upgraded to a 830A with dual layer
capabilities, but while the upgrade succeeds, the drive refuses
to burn dual layer discs. But considering the price difference between
the dual layer and non dual layer model, it seems a lot safer to
me to exchange the drive, especially if you can still get some money
for your old 8x dual format burner.
Last but not least: Music downloads for 50 cent (no, we're not
talking about the rapper ;)? German computer mag has started an
for music downloads for the price of 50 cent. It starts with
one song, that can be freely downloaded in MP3, AAC, Vorbis or WMA
format in bitrates of 128 - 192 kbit/s, and payment is not mandatory.
They hope to figure out how much a legit music download without
a DRM corset is worth to potential customers. The background
article (German only I'm afraid) is also pretty interesting
and explains how such a price can be achieved, and it contains a
lot of interesting details on the cost of CD production and online
||HeadAC3he development hasn't quite stopped
0.24a10 (link at the bottom of the page) does AAC encoding using
Rebuilder 0.50b once again improves the one pass mode using
DGMPGDec 1.0.4 no longer has the open DVD menu and Swap Field Order
option, fixes bugs in the audio timestamp display and delay calculations
and can demux MPEG audio streams from transport streams.
1.01 RC5 brings back SPDIF passthrough.
Rebuilder 0.50a is a bit better at achieving the desired size
when using one pass mode in CCE (but it still needs tweaking).
Thanks to all the people who pointed out the type in yesterday's
news: 2nd in the audio listening test is Musepack - or MPC, not
Rebuilder 0.50 corrects bitrate peaks that went higher than
max_bitrate in interlaced sources, supports one pass VBR encoding
using CCE SP, adds more timestamps to status messages and fixes
an error that would lead the program to close itself after the first
job in batch mode.
Start to get used to a new name: the DGMPGDec tools supersede the
DVD2AVIdg tools, DVD2AVIdg is now called DGIndex, MPEG2DEC3dg DGDecode,
etc. There's not much new in DGMPGDec 1.0.1 as compared to DVD2AVIdg
1.30, but the new version can auto generate AVS files and comes
with a quickstart guide.
Valex has released yet another two new RCs of AC3Filter,
which fixes problems with AC3 encoding, switching between SPDIF
and PCM output and Dolby Surround Output.
ProjectX 0.81.7 int02 can build a graphical overview of all teletext
pages in a demuxed teletext stream, the preview window uses the
proper aspect ratio, basic DVB subpicture support (demuxing and
.sup or .son creation) has been added, the program can show more
details of the stream header and a couple of bugs have been fixed.
0.7.2 has a new H.261 decoder and a H.264 encoder/demuxer/packetizer,
supports Theora alpha3, supports Subviewer subtitles and can stream
rjamorim's 128 kbit/s audio format test has ended and the
results are in: Ogg Vorbis fork aoTuV leads the pack, closely
followed by MPC. iTunes AAC and Lame are almost tied, with WMA standard
following suit and Sony's Atrac3 coming in last.
The poor and always getting cheated out of their money RIAA strikes
again: This time they're cheating
their hard working artists out of their pension. Well, it's
all about the artists, isn't it?
Another one to void the warranty of your DVD burner: It is possible
the LiteOn SOHW-812S 8x dual format burner to a SOHW-832S burner,
which adds dual layer capabilities. You can find results
of the added dual layer capabilities in the cdrinfo forum.
Valex has been rather busy these days as well and released two
release candidates of AC3filter 1.01.
Use 0.42c no longer uses the HVS matrix due to compatibility
problems with standalone MPEG-4 capable DVD players and fixes AC3
audio asynch issues.
1.25 uses the latest DVD2AVIdg and Decomb, puts AutoGK version
and operating system in the logs and comes with an updated documentation.
PVAStrumento 22.214.171.124 displays the real bitrate in the processing
summary, has an estimated time indicator, can drop TS packets marked
as scrambled, no longer crashes when the info button is pressed
and enables the cancel button while parsing TS streams.
Cuttermaran 1.57 can cut multiple audio streams at the same time,
has CLI support, supports multiple GUI languages, has a larger preview
window, allows you to specify a bitrate for GOP re-encoding and
has an improved audio detection.
0.0.0.1 performs the IfoUpdate process (for the Big3), handling
multiple files at once.
Last but not least, MTV has an interesting interview with the lead
singer from the band "Korn". Once their current record
deal runs out later this year, they plan to look into alternative
means to release
music via the Internet, thus bypassing the record studios.
DVD2AVIdg 1.3.0 fixes a lot of bugs, keeps track of VOB and Cell
IDs in the d2v file, has a new field operation mode to deliver raw
encoded frames, contains some GUI improvements, support HD/SD transports
streams including PID detection and is faster than previous releases.
If you go to see the Olympics this summer, make sure you don't
buy any audio CDs or DVDs from street vendors, it could land
you in jail.
The entertainment industry has come up with yet another
interesting law in California that forces anyone that disseminates
copyrighted content if he/she is not the copyright owner, to disclose
their real identity or be fined up to $2500 and spend up to 1 year
in jail, regardless if any copyright violation was committed. So,
what does that mean for us then? Imagine you are breaking copyright
law (who would do such a terrible thing?), you have to hold up a
big "here I am" sign for the RIAA/MPAA to come knocking
down your door. But even if you do something legit like distribute
free music or films (unlike what the RIAA/MPAA wants you to think
there is such a thing as free copyrighted audiovisual content),
you still have to tell everybody who you are. What happened to the
right to privacy?
Use 0.42b uses XviD 1.0, fixes the green line at the top of
the picture and now uses the HVS Good / Best MPEG matrices.
Decomb 5.2.1 gives a more accurate and reliable decimation in modes
0, 1 and 3.
3.0 XPress features a new user interface, supports DVD-RAM recorder
input, has a new MPEG encoder engine which is faster and supports
SSE-3 instruction sets (P4 Prescott only), has a new editing engine,
an improved audio encoder and last but not least it support WMV9
If you live in Italy, better watch out before downloading the latest
song or movie from a P2P network. The Italian Parliament has just
passed a law that imposes jail
sentences of up to three years for anyone uploading or downloading
unauthorized content from the Internet. More about this here
Last but not least, Macrovision has won an injunction
against 321 Studios. It's a two way thing: If when copying a
DVD using one of 321's products the Macrovision flag is kept, 321
is in violation of Macrovision's patents, and if the flag is removed,
321 is in violation of of the DMCA. Now, I'm a bit perplex as to
how making a bit by bit copy can be infringing any patents. Nobody
is adding Macrovision flags to a DVD bitstream during copying, and
quite frankly, how can a simple bit be patented? I don't doubt that
what DVD players add to the analogue signal when detecting a Macrovision
flag is patentable, but the instruction flag that makes them add
it? Come on. Where's the significant improvement over current state
of the art that patent law requires for a patent to be granted?
Can I get a patent on flipping a bit in an IP header as well? And
violation of the DMCA? I think we ought to be more careful about
judges and controlled substances. Flipping a bit is violating the
DMCA? Frankly, my cryptography professor would have a field day
with this "technological measure that effectively controls
access to a work...". If the fact that judges can be so darned
clueless weren't so sad, I'd call this protective measure effective
in making me laugh my butt off for being so ridiculous.
Valex has released a new
beta version of his AC3filter that decodes AC3, DTS, LPCM and
MPEG-1 audio, supports AVIs with AC3 or DTS audio and AC3/DTS/MPEG
audio SPDIF passthrough, has real-time AC3 encoding for multichannel
SPDIF output and a full matrix mixer replacement that can be used
with any audio stream.
As you might have heard, despite protests the EU council of ministers
the much discussed directive about software patents. While there
was a last minute compromise that could potentially reduce the amount
of trivial patents, this is definitely bad news for all but a few
companies with an already large portfolio that makes development
of new software a veritable minefield. I suggest you read up on
this and note down the names of the people you should absolutely
not vote for in the next EU parliament election.
I can't quite see yet how this is supposed to play out, but US
performing rights organization BMI has signed a licensing agreement
with peer to peer technology provider Singwell Int. & LTD network.
The idea is to use their QTRAX software to download
DRM'ed music for free and make money from targeted advertising
and licenses to burn the downloaded content. While you don't need
an RIAA license for broadcasting, I still suspect that the RIAA
lawyers will be quick to come up with a reason why this idea needs
separate licenses from the major studios, and getting those licenses
will obviously not be a piece of cake.
Core Media Player 4.0 contains some minor changes and some additional
Yesterday I mentioned people investing their money differently
as a reason why certain 4 letter industry groups are not making
as much money as they used to (but earlier on we've seen that stores
still sell more units than in previous years). One of Australia's
major online music distributor now shows that price is a very important
factor in online music sales. Destra's sales went
up by 565% in April as compared to March when they lowered prices
from $0.99 AUD to $0.89 AUD. Even though music is basically
a monopoly product (there's no substitute, there's no free market
where you could get the same songs from 10 different providers..
in the end all CDs will be from the same studio so the only difference
in price is actually due to stores making more or less money off
a sale), we see that this product sells a lot better if the price
is a bit lower, and considering that music
studios make more money off online sales with an inferior product
(those numbers are not terribly accurate but I'm sitting on some
new info on iTunes that I hope to get around to processing), this
is something that should get our dear Cary something to think about.
Last but not least, as I've started with DVB guides and some software
I guess it's time to give it some more exposure in the news as well
(I'll have to change my news gathering habits which obviously will
take some time, but I'll try), so here goes: Technisat has released
driver package for their budget DVB cards (DVB-S/C/T) series
that fixes reception problems on HyperThreading CPUs, has improved
satellite reception and supports teletext based subtitles.
XviD 1.0 is out. It contains minor fixes for trellis quantization,
fixes for broken DivX5 bitstreams and VfW GUI tooltips and speeds
up VHQ > 1 modes.
1.24 ships with DVD2AVIdg 1.3.0 RC3, XviD 1.0 and BeSweet 1.5
b28 and detects CPU optimizations for iDCT in DVD2AVI.
PVAStrumento 126.96.36.199 no longer spits the video at format changes
if not desired, has an improved AC3 detection and can properly handle
multi program TS files.
The Toronto Star has an interesting article on how Hollywood
is making less money as people spend more money on games. What
the RIAA and MPAA fail to see, people don't necessarily have more
money available in general (especially kids and teenagers), so they
have to decide where to put their money. With cellphone bills, 2$
ringtones, and video games, it's only natural that not so much money
is left to buy music or movies. When I was younger, I used to buy
a lot of CDs. Then there was a phase with quite a few games. Nowadays
it's DVDs. And with each phase, I bought less of what I used to
buy before. So, how about it Jack and Cary, could it be that your
"losses" are at least partially due to people investing
their money elsewhere? I know I give Cary less money because I give
Last but not least, Sony has developed a laser pickup that can
handle Blu-Ray discs as well as DVDs and CDs. However, it'll take
two years before this thing hits the marked, so who knows, maybe
by then we all use HD-DVDs.
Rebuilder 0.49 fixes an error that could cause audio drift over
time and occasional chapter freezing and two other minor bugs.
Last week there was a hearing on the DMCRA bill in the US Subcommittee
on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Here's the transcript
Valenti (head of the MPAA)'s deposition. Jack calls the DMCRA
a bill that's not just bad for copyright owners, but also for consumers.
I'm having a really hard time to figure out how we as consumers
get screwed with this bill, but maybe I didn't drink enough last
1.23 supports half D1 resolution DVDs, uses the latest DVD2AVIdg
beta, reduces the fixed size increment to 32 and has some new icons.
You might have heard "don't trust statistics that you haven't
personally faked". Well, this certainly also applies to RIAA
"loss" statistics, because according to Soundscan, the company
with the most influence on US billboard top 200 charts, CD
sales have actually gone up in the first quarter of 2004 as compared
to the same quarter in 2003, whereas the RIAA has reported a decrease
in sales for the same period. The article goes on explaining why there
is such a discrepancy, but it becomes apparent that the RIAA is combining
the numbers in the proper fashion to display a loss for them even
though stores sell more CDs. So much for the "losses" then...
Rebuilder 0.48 corrects an error that could cause problems when
fast forwarding / rewinding through chapterpoints, supports the
maxbitrate parameter for all QuEnc encodes, fixes the IDCT7 not
being properly applied error and stops mode mismatches between the
prepare and encode phases.
Two days ago I reported about the DMCRA hearing. Obviously, the
congressfolks that are in the clutches of our favorite 4 letter
organizations were all but happy about it. According to a slashdot
news item (unfortunately I couldn't find the source for it), the
MPAA's vice president has gone on record saying "there is no
right in copyright law to make backup copies of motion pictures...".
I think Mr. Attaway is conveniently forgetting about US
Code 17 section 107 which introduces fair use, the Universal
vs. Sony ruling, where the US supreme court and more recently
Home Recording Act of 1992. The last one is the most interesting.
True, it isn't about video, but the AHRA clearly establishes fair
use even for digital devices and that's a major deal: What is allowed
per the AHRA, and what you pay for (levies) when buying recording
devices, is not possible of content is encrypted and the encryption
is protected by the DMCA. The DMCA has a loophole (follow the DMCA
links on top of this page for more info), but it's time the exceptions
are clearly spelled out and that's why we need a DMRCA. Oh, and
Butch, "ignorance is bliss especially if it comes along with
a big check", isn't it?
1.22 allows a maximum fixed resolution of 1024, correctly detects
the number of frames using the new DVD2AVIdg and information about
the audio language is added to the output as AVI comments.
BeSweet 1.5b28 has a SoundTouch
module for stretching audio with or without changing pitch.
NEC 2500a burner owners will rejoice: Apparently, the firmware
of the upcoming 2510a (which basically adds DVD+R DL capabilities)
has been modified to work with the 2500a, thus making this the first
burner that can actually be upgraded to dual layer capabilities.
Before you upgrade: be aware that the procedure will most likely
void your warranty. You've been warned.
1.21 comes with the latest BeSweet and DVD2AVIdg and considers
material that has an input aspect ratio of less than 1.4 as 4:3
material and forces the output to 4:3 mode.
Apple's nemesis, Playfair, is back under a new name, and with official
backing from the FSF: hymn
allows you to exercise your fair use rights when it comes to Apple's
DRM protected iTunes songs. Let's hope it'll stay online for a long
time to come.
Today will be an interesting day in the US as Rick Boucher's Digital
Media Consumers' Rights Act will get a congress hearing. Our
favorite 4 letter organizations are all dead set against it and
are already crying bloody murder and depicting their certain doom
should this (most reasonable, it tries to keep fair use legal while
leaving any other circumvention of copy protection mechanism illegal)
act ever make it into law. It might not be such a bad idea to bug
your elected representatives and tell them what you think about
the DMCA and that we need something to reestablish the balance between
consumer rights and copyright holders.
Last but not least, after the DVB basics I've had a look at two
more digital TV standards: ATSC
(digital TV in the US - including HDTV) and ISDB
(the latest Japanese digital TV standard). Comments are more than
ImgTool Classic 0.91.3 supports DVD Decrypter's verify option and
includes the latest mkisofs and cygwin environments.
In the battle for the next generation DVD format, the proponents
of each format are now tuning production facilities. Toshiba and
NEC have just set up a facility
to produce HD DVDs. The press produced a dual layer HD DVD every
3.5 seconds, with a supposedly much higher reliability rate (and
it's faster as well), than comparative production lines for BluRay
The copyright cartels have made their next move: This time, the
author of a P2P network using encryption (for anonymity) has gotten
caught in the crossfire. The author of the popular Winny P2P network
application (widely used in Japan) has been arrested
and has been accused of developing software that aids and abets
copyright infringement and piracy. Hmm, how about suing Microsoft
next? After all, most people illegally downloading copyrighted content
from the Internet use their operating systems as a tool. How about
suing any company that makes a product that can be used for illegitimate
purposes while we're at it (starting right with kitchen knives -
you've seen Scream, haven't you?)? Sounds ridiculous? Join the club.
Where will we get if you now have to be afraid of releasing a software
that can potentially be used to do something you're not supposed
Rebuilder 0.47 has improved subtitle support, should use less
CPU cycles when monitoring CCE's progress, encodes interlaced sources
as interlaced in QuEnc and fixes a few bugs.
ImgTool Burn 1.1.5 has a progress bar for the source size, allows
you to change the size limit, saves changed settings into an ini
file and fixes a couple of bugs. The link goes to the Nero 6.3 version,
if you have an earlier Nero version, you can download the appropriate
build at the official ImgTool
I've had some time on my hands this weekend so I wrote a DVB
Basics document that explains the standard, transmission, etc.
I think you'll find it useful and make sure to participate in the
thread, because this document is still a work in progress. And
while you're in the forum, have a look at my draft
list of DVB cards and softwares. It is a really rough draft
and I rely on you to help me complete it. I simply can't test every
card and software (and since I'm without cable and DVB-T is still
far away for me the whole DVB-C/T is nothing short of impossible
for me to get into).
Oh, a Apple spokesperson has denied
that they'll increase single and album prices on iTunes. However,
as we have previously seen, some albums on iTunes are already more
expensive than the retail CDs, so I guess only the future will really
AVI-Mux GUI 1.16.5 can extract AAC streams and Vorbis streams,
can read and write default stream settings to and from AVI files,
tries to retrieve AVI stream delays from Nandub-like AVI files and
fixes a couple of bugs.
If you're looking for a dual layer DVD burner, both Anandtech
have tested the first models.
Last but not least, the music industry has finally done it and
Apple had to increase
song and album prices for some of their iTunes offerings. In
the singles area you'll see prices go up by up to 26%, and in the
albums area, prices can go up by up to 70%, though many songs and
albums will still retail for the usual $0.99 and $9.99 respectively.
But those price increases have prompted me to have a look at CD
pricing and how that translates into online music sales and
it seems that even with previous prices, label profits are already
huge compared to what they make with CDs, but they're still not
happy. That, plus the fact that they're actually withholding
money from the artists they claim to care so much about, should
really give everybody who still believes in the RIAA propaganda
something to chew on.
Core Media Player 4.0 RC6 can block codecs from loading, can
be minimized to a tray icon, has improved support for the real alternative
codec, a new Matroska CDL plugin and generally improved Matroska
support, and also features improvements for multi monitors and DVD
BatchCCEWS 0.9.1.5 should finally fix the TFF/BFF issues, now has
an option to close all GOPs during encoding and to configure the
GOP length and configuration, all ECL settings are now added to
the debug log and the CCE 2.5 only performing 1 encoding pass in
RoBa mode has been fixed.
Last but not least, I broke out the campaign too early. While it
is unclear what will happen to Palladium, Microsoft
is redesigning it, and whatever will be in Longhorn - Microsoft's
next operating system - it won't be the same ambitious mechanism
/ NGSCB is dead. What sounds like good news, is only a temporary
relief. While Microsoft couldn't get enough independent system vendors
to write software for their big brother scheme to shove DRM and
the loss of any consumer rights down our throats, they now plan
their DRM future via AMD's No Execute flags.
We're entering yet another vast subject: DV. Thanks to bb for writing
our first DV guide. For those who
don't know, DV is the most widely used standard for digital cameras.
QuEnc 0.51 fixes a bug in the DC precision, allows you to control
the maximum bitrate and program priority from the commandline, and
turning off the scene detection now enforces a strict GOP structure.
If you're looking for dual layer discs, you'll have to wait a bit
longer. Major Taiwanese manufacturers like Ritek and CMC won't
start producing discs until the end of June, possibly even later.
Last but not least, ATI has now also launched their latest GFX
card series, the X800.
QuEnc 0.50 can be paused by pressing the pause key on the keyboard,
60000/101 is a supported framerate, and libavcodec is now linked
build 1 fixes a couple
of bugs, supports mplex, DVDAuthor, spumux and mkisofs for DVD
authoring (so Scenarist is no longer required), can do audio extraction
using internal routines or windows VFW routines, uses LanczosResize
as the the default resizer for DVD output, supports Scenarist 3.0
and comes bundled with D2SRoBa.
Self destructing MP3s or AVIs? Welcome to Microsoft's
new DRM generation, featuring self destructing media files..
Instead of just having your license run out, Microsoft's next-gen
DRM codenamed Janus, will result in the files being wiped from your
HD once your license runs out. Imagine the possibilities: Oops,
sorry man but Janus has just wiped all your MP3s off your harddisk.
After all, non DRM audio files must be illegal, must they not?
Rebuilder 0.46 supports Button over video, fixes more runtime
error 9's in both prepare and rebuild phase, uses less CPU power
when monitoring CCE and improves compatibility with CCE Basic 2.69.
kayman has contributed another DVB related guide: the MyTheatre
BatchCCEWS 0.9.1.4 only copies bitrates from a template if a job
is first loaded (so changing a template won't change the job bitrate),
sets the drop frame flag in the ECL according to the source framerate,
can mark all frames as progressive in the pulldown phase, fixes
the TFF/BFF issue for all CCE versions, uses 16-235 as luminance
values, can read chapter points from an external file, and fixes
the create_new_vaf issue when working with the latest EclCCE version.
DVD2AVIdg 1.1.0 improves random navigation performance, no longer
maps filenames to upper case in CLI mode, improves auto-loading
of multiple VOB files and fixes a couple
Basic 2.69 now has a Premiere Pro plugin, can output bff video,
has an automatic resolution conversion, a deinterlacer and a quantization
characteristics setting, can load/same templates to/from a file
and allows you to specify a desired filesize and shutdown your system
when encoding is finished.
MPEG2Schnitt 0.6i finally supports both English and German and
contains all the fixes made since the last English release (most
of which have been discussed in the DVB
Last but not least, television chains are now joining the codec
market: BBC R&D has released a wavelet based codec, codenamed
Right now, the codec is still experimental, but who knows..
QuEnc 0.49 has MPEG-2 DC precision, allows you to turn off the
scene detection and to set a maximum bitrate, includes a workaround
for the "could not open video codec error" and has process
DivX for HDTV? It seems like such a certification is forthcoming
as KISS and DivXNetworks have just announced that they'll develop
certified player optimized for HDTV content in DivX format.
Last month's news can be found here.