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Digital DIGEST - LIVE UPDATE Issue 24

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  • Digital Digest
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    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2001
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      For the HTML edition of this newsletter, please refer to
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      DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com
      Your "whenever I have time to write one" newsletter
      Tuesday, 10th March, 2001



      0. Section Zer0 - An Introduction to this Issue

      1. OpenDivX - the Future is Here ... Part Deux

      2. DoJ Targets DeCSS Case

      3. MIT Students Writes 7-line CSS Cracking Source Code

      4. Digital Fun and Games, and DVD Pet Hates

      5. New Programs at Digital Digest

      6. How to Cancel/Change Your Subscription Email Address/Settings
      - how to maintain the subscription to this newsletter even if your
      email address has changed

      7. A Simple Thank-you
      - a thank-you message for all those that joined this list


      0. Section Zer0

      Welcome to this, the 24th issue, of the Digital Digest LiveUpdate
      newsletter. Well 2001 looks like to be an interesting year. The world
      economic climate looks decisively bleak, and the IT world is not plagued,
      everyday, with more job cuts and closures of major online business.

      Apart from blaming the stock market for over inflating IT share prices, I
      guess we also have ourselves to blame - we have gotten so used to the
      Internet being a "cost-free" environment with free email, free ISP and even
      free software. In actual fact, these free services and products actually
      costs quite a lot to maintain. But when these businesses turn to a
      pay-per-use model, there will always be an start-up somewhere that will
      give out the same service for free, and so you'll have to increase
      services, at the expensive of profit - hence making it almost impossible to
      have some sort of profitable business online.

      Will the future of Digital Digest be secure - perhaps so, perhaps not - I
      guess in the end, it all depends on you, our valued visitors. With your
      continued interest and support, I would say the future of Digital Digest
      looks solid, but as competition heats up, and running cost increases, it is
      harder and harder to maintain a good level of service - so if our website
      loads slower, our downloads not as fast as before, please bear with us, and
      offer us a kind word of here and then - it won't pay the bills, but it will

      Here's to hoping the Internet does not die ...


      1. OpenDivX - the Future is Here ... Part Deux

      Just a couple of days/weeks after our last story on the development of the
      open-sourced MPEG-4 DivX codec, the OpenDivX initiative, the guys at
      Project Mayo have released a new version of their codec, designed for the
      Windows environment, and the result already looks good.

      Although the codec is still extremely in-efficient (remembering that these
      guys are starting from scratch, and working for free), requiring a
      Pentium-III to get acceptable performance, the quality of the codec (if you
      ignore the bugs that may happen) is actually quite good - better than the
      original DivX codec in some cases. With more and more support for this
      codec, it looks like an efficient-bug-free version will soon be released,
      and once this happens, the future of DivX, as a universal ultra-compressive
      format, will be solid.

      So for now, why don't you grab a copy of this latest codec (called
      DivX4Windows), try it for yourself, and if you know a little bit about
      programming, have a look at the source code, and perhaps you can find a way
      to speed up the development of the codec.

      Download links for DivX4Windows here :



      2. DoJ Targets DeCSS Case

      Shortly after the change of government in the US, the US Department of
      Justice (DoJ), infamous for their fight against big businesses, like
      Microsoft, have done a complete turn-around and has publicly offered
      support for the MPAA, which in our opinion, is the largest and most
      profitable monopoly in the United States.

      "Despite defendants' efforts to pitch this case as a classic story of the
      gadfly press and to cast themselves in the role of the protagonist reporter
      who seeks only to convey truthful information to the pubic, this lawsuit is
      really about computer hackers and the tools of digital piracy," U.S.
      Attorney Mary Jo White wrote in a brief that was filed after the federal
      government expressed interest in becoming an intervenor in the case,
      seeking a more "hands-on" role in this controversial case.

      The issue, in our opinion, is not about piracy, hacking but about the
      ability of the MPAA and the multi-billion dollar DVD industry to keep their
      stranglehold on the very profitable DVD monoply. By keeping CSS, the
      MPAA/DVD industry are free to charge DVD manufacturers excessive fees (of
      up to and beyond $USD 1,000,000) for the purchase of a CSS license, which
      we now all know is useless in preventing digital copying of DVDs. Still,
      they are permitted to charge these fees for something that obviously
      doesn't work. The whole point here is not about piracy, but about monopoly,
      and how the MPAA/DVD industry can get profits for every DVD hardware or
      software sold anywhere in the world, through the CSS licensing scheme. And
      not the US federal government want to get in on the action too, it seems.

      So every time you purchase a new DVD movie in the US, or elsewhere, or
      whenever you purchase a DVD player, DVD-ROM drive or a DVD decoder
      software/hardware, be comforted by the fact that a good percentage of the
      money you just paid will be going towards the fight to keep you from using
      your purchase hardware/software to the full extent of their abilities, and
      the fact that what you have just bought, according to the MPAA, doesn't
      even belong to you.

      For more news on the DoJ decision, please refer to this article :



      3. MIT Students Writes 7-line CSS Cracking Source Code

      In a related news, two MIT students have written a 7-line (not including
      header + comments) Perl code that allows you remove the almost non-existent
      copy "protection" on DVD files.

      "I think there's some value in demonstrating how simple these things really
      are and how preposterous it is to try to restrict their distribution," says
      Winstein, a 19-year-old MIT sophomore computer science major.

      The code, for those that are interested, is as below :

      #!/usr/bin/perl -w
      # 531-byte qrpff-fast, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz
      # MPEG 2 PS VOB file on stdin - descrambled output on stdout
      # arguments: title key bytes in least to most-significant order

      Basically, DVD manufacturers are required to pay a handsome sum of about
      $USD 1,000,000 (I think) for a CSS license key which will allow them to
      manufacturer goods compatible with the DVD format - that makes the above
      code worth about $USD 1900 per character (not including header information,
      which is optional for an additional $USD 317,490). In the end, all the cost
      will be handed down unto us, the consumers, so the next time you wonder why
      DVD prices are so high, you'll know who to blame.


      4. Digital Fun and Games, and DVD Pet Hates

      We have just started a new fun and games section within Digital Digest, for
      those who need some rest from all the DVD/DivX playing, ripping,
      conversion, encoding and authoring they have been doing.

      Currently, the section is still pretty lame, as it only features some link
      to some DVD/DivX/Digital/Movie related polls, comics, jokes and some online
      games to relief the tension - more content will be added as time goes by.
      For example, we've just added a poll which ask you what you hate most about
      the DVD format (eg. CSS, Macrovision, Regions ...). There are also some
      excellent The Boondocks comic strips that makes fun at the current DeCSS

      Start the fun here :



      5. New Programs at Digital Digest

      DivX Software :

      Audio : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#encoding
      Normalize 0.232

      Bitrate Calculators : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#calculators
      Advanced DivX Calculator 1.6
      DivX Birate CalcIT
      DivX Pro 1.0
      Ecuador's AVI Bitrate Calculator 2.0 Release 2
      Tony Savon's BitCalc 0.1
      VOB2MPEG4 Calculator 1.05.00

      Codecs : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#codecs
      3ivx MPEG-4 Codec 1.0d2
      DivX4Windows 4.0 Alpha 48
      Kristal Studio DivX Codec 4.3.3
      Microsoft MPEG-4 VKI Codec
      SMR Codec

      Conversion :http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#encoding
      AVI2VCD 1.3.9
      AVI2VCD / AVI Audio Decompressor 1.3.9
      bbMPEG 1.24 b17aand AVI2MPG2 1.24 b13
      DVD2AVI 1.59
      M4C / IceM4C / idM4C
      MPEG2AVI PX3 0.1.0
      SoftEngine 2.0

      Cut/Join : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#cutjoin
      ASF Cut
      AVI Revolution 2.2

      Editing : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#encoding
      AVI Mux 0.4
      AVIsynth 1.0 b31 + Plugin 0.28 b37
      AVIUtl 0.96i
      DivFix 1.04

      GUIs : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#gui
      Fast DivX 1.0d
      m4c GUI 0.3
      WM8Enc GUI Beta1
      WM8 Encoder GUI
      Windows Media V8 encoding utility Frontend 0.2 beta

      Launchers : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#launchers
      DivX The Launcher 1.0 (English) ; 2.1 Beta 2 (French)
      Figgy's Simple DivX Launcher 1.1
      Full-Moon Launcher 4.0
      MDVD Go! 1.0.3
      MediaLauncher 0.05
      MediaLauncher Creator 0.01
      MicroDVD Autorun 1.75
      Movie Launcher Plus 1.11

      Players : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#players
      Ar1z Video Player 2.75
      BS Player 0.827
      MediaBox 1.0.4b
      Mediastation 0.04
      RadLight Player 3.02
      Ripnot Player 3.00
      Sasami2k 640B
      Twins Video Player 1.0

      Rip-Packs : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#encoding
      BH's DivX Rippack
      DVD Killer 2.4
      DVD:Reaper 2.52
      DVD-RIPP 3.95
      EasyEncode 0.5 alpha 2
      FairUse Wizard 0.25 Beta
      G-Ripp 0.4
      MPEG2AVI Rip Pack 2.2

      Subtitle tools : http://www.divx-digest.com/software/#subtitles
      MicroDVD Hebrew Fix 1.1
      SSA to SubRipper Converter 0.05b
      SubRip 0.93b
      SubtitleFix 2.0
      Subtool 2.2

      DVD Software :

      Audio : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/encoding.html#ac3utils
      DSEnc 1.2 Beta 4

      Authoring : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/authoring.html
      DVDauthorQUICK 2.05D
      DVD Wise 1.74

      Conversion : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/encoding.html#conv
      DVMPEG 5.07
      FlasK MPEG 0.6 Preview
      Flask MPEG Multi-pass
      Flask MPEG PX3 CSS
      Flask MPEG SubtitleFix v6
      Flask MPEG Tsunami v6
      Flask MPEG Vulture
      LSX-MPEG Suite 2.0
      Mac MPEG2Dec 1.0b5r2
      MegaPEG 1.5
      TMPGEnc beta 12d
      WinVCR 2.0

      Editing : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/encoding.html#edit
      MPEG Stream Guillotine 02b

      GUIs : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/encoding.html#gui
      AZZA-GUI 1.00
      Danni Din's MPEG2AVI/AC3DEC/VSTRIP GUI 0.20g

      Mac tools : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/all_downloads.html
      mAC3dec 1.0.1
      Mac MPEG2Dec 1.0b5r2

      Playback : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/playback.html
      DVD Station Plus 1.2
      Eugene's DVD player 0.96.1 Beta
      ShowShifter 1.00.258
      Zoom Player 1.30

      Playback tools : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/playback.html
      More PowerDVD Skins

      Region : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/region.html
      DVD Genie 3.85
      Region-free Firmwares

      Ripping : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/ripping.html
      All ripping tools are now hosted by our partner site, RipHelp.com
      - please refer to them for the latest versions.

      Other : http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/misc.html
      DirectX Control Panel Applet
      DVD Expert 1.21
      Movie-Box Database 1.21
      Movie Collection Tracker 1.0
      Movie Manger 2001
      NewsReactor 1.0 Build 3916
      WinCRC 1.0


      6. How to Cancel/Change Settings/Email Address for Your Subscription to
      this Newsletter

      Changing subscription status for this newsletter is pretty easy.

      To un-subscribe :
      - Send an email to liveupdate-unsubscribe@egroups.com using the email
      account that receives this newsletter.

      To change the email address that receives this newsletter :
      - Un-subscribe using your current one, and sign up using a new email address


      7. A Simple Thank-you

      Just a note to thank all the thousands of people (3000 at last count),
      including you, who joined the DVD Digest LiveUpdate program. We've spent
      quite a bit of time developing this site, and making it what it is today,
      and really do appreciate your continued support.

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      We hoped you enjoyed another LiveUpdate newsletter. We'll try to make this
      newsletter a regular fortnightly one in the future.


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