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andy vt's blog

July 2007 - Posts

  • What Next?

    I kind of rushed out partially to spread the love to the x64 crowd and partially to fix something that I find very annoying.  There weren't as many new features/bug fixes as I usually like to include, but that got me thinking about how to keep extending the tool in the future.

    There are lots of things that I'd like to enhance WMC, and I wonder if it's better to incorporate those changes into DTB or if it would be better to create new applications to encapsulate the functionality.  I'm inclined to sweep them into the current umbrella, but I also don't want to create the kind of feature bloat that drags some applications down.

    In the release there are two changes completely unrelated to skipping commercials, but that I think hamper the experience.  The first was a fix to keep the display from turning off when a show ends (mentioned above) and the other was using a single key to toggle closed captions.  Both of these changes are outside of the original scope of the addin, but things that bothered me about WMC. 

    One thing that didn't make it in was DVD library position tracking.  I think it's bad usability that WMC only remembers the playback position in the last DVD played; it shouldn't be hard to store the last position of every DVD and prompt if you want to start up where you left off.  I was originally going to create a separate addin that did this, but much of what it would need to do could be shared with the current addin.

    Should applications like the addin remain targeted at a single piece of functionality? 

    What are other things that make sense to enhance in WMC?

    Comment, email, PM all OK.


  • DVRMSToolbox For Vista - (Early Access Release)

    Note: This is an Early Access release. 

    Version (x86 | x64 | Source)

    - Fixed a bug in Mencoder action where OutputFile was not set to the file created
    - Fixed a bug in Ffmpeg action where OutputFile was not set to the file created
    - Change playing file detection method to work on x64 (also in x86 version), detection is faster and more reliable. DTBService has been removed as it is no longer necessary
    - Added option to keep the display from shutting off when playback ends to addin (see for details)
    - Added button handling to toggle CC to addin
    - Processing File from addin moved from DTBService to the FW application
    - Changed ehshell process id discovery method (thanks Toub), should work better on extenders
    - Changed installer to write registry keys necessary for MCEState MSAS registration
    - SA Version 0.9.0 included
    - Comskip Version 0.79.98 included

  • Eureka II (Commercial Skipping works on x64)

    Implementing the new method took much less time/effort than I expected.  If you have Early Access you can download the manual install package here

    I'd love to have some x64 users give it a go, I tested it on x86 and it works better than I expected.


    Had a chance to try this out on x64, and works the same as x86 (very well).

  • Media Center crashes by design

    I've been working with the different applications in the MS stack for a long time.  In that time I've heard the "by design" moniker applied to many things that IMO were clearly bugs.  But this one has to the wackiest one yet.  I encourage everyone to take a read and add your opinion of the classification to the discussion.

    To be clear, it's OK to classify something as "not supported".  What's not OK when something is supported (playing ASX files), but the not supported part (nested ASX files) crashes the application.  How hard would it be to use an XSD to validate the file, and if it contains unsupported elements, either refuse to play it or ignore the unsupported aspects of the file by passing it through an XSLT? 

    Hopefully Casey is just venting.

  • Eureka

    For all of those x64 users who have been waiting for the commercial skip to work, I might have figured out a way to do this.  If it works, there's an upside for everyone as it dramatically reduces the complexity (which means there are fewer things that can go wrong) of the addin.  Hopefully, I'll get some time this weekend to move the POC code into the addin and give it a try.


    Updated the addin with the new code and did some testing with x86 Vista, everything looks good. x64 users, cross your fingers, it's looking good. 

  • CopyToPPC

    One of the things I've never been happy with the way the CopyToPPC action in DTB is that the PPC has to be connected to the PC for it to work correctly.  While this worked for how I used it, it's not a great solution. 

    CopyToPPC resolves this issue by watching a folder and copying files in the folder to a folder on the PPC when it connects or if it's connected when the file is copied in as soon as the file copy is done.  Eventually I plan to incorporate this functionality into the FW application, but instead of waiting for the next release of DTB to share...

  • Nine Months

    nVidia finally got custom resolutions built into their Vista driver for those who connect up to a HDTV (overscan correction).  It's still in beta, but at least it out (and it works).  I installed it a couple days ago, and I must say it's nice to be able to see the whole screen again :)  Ran it through the HD-DVD test, and had the best high def experience so far. Huzzah.

  • Over the Top

    I had a chance to check out the Next-Gen format discussions in the AVS Forums this weekend, and I was really surprised with the "passion" many of the posters felt for their format of choice.  The feature sets are so similar between the two formats, and in may cases the actual video is the same just put on a different disc type.

    Personally, I have an HD-DVD drive (the 360 one) because it was significantly cheaper than the alternative.  Given that HD-DVD is slightly more consumer friendly (less DRM and managed copy); I'd prefer that it "wins" the format war (I'd also rather not buy another drive), but of all the choices that can invoke "passion" why would next-gen media format be the one to latch on to?

    Posted Jul 10 2007, 07:18 AM by babgvant with no comments
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