AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Lasse Penttinen

AfterDawn: News

R.i.p CD-RW.ORG - Welcome the!

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 13 Aug 2005 1:50

R.i.p CD-RW.ORG - Welcome the! This may very well be my last post here at CD-RW.ORG and Oh boy, it was back in 2002 when this co-operation started, so my feelings are quite mixed at the moment. Since now the CD-RW.ORG is transformed into and is detached from and Afterdawn Ltd's other operations.

It has been an amazing perioid of over 3 years. We have seen the generation change from CD-R to DVD-R, which has changed the recording hardware industry quite a bit. Software has evolved a lot, and video features are much more important today than they were 3 years ago.

I can't list all the names from the 'good old days', when I used to be an active member at the Afterdawn's forums. I just wish to thank you all for the good times and interesting conversations. I wish to thank the core team: dRD, Ketola and Dela. We had our highs and lows during the years, but I think if we sum it all together we can say that it was a succesful perioid - Afterdawn has grown into whole new heights during this time and CD-RW.ORG enjoyed a rather steady few years and earned recognition being alongside Afterdawn.


AfterDawn: News

Blu-ray adopts DRM

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 09 Aug 2005 10:53

Blu-ray adopts DRM The Blu-ray Association has adopted a copy protection and content management scheme that it described to be "comprehensive". It is immediately speculated that this DRM scheme would provide security to prevent the piracy of the future PS3 console.

The Blu-ray content management system include three components: Advanced Access Content System (AACS), a Blu-ray specific enhancement for content protection renewability called BD+, and a ROM Mark unique to Blu-ray Disc to prevent mass production piracy and sale of unauthorized copies.

AACS will enable content providers to manage copies with network functionality and internet connectivity in a secure manner. The ROM Mark will be a unique and undetectable identifier embedded into movies, music, and games. BD+ will be a programmable enhancement that will let content providers respond to organized attacks and update compromised code.
But will any protection be enough to prevent piracy? I personally doubt it. For decades more and more advanced protections have been developed, and later cracked. MOD chips circumvented PS1, PS2 and Xbox protections, so why couldn't they do it in the future as well? On the other hand the Blu-ray format itself may slow down piracy at first, until the recorders get more popular and cheaper.


AfterDawn: News

Sony sues Lik-Sang for selling PSPs

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 08 Aug 2005 11:53

Sony sues Lik-Sang for selling PSPs The folks at Sony really don't like the Hong Kong based Lik-Sang, a popular online store for gamers. Back in the 2002 they sued Lik-Sang for selling MOD chips for PS2. This time they are against them for selling Sony PSP portable devices.

The PSP is yet to be released in Europe and the official release date is set a 1st of September. Lik-Sang however has been happy to sell and ship the devices to European customers. Sony feels that this is "unlawful interference with Sony's economic interests".. Another issue was the PSP owners manual that was made available on the Lik-Sang website.

Sony warned Lik-Sang on 14 June it would begin legal proceedings if the manual was not removed, along with links to Sony's own website. Lik-Sang maintains it immediately complied with that request.

Lik-Sang vowed to fight the case, claiming it has Hong Kong trade regulations on its side. They, it said, "allows free trade once an item entered the market for sale". In other words, what we do with a PSP once we've bought it is up to us - and that includes selling it on to consumers in the UK and elsewhere.
Source: The Register

AfterDawn: News

Napster will be big in Japan?

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 04 Aug 2005 0:09

Napster will be big in Japan? Online music distributor Napster reported a net loss of $19.9 million, but the company believed that they will get back on the surface with their rapid growth of revenues.

A part of their growing strategy is to expand their services to Japan. Napster has announced a joint venture with Tower Records Japan to launch it's service in Japan.

"We look forward to announcing a number of new strategic initiatives later this calendar year designed to create new revenue streams, improve margins and accelerate our path to profitability," said Chris Gorog, Napster's chairman and CEO.
And looking to the Japanese deal, Mr Gorog said: "Our partnership with Tower Records Japan represents a significant development in the globalization of the digital music industry and one which will take Napster to a new level."
Source: BBC

AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 release date and price leaked?

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 02 Aug 2005 13:29

Xbox 360 release date and price leaked? There is a lot of rumors, gossip and unconfirmed information floating about the next generation of gaming consoles.

Based on an unconfirmed source within the staff of Walmart, it is now suggested that the retail price of the Xbox 360 in North America is US$299.99. Also the release date for the product would be November 4th. Microsoft is yet to make an official statement, we will have to wait as more information submerges for confirmation.

Unconfirmed reports stemming from Walmart employees have today suggested a North American retail price for the Xbox 360 and its launch titles, allegedly set to arrive in shop stores on November 4th.

Naturally a smidgeon of sceptism should be maintained until Microsoft makes an official announcement, however the $299.99 price point hardly appears to be out of the bounds of possibility
Source: TotalVideogames

AfterDawn: News

BeAll Best 16x DVD-R media reviewed by CDR-Zone

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 01 Aug 2005 12:29

BeAll Best 16x DVD-R media reviewed by CDR-Zone Our buddies at the CDR-Zone have published yet another in-depth review of DVD recordable media. This time they have tested 16x DVD-R media by BeAll. As we haven't seen a lot of reviews of this manufacturer's products, it's refreshing to see BeAll properly tested.

It certainly lives up it its cost effective claims and offers low cost 16x recording with a good degree of quality overall. We have seen much worse 16x media sold under better known branding brands achieving lesser results in tests and if all spindles of BeAll 16x DVD-R media are of similar quality then buyer confidence should be good. That said BeAll developers have produced media in the past that is known to have variance and we await more testing inhouse with different batches of this media before we can fully recomend it as consistent media.
Read the review!

AfterDawn: News

Verbatim announces plans for HD-DVD and Blu-ray

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 28 Jul 2005 10:26

Verbatim announces plans for HD-DVD and Blu-ray Verbatim plays is safe at least at this point of the next gen format war. And of course as a media manufacturer they have to, as long as the situation remains balanced and neither of the formats dominate the industry. A smooth change of the format generation is vital for companies like Verbatim that hold a major market share and have plenty of brand recognition.

Verbatim Corporation, world-leading optical media developers and marketers, have announced plans to support the development of both Blu-ray and High-Definition DVD (HD-DVD) recordable and rewritable media. Both formats are expected to begin shipping in early 2006, when high-definition drives and recorders are expected to be released.

Verbatim Blu-ray media will be available with 25GB (single-layer) and 50GB (double-layer) capacities. The HD-DVD media will be available with a single-layer capacity of 15GB. Double-layer HD-DVD media is also being developed for release following format finalisation. With premium-quality recordable media that meets the specifications of these new high-capacity, high definition formats; users will be able to record and enjoy the amazingly sharp images that high-definition video provides. The high-capacity discs will also find extensive application in computer data storage.

AfterDawn: News

VSO updates DivxToDVD and PhotoDVD

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 27 Jul 2005 11:08

VSO updates DivxToDVD and PhotoDVD VSO's excellent video convertion tools have been updated once again. DivxToDVD is a fast and high quality software that converts your video files into DVDs, while PhotoDVD creates DVD slideshows with effects and background music.

DivxToDVD 1.99.12
  • Fixed a crash when reading some subtitles files that left divxtodvd non-responsive
  • Added definition of font/color/size/style on a per subtitle channel basis (select the subtitle channel in the tree and click once ...)
  • Fixed issue on subtitles color (Red and Blue component was exchanged)
  • Fixed issue with word wrapping on long subtitle lines.

    VSO PhotoDVD changes history 2.0.9
  • fixed playability issue when selecting NTSC video format
  • fixed issue on subtitles color (Red and Blue component was exchanged)
  • Get them from: VSO Software

    AfterDawn: News

    NeroLINUX and Reloaded updated

    Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 26 Jul 2005 11:57

    NeroLINUX and Reloaded updated Nero approached us with an email telling about the updated NeroLINUX version, which comes with some interesting changes.

    We are happy to announce the release of NeroLINUX This upgraded version of Nero's Linux OS solution for CD/DVD Burning features Layer-Jump Recording (LJR), DVD-Video and miniDVD mastering, user interface improvements like selectable ISO track recording options and assignable sounds that alert the user to the burn process results.
    The NeroLINUX is offered free for the retail customers of Nero 6 Reloaded.

    Also we can spot from the Nero website that the Nero Reloaded installation packages have been updated to v6.6.0.15a. As usual, they have not released a list of changes.

    Both of these updated versions can be founf at Nero website.

    AfterDawn: News

    Supply chains will decide the next gen format war?

    Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 25 Jul 2005 12:10

    Supply chains will decide the next gen format war? The Blue-ray vs. HD-DVD, once again. I don't know if everything is already said about this - twice. AMR Research has published an article which is if not fresh, but at least a good reminder back from the VHS vs. Beta age. As most of us know the better format lost the fight. The decisive blows were delivered in non-technological fields.

    DreamWorks’ recent DVD sales woes reflect the harsh supply chain dynamics of the industry. As studios ready for battle over new hardware standards, supply chain competence may make the difference.
    The Bottom Line: With super short lifecycles, the big-studio DVD title depends on the supply chain to succeed. Less obvious is that the standards battle hinges on the same thing: demand responsiveness.
    Consumer demand patterns for products like video games and home movies sell up to 80% of their total volume in the first two weeks after launch. This past weekend’s Harry Potter release is a case in point (see Nigel Montgomery’s Insight Europe column titled “If Only Harry Potter Was Delivering the PSP”). This front-end loaded demand makes distribution very difficult because of the lack of historical data for demand forecasting, and the extremely short shelf life leaves little room for quantity adjustment after the fact. Add in retailers’ practice of returning unsold product to publishers, and you have the ingredients of a hyper-supply chain.
    Source: AMR Research

    AfterDawn: News

    DivxToDVD v2.0 release candidate

    Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 24 Jul 2005 6:39

    DivxToDVD v2.0 release candidate VSO Software has released a candidate version for evaluation before the launch of v2.0 final of DivxToDVD. Also there is a 25% discount coupon code available. Dowload it from VSO Software

    A release candidate version of DivxToDVD 2 is available for immediate download.
    You can find the updated description below

    Release candidate means it is very close to the final version, we are providing this test version for evaluation even if it has been extensively tested and can now even be registered. Thanks a lot to our beta team ( Tabby, John, JJ, ScubaPete, Robin, Bruno and others .... ). The trial version contains a watermark and it is slower to encode than any registered (purchase) version

    You can have a discount on this Release Candidate with the coupon "d2d2rc11" , 25% as a launch offer available up to 1st of August

    DivXToDVD is a 1 click solution to convert and burn your movie files to a compatible DVD playable on any home DVD player.

    DivxToDVD supports most popular format such DivX, Xvid, MOV, VOB, Mpeg, Mpeg4, AVI, WMV, DV and stream formats. It converts your single files into a compliant DVD Video set of files and burns it on a DVD media.

    AfterDawn: News

    Pioneer DVR-A09/109 firmware v1.57

    Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 15 Jul 2005 23:55

    Pioneer DVR-A09/109 firmware v1.57 The new firmware is V1.57 for DVR-109/109BK and DVR-A09XLA/B/C. The changelog shows typical quality and compatibility updates to write strategies, but also adds multi border recording for DVD-R DL.

    As always we recommend to update your drives to the latest firmware. Read the installation instructions carefully though, as when flashing firmware things can go wrong.

    • DVD-R/+R DL Writability has improved.
    • DVD-R/+R Writability has improved
    • Support New +R 8x Media
    • (8x writing:UmeDisc/Wealth Fair)

    AfterDawn: News

    Updated DVD rippers: DVDFab and AnyDVD

    Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 14 Jul 2005 11:02

    Updated DVD rippers: DVDFab and AnyDVD Fengtao Software quickly released a freeware version of their DVDFab Decrypter when DVD Decrypter development faced the legal problems and was forced to ciese the development. DVDFab is an excellent replacement as it supports the latest protection schemes and has been frequently updated.

    DVDFab Decrypter v2.9.2.2
    • New: Command Line Switches added.
    • Change: Better Sony ARccOS protection removal.
    • Fix: Output files cannot be accepted by Shrink and Nero Recode, when copying Sony ARccOS protected DVDs.
    Get it from: Fengtao Software

    SlySoft has always been quick to support new protections in their driver based solution. Once again the Sony ARccOS removal is tuned, along with some fixes.
    AnyDVD v5.3.2.1
    • New: Added support for a new version of the "Sony ARccOS protection" as found on "Seinfeld" R2 (German) and "Hitch" R2 (UK) to the option to remove "Protection based on unreadable Sectors"
    • Fix: Program could hang on startup
    • Some minor fixes and improvements
    • Updated languages
    Get it from: slySoft

    AfterDawn: News

    Happy 10th Birthday to MP3!

    Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 13 Jul 2005 8:58

    Happy 10th Birthday to MP3! Today we celebrate the invention of the so common audio format MP3 which already celebrates it's 10th birthday. As most of you probaply know, the file extension '.mp3' actually stands for files encoded to MPEG-1 Layer III standard format. The compression technology applied scientific advances of various fields: mathematics, psychology, acoustics, human anatomy, etc.

    The researchers of Fraunhofer IIS did a bang-up job. Not only that they totally changed the business environment of the music industry, but the MP3 format has proven very well lasting and can still provide high quality compressed audio for years to come. Open sourced LAME MP3 Encoderis tweaked for maximum audio quality, and is very well able to challenge the newer audio formats such as the AAC.

    The extension itself was decided by an internal poll at the Fraunhofer research center.

    Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 12:29:49 +0200

    Subject: Layer3 file extension: .mp3

    Hi all,

    this is the overwhelming result of our poll: everyone voted for .mp3 as extension for ISO MPEG Audio Layer 3! As a consequence, everyone please mind that for WWW pages, shareware, demos, and so on, the .bit extension is not to be used anymore. There is a reason for that, believe me :-)

    AfterDawn: News

    Sonic Forges High Definition Authoring Alliance

    Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 12 Jul 2005 12:08

    Sonic Forges High Definition Authoring Alliance

    Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in digital media software, today announced that it has founded the High Definition Authoring Alliance™ (HDAA), the first and only worldwide association of top DVD authoring houses dedicated to facilitating the rollout of titles for release in the new high definition HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) optical disc formats. Building on Sonic’s leading role in DVD authoring solutions and its close, long-standing ties to Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry, the HDAA will increase momentum for successful introduction of the formats, ensuring the timely availability of quality titles by providing members with exclusive access to key information, HD-enabled tools and comprehensive training.

    “Sonic’s HDAA opens the door to the entire range of information and tools that will be vital to our professional title creation business as we prepare for the HD evolution of disc-based packaged media,” said Mark Johnson, Director of Research and Development at Thomson Technicolor Creative Services in Burbank, California. “HDAA membership also makes us part of a community that is pulling together toward the same goal, which is to be sure that we’re prepared to make the launch of these new formats a great success.”

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