AfterDawn: Tech news

Last week's charts

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 01 Sep 2002 15:51 User comments (24)

Ok, second time we list our most active forum users in our charts as well. But first a quick look at the software charts -- the top ten includes exactly the same tools as in last week..scary :-) Some changes in orders though, DVD2AVI climbed to #3 from last week's fourth spot, pushing TMPGEnc down one spot. But otherwise no surprises there.
But our MP3 chart seems to be moving a lot, once again we have a brand new #1 in our charts -- DJSty1es. Second one is old-time favourite, DJ Quesito/Gettopoet and number three is last week's #1, Justin Clayton's Industry Overhaul. Another new artist in our charts is Ron Lee who has two songs in the top ten, at #6 and #7.

Our user chart seems to change a lot from week to week, only three names left from last week's top 10 -- A_Klingon took what belongs to him, after massive news commentary attack during the week ;-) Other guys who stayed on the charts from last week were jnihil and BlackBeard. Anyway, here are the charts, once again...

Hot programs

1. SmartRipper v2.41
2. Streambox VCR v1.0 beta 3.1
3. DVD2AVI v1.77.3
4. TMPGEnc v2.57.41.146
5. Nero burning ROM v5.5.9.9
6. DVD Decrypter v3.1.2.0
7. cladDVD XP v1.3 updated
8. ForceASPI 1.7
9. VCD Galaxy DVDRip ComboPack v2.7
10. VirtualDub v1.4.10

Hot MP3s

1. DJSty1es : "Marshall Clip"
2. Dj Quesito/Gettopoet : "BIN LADEN vs BUSH CLUB EDIT"
3. Justin Clayton's Industry Overhaul : "Can I Call You My Home"
4. ADreNaLiNe-DJ : "You are a God Creation"
5. Loud Sound Disorder : "Eminem Diss"
6. Ron Lee : "Duotone Clip"
7. Ron Lee : "Duotone Heavy"
8. HOLOCHAUST : "Valley of Misery"
9. 2CoXX : "Shake it baby (House Mix)"
10. Bryan Edman : "Always On My Mind"

Top forum users

1. A_Klingon
2. raist0069
3. malum
4. wonderboy
5. afogh
6. lectric
7. jnihil
8. Elayne
9. pussygalr
10. BlakBeard

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24 user comments

12.9.2002 2:31

Wha? Who? Little ol' *moi* ?? [eyes fluttering]... (See, I told you I was more handsome than jnihil). -- K_A --

22.9.2002 3:22

It strikes me that we could continue talking about this all week and (inadvertently) get ourselves into the charts next week! Paul.

32.9.2002 5:52

And we could modify the chart so that it would include our admins and no-one else would get into charts anyway ;-) But then again, the beauty is obviously that aD's main purpose is, when it comes down to raw facts, to generate as much traffic as possible and nothing else since the banner/pop ads are the ones that pay our bills :-) And more useless jabbing, more page imps, better it is for the site =) (no, we're really not ashamed of the fact that the plan is to actually make money out of this someday :-))

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Sep 2002 @ 5:54

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

42.9.2002 6:30

WHAT ?!?!?! Afterdawn is run for profit??? Shock, horror! There was me, thinking that this wonderful, helpful, charming website was there simply for the convenience of dorks like me who couldn't tell the difference between a MPEG and a Tent Peg! Cancel my membership immediately :-D

52.9.2002 6:38

loaded: Ah, yes. I understand your shock and horror, definately. We had original plan to go with the communism, but for some weird reason, our hosting providers and landlords weren't too happy to contribute towards our noble causes and we kinda had to degrade the plan and go with evil capitalistic system. Kinda sad, I admit :-) Maybe if we sell the site to some porn provider and turn the website into adult discussion board or somethin... Hmmmm, that's an idea..

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

62.9.2002 6:57

Well, if you want to start talking about porn, then I know who is going to be top of the charts next week !! Paul PS In retrospect, leave it as it is, there are (ahem) plenty of porn sites, er, I believe....

72.9.2002 16:35

Humour guys, it's only a bit o' humour; it's all about trying to inject (just a little) humour into the highly technical and problamatic task of creating/converting various audio/video formats. All, dry, nuts-&-bolts posts are 'ok', but every once in a while, it's fun to repaper the forums just a bit to liven up the place, don't you think? -- The [serious] Klingon --

83.9.2002 11:48

Hey what is the matter? The guys are in a hurry I think we can help them to keep this site running. That is what I think. So dont panic because of the moment of bad luck is now. Let's help them and that is all.

Julio (Kim)
Guitar Player
Trentum Project

94.9.2002 2:46

I agree, yes, let's.

"So don't panic because of the moment of bad luck is now." (???) Oh, I don't think a/D is in bad-luck mode (at least I sure hope not). I *do* know that a/D is *awfully* good luck for me. My shining, lucky horseshoe. And boys oh boys, I think I'm gonna need some good luck. Why? Well, I just learned from that my new Sony dvd standalone will play not only vcds, but also svcds, and (maybe) even cvd's, (china video discs)which I didn't even know *existed* till I read about 'em here, and from what I've been reading elsewhere, xvcds, (video ranges way out of range of regular vcds), and maybe even coffee tin lids, according to an independant reviewer at VCD Helper. I've made a whack of vcds. I've got everything worked out to a fine science. Now comes along stuff which is (admittedly) better than vcd, but is *soooooooo* much more tricky to make. And now, I read about "spoofs", (ie, 'spoofing' your dvd player into thinking that the svcd file it is playing is actually just a regular vcd), specifically, multiplexing (with TMPGEnc's-->Tools), an mpeg-2 svcd-compliant file, to a standard 'vcd' file. They call this, "putting a VCD header on your SVCD to make your DVD player think it's playing a VCD". This may or may not be necessary for me to do, because some people at VCDHelper say my Sony DVP-NS315 standalone *will* play svcds natively, and some say it won't, and so I *may* have to 'spoof' it. OH god.......this will take forever to figure out, test, retest, re-encode, reburn.... Damn. Life used ta be so easy with my ordinary vcds. No hassle there. Alas, gone are the easy, laid-back days of pushing the 'record' button on my vhs machine. VCD="Near" VHS quality. HA! If you're *lucky* !! Now all this newer, neater, much-nicer-looking, but Oh! so-much-more problematic stuff! More, newer tutorials, different software, more learning curves to negotiate. More countless hours tapping away at the keyboard, changing parameters, deciding which 452 options of the 47,634 available, possible options in any given drop-down menu are best....*ahhrgghhhhhh* - and I haven't even *touched* on dvd-to-dvd yet! I'll get DVD2SVCD. [yeah, that's it! That's what I'll do.] - maybe - (Oh, life is cruel). I guess I'll have to start with 480x480 screen res, standard 224 kbps mpeg1 layer 2 (mp2) with 2520 kbps video which together, should theoretically max out to the top, allowable svhs bitrate. (or close to it). (cringe) "I want my mommy". My apologies for rambling on so. I think I am now 3 generations removed from whatever the general gist of this thread was supposed to be. (Maybe I'll just stick to reg'lar vcds until I can afford a proper DVD burner), then do all my sweating then. God bless. -- A scrambled-egg brained Klingon --

104.9.2002 2:49

Oh geeze! Is html mode 'on'? Sorry about all that bold-print stuff! (I should have "unquoted" or something. My apologies!!!! -- Mike --

114.9.2002 3:04

Ah, yes.. *square-bracket*quote*square-bracket* opens the quotation and *square-bracket*/quote*square-bracket* closes it. You can go to forums and edit the message in there anyway :-) And off-topic-wandering is always the nice stuff in our forums, always been and always will ;-) And no, we're not really in _that_ bad luck at the moment, so relax, take your shoes off and support our site the best way you can -- by visiting us regularly, linking to us, recommending people to visit us and contributing to forums if you are broke -- we don't want to ask your last bucks, seriously. Obviously, if you have spare cash to spend and think that we deserve it, I take my hat off and accept the donation and -- even we don't send thank you notes ever for those who donate -- we appreciate your effort. And as for you, Mike, definately try if your Sony plays CVDs, so your future will be in good hands when the time comes that you (you will, eventually, I know that :-) buy a DVD-R drive -- SVCDs only downside is the incompatibility with DVD specs.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

124.9.2002 3:10

To clarify a little -- advertising market simply sucks. Everybody who works in the web publishing knows this. The rates are around 1/50th of what they used to be back in 1999, thousand page imps pays something around $.10 to $.80 for average-sized websites. And to make the matters worse, normally the ad networks can only sell a portion of the ads and rest of the space is used for public service announcements (at the moment we run Southern Africa Crisis Appeal as our main PSA), aD's internal ads, etc. So that puts the figures lower. But you know already this if you read sites like (most of you probably don't :-). But anyway, our traffic has grown dramatically and that has partially off-setted the ridiculously low ad prices, but has forced us to add more ads, annoying popunders and stuff like that, which is kinda sad. Summa summarum: we can pay our hosting, but we don't get any meaningful salary out of this :-)

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

134.9.2002 9:15

Even a quadrupling of popups/unders, wouldn't detract from the value of this site or turn me away in the slightest. If it helps at all, please, by all means, put in the ads; I have *zero* cause to complain. Lemme check something..... ["[Ok, this ought to be a quote, bla-bla-bla.]"] And we should be back now in normal mode. (And I'll be right back). -- KA --

144.9.2002 9:34

Hmmmmm... didn't work. I'm doing something wrong. Will figure it out later. Your comments on future dvd-compatability are well-taken dRD, and something I am seriously going to want to implement. I honestly do-not-want to have to re-re-re-encode everything all over again the next time a pretty format shows up. I *will* try CVD, which is equal to SVHS res *anyway*, (1/2 D1), which for me is A-OK (and *then* some!), is also 100% dvd-legal compliant, which means I can later transfer to dvd more-or-less directly, assuming I can find some way to keep the audio @ 48000 khz, and my Sony dvd player doesn't throw hissy-fits with it. (I read elsewhere that 80% of all modern dvd players which handle cvds will also accept 48000 sampling on standard cdrs). As for future compatability, having SVHS resolution video NOW, which is transferable to dvd recordable LATER, suits me just fine. I guess first step is to make a hard-copy printout of you latest tutorial, and get dvd2svcd. Did you ever manage to make a cvd yourself, big guy? (maybe even with 48000 khz audio? Should be interesting to see how much playing time I'll get out of a regular cdr with this. (God, I hate frigging around adjustable variable bitrates - it takes me back to my old DiVx 3.11 alpha days with all of the headaches *that* entailed!). You choose a bitrate, and get, say, 97% of your movie to fit on one cd, then have to re-encode the whole thing over again to get the size down a notch). OK, I'm rambling again - I'll get out of your hair now. Keep the ads coming ! -- A Klingon who just crawled out of bed --

154.9.2002 12:47

For quote thingy, think it like HTML, so quotation would be like this: <quote>This is the quoted text</quote> then simply change < and > with [ and ]. And I know that hardcore users wouldn't care of popup bombarding, but I hate those, most of the users hate those and we want to keep newbies as well :-) And actually, once the ad markets get better, the number of ads will shrink -- less ads you have per page, more valuable one ad spot is and less it annoys users. I've encoded last 5 or 6 of my movies into CVD, still experimenting with it a little and I can tell you that the difference between DVD and CVD, when encoded with dirt-expensive CCE 2.50 SP using 4-pass VBR is _very_ small, barely noticeable. Even TMPGEnc 2-pass gives very nice results. Audio with 48kHz -- I've kinda had to concede with that one and had to admit that most of the players seem to be OK with 48kHz audio in CVDs as well, even that it is violation against specs. Subtitles are still the major annoyance, since SVCD/CVD subs work only in appx. 20% of players and transferring those subs into DVD format later on is currently impossible. And VBR encoding and estimating the size is annoying, but _THAT_ is the reason (and subs...) why we use SVCD.cfm" class="forum_link" target="_blank">DVD2SVCD in our guides -- it can estimate the size almost by byte to make the CVDs to fit exactly on requested number of CDs. And 90% of movies will fit on two 80min CDs very nicely in CVD or in SVCD format (excluding monsters like LOTR, Titanic, etc).

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

165.9.2002 2:02

Ok, I'll try again.

This line is quoted.
Now, I'll check that. Be right back. -- Me --

175.9.2002 3:07

(Hot damn! Am I a genius or *what*?) :-) Well, I did do a preliminary test using your article, and as far as I took it, yes, your tutorial [bold]does [/bold] "work as advertised". :-) How far is that? Well, I just made a svcd file (my very first ever), not CVD, but I don't imagine that would be very different. That would entail a separate audio rip - in my case, with GraphEdit, to extract the 48000 wave file, then check DVD2SVCD's "[ ]Do not convert audio (use source audio)" box. I think (you could correct me here), that would be the only difference in creating a SVCD vs a CVD compliant file. I did not use subtitles or attempt to download a still frame from iMDB. Why? Because, I'm fortunate (in this case) in that I can't speak or write in any language *other* than English. (I can certainly see the importance of subtitles for folks whose mother tongue is not English or in one of the other languages commonly found on DVDs.) Also, I wanted *just* the svcd file. (no stills/menus) for a linear play svcd. I've always created version 1.1 ("linear play") vcds (not 2.0) to aid in easy, sequential playback on a dvd changer, with no intervening menus requiring user-input to continue playback. This works *famously* because with my brief encounter with a GE 3-disc changer, each sequential vcd loaded in *seconds* and resumed playback immediately, considerably minimizing the inconvenience of having a movie split over multiple cdrs. (Trouble was, the GE's vcd playback quality was pitiful, the worst I've ever seen). In contrast, my new Sony's standard vcd quality is freeking awesome. I used just a short clip (not a whole movie!) for the test. "Monty Python's Knights Of The Round Table", a 1:12 animated short. I made both a vcd and svcd file, because my intent was to burn them both to a test cdrw for comparison playback on my Sony. Orig. VOB = 65, 755,136 bytes Reg VCD = 18,001,704 bytes The SVCD Mpeg-2 file = 31,827,180 bytes As you know, I'm using a pokey 'lil P3-450 computer. Time to encode VCD = 21 Mins. Time to encode SVCD = 96 Mins. I used all of the default settings as per your tutorial, even those I didn't understand, and everything turned out fine! I used 2-pass vbr. I let DVD2SVCD downsample the audio from 48 --> 44.1. (God only knows how long it takes you to do a whole movie in 4-pass CCE on your P3-500). Scary to think! Multiply my figures by 10 and (for a typical 112 minute movie), and we're looking at 16 hours. Not too bad, really. Playback quality using WMP 6.4 certainly showed up the *considerable* difference between 352x240 CBR mpeg1 and 480x480 VBR mpeg2 !!! I could not burn the file for playback on my Sony standalone though. Damn! Why? My burning software is SonyCDExtreme which does not support svcd. I tried the trick mentioned over at VCDHelp, multiplexing using TMP's 'Tools', using the VCD MPEG-1 setting, to put a vcd header into/onto the svcd mpeg2 file. They told me I could then write the file using any burning software, but unfortunately, SonyCDExtreme must look at the actual file characteristics itself and not just the header info, because it gave me my usual error, "Not a valid vcd mpeg1 stream". I really can't afford to buy a new burning program right now, and to tell the truth, I never liked Nero much. I guess I'm strange that way. :) (I did try the demo some months ago, but frankly, I *detest* "PBC" (PlayBack Control). It would have been *great* though, if it had worked because two independent reviewers over at VCDHelp *swear* that my/their Sony DVP-NS315 players play these discs back superbly (even at full DVD resolution!). The Sony user's manual doesn't mention svcds, only vcd. Your tutorial *works* dRD, and I found the detailed help plenty good enough to follow through with comparative ease! (Of course, I had the printout in front of me). Despite the increased resolution, I think for now I'm going to stay with vcd though. You're right, I'll not be without a dvd burner long when the prices come down, and in particular, blank discs become affordable. (I believe you said the machine you were looking for costs 199 pounds.) I don't know what that would work out to in Canuk dollars, but I'm keeping an eye out. I will certainly visit your dvd to dvd tutorials at that point. And in that same vein, here's an ominous line, again from VCDHelp from their piece, "CVD:What is it, how to test it & what to expect" <regarding the future of CVD>:

Well, CVD, VCD and SVCD are gonna die the day DVD burners become mainstream and DVD media becomes as cheap as CD-Rs are today.
They're probably right. -- Mike, a tired Klingon after working all night --

185.9.2002 3:25

To ease your pain with burning -- if you complete the whole process with SVCD.cfm" class="forum_link" target="_blank">DVD2SVCD, you get ready-to-burn .bin and .cue image files that you can then burn with FireBurner, which is luckily free, so no SVCD support or anything is required as the images are readily-authored ones already. And the difference between SVCD and CVD is really not in the audio (CVD specs actually require 44.1kHz anyway, but 99% of players that play back CVDs, support 48kHz anyway), but in resolution, which is 352x480/576 in CVDs, but as the TV technology goes, the difference in width of the resolution is not even noticeable, IMHO. Also, selectable subtitles are in different format, but as only around 20% of the players support selectable subs anyway, it is not an issue, since most people who require subs, will do permanent subs anyway. And as far as the prices go, price is currently around 190 ( to convert the Canadian dollars :-) and blank discs are already ridiculously low prices, cheapest ones in the UK are around 0.38 now (around $0.60 USD) a piece for DVD-R media. So, yes.. Within next 12months or so, DVD writers will rule the world -- only problem is obviously for those people who prefer to get "student copies" of movies off from Kazaa & co, since downloading 4.36GB (or if the DVD-9 is split over two discs, 2x4.36GB) is slightly impossible for most of the people within reasonable timeframe :-) But for backuppers, DVD-R offers nice options now. Shitty thing is that EUCD is going to come and spoil the fun in the EU, but that's another matter...

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

195.9.2002 9:38

Yes, (how silly of me) - the difference between cvd & svcd lies in the screen res - so slight a difference as to be virtually unnoticeable on a standard tv set. Thanks for the currency-converter link. Your proposed burner would cost me $457 + 15% sales tax, which is still a bit steep for me. Also, your quoted price on blanks works out to about $1 Can., which is, I admit, dirt cheap. Around here in Nova Scotia, where we are a tad slow to catch up, the computer stores are flogging blanks far in excess of $1.00, trying to 'cash-in' on the newness and 'gosh-WoW' factor of recordable dvds. Thanks too for the mention of FireBurner. I've been trying get a copy for the last couple of days now - the site's been temporarily down, but should be back by now - will try again. I can live with the 1x burning-speed restriction for immediate testing purposes. I have to work out which format (dvd-r/w, dvd+r/w) is more desireable from a standalone player point of view, and which, if either, is apt to be the prevailing format. Oh yes, I've read & printed out your *outstanding* pieces from InterVideo Inc., "Don't Be Stumped By DVD Standards", and also, "Coming At You: MPEG-4", which semi-contradicts using the DVD2SVCD tutorial in a, perhaps, not-so-subtle way, i.e. : "So why bother converting your movies to MPEG-4 when you can use a format that's already compatible with your current player?" Both parties make good points, but until the jury is "in" on widespread user-availability and mpeg-4 quality, I'd tend to lean toward your tutorial. Enough - you've been most patient. Obliged. -- Mike --

205.9.2002 9:49

High street stores in London are worse -- they sell DVD-R media for excess of 10 a piece, which is "only" 25 times more than what you pay when you order online :-) And as far as the tutorial goes for SVCD.cfm" class="forum_link" target="_blank">DVD2SVCD, the beast to kill (or thank) over the tutorial is actually my left foot, Jari (as in "Ketola") :-) And for DVD "plus" / "minus" R/W war, I've kinda began supporting the "minus" camp -- even planning of sending a nasty response to one Finnish IT mag who ran an editorial review of the technologies and failed to mention some important points, most notably the economics -- Pioneer A04/3 is by far the most popular drive ("minus" drive) in the world and Mac's "SuperDrive" is actually Pioneer A04 itself, which pushes Pioneer's dominant market share even further. So, even though "plus" camp might have slight technological advance over "minus" camp, recommending "plus" is to me, like recommending to buy BetaMax VCR back in 1980s (yes, my parents still have dusty old BetaMax in their garage :-). "plus" discs cost around 3-10 times more than "minus" discs, so pure economics is going to make this fight very short and clear until "The Next Big Thing" comes and crushes both of them -- but hey, that is he thing with technology: if you wait for something better, you have to wait forever -- all technology comes obsolete within 2 years.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

215.9.2002 11:06

(yeah) thing, MPEG-6 with blue ray, or orange..(pink, turquoise, aquamarine...) :) -- Mike --

225.9.2002 11:16

If I remember correctly, "next MPEG" that is an actual video encoding method will be another subclass of MPEG-4 instead of new MPEG-XX :-) MPEG-7 is already here and MPEG-21 is under development, but those technologies are not video encoding technologies anymore (but media structuring formats and metadata formats instead). But yes, life is interesting and life in technology seems to be overwhelmingly interesting every now and then :-)

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

236.9.2002 2:05

structuring formats? metadata formats? mpeg-21? You're scaring me, man, you're scaring me. All technology obsolete in 2 years? I'll never keep up. (oh, god) -- Mike --

246.9.2002 2:14

Hey, I spent _two weeks_ reading through MPEG-21 and MPEG-7 specifications in order to understand them completely and in order to write a small blurp in our glossary about those technologies. No success so far in order to squeeze the understandable description within 10,000 words yet :-) But here's a very short try for MPEG-7: ...MPEG-21 instead tries to create a standard how multimedia files can be controlled (you know, like in very, very, very basic level, how menu structures work, chapters work, etc) in standardized ways. Complicated. Researchers have the problem that they can't write their journals so that Joe Average would understand a thing about their writings :-) And yes, imagine.. I spent USD$2,500 to my computer 6 years ago -- got P166, 32MB, 5GB, 17" system and it was all but worthless within two years :-) Only object that has maintained its value pretty well is the monitor. HDD sizes get doubled every year or so, Moore's law rules in CPU development (CPU power doubles every 18months), even graphics cards have more memory on them than average computer used to have 2-3 years ago, etc :-)

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

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