AfterDawn: Tech news

DVDXCopy Sneak Preview

Written by Jari Ketola @ 07 Nov 2002 10:04 User comments (38)

DVDXCopy Sneak Preview With the release of DVDXCopy right around the corner, we decided to take a look at the product and see how it works in action.
Our enthusiastic test lab put the product to a challenge by throwing it into the mouth of Jaws, the most horrendous beast ever to swim across the silver screen. As it turns out, it was Jaws who ended up in the grinder after all.

"Even though the product is still in very early stages of development, DVDXCopy shows great promise, and will surely be de facto for backing up your DVDs in near future. There are some rough edges to smoothen, and for now only NTSC movies are supported officially (although I have also tried it with PAL movies successfully), but nevertheless I'm impressed. There's no arguing that DVDXCopy is infinitely easier to use than any other DVD backup product on the market today."

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38 user comments

17.11.2002 12:04

Thanks very much, Jari, for the advance look-ahead. Aren't we in a fine pickle? I can't get the betas to work, but I have a burner. You have no burner, but *can* get [a] beta running. Misery loves company, eh? I am quite pleased with the screens. I was particularly interested in your choosing a disc whose _main_ movie was around 5GB, meaning, that even without any extras, would still require 2 blanks. Which brings up an interesting point. As much as I tend to snub the vast majority of 'boner' tracks on todays releases, still, one *may* just as well include them all if the movie itself is going to require 2 discs anyway. Two blanks will capture *everything* in the original dual-layered dvd, regardless of how lengthy. I see DVDXcopy as having two very practical uses: ** For dvd-9 discs - whose movie-only content would take more than 1 blank (as in your test dvd), and in these cases I wouldn't even bother worrying about trying to snip out the extras -- since we have to use 2 discs, we might as well backup the whole works. ** For dvd9s whose main movie content *will* fit on one blank, with the removal of some or all the extras. For these movies, DVD Decrypter wouldn't be able to do it. For dvd5s, it's DVD Decrypter all the way. Your online tutorial is simplicity itself, and has never failed to work for me. Again, with a dvd5, one *may* just as well capture the extras, because they're going to fit anyway. (Besides, DVD Decrypter does a full disc image). Perhaps when retail blank dvd prices come down to where reg'lar folks can afford 'em in quantity, at-home backups will make more sense than they seem to make to me right now. Interesting to note that you didn't comment on where your movie picked up on disc #2, Jari. (Was the break tolerable, nice, awful, 'ok', or acceptable?) -- Klingy --

27.11.2002 12:22

Well several of us are in a pickle, I have two burners and no beta to check them out on maybe we'll get a preview tonight.... ---nitemagic

37.11.2002 13:49

Nitemagic: Heck, if you have an extra drive, I'd be more than happy to provide you with my shipping address. ;-) Mike: Good point. I don't know if DVDXCopy uses any kind of "intelligence" in determining the split point, but with Jaws it seemed to split at a chapter point, so it was very nice indeed. Or should I say, as nice as an interruption in the middle of a movie can be.

Jari Ketola

47.11.2002 22:25

I am glad the break-point occurred in an acceptable place. What really irks me is movies that will *almost* fit on one dvd, but not *quite*. Since dvdxcopy seems to put as much of the original movie on the first disc as possible, I can see something irritating happening ---> You may get something like *five* minute's-worth of movie on the second disc. This is terrible (but not dvdxcopy's fault). You might get, say, 105 minutes of movie on disc # 1, and then the remaining 5 mins on the last disc (along with the extras). Which means you've had to plunk down the money for another disc, and your movie is going to be interrupted for the sake of 5 lousy minutes. Some movie's credits are almost 5 minutes long just by themselves by the time they're over. When making videocds, I've always made each disc hold *approximately* half the movie to make things a lot more logical. For example, for a 100 minute movie, disc 1 might hold, say 45 mins, and the last disc hold 55 mins. (or vice versa). This seems more logical than putting all but the last 5 or 10 minutes'-worth on the last disc. I would be tempted to not even bother watching the last bit. But as dvdxcopy tries to put as much movie content as possible on disc 1, I can see this situation arising a lot. Incidently, I think I should probably be putting all these thoughts into the dvdxcopy forum. Sorry. -- Mike --

58.11.2002 1:18

I only signed up yesterday, no pre-release yet and the day is upon us. By the way who is this person who nicked my nickname, you rotter.

tommy X

68.11.2002 1:52

Edited the article to reflect beta F. The main window now shows the chapter before which the split will be made.

Jari Ketola

78.11.2002 8:01

Ketola, Does the watermark stay at the lower right-hand side of the entire movie? The screenshots in your article (which by the way is the most informative thing on DVDxCopy to date) Also, what OS did you use? I hear Win 98 isn't supported, and the "official" forum does not specifically answer this yet.

88.11.2002 8:03

Sorry, didn't finish my thought: the screenshot implies that the watermark stays in throughout.

98.11.2002 8:06

Oh, no they don't. =) Sorry for not specifying that. The watermarks are just on the screenshots (the logo on all screenshots, and 321Studios logo on the DVDXCopy screenshots). I used Windows 2000 Professional.

Jari Ketola

108.11.2002 8:36

Thanks for the info. Do you know if Win 98 is supported (as of the last BETA version)? I just don't have the $ or the willingness to upgrade to XP when 98 otherwise works for me.

118.11.2002 8:58

If you get the $ don't upgrade to XP, go to W2000 Professional, much better OS.

El Sabelotodo!

128.11.2002 9:02

Sorry, but if it things don't work properly in XP, then 2K aint gonna solve it.

tommy X

138.11.2002 9:10

Spine/tommyx: Your input is greatly appreciated, but the answers worry me a bit. Is this to imply that 98 is not supported?

148.11.2002 9:35

Not at all oquela, I'm just saying that windowsXP now that it is properly supported by all, including Microsoft. Is a damn sight better now. Window ME was a pain st first, it's al about, drivers etc. Windows 98(SE) is still a good product, so don't worry man.

tommy X

158.11.2002 9:53

I use win98 and for the foreseeable future, don't intend on switching to another OS. If I was looking to switch, it wouldn't be to XP. Oquela: THANK YOU for bringing this subject up. Perhaps I should have just come right out and asked it of 321. I didn't, because I figured that any modern piece of software, especially something as controversial as dvdxcopy, would support something as standardized and widespread as Win98 IS. I further figured, that maybe, just maybe, I was somewhat of a 'dummy', and wasn't doing some tiny little thing-or-other right, and frankly, I didn't want to flaunt my ignorance in front of all the (considerably) intelligent body of folks in here. Struggling to get these frigging betas to work has made me look and feel like a dummy. Now I'm not so sure. For the record, I have not been able to get ANY of the betas to work on my Win98 SE, *including* beta F. (I won't reiterate here what I went through to *get* it to work), but let's just say, it would have been time better spent drinking beers and watching movies. I get the dreaded message, "DVDXCOPY has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down." Then I get some more fun, fatal-error messages. If Win98 works as well for you as it does for me, I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to invest in this package unless we can get _official word_ that win98 *is* supported. I'd be *thrilled* to hear from anyone else out there who has successfully run the later betas on Win-98. Right now I'm just blowing off steam, I admit. But I just ran beta F a little earlier today, and I'm getting damned tired of looking at that f----ng "Fatal Error" message. :-( My apologies to all concerned, *including* 321, whose program I sincerely hope catches on *hugely* - I still have faith in the product *and* the company, so RHMOORE, if you're out there, please know I hold NO malice toward dvdxcopy _whatsoever_ , but reading in your newsletter that certain titles (like the 'Matrix') don't work properly on any OS *other* that XP doesn't exactly expire confidence in me. :-( Does or does *not* dvdxcopy support Windows 98? Thank You. -- Michael Gary Bennett --

168.11.2002 10:40

A_Klingon: I can only assume that 321 is going to push the major operating systems' support out first, get it _right_ for 2k and XP once they launch the software and once the major blips have been worked out, they'll probably go into 98 support and similiar issues. That's at least what I would do -- seriously speaking NTFS file system itself is reason enough for video enthustiasts to switch to 2k (I'm as stubborn as you are with my operating system ;-) and consider XP to be 2k added with useless candy). It's easier to label the software "Requires 2k or XP" than "Works on all Windows versions with tons of luck", don't you think?-)

178.11.2002 10:57

Yes, probably, but a lot of Win-98 users have probably pre-ordered this on faith. And you know what else I think? I think I don't see a private to-Jari message in the private section. Could you please see if you could find it? I can't. It was not meant for the public Forum. (Hope it didn't get 'lost' I don't want to have to type it all out again, thanks). -- Mike_test -- :-)

188.11.2002 11:18

Ah, the priva msgs you send out that no one has replied yet, wont be shown in your own message list.. One of those small "features" (or bugs, like all non-programmers call them), our site has :-)

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

198.11.2002 12:06

I'm one of those people that is ordering this product based on faith (the company has never said it would/would not support Win98) But I have yet to see any product that has made compatability of its software BACKWARDS on OS versions. Why would any software company bother? If the answer by a software developer is "upgrade your OS" then I really have to consider whether I really need their software. I've been following all/most of the threads here re: DVDXcopy,(klingy:good insight. venting is healthy) and although I'm hopeful, I am skeptical. Win 98 is NOT dead (although 95 is) and companies like 321Studios have to face this.

208.11.2002 13:40

Mike: The truth is, we're doing everything right for Win98. To be honest, the error we're getting is in a *system* dll. This same dll, although updated, is working fine in XP and 2K. We are going to continue hammering on it and I believe, we'll eventually get it. But our technology requires low-level reads at a basic IO level. The place where 98 is failing is a MS dll. And we have run every update on the OS we can at this point. Win2K/XP support is the only OS we can support with this first release. We are working on 98 AND ME and will continue until we get it or cannot possibly go any further. Cheers!

218.11.2002 18:34

I am totaly disappointed. I pay, but no play! It's Friday the 8th, and I want to go to bed. I was promised an instant download... But all I got was a $79.99 hole in my pocket. Looks like their burning more than just DVD's.

228.11.2002 22:48

I also paid andwhere is the email with the download info. i am waiting anyone else

238.11.2002 23:32

As you all know by now, the DVDXCopy has been released last night for pre-order users, download links are avail in our DVDXCopy forums.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

249.11.2002 0:14

Thank you Rob -- at least _now_ I know what to expect. (Sorry for being so bitchy). -- Mike --

259.11.2002 7:47

Robert Thank you for adressing the issue of W98 compatability. Your candor and honesty is a primary reason why I will ultimately buy this product (once it will work for me) Mike, your persistance, patience, and insight have made it easier for me to decide what to do (purchase or wait) in the near future. Thanks again, (and keep your fingers crossed for a version that works for us) -Steve

269.11.2002 10:49

I hope it will, Steve. Since I'm an (almost) beta-tester <g> I think I qualify for a fully (almost) <g> functioning release once 321 sends the beta testers the activation codes they promised. They (the codes) are apparently good for a year, which may be enough time for 321 to fathom the MS system.dll problem (if the problem is fixable at all). In the meantime, I've got an *army* of other (freeware) solutions I'm currently wading through to come up with my own dvd-backup solution. It's murderously complex - involving (primarily) such programs as VobEdit & IfoEdit. Thank god I have tutorial printouts in front of me, and have been dabbling in this stuff for a little over two years now. In the end, I'll bet it's going to take close to ten separate programs to achieve my goal, with no particular guarantee of success, but hey - I'm a pit-bull terrier when it comes to this stuff. (i.e. "I don't know how to take 'no' for an answer".) <gg> Beating my head against the wall has become one of my favourite pastimes -- you get used to it. <shrug> Thank you for your kind words, Steve. -- Klingy --

279.11.2002 10:50

Mike: NP! You know better than anyone that I wanted this to work for you. Right? :)

289.11.2002 11:21

Never doubted it for a moment, Rob! My frustration was 2 weeks in coming and born solely on (as you say) a deficiency within the MS .dll(s), not your software, nor you, nor 321. 2 weeks of staring an unconquerable fatal error message can take it's toll, especially when one has no prior reason to believe or suspect that his OS was/could be the culprit. Offnote: You're going to win this one. (In Hollywood). I know it. Let them now stop what has already been shipped. (HA!) -- A Staunch Supporter --

299.11.2002 11:22

I made a backup copy of my SPIDERMAN dvd using DVDXCOPY. Could someone tell me how I could cut the extra stuff out so that I can fit the movie on one dvd.


3010.11.2002 4:40

I have had some success in copying several videos such as most wanted, dog soldiers and the second portions of the sum of all fears and windtalkers. However, in the last two several of the last chapers of disk one are not complete. My best success has been using my memorex+dvdrw+r as the recorder and HP100i as the feeder drive. All recorded dvd's play well on my two HP desk tops and home sony DVD player. However; I have not been able to view any recorded dvd's on my HP 5150 laptop or compact 2700 US. both have Toshiba DVD rom drives...any Ideas. One other think i did find out was the best success for reformatting the DVDRW was using STOMP Record now max program. Often times reformatted RWs were not recognized on either drive by Nero burning room.

3110.11.2002 7:09

Nitemagic: Please post questions to DVDXCopy support forums at: Thanks.

Jari Ketola

3211.11.2002 12:41

Chetan, I do not own DVDXCOPY software, so I don't know how to shrink a movie to fit on DVD-5. However, if you use IfoEdit and load up your main movie (VTS_01_0.IFO) of spiderman, then press VOBEXTRAS button. Then leave the check marks in the next panel as is and make sure that you check the languages that you like to keep (e.g. - English, French, etc.). Press "strip it". This will create a movie only of spider that will fit on a DVD-R of 4.7 Gig. (this is assuming that you used DVDDecryptor to rip the entire spider man movie so that you would have your VIDE_TS, VIDEO_1_0.IFO, etc.) Hope this helps.

3311.11.2002 12:47

Thanks for responding SCSI_BOY. I did download a copy of dvddecryptor, I ripped the movie to my harddrive but I am having trouble burning on dvd. I cannot make the icon from harddrive to dvd come on, any suggestions ?


3411.11.2002 13:23

Hi Chetan, Sorry I was not too clear with my response. Here is condensed cut/dry procedures: 1. rip Spiderman movie to your hard disk by using DVD Decryptor. 2. in the DVD Decryptor GUI, click on 'Mode' drop down menu and pick 'File'. 3. place your cursor on the right panel and press 'CNTRL-A' for selecting all. 4. this will select all the files to ripped to your hard drive. I believe Spiderman will eat up about 7 - 8 Gig of your drive...ouch!! 5. Ok now you've sucessfully ripped all the files. :) 6. Bring up your IfoEdit software (you can download this software (free) from 7. click on 'open' button in IfoEdit software, which will bring up a panel listing all the directories. Please find the directory that your originally ripped Spiderman. 8. Now open the file called VTS_01_0.IFO. This is the main movie file of Spiderman. 9. After you have opened this file, please click on "VOB EXTRAS" button in IfoEdit. 10. Leave all the check marks as is and also verify that you checked "Create New IFO files(movie only)) radio button. 11. Please check step #10 again to be sure :| 12. Now press 'OK' 13. the software will take you to the next screen called "stream list". 14. In this screen, pick your languages: English, French, etc. For example, since you are an English speaking person, but would like keep French subtitles (may be for your beautiful French girlfriend), then check French as well. 15. Now click on 'Strip It' button. 16. get a cup of coffee...this will take about 10-15 minutes depending on the speed of your computer (hard drive, cpu, ram, etc.) 17. ONce the process is finished, use one of your favorite DVD burn program and burn it to your DVD-R or DVD+R. Easy!!! yes? p.s. - please use IfoEdit version 0.95, okie:) good luck!!!

3511.11.2002 13:31

Thanks SCSI_boy. I will try this when I get home.


3611.11.2002 13:51

Slightly wrong place guys, go to our DVD-R forums to continue, ok?

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

3711.11.2002 16:07

dRD is right. You should go to the DVD-R forums to get even better info on this type of stuff. I got carried away :) :| Take care!

3811.11.2002 16:13

Chetan, If you still have questions, post your concerns on the DVD-R forum chat room, and I'll see if I catch you over there. scsi_boy is signing out on this forum room!

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