v2.60 RC01



Updates: GSpot v2.60 b01 vs. GSpot v2.60 b00
Bug Fix Related Updates

Fixes a limitation which caused problems with very hi-res (e.g.1920 x 1088) MPEG files.

Fixed several problems which could have caused a VGS related field to continuously display "scanning at 0.0 MB/s" (not to mention conceivably "hanging" by actually "doing" that!).
Better recognition of AC3 files (either raw or as internally demuxed from a container), including a possible fix of inaccurate information displayed regarding same.

Also sports a new more informative (and "officially sanctioned") display format describing the AC3 audio channel arrangement. The screenshot to the left indicates an AC3 soundtrack with six channels total: five "full range" channels and one "LFE" channel - an arrangement often (and in previous versions of GSpot) referred to as "5.1". The new format further indicates that the five full range channels are arranged as 3 front (L, C and R) and two rear (L and R) channels.

Fixed a problem with "codec is installed" vs. "codec not installed" status for files where "codec not installed" was incorrectly displayed for files which actually could play when ffMPEG (and certain other "multi-format" codecs). This was simply a matter of increasing GSpot's internal "maximum supported 'fourcc' codes per codec" which was previously 16. That value that seemed reasonable a few years ago, but is now much too low for codecs ffMPEG, which currently lists support for 42 formats). This GSpot version uses a new max value of 128 formats per codec (which should keep them busy for a while ;)

Fixed bug that cause the "frame type preview" display to display "S" frames when there were none.

Fixed bug which caused crash on MP4 files with "64-bit" durations or timestamps in MP4 containers. Furthermore, GSpot now displays the embedded "created" and "modified" date for MP4. The code was corrected so, like most of the rest of the code, it will no longer cause a "divide by zero" crash even if it actually finds some real "garbage" values here.
Addresses many (but not all) problems with AVI files using NVOP's (the "real" ones, not the "zero time" ones that are not part of a so-called "Packed Bitstream"). The basic info for these files should now be correct although the VGS feature has not been updated to completely deal with them properly. The same goes for AVI "[D]" ("drop' or "dup") frames. Further updates to these issues are forthcoming.
Pixel frame size (as "stored in stream" vs. "recommended display") mix-up for MP4 containers now fixed. The former is shown in the PIC field, as it should. The latter is displayed specifically as a note in container, and as a ratio in the DAR field. When both are available, GSpot now “reverse calculates" the "PAR" (Pixel Aspect Ratio) even in the absence of a direct value (i.e. as might be obtained from a demuxed video stream).

When all of the above is available and the and the two DAR values significantly contradict one another, an appropriate warning is displayed in the stream info field. I have some "official" MP4 test files that exhibit this error, though I'm not sure who or what app/version was used to create them.

File Type Related Updates
Better handling of raw DV, DV type 1 AVI and DV type 2 AVI files. The audio portion of DV Type 1 AVI is still mishandled but that should be fixed on the next release.
Now identifies five subtypes of FLV files and displays the Flash version (or equiv) required to view them.
  1) Sorenson (similar to H263) v1.0 & v1.1
2) Flash "Screen Video"
3) On2 VP6 (fourcc for this now displays "FLV4/VP6" as the fourcc, not "FLV1")
4) On2 VP6 w/alpha video (fourcc as above)
5) Flash "Screen Video v2" (apparently never actually implemented by Macromedia)
Identifies (but does not yet process) twelve new file formats including videogame related VMD & SMK, animation types FLI & FLC, Creative ".VOC" audio files and lossless audio types SHN, PAC, LA, APE, OFR, RKA. It also now identifies (by parsing and internally demuxing) MPEG-2 Transport Streams.  Further information about these formats - other than what they are - is not available yet, however.

This is useful, however, in identifying unknown or incorrectly named files, since, as always, GSpot never uses a filename's existing extension for any purpose whatsoever. GSpot now identifies approximately 70 "formats" in total - usually "containers" or "raw streams", though the number above also includes some non-multimedia formats such as Gzip to aid in identifying unknown files (e.g. a gzipped AVI named "file.avi").

Of course, any given "format" may have many (hundreds in the case of AVI, see below) subtypes associated with it.

6 new audio codecs and 19 new video "fourcc" codes (FLV4, G2M2, G2M3, GXVE, HDX4, IMG, LSVC, LSVX, ML20, QDRW, SANM, SEG4, SEGA, SMP4, TM10, VP70, VP71, VP72 and WVC1) have been added to the database. This is in addition to the many dozens added in the b00 release. 

» There are now a total of 806 (188 audio and 618 video codecs) in the GSpot's database.

The database also contains 15 new DivX version and 6 new XviD version stream ID's. When possible, it uses this information to display the exact version of either those encoders used to create a given file.

Miscellaneous Updates
Displays video duration to the nearest millisecond for durations less than one hour. Previously, GSpot rounded duration off to the nearest second.

In "System > List Codecs and Other Filters" an orange warning color and special note is displayed for codecs "disabled by MMCompView" (a utility included in the KLite Codec Pack). Later GSpot versions will include support for disabling or re-enabling them using a compatible mechanism. Previously, GSpot would show such disabled codecs in red "misconfigured codec" error.

Now internally demuxes MPEG4 video from MP4 containers and displays all additional info obtained (but doesn't do a full filescan or display this on the VGS subsystem yet). This includes whether the file uses BVOP, QPEL, and/or GMC and other info. Displays a warning error if the PAR specified in the internal stream contradicts the value calculated from the container. I've found this to be common bug even in "official" MP4 test files.

So far, this feature is only available for "regular" MPEG4 streams in MP4 containers, not AVC/H.264, MPEG 1/2, or other video stream types. This is coming soon.

Other Notes
For the impatient: The next version of GSpot will include a configuration option to "not perform a full scan" of very long files - the way older versions of GSpot always worked. This will including an <esc> key option to accomplish such an abort "on the fly" on an individual file basis. GSpot will then immediately display its best approximation of all "final" information via some combination of extrapolation and/or using the "tricks" employed by previous versions (e.g. getting info from container or stream header(s) only, skipping to the end of the file and doing certain "subtraction" type computations. etc.).

The current version did add an <esc> key and menu options for aborting a "batch" process of many files, but there is currently no provision for aborting or skipping a scan of a given file once GSpot decides to do that - something it now does on certain supported formats to ascertain the most accurate information possible.

Regarding GSpot’s "Required Codec(s) are [not] installed" status: I realize this is an important function, especially for many "casual" GSpot users (and indeed, it was one of the app's original goals). Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to be done to make this determination as accurately as one might like. Due to the proliferation of new file types, third party "splitters" and non-DirectShow codec media players such as VLC and MPlayer, this determination has become very complex problem (and it wasn't simple to begin with). It is, however, currently being worked on, and updates should be expected soon.

Known issues (well there's dozens of them, all being worked on, but here are two caveats that come to mind):

1) DVD "VOB" files are not fully supported and information displayed for them should be taken for what it's worth (GSpot will display that the file is "VOB format" so you'll know when this is the case). VOB files have complex structure that potentially contains many streams and substreams of MPEG audio, video and other information, including a possible mixture of different MPEG formats in the same file. GSpot currently just displays any MPEG information it happens to run across in any section of the VOB, which may only represent a subset of what's actually contained there.

2) GSpot will require a bit of work to properly handle files larger than 8GB (usually DV files), as this requires 64-bit internal variables vs. the 32-bit ones currently used extensively throughout the program. As above, information for such files should be "taken for what it's worth". In particular, frame counts and durations for such files are likely to be incorrect.

Crash proof. Well, certainly "crash resistant", anyway;) This version of GSpot was auto-tested by script against a battery of more than 3000 mixed files, mostly media files of hundreds of different types, with a mixture of some non-media files, known corrupt media files, and other random junk thrown in to the mix as well. I'm certainly not saying the information for all those files is guaranteed correct (that's gonna take a long time to check), but it did survive the endurance test with no crashes or other abnormal behavior.
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