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Complete Version history / Release notes / Changelog / What's New for GSpot

2.70a 22 Feb 2007 20070222
Bug fixes
Vista compliancy, WMV, MOV, extended MP4 & more

2.70 21 Feb 2007 20070221
Vista compliancy, WMV, MOV, extended MP4 & more

v2.60 RC01 19 Nov 2006 20061119 RC1
As of v2.60 RC1, GSpot allows easy display of "third-party" "property pages" for any DirectShow codecs which have implemented this feature. Not available for VFW, ACM or DMO codecs (and many DSH codecs don't have one implemented either). If the menu option is grayed out for the selected filter, the feature is unavailable - otherwise, check it out. It's occasionally interesting, if nothing else, and may allow you to solve problems or at least optimize your playback quality.

Users who are familiar with encoding files will note that some of these are similar to the Video Compression "Settings" dialog (e.g. when encoding with VirtualDub/VDubMod), and indeed those same dialogs are available if an encoding filter is selected using this feature.

"Decoder" filter property pages - not to mention specialized filters - are not encountered as often, however, so this may be a useful new feature for certain users.

v2.60 b05 7 Nov 2006 20061107 Beta 05
Latest Version; Win9x compliant again and other fixes/updates. Details coming shortly.

v2.60 b04 5 Nov 20062006110 Beta 04
Latest Version; more fixes/updates. Details coming shortly.

v2.60 b03 1 Nov 200620061101 Beta 03
Latest Version; more fixes/updates. Details coming shortly.

20061023 Beta 02
Latest Version; many fixes. Update Details coming shortly

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 ďreverse 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.

Ľ 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 GSpotís "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.

v2.60 b00 04 Sept 2006:
&#9679; FLV, MP4, DV1/2 & Raw DV support, more...
&#9679; Significant advanced features for technical users
&#9679; Includes unique "Visual GOP Structure" (VGS) subsystem - see screenshots
&#9679; This is a pre-release - not all features are tested or complete yet. It may be of more interest to technical users, although anyone interested should feel free to download & try it. It is not at all difficult to "use" (Basically just "File -> Open"), but much of the new information provided is of a rather technical nature. But it may tell you exactly what you need to know. See next note.
&#9679; Ironically, some simpler features for casual users, (e.g. "You need to install codec 'X' to play this file...") are not complete yet. And I am aware that, to a large extent, it is those features that have made GSpot as popular as it is).

15 Sept 2004 040915
Reworked parts of the MPEG-4 parsing routine. It was failing to even identify some files as MPEG-4 altogether, and when it did it sometimes provided erroneous information (the BVOP indicator in particular).

12 Sept 2004 v2.52 b01 040912
¤ Fixed exception violation ("crash") issues exhibited by, in particular, v2.51b2, which often overran an internal data buffer. The current version has been "road-tested" with over 2000 media files1
¤ Added 16:9 anamorphic support (for target and/or source) in the resizing information function. Also added ability to select different target sizes for "AVI" (i.e. 1:1 PAR) targets.
¤ Reorganized the GUI layout. See screenshot.
¤ Added support for parsing information from the optional MPEG-2 "sequence display extension". When available, the "display" height and width are shown, as well as the color space mapping matrix (which may be useful only to a few video techno-geek users out there ;)
¤ Added support for identifying so-called "packed bitstreams", an MPEG-4 construct sometimes used DivX 5.x and other MPEG-4 streams contained in an AVI file. The information is displayed as text in the "container" section; additionally a new indicator labeled "NVOP", as these constructs are informally called, with the other MPEG-4 indicators.
¤ Finally "restored" the ability to find the details of the codecs and other filters, as well as the mediatypes involved, when the "MS" (Microsoft DirectShow) render function is used (see Figure 1 below). The word "restored" is in reference to the fact that older v2.21 had similar capability, albeit more limited than the information now available in this version.

28 Aug 2004 v2.51b02 040828
? Fixed GUI resize issue with H.264 indicator.
? Fixed resource leak associated w GSpot render.
? Fixed attempt to analyze split audio with no audio present, which corrupted some other values & could result in an app crash later.

27 Aug 2004 v2.51b02 040827
? Rewrote the MPEG-2 parsing routines for the interlace & pull-down functions. The previous version had significant design flaws, causing it to display erroneous results.
? Added native recognition of H.264 video streams and an associated "indicator light". Should recognize H.264 in an AVI (e.g. VideoSoft), in an MPEG-2 Program Stream (e.g. MainConcept), or raw (e.g. ITU reference encoder)
? "open with" and drag 'n drop should work on Win98 again

v2.51b01 040819
Fixed flaky "cell-tip" behavior

New 2.51 functions
There is a new precision size conversion feature, an implementation of "the" - the algorithm described by Jukka Aho on his webpage, . The feature is explained by an "info-tip" which is displayed when you click on the word "Info" right near the feature. There is also a new group of informational "indicators" which give technical information interlacing (MPEG-2 files only) - further information on this is provided below:

29 July 04 v2.5b8 Build 040729
Fixed crash on "open with" and crash on exit problems introduced with the Unicode changes of 040728 (hate when that happens!)

28 July 04 v2.5b8 Build 040728
Fixed bug which caused some wild MPEG durations & frame counts.
Fixed audio codec status export field, which always said "not needed".
Eliminated restrictions on manually entered codec merit values.
Added wide-char/Unicode support for filename strings - filenames with Unicode should load OK now ("File > Load" only, no drag 'n drop yet).

25 July 04 v2.5b8 Build 040725
fixes fixes some junk characters displayed in 040724)

24 July 04 v2.5b8 Build 040724
Added "pixel aspect ratio" and "display aspect ratio" fields.
Fixed export bug where undefined fields show data from previous file.
Fixed unreadable text/background color combinations when used with "high contrast" color schemes. Now detects that & adjusts automatically.

19 July 04 v2.5b7
Overhauled the "export" feature.
- Items exportable individually (independent of display grouping).
- Spreadsheet friendly - no extraneous text on numeric fields.
- See add'l notes on sample file ExportFormat.txt, included.
Added in-place light green "cell tips" for text that doesn't fit.
Changed the word "stream" to "container" when describing the outer, multiplexed "delivery" format.
Fixed bug which caused AC3 audio to always display as "split".
Added support for identifying raw AAC audio streams (ADIF or ADTS).
Miscellaneous improvements in rendering algorithms.
Fixed divide by zero crash when started minimized.

12 July 04 v2.5b6 Build 040712:
MPEG-4 functions now work with XVID
Fixed AVI interleave & preload display problems. Now works with VBR MP3 and AC3 audio, and with VDubMod style 'single chunk' preloads. Also shows whether the audio frames are 'aligned' or 'split' on interleaves.
MPEG files now display approx total frames (calculated val), not "0"
Switched to HH:MM:SS time display & removed some extended chars.

10 July 04 v2.5b5
Restored "VBR" and "CBR" designations in audio info.
Fixed incorrect bitrate displayed for VBR MP3 AVI's.
Fixed incorrect "missing" length value displayed for truncated AVI's.
Fixed monitor window not reverting to "stream" after drag and drop.
Fixed "gray rectangle over monitor window" problems - again!
Fixed a few more resize issues; also adjusted tooltip positioning.

7 July 04 v2.5b4
Fixed GUI artifacts resulting from resizing the app.
Also some rendering related & other misc fixes.

4 July 04 v2.5b3
Fixed serious resource leak which caused app to crash on W9x.
Fixed handling of large (4GB+) & multi-section AVI's.
Restored display of total #of frames.
Now identifies (but doesn't yet demux) ISO MP4 stream format (e.g. 3ivx, Nero, QT)

3 July 04 v2.5b2
Fixed significant display issues which occurred when used on systems with other than 32-bit color.

1 July 04 v2.5b1
Fixed monitor window size and position problems.

30 June 04 v2.5b0
Initial release. Updated to parse VOB format MPEG - (handles PCM, AC3 and DTS audio embedded in substreams)

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