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§ VirtualDub and commercial distribution

Several people have brought it to my attention that a company is distributing VirtualDub on CD for a fee. I am glad that I have such a loyal user base that actively reports such issues, but surprising as it may seem, this isn't necessarily illegal. VirtualDub is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2, which permits certain types of commercial distribution as long as the source code distribution requirements are followed. The key requirements are that (a) the distributor must make the source available themselves, and (b) redistribution of the GPL-licensed materials can't be restricted. So, they can sell the GPL program on CD, but they can't prevent anyone from taking the copy on the CD and redistributing it for free.

That having been said, I am not affiliated with any outfits that sell VirtualDub, nor do I endorse any such products or receive any compensation for any that are sold. It has been my experience that many such outfits deliberately hide or downplay the fact that their products are open source and deceptively imply that the programs are their own creations, while adding very little value in their delivery of the product. In addition, the version(s) on the CD are likely to be outdated. As such, I recommend that people not buy VirtualDub in any packaged form, and always retrieve the latest official version from SourceForge, which is linked from this website's download page. In this manner you will always receive the latest version of VirtualDub from a known good source and at no cost. Because the circumstances of distribution are unknown and beyond my control, I cannot provide technical support for versions of VirtualDub provided commercially by third parties.

(Read more....)

§ VirtualDub 1.6.17 and 1.7.0 released

I'd like to say that I slaved away tirelessly over the weekend to get this release out, but the truth is that I spent yesterday afternoon beating Xenosaga III, or rather, leveling a bit and then stomping the end boss. After recovering from the depressing realization that I had finished the probably the last game to feature KOS-MOS, I started final builds of VirtualDub only to discover that the AMD64 builds of the experimental branch were broken and had to go back to fix them. That's why the 1.6.17 branch shows a build date of yesterday.

At the moment, there seems to be a problem with the project web hosting on SourceForge, so if you are having trouble getting to the download page, both 1.6.17 and 1.7.0 are available on VirtualDub's SourceForge File Release page.

1.7.0 is the new experimental version, and the first officially released version of VirtualDub to be built with Visual Studio 2005 Professional. In addition to the fixes that are in 1.6.17, it contains a number of new features, most notably smart rendering and filter blending. Smart rendering allows frame-precise editing of compressed video by only recompressing small sections around edits, with the rest of the frames copied in Direct mode. Filter blending allows opacity curves to be applied to individual filters, allowing a filter's effect to be applied only to certain frames. When both smart rendering and filter blending are enabled, the filter chain is skipped entirely when all filters are at opacity zero (transparent). This allows filtering only a portion of a video stream, and some scenarios that formerly required multiple passes and manual joins can now be done in a single pass. Both of these features work with existing video codecs and filters, and are explained in detail in the help. 1.7.0 also adds support for writing PNG files, importing MayaIFF image sequences, reading/writing Wave64 for WAV files larger than 2GB, and reading/writing Adobe Filmstrip sequences for rotoscoping in Photoshop.

If you are one of the few people still using Windows 95, you will need to stick with the 1.6.x series since starting with 1.7.0, VirtualDub will require Windows 98 or higher. However, if you are using Windows Vista, you should use 1.7.0 to resolve issues with the displays; later builds of Vista have fixed some of the compatibility problems with the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) that underlies Aero Glass, but only 1.7.0 will work without issues since I rearchitected part of the display engine to fix GDI-DirectDraw interop problems.

Finally, if you are still having problems Action Canceled with VirtualDub's help file, right-click on it in Windows Explorer and choose Unblock. The reason for this problem is that the KB896358 security update from Microsoft prevents HTML help files from working if they are located on a network share or have the Internet Explorer "downloaded from the Internet" tag (which shouldn't be getting applied to files from a .zip archive, but somehow is for some users). 1.7.0 will display a warning and offer to strip the Zone.Identifier stream, but you still need to do this manually for 1.6.17. You will have problems regardless if you place VirtualDub on a network share, so move the .chm file to a local drive and open it locally in that case.

Read on for the change lists, and enjoy.

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