TheSaint

Audio DVD and DTS CD toolbox

29 posts in this topic

#1 ·  Posted (edited)

Over the last few years I have been doing a lot of Audio (CD & DVD) research, trying many open source and freeware programs.

That includes WAV, AC3, DTS, FLAC, APE etc Stereo and Surround Sound files. It also includes video from JPG, BMP, PNG etc sources.

I talk a little about LOSSY and LOSSLESS files in Post #3.

Some of you may have read my posts (kind of blog) in Chat about my large project, Audio DVD Producer, and thus seen the many screenshots and know somewhat of my trials and tribulations.

While doing testing of course, I tried a lot of programs, and some I even made tools of via my own Frontends. I still use and update some of them, as many are very useful in their own right, and allow me to do a number of things in stages, in a much more controlled manner compared to my larger project. So because of that, I thought I would share them here. Some have been mentioned in that Chat topic.

Recommended Programs:

I use foobar2000 (with DTS Decoder plugin) to play DTS WAV files and DTS-CD. It also has a simulated multichannel plugin for headphones.

For checking M2V files and finished DVD etc, I use Media Player Classic and if necessary VLC Media Player (and others).

Required 3rd Party Programs:

ArcSoft DTS Decoder (DLL's) (ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre) (eac3to use) (mentioned here)  --> (DTS-to-WAV)

eac3to.exe (eac3to)  --> (DTS-to-WAV)

ffdcaenc.exe (Ffdcaenc) or here

flac.exe (FLAC)  --> (SoXcutterFE) (DTS-to-WAV v2.3)

gain.exe (Ac3Filter Tools)  --> (SoXcutterFE)
spdifer.exe (Ac3Filter Tools)  --> (DTS-to-WAV)
valdec.exe (Ac3Filter Tools)  --> (DTS-to-WAV)  (SoXcutterFE)

joinwav.exe (Joinwav)  -->  (JPG-to-M2V)

MediaInfo.exe (MediaInfo)  --> (DTS-to-WAV)

PgcDemux.exe (PgcDemux)  --> (DTS-to-WAV)

sox.exe (SoX)  --> (SoXcutterFE)  I have had trouble with some versions of SoX, with 14.4.1 being the one I use. 14.4.2 crashes for me.

ssrc_hp.exe  or  ssrc.exe (Shibatch)  -->  (DTS-to-WAV v2.3)

tranzcode.exe (Tranzcode) Some info here

AUDIO CD & DVD TOOLBOX

(source scripts were developed in AutoIt v3.3.0.0 so may need modifying to compile with latest AutoIt)

SoXcutterFE

 SoXcutterFE v1.2.zip

 SoXcutterFE v1.2 (source).zip

BAT Examples.zip

I made this one over the last week, and it is part of an unfinished DTS CD ripping, burning & editing guide, that you can read here.

DTS-to-WAV

Program to convert WAV, DTS, AC3, FLAC & VOB (IFO required) to suitable audio files for DTS CD or DVD.

Screenshots and information about update can be found at Post #14.

DTS-to-WAV v2.0.zip

 DTS-to-WAV v2.0 (source).zip

 DTS-to-WAV v2.3.zip

 DTS-to-WAV v2.3 (source).zip

NOTE - While this is a stand-alone program, it does create right-click registry entries for DTS, WAV, FLAC, AC3, IFO files. A shortcut with a parameter of /unreg will remove the registry entries, though they will get created again every time the program runs. To stop them being created, you can (after using the unregister shortcut), add the value of '1' back into the 'Settings.ini' file as 'registry=1' in the [Context Entry] section. To use the program in that scenario, you would need to drag a WAV file etc onto the program EXE or a shortcut for that (or create a BAT file for it, etc). The installer I normally use for my programs, creates all the necessary shortcuts, which was overlooked when I created this zip version for others. All that said, the best way to use the program is by right-clicking on your WAV etc file.

(source script was developed in AutoIt v3.3.0.0 so may need modifying to compile with latest AutoIt)

I made this one early on in my research, but gave it a good update in the last week, with many improvements. This one does require you to have, at the very least, a Trial version of an ArcSoft program, for its DTS dlls for DTS decoding. In my Audio DVD Producer program, I currently use the free Tranzcoder program to do much the same thing, but it does fail on occasion with some HD DTS WAV files, that require something like the ArcSoft decoder. This tool is good for turning a 5.1 DTS or AC3 DVD track into a DTS-CD.

JPG-to-M2V

Program to convert JPG, BMP, PNG files to a M2V video file, suitable for DVD, MKV or M2TS/TS file, when muxed with audio. 

Screenshots and Update information (required 3rd party programs) can be seen at Post #10. Post #15. Post #19. Post #20. Post #21. Post #26.

Read other posts for related info.

 JPG-to-M2V v1.5.zip

 JPG-to-M2V v1.5 (sources).zip

  JPG-to-M2V v1.8.zip   (both re-upped again due to an introduced bug) (3)

  JPG-to-M2V v1.8 (source).zip

 JPG-to-M2V v1.9.zip

 JPG-to-M2V v1.9 (source).zip

This was also made early on, and I am in the midst of giving it a very big update, to work with multiple image files (something that Audio DVD Producer does not yet do to this degree).

 

**** more to come ****

Edited by TheSaint
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I've now made some amendments to my guide at the Doom9's forum, though it still needs to be completed properly.


AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#3 ·  Posted (edited)

As well as adding a link to the Wikipedia page as I did within the Guide, I also meant to talk a little about Lossy and Lossless when it comes to DTS files and manipulating them.

A DTS WAV file, as on a DTS CD or a DVD etc, is generally what you call lossy, because it is a special kind of compressed WAV file, especially the CD version, but you can get HD versions on Blu-ray and possibly even on DVD. Anyway, far better you get the more correct understanding from the Wikipedia page.

I have read that the DTS WAV file extracted from a DTS-CD is comparable to something a bit better than the highest quality MP3 and similar. Certainly, when you look at file size, you roughly get the same 40 Mb of stereo WAV as you do for a multichannel DTS WAV file. That alone tells you compression is being used, as in the case of 5.1, you are getting much the same size file for two audio tracks as for six.

Many programs don't deal properly with DTS WAV files, even SoX, which fails to work with them unless in a mono PCM state, albeit still compressed to some degree it seems. Due to the speed with which SoX works with the mono files in my project (as in Guide), I believe it is not altering the lossy quality and so not recoding.

Some programs that can decode a DTS WAV file to mono files, like BeSplit for instance, create quite large mono WAV files, unlike Tranzcode and the ArcSoft Decoder. This would indeed involve recoding.

I believe the processes I utilize when editing the DTS WAV files, does not significantly lower the quality of the lossy files, but I am no expert, and so I would welcome confirmation from an expert. Until then, I trust my ears and my sense of what appears to be going on.

Addendum

For those interested, a person called Diatonis, has released some of his multichannel music files (DTS WAV, AC3, FLAC, etc) for free. It is somewhat ambient moody trance-like music, that I quite like, and it is available here.

Note, that the DTS WAV files from Diatonis, fail to be extracted to proper mono WAV files by Tranzcode, and require something like the ArcSoft Decoder via eac3to. In fact, with the 5.0 channel files (no LFE channel), the 5th channel was just noise and  the other four sounded much like one another, and you get a dull noisy remix when muxed back together. That is not the case with the ArcSoft Decoder, which deals with them correctly. I imagine they a HD DTS WAV or somesuch.

In any case, I was just experimenting with them as both the 5.0 and 5.1 channel files burn as is to a DTS CD and play well. With converted versions of the AC3 and FLAC files, you can have quite a full DTS CD. Please consider making a purchase from Diatonis, if you really like his music, though you are obviously under no obligation (other than conscience) to do so.

http://www.diatonis.com/surround_sound_music.html

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

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Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

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What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#4 ·  Posted (edited)

Ok, for those who would like to play, here's an early release of JPG-toM2V.

I still need to add direct access to many options on the incomplete Options window.

I also still need to add support for adding images and keeping them proportional by embedding on a right size background image. At the moment, the program will convert to the largest PAL size if not already, or leave as is (not recommended if intending for DVD and the like).

NOTE - Your image should look a bit squashed at the correct PAL size, as it gets stretched when seen (16:9) on your Widescreen TV or Monitor. Unfortunately, you cannot just use widescreen images as is, as MuxMan etc won't accept them.

And I need to add NTSC as an option, as currently only PAL is coded for.

Aside from all that, it works well.

To remove an image, hold down your CTRL key while clicking that item, and a removal prompt will appear. There are some other CTRL features too, like select or deselect ALL items, etc.

You can, if you want, put other Frequencies in, by manually editing the Settings.ini file.

[Image Changes]
frequencies=Equal|5 secs|7 secs|10 Secs|15 secs|20 secs|25 secs|30 secs|35 secs

Just be sure to use a pipe '|' character between each and a space between number and secs.

 JPG-to-M2V v1.3.zip

Requirements

M2V Creation - MJPEG Tools  ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/mjpeg )
M2V Joining - mpgtx  ( http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/mpgtx/mpgtx.zip?download )
M2V Recoding - ffmpeg  ( http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/ )
M2V Shrinking - Requant  ( http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p=383217#post383217 ) Post #14 )
File Information (time & size) - MediaInfo (CLI)  ( http://mediaarea.net/EN/MediaInfo )

Additional Software (for muxing)

Muxing Audio & Video to DVD folder (VOB) - Muxman 0.16.8  ( http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Muxman )

Muxing Audio & Video to MKV file - MKVMerge (MKVtoolnix) ( http://www.videohelp.com/software/MKVtoolnix )

Muxing Audio & Video to M2TS file - tsMuxer  ( http://www.videohelp.com/software/tsMuxeR )

JPG-to-M2V_window.thumb.jpg.cf160335ab6e

P.S. Please NOTE, that this is an unfinished update, so some things are not working and some information etc is wrong. It doesn't check for remaining drive space or if the Image location might be non-writable for resized images (CD or DVD), so it can fail without advising properly ... much of that should be down to the 3rd Party programs anyway.

Edited by TheSaint
Fix forum errors
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AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

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Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

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What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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Uops!!! I have to take a look at this closer. I use to burn DVD-Audio to hear improved rips of some of my CD's in the Playstation 3 with my 5.1 system.

 

Thanks for sharing it with us

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#6 ·  Posted (edited)

Uops!!! I have to take a look at this closer. I use to burn DVD-Audio to hear improved rips of some of my CD's in the Playstation 3 with my 5.1 system.

Thanks for sharing it with us

No worries, enjoy.

In case you are not aware, the DVD audio element is part of the DVD Video specs, and not the more wide ranging DVD Audio specs that don't work in normal DVD players. That said, it still has very high quality, just not as many choices. Because it is part of the DVD Video spec, it is called Audio DVD, rather than DVD Audio.

Sometimes a DVD Audio disc (AUDIO_TS folder) also included an Audio DVD element (VIDEO_TS folder).

Audio DVD discs sometimes accompany CD's in a Deluxe Version package.
Unlike most DTS CD, they are not generally Lossy, though usually they also have an AC3 (Dolby) track by default, that is Lossy, to give greater hardware support, as supposedly not all DVD players will play DTS or PCM WAV based files.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

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Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

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What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#7 ·  Posted (edited)

I've updated Post #4 above, with some missing elements as well as giving more information.

In addition to the software mentioned there and in the first post, I also find the following as useful & supportive.

PS3 support - AVCHDMe or better still, AVCHD Manager. They can fool the PS3 into thinking a thumb drive is a Mini Blu-ray disc (M2TS/M2T files folder structure, with chapters even). You could also use that with a program like multiAVCHD and have menu support as well.

DVD Menus & Chapters - DVDStyler  (http://www.videohelp.com/software/DVDStyler)

NOTE - All the programs I mention, like mine, are all freeware or open source (unless stated otherwise). I've tried many other programs, and they generally fail to do what is exactly needed, but I am also pleased to hear about others or improvements to the way I currently use the ones I do.

I would especially like to hear of better M2V creation, as I still experience seeking (FFWD/REWND) issues in some players, with first and last tracks etc.

There are many DVD creators out there, that do a half decent job, but fail when it comes to retaining full quality audio, multichannel, etc (or waste time re-muxing it). Those that create video from images also usually fail, when it comes to seeking, as they only place images at certain frames (chapter points etc), and so you can end up with a black screen when fast forwarding etc. That last does depend on the software or hardware player.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

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Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

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What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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I am getting an version error on Media Info CLI :(, I already checked it if i had downloaded the right version, here is what I downloaded from here:

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 ---> 64-bit ---> CLI ---> v0.7.76

 

TD :)


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Some messages & Apologizes:

If I hurt you, Please accept my apologies, I never (regardless of the situation) mean to hurt anybody!!!

Also, I am very busy with my project so I will appear in the last row of the online list, if you want to contact me: Email@TheDcoder.xyz

Or you can have a nice chat with me in freenode, I use the same nick on freenode too!

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PLEASE JOIN ##AutoIt AND HELP THE IRC AUTOIT COMMUNITY!

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#9 ·  Posted (edited)

I am getting an version error on Media Info CLI :(,

Ok, I will look into it. I don't recall it being version number specific, but it might be, or perhaps they've changed something or the 64 bit version is different somehow?

I've only tested mine on Win XP 32 bit.

Here's the code I use, which is very simple and not number specific.

 MediaInfo Test.au3

I'd basically finished the program (predictive stuff aside, which needs reworking), but it failed some things during some testing, so I'm still troubleshooting those ... in particular NTSC, but also reworking some of my maths to cater for various sizes in a more foolproof manner.

It is working well with both color or an image as a background.

I also have some other features in mind now.

I'm also gonna have to look into improving JPG quality when resizing, as it isn't as good as it should be. That may mean using some command-line program rather than GDI+, unless I can work out where to make improvements.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

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What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#10 ·  Posted (edited)

Ok, nearly finished. Here's some screenshots.

Main_GUI.thumb.jpg.4882fb28e2b0b5258eaff  Options.thumb.jpg.97576a5d0ba8a7705c86b0

Almost did my head in with the maths involved in getting correct aspect ratio etc, but I'm alright now.

The biggest hurdle (and still is to a degree), was NTSC.
First, MJPEG Tools complained. That sent me into research mode, and I discovered that somehow my notes had mistakenly noted NTSC as 24.97 frames per second, as opposed to PAL's 25 fps. I didn't have to search far before I discovered that the correct fps was either 24 or 29.97 for NTSC. So I fixed that by adding both.
Second, Ffmpeg did not like 29.97. As it turns out, I didn't need to specify fps on the command-line, so I removed it. I'm still not sure I had been using it correctly anyway, as the sparse Help in Ffmpeg mentions hertz. Ffmpeg is so complex and needs a proper help file, and not the over-bloated skip the basics one it has.
Third, MuxMan doesn't like 24 fps. It does accept 29.97 though, so I have partial success and are looking into why 24 (my preferred option) doesn't work. I have found mention of 23.976 elsewhere, but it doesn't specifically say NTSC, so I need to test etc.

The MuxMan issue aside, both MKVMerge and tsMuxer can deal with 24 fps, so I'm not too upset. DVD support would be good though. I've also started mucking around with MP4 and AVI, as alternatives for other people.

Just when I thought I had covered all the important stuff, it occurred to me that chapters based on image changes would be a great idea, so I am now going to look into adding that for DVD (VOB), MKV and M2TS / TS ... and perhaps MP4. Each program uses a different chapter format, so it will take a little time to get sorted.

I should be uploading v1.4 soon.

P.S. Testing this type of stuff, always takes a considerable amount of time.

Edited by TheSaint

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Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

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What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#11 ·  Posted (edited)

Well research revealed that 23.976 is indeed an NTSC standard, but MuxMan fails to accept that too. I think that 29.970 will have to be the default and a warning given when selecting 23.976 (24), that you cannot create an end result DVD (VOB) folder structure when that is selected. Perhaps it may be even smarter to remove 23.976 (24) altogether or add an INI option to enable it.

It may be possible to convert the (23.976) MKV version to a DVD (VOB) structure anyway, to get around the MuxMan issue ... though I'm guessing there is some reasoning behind that issue.

I've added the creation of a chapters file (CellTimes.txt) suitable for setting chapters when using MuxMan.

Boy, I was really not in the Maths state of mind when I tried to code that, and it did my head in something terrible ... I finally conquered the beast though ... much wasted time later. Rather than wrestle doing similar for MKVmerge and tsMuxer (AVCHD mode), which all require very different formats, I trialled a command-line ability chapter file conversion program, with seemingly great success (I was only using it in GUI mode for testing, thus far). So I will probably go with that, and add another 3rd party program dependency.

ChapterGen ( http://www.chaptergen.co.nr/ )

So the program remains unfinished until I implement all the above, and then test it.

I'm also wondering about adding a Muxing ability, via MuxMan, MKVMerge, etc (on the command-line) ... or if possible (preferred), just starting their GUI's (with sources preloaded) so users can tweak settings how they wish.

Then there is the predictive stuff (time & size), that needs re-working, but I have been deliberately ignoring for the most part. You do get a M2V creation counter displayed, so you can gauge progress. You can also look at the details for the last project and perhaps anticipate time at least and some of the size. I should add to that, now i have the M2V scene files in their own folder and saved JPG's too. It is all down to several variables though, and my mind needs a break from Maths.

And I'm still waiting to hear back from TheDecoder or someone else about the MediaInfo failure, so I can code a fix for that, if need be.

Anyway, even if not everything is resolved, I will upload the far superior v4.0 soon.

P.S. Then there is that Tutorial to finish.

EDIT

Most no doubt, will just see the JPG-to-M2V program as just another Slideshow Creator. It is that of course, but much more to my mind. Perhaps it's best feature, is the use of High Quality, Multichannel Surround Sound audio. It does have some unique abilities that simplify and to some degree speed up creation of a good final result. It is perhaps flexible in some ways that other similar programs are not, while at the same time being less flexible in some areas. Really, it is just a tool, and you use the right tool for the right job. You can spend hours and hours creating some masterpiece with other programs, that will look heaps better if you like something glamorous. Sometimes though, simplicity and power is all you need, especially if quickly done.

Edited by TheSaint
Added link

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What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#12 ·  Posted (edited)

Okay, v1.4 is done .... perhaps ..... except.

Except, it suddenly occurred to me, that I should consider and possibly code for ... or at least mention, that there could be a Chapter Limit issue.

I did recall something about 99 chapters per title, and perhaps 9 titles per DVD. My program lets you add over a 100 images and they are all treated as Chapters ... at least in the various chapter text files that get created. In reality, the chapters don't exist until M2V file is muxed with the Audio file ... and you used the relevant Chapters text file.

I'm reasonably sure, that MuxMan at least, will deal with chapters over 100 and so it won't be an issue. Not so sure about the other programs, but quite likely they do too.

So it may not be an issue, probably isn't, but it requires mentioning at the very least.

I did do some re-reading and further research over the limits, but due to the limits of my comprehension, I'm not a lot wiser, other than giving the perspective I gave above. I think in the terms of files, not PGC's and the like.

Anyway, here's some links for others to study the content of.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Video

http://www.dvdforum.org/tech-faq.htm

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=61254&highlight=maximum+ifo

So, all-in-all, I will continue my testing, and add a warning prompt when Image numbers go above 99.

Hopefully that means uploading v1.4 within 24 hours.

I do have ideas around the issue for an update ... give the option for creating chapters every so many images ... perhaps even automate that.

One can of course (now as it is), judiciously edit the chapter files, when more than 99 chapters are present, and either delete every second one or make the necessary changes to stay below 100. You could in effect have a variety of image numbers representing a chapter ... grouping them in various ways.

P.S. Going by the Wiki DVD-Video spec, DVD's are either 25 fps or 29.97, so that probably explains why MuxMan only accepts them. I have however, also included 23.976, for which you get a warning and an amendment to Program and Options window titles. My program is not purely for DVD only.

Here's the latest screenshot of the options window, with amended title and the optional ChapterGen selection & field. ChapterGen is not required if you are only using MuxMan, as the program creates the chapter text file for that, ChapterGen does use that file to create the other (3) types of chapter text files.

Options_(new).thumb.jpg.0b6ff85318766b8d

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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Testing is so time consuming, but it does bring up curlies.

ChapterGen has a few issues, I've discovered.

[1] The chapter text file you load via command-line, cannot have more than one blank line at the end or it spits the dummy. That doesn't happen via the GUI, so that took a little while to diagnose.

[2] It also doesn't like a single quote (and who knows what else) in the path, so it fails to recognize (via command-line) a folder named something like John's Party. When I finally realized that was the issue, I wasted time trying some ASC II variants and other various replacements, that didn't work. I then went Windows Shortnames, but that gave other issues, because you can't get a shortname for a file that doesn't yet exist. So in the end, I just used a simple Change Directory method. The shortname method can be activated for use instead, by an INI entry in the Settings.ini file ... if need be.

Anyway, I'm almost done with testing now.

Testing has not been the only related hold up. I've added new features or improvements, plus I was going to add something for the audio side of things with JPG-to-M2V, but realized I would be better served, and probably more quickly done, by updating the companion program DTS-to-WAV. In the end that took much longer than I anticipated, due to a few issues.

Basically, while DTS-to-WAV is mostly used for turning multi-channel VOB, WAV, DTS, AC3 or FLAC into a suitable format for DTS-CD or DVD, I thought it would be handy to give it two more abilities.

[1] Have it create an AC3 file suitable for use on a DVD.

[2] Deal with stereo files in a simpler quicker manner, such that they could be used on a DVD with the M2V file created by JPG-to-M2V. As the program was, it would put a stereo file through unnecessary steps. I also had a desire for a focus on a WAV file ripped from your standard stereo Audio CD.

So I coded a pretty simple and basic test for stereo and a method to bypass most of the existing steps.

That seemed to work, but testing proved not always.

In the end, the basic stereo test was failing with some files, and I discovered that Valdec.exe was getting file properties wrong for some stereo files, seeing mono and incorrect duration, etc. That was a disappointment, because it wasn't that long ago, that I'd discovered Valdec could report the trues state of DTS WAV files. Anyway, I had some alternate code using eacto3.exe, which is a bit more convoluted but works.

I then discovered that the stereo files eac3to.exe was converting to 48000 kHz (when necessary) and the suitable kbps for DVD audio, were not accepted by MuxMan, even though they reported all the same properties as files that were acceptable. I spent (wasted) heaps of time trying to come up with a fix. In the end, eac3to.exe was only good for making the extra stereo AC3 file (and DTS file using ffdcaenc.exe), and I had to use other programs to create the final WAV file. I hadn't wanted to do that, because it was adding more 3rd Party programs.

First off, I eventually gravitated to a small program called Shibatch (ssrc.exe), but that only works with WAV source files. My hope was that it could also fix the WAV's created by eac3to.exe. Alas it reported those files as not true PCM WAV files, despite as I wrote above, them displaying all the same properties (16bit, 48000kHz, 1536kbps, PCM). As Shibatch dealt with WAV file source, that just left the FLAC conversions, that I was having trouble with. In the end, after finding that both SoX and Ffmpeg could do what I want, I went for the much smaller FLAC.exe (the other two programs were 15 to 20 Mb in size).

So that all means, that DTS-to-WAV now has two more 3rd Party programs - Shibatch & FLAC.

While I'm on this topic, I will mention, that I am thinking of adding Tranzcode and SoX, plus probably Ffmpeg, as an alternate method to the use of eac3to and the ArcSoft DTS Decoder DLL's. That will help those who don't have access or don't wish to use the ArcSoft DLL's. This is currently the only scenario with my Audio DVD Producer program.

For those who may be interested to know, work on finishing Audio DVD Producer may have been held up by the above, but in fact, these things I'm playing with are helping contribute knowledge etc to that much bigger project, and I already have a few improvements in mind because of my discoveries.


AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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DTS-to-WAV has been updated to v2.3

(v2.1) Support added to Create an extra AC3 file.

(v2.2) Support added for quickly creating stereo DVD files (WAV, AC3, DTS), using Shibatch (ssrc.exe or ssrc_hp.exe), eac3to, ffdcaenc, FLAC, etc.

(v2.3) Quick Conversion window added to improve selection choices.

NOTE - See first post for download, and links to all required 3rd party programs. Shibatch (ssrc.exe) and FLAC.exe are also now required.

DTS-to-WAV.thumb.jpg.6f25e04a47b728ff082

Quickcon.thumb.jpg.eb46ea1f3cfde356ebb4e

 

 


AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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Insert added to first post, about Recommended Programs that I use for playing/checking/testing.

JPG-to-M2V updated to v1.5

(v1.4) Improvements, warnings & corrections added. Embedding of images option added, to either a color or image background. Options window now completed and all options are accessible. Support added for NTSC. Options for browsing and viewing. Free Drive Space checked at stages. Main window widened. Multiple image adding & relocation of entries, etc. Chapter text files created. GO button renamed to CREATE. Improved MediaInfo CLI detection.

(v1.5) Project name can be renamed using SHIFT and name selection. If an image file is missing, but listed, then a white (red text) image is displayed.

NOTE - Because this does quite time consuming processes, testing has not been as extensive as is usually preferred.

3rd Party Programs Used
M2V Creation - MJPEG Tools  ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/mjpeg )
M2V Joining - mpgtx  ( http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/mpgtx/mpgtx.zip?download )
M2V Recoding - ffmpeg  ( http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/ )
M2V Shrinking - Requant  ( http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p=383217#post383217 see Post #14 )
File Information (time & size) - MediaInfo (CLI)  ( http://mediaarea.net/EN/MediaInfo )
Chapter File Creation (MKV & M2TS) - ChapterGen  ( http://www.chaptergen.co.nr/ )

MJPEG Tools (alternate) - ( http://mjpeg.sourceforge.net/ )

The Sources.txt file included in the zip download has those and other links.

 


AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#16 ·  Posted (edited)

Well rather than rest on my laurels, I've started work on JPG-to-M2V v1.6 and almost completed it.

I've added the ability to join stereo WAV files together, and create chapters based on that (as an alternative to image chapters, or if you are savvy enough you can blend both manually).

I also rewrote most of the chapter creation code, so that it works better and can be used for either images or audio.

I've also started adding three Modes. The first Mode is the original Create one, and is complete after adjustment to adapt the other two modes in. The other two modes are Recode and Shrink. I've yet to work on them, other than separating those sections of the original Create out into functions. All this, is so you can do a project in stages if you wish, as large projects are very time consuming. It is also handy if something went wrong in later stages. Basically the Modes match the stages, with Create doing all three (if the Recode and Shrink options are enabled), while Recode will recode a created M2V file and if enabled, then Shrink it.

Just to clarify, Create on its own (with Recode & Shrink disabled), creates individual M2V files using each JPG listed. It then joins all the M2V files into one large M2V, which can be recoded to improve seeking etc, and then shrunk if space is an issue. Shrinking does lower the end quality, but is adjustable and it may not be apparent when you watch the final file, that it has less quality. Even so, I would only use Shrink if space is a problem when trying to fit what you want onto a DVD etc, and if quality is not impacted too much.

I've also added code to create a fourth type of chapter text file, suitable for use with DVDAuthor and I'm guessing, DVDStyler, which uses DVDAuthor. DVDStyler is a fabulous freeware program for creating DVD menus, chapters, etc and features in my upcoming Audio DVD Producer program.

It is worth mentioning now, that JPG-to-M2V used with the Quick method for stereo files of DTS-to-WAV, can quite simply create an audio DVD from a CD (ripped WAV files), with whatever images you want to have displayed in a basic slideshow. For instance, you could use the cover, rear insert and booklet pages for your images and have them shown every so many seconds in a repeated cycle. After creating your files (M2V, WAV and Chapters.txt) you import them into MuxMan to create your basic chapter based audio DVD. Or you can create an MKV file instead, using MKVMerge or an M2TS based AVCHD disc using tsMuxer. You can also import your MuxMan created DVD structure into DVDStyler if you want menus as well, which is best done so via PgcDemux, which can create a single VOB file that is easier to use with DVDStyler, especially with a Chapter file. I will probably end up writing a quick little tutorial for that whole process.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#17 ·  Posted (edited)

Heads Up!

DTS-to-WAV

I have now decided to update DTS-to-WAV so that it has a proper (browsing based) GUI, which will give easier access to the Log file, but also allow me to add a settings element, plus please those who don't want Registry right-click entries, which can then be enabled or disabled via a checkbox. The program is like it is, because it was initially created for quick testing only, and I have now moved considerably beyond that.

I will also be adding support for some other Lossless file formats (APE, etc).

I still intend to implement Tranzcode, SoX and Ffmpeg into the mix as an alternative, etc.

JPG-to-M2V

I need to find time for final testing of JPG-to-M2V v1.6, but it is essentially finished ... bar possible testing problems. EDIT - Just when i was about to resume testing, I got a need to import a project INI file, that I had been using in my programming environment with the script, which I now wanted to relocate to my installed version. An easy thing to do with a quick edit of the Settings.ini file, but it occurred to me, it would be handy to give the program an Import ability. So I've now coded a simple method of drag & drop on the program executable, to do so. I don't imagine it will be something one would do very often, but I can see where it could be handy. So now we are at JPG-to-M2V v1.7.

Intentions

I'm still hoping to get around to providing some tutorials for both programs, and for going to the next stage of muxing with MuxMan etc and even creating a menu based final result with DVDStyler. I will also finish my tutorial at Doom9's forum.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#18 ·  Posted (edited)

JPG-to-M2V

I'm still busy with testing. Which is just as well, because v1.6 had quite a few bugs in the end ... only discovered after developing v1.7.

So v1.7 was much more than just the new Import INI feature, plus I eventually added some other features as well as fixing those bugs (one very major for chapters).

I say was, because now we are at v1.8.

And v1.8 has fixes for a couple of bugs left over from v1.6 that escaped detection when doing v1.7.

On top of that, I'd already added the new feature of Command-Line Editor, which had prompted me to create v1.8, before I discovered those two bugs (one minor, one major ... both involved with the new Mode code).

For those who don't recall, v1.6, was where I rewrote and adapted a chunk of code to incorporate Modes, plus I made improvements to Chapter text file creation (Image & Audio). Inevitably, when you do that kind of coding, it can be easier for bugs to creep in. Especially if you get interrupted at a crucial moment ... answer the phone, etc.

That's my excuse anyway ... I refuse to admit to having a couple of dumb moments. o:)

Of course, when you fix bugs, then new bugs might occur, so I gotta do all the usual testing all over again ... though, to be honest, I think I have things nailed now.

Other Considerations

Having done a few Projects with this now, and having played them on my TV system, I must say that I am not as pleased with the results as I need to be. That is to say, I am satisfied some times, but not others, as for some, still unknown reason, some images don't render well. By that, I mean they look bad, having flickering and loss of sharpness and focus.

I don't know if this issue is down to my lowly Laptop, and memory related during the hard work of converting or somesuch, or whether I just need to tweak some of the command-line parameters for Ffmpeg or the MJPEG Tools. It may even be down to the GDIPlus code? Or more like a combination of all.

Anyway, aside from GDIPlus code, which I should check with an expert like UEZ, I have added a Command-Line Editor into the program, which allows you to see and modify the command-line parameters for Ffmpeg and MJPEG Tools.

I am kind of hoping, someone will use the program, who understands the Help documentation for those programs better than I do, and will discover the needed improvements.

I have an idea, that I may need to use the -r switch with Ffmpeg, but need to find a real world example of what to use as the hertz value for that switch, as the Help documentation is blank.

All in all, I am using Ffmpeg to recode, because the MJPEG Tools don't do a good enough job. I suspect they could, if I more fully understood things, and then Ffmpeg wouldn't be needed and time might be saved. From my limited understanding, I should also be able to do everything with just Ffmpeg, and not need MJPEG Tools, but that has also eluded me thus far.

So when I finally upload v1.8, which should be tomorrow hopefully, others can play with the new Command-Line Editor and tweak things to their heart's content.

P.S. All the bad images, seem to have a lot of colors in them, but then so do many that don't have an issue. Black & White or Sepia photos don't give me the issue, that I recall. So no doubt, it is color related at some level.

EDIT

To further elaborate, and show my difficulty, I did two projects recently. One was 46 images (mostly Black & White or Sepia, but a few color), and I never noticed an issue with flickering etc. The other was 76 images (all color except one), and 13 photos had very obvious flickering etc, and a small number of others showed a faint trace, while most didn't show any issue at all. Of those that did show an issue (faint or otherwise), all were colorful outdoor photos, and group (family) pictures. All the 76 images were from various sources, friends & family, so a lot of different cameras and some even scans of analogue photos. I'm pretty sure all the flickering photos were from digital cameras, as were most that didn't have an issue, and a lot of those were outdoor and colorful, in a wide range of settings, lighting, etc. The only constant of the flickering images, appears to be the colorful outdoor photo with several people in it, facing the camera. But not all such photos show the issue. All the issue photos, were from what I would call a reasonable JPG source of at least 400 or 500 kb's. All the photos (issue or otherwise) seemingly (going by file size) lose quality when processed by the GDI+ code, despite specifying 100%. That might be part of the problem, but doesn't explain why many others treated the same, don't have the issue. The background may be playing a part too. All the 76 color photos were set on a black JPG source background, while the 46 B&W were set on a patterned brownish BMP source background. There a lot of variables to consider with this program.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#19 ·  Posted (edited)

JPG-to-M2V updated to v1.8  (see first post for download)

(v1.6) Joinwav added to program for joining stereo WAV files. Modes added for creating in stages or re-doing a failed process, etc. Lots of improvements and some minor bugfixes.

(v1.7) Added importing of a project INI file, by drag & drop on the program executable. Last Results now written to Project file as well, and recalled from that instead, if existing. Adjustments implemented for Time Taken, in Modes. Indicator added to main program title if PAL or NTSC. Added button to open program folder. Added advice about created sub-folders. tsMuxer chapter file fix is now optional. Bugfixes.

(v1.8) Command-line Editor facility added for Ffmpeg & MJPEG Tools. Added an Estimate to Last Results after reworking that code, which now includes an Informative Query prompt when starting Create. Information dialogs updated & improved. Bugfixes.

Stereo WAV Joining - Joinwav  ( www.pc-tools.net )

Latest Screenshots

Main_GUI_1_8.thumb.jpg.e2e8df5e4689f935d

Options_1_8.thumb.jpg.ca85d41553ba560ecd

NOTES - I added even more improvements to v1.8 today, as listed above (but not mentioned previously), before I finished my final lot of testing.

During testing I did take advantage of the new Command-Line Editor facility, but alas I was unable to find a way to get rid of the previously mentioned issue (flickering, shimmering, fluctuating brightness, whatever you want to call it). I did however discover that the created M2V file before it gets Recoded or Shrunk, does not appear to display this issue with images. So that means it is related to Ffmpeg at some level, and so it was its settings I was tweaking and experimenting with today.

For your interest. I use the MJPEG Tools to create the M2V file based on number of frames (25 or 29.970) over the duration of an audio file. Unfortunately, the created M2V file, has a variable bitrate (despite applying every parameter that my research says will make it constant). Because of that, the duration of the M2V file is incorrect by a substantial amount and there is seeking issues (fast forward & rewind). To fix that, I recode using Ffmpeg, which fixes duration and mostly fixes the seeking element. There does appear to be loss of quality though, which I think is a factor in the flickering etc issue. If shrinking is used, the issue is even worse.

It is to be noted though, that if you pause playback with those few images that have the flickering issue, the flickering is not present, so all is not lost, just not as perfect as one needs in a moving slideshow.

As I explained to my wife today, when queried about any way to change duration of the images while watching the DVD (etc), you really only have what was set, plus FFWD using your remote, PAUSE and chapter (image) selection using NEXT and PREVIOUS. If your player allows for locking in FFWD, then yes you can alter the duration of images to be quicker, or sit there with the remote holding down FFWD or clicking NEXT, NEXT, NEXT, etc.

Future Updates

I am seriously considering renaming the program to JPG-to-MKV, and adding MKVMerge for automatic creation of an MKV file after M2V creation, plus conversion of the WAV file to the right kHz, bitrate and kbps, for audio, to do the final MKV file with chapters. SoX and or Ffmpeg will probably be required for the Audio conversion. Beyond that, I haven't thought very far ... other than further research into MJEG Tools and Ffmpeg, with the possibility of dropping one or the other, if I have the appropriate success.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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#20 ·  Posted (edited)

JPG-to-M2V v1.8  (see first post for download of re-upped version)

After starting work on JPG-to-MKV v1.0 today, I discovered that I had forgotten (or overlooked) adding updates to the ChapterGen and Joinwav fields on the Options window, after browsing for their executables. This was a visual thing only, and the fields would have been populated on next program start or re-opening the Options window. The program would have seen and used any set values regardless, so no impact other than lack of being informative. So basically two GUISetData commands were missing.

Only one person seems to have downloaded v1.8 so far, so hopefully they will see this post.

Here's an extra screenshot I forgot to provide in last post.

CLI_Editor.thumb.jpg.0ee20f44b1b9d4d2c68

P.S. In all reality, this would not have ever been an issue for most, I suspect, who would either have browsed for those two executables during program start, or just plonked the files into the folders created by the program, which would then be auto-detected on next program start. But just in case some would actually browse from the Options window, it needed to be fixed.

Edited by TheSaint

AutoIt.4.Life Clubrooms - Life is like a Donut (secret key)

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

Spoiler

What is the Secret Key? Life is like a Donut

If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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