Mozilla started metrofying firefox!

According to the blog post by Mozilla developer  Brian Bondy

http://www.brianbondy.com/blog/id/129/

This week Mozilla started churning out the code for the ambitious Firefox metro project and lets hope its not ambitious as the shelved/postponed electrolysis, but that was too ambitious.
Mozilla has already developed/optimized Firefox for Android (fennec) for tablets  . But as Metro design theme is different to that of android and gives controls to top and the bottom of the app and windows takes the left and right for its own charms bar and apps switching, there will be radical redesign in the firefox  metro.

Firefox for Android (fennec)

Windows 8 supports mainly 3 types of applications

1) Classic Desktop applications

2) Metro applications (run in the metro sandbox)

3) Metro style enabled desktop browsers (ability to run outside of the Metro sandbox and have access to the most of Win32 API & WinRT API)

Firefox will fall into the third category Metro enabled desktop browsers , So this fox will have 2 faces one in desktop and other in metro. The metro face will need a lot of new code.

Metro style enabled desktop browsers enjoys the privilege running outside of the Metro sandbox and have access to most Win32 API & WinRT API.So utilizing all these privileges in the metro land of restrictions  Mozilla plans to give us a metro style look with the experience of the powerful desktop counterpart.

Firefox Metro mode is only available if Firefox is set as the default browser a decision made by Microsoft.As it is not entirely a metro app and actually a metro style enabled browser The Firefox Metro enabled desktop browser will be distributed in the traditional way and most probably not the app store way.

The beauty of the metro…… USA TODAY app

When Microsoft pressed on the beauty of the metro,the minimalistic approach of the ui , atleast some were skeptical about the aesthetic value of the design language. When Microsoft released Windows 8 consumer preview on 29-Feb-12, a far more baked product compared to what was released as a developer preview which often required killing of the apps the “task manager way”..

When we talk about the aesthetics of the metro one of the 64 applications that was released on the windows store demands appreciation.I am talking about the USA TODAY app, the way the news is presented to the people weren’t this beautiful all along the human history. As most of the apps are a preview version they have not unleashed its full potential or even showed off its beauty. 

The news is presented so beautifully so that it is asking to be read and makes you feel eyegasmic.

Now we understand the metro is beautiful as time progresses making the new design ui and the WIN RT runtime to be more mature and capable without losing the minimalism in the design approach.

Also to be mentioned is that some apps are poorly implemented, some not enabling mouse scrolling otherwise would have made the life mush easier for desktop mouse users. There are few minor glitches here and there and are to expected at this early build!!!

My full windows 8 consumer preview review is on the way.By the time windows 8 go gold it will be an excellent tablet OS (touchscreen ) and good desktop/laptop OS (rat & keyboard)….

Facebook & skype a fair deal !

When Microsoft acquired skype i speculated (hmm not in the blogosphere but on the facebook wall) now we will see skype video in facebook!  I speculated Microsoft – Netfilx deal also and i am waiting for that. It is a fair deal for both facebook & microsoft. Microsoft is getting 750 + million ( 1 billion soon)  1/6th of the earth population to skype and facebook will be getting skype integration for free… The integration that would have costed them $8 billion…
Why i said this long before?
Mark usually take advices from Bill + Microsoft stake in facebook = facebook + skype
Reed Hastins relationship with microsoft + hastins is in the microsoft’s board + microsofts $42 billion in cash = Microsoft acquiring Netflix
So what is the future?
I believe that  Skype will unleash its full power in facebook soon with pc to phone (PSTN) inside facebook with integration with facebook phone book contacts and using facebook credits as recharges for skype.

Blue ray wins the format war!! (Killing HD DVD)

bdfoot.jpg

Neither side is close to conceding, but the death match over which format will dominate the next generation of movie disks is swinging in favor of Blu-ray, the technology backed by Sony and most of the studios that produce the flicks themselves. Blu-ray was outselling Toshiba-backed rival HD DVD by 2 to 1—though sales for both are still slight—before recent word that Blockbuster, the movie retailer, would not bother stocking HD DVDs.

The move gave weight to predictions by Blu-ray backers that stores would begin to have a say. “Retailers are ultimately going to weigh in, because they only have a limited amount of shelf space,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told analysts in May.

That’s what drove the decision at Blockbuster, which said it would stock only Blu-ray disks in its next 1,450 stores to get high-def movies. HD DVD will still be available online and at 250 locations that Blockbuster used in testing rentals of both formats. “We found that, at this point, Blu-ray is worth the shelf space, and HD DVD is not,” says Blockbuster’s Matthew Smith.

Next up. The stakes for retailers and studios alike are massive: Which technology will replace the DVD? The DVD is a profit engine with yearly sales of more than $16 billion, but it’s beginning to sputter; growth has fallen to the low single digits from double digits a few years ago. Sony and partners, including most big studios, pushed Blu-ray, while Toshiba and Microsoft backed HD DVD.

HD DVD advocates say it’s too early to suggest either format has the upper hand. For one, Blockbuster’s business is primarily rentals—sales of disks at retailers like Wal-Mart are more important, says Kevin Collins, spokesman for a group promoting Toshiba’s format. And so far, the new high-def disks account for less than 1 percent of today’s DVD sales.

Sony last year boosted Blu-ray by including the drives in its PlayStation 3 game console. That resulted in a steep, $600 price that has hurt its gaming sales but put Blu-ray players in about 1.4 million U.S. homes. Sony gambled that sales of Blu-ray disks would more than offset a loss in games share, says Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities. The advantage might widen as studios loyal to Blu-ray have potential big sellers in Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

But the HD DVD camp notes it has sold about 150,000 stand-alone players, compared with Blu-ray’s 90,000. Consumers with those players will eventually buy more movies than those with game consoles, Collins argues. Those Sony drives, the theory goes, will eventually get busy with PS3 games, which so far are lacking, and those consumers will rent fewer movies or buy a separate player.

Also, as sales volume picks up, the cheaper cost of producing HD DVD drives and disks could become more important. Already, Taiwanese manufacturers are racing to produce cheap HD DVD players under licensing deals with Toshiba. Toshiba now sells one for $300, versus $500 for the least-expensive Blu-ray. A $200 player would appeal to Wal-Mart shoppers, who also buy more than 40 percent of all DVDs. That would be a far bigger “get” than winning over Blockbuster. Then there is online movie rental giant Netflix, which has yet to pick sides.

The HD DVD folks have taken to suggesting the two formats can coexist, much as three game consoles share most of that industry’s $12.5 billion in retail sales. They’re talking less of vanquishing the competition. For now, at least, the smack is left to Blu-ray.

UPDATE :

On February 19, 2008, Toshiba announced it would cease developing, manufacturing and marketing HD DVD players and recorders. On that same day, Universal Studios announced it would release its titles in the Blu-ray Disc format, following two years of exclusive HD DVD support. The studio will release two more HD DVD titles: Fletch on 200803-11 and Atonement on 200803-18. On February 20, 2008, Paramount Pictures announced it would back Blu-ray, becoming the last of the Big Six studios to do so. Paramount ceased HD DVD production on February 28, 2008, with Things We Lost in the Fire and Into the Wild becoming the studio’s last HD DVD releases, both released March 4, 2008. The first Paramount Blu-ray Disc release since August 2007 is expected in summer 2008. Paramount sister DreamWorks Animation followed suit by canceling its only remaining HD DVD release: Bee Movie.

Microsoft stopped production of Xbox 360 HD DVD players while considering how its HDi and VC-1 technologies could be applied to other platforms. Microsoft has since entered into talks with Sony regarding Blu-ray, although Windows Vista has supported basic filesystem and shell functionality for both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD since launch, relying on 3rd parties to implement movie playback. Rumours of a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360 have been officially denied by Microsoft

How To Make Quality Dvd Rips?

So here is the tip and the best method.

Disclaimer: Dont Use for copyrighted Dvds that is against the law!!! (Only use for backuping your own dvds)….

You need two tools for that:

1) Autogk(free and opeN)

Search for both in google.

Autogk tutorial:

Introduction

Hello, and welcome to Auto Gordian Knot (from here on known as AutoGK). We hope you’ll enjoy using it, and that you’ll learn to back up your DVDs or captures easily and with good quality, to be played in your DVD/MPEG4 player, or on your computer, or perhaps from your computer to your TV set through a TV out on your graphics card.

Before getting started, there are some things you should know. First and foremost is that the laws of different countries vary when it comes to backing up your personally owned DVDs. But almost none allow the backing up of borrowed or rented DVDs. So please familiarize yourself with the laws of your own country regarding the backing up of DVDs. Once more to make this perfectly clear; this guide will take you through the process of backing up your personally owned DVD disks and it was not written to be used for piracy. The author assumes that you own the DVD and that you will be using the copy for your own personal use. It is illegal to even give away copies of movies with copyrighted material. The author does not take any responsibility for the illegal use of this guide or of AutoGK.

Enough of that unpleasantness. We’ll keep this as simple as possible, and assume that you’ve never done this before. Next we’ll tackle the hardware and software requirements.

Hardware Requirements

You’ll need a computer with either a DVD-ROM or a DVD burner. CD-ROMs can’t read DVDs. In addition, you’ll need lots of hard drive space, up to as much as 10 GBs per movie. This will vary, depending on the total size of the VOB files (the files that make up the DVD), the number of CDs you’re going for, whether or not you’re converting the audio to MP3, and a few other things. But nothing is worse than spending all that time to do the encoding, and then running out of space when the final .avi is being written.

So, how powerful of a computer will you need? As powerful as possible. It’s possible to do this with a 500 MHZ processor, but the total time involved may be as much as 24 hours, depending on a number of factors. A 1 GHZ processor may take up to 12 hours. An Intel 2.4 GHZ processor may take a total of 5-6 hours or so, and the fastest of today’s processors may take 3-4 hours. But there are other variables involved, including the length of the movie, the resolution at which you’re encoding, how your system is set up, so these are by no means hard and fast rules. In addition, the quality and amount of RAM is an important factor. Make sure that your computer is as stable as possible. Overclockers, especially, should be aware of this. The fact that you can play Counter-Strike all day with no problems means nothing when it comes to video encoding. There is very little that you can do on a computer that stresses it as much as video encoding. One sign of an unstable computer is if the audio or video encoding causes the computer to crash at random places; that is, at different places during subsequent attempts. These crashes may take the form of a complete freeze up, a blue screen, or a reboot. The cause is often heat buildup, but it may also be brought about by CPU or memory problems, or something more obscure. These problems don’t just happen to those people that build their own computers. Many “store-bought” computers may also have these problems. It’s not really our responsibility to diagnose and fix computer hardware instabilities. If you suspect CPU problems, you might run Prime95 to test the CPU. If you suspect memory problems, then you might run MemTest86 to test the memory. If you suspect overheating, then take the case cover off of your computer and run a table fan blowing towards the CPU while encoding. If you can get through the encoding when doing that, but couldn’t before, then heat buildup is probably the problem. The solutions might include checking to see if the CPU is seated properly, putting on some fresh heat sink paste, installing more fans, or, if overclocked, turning down the OC or the RAM settings. Both Intel and AMD processors work well for video encoding. Apple computers can’t be used with AutoGK. In sum, use the fastest CPU that you can afford, have high quality memory, and lots of it. Lockups and crashes, if they occur, are almost certainly the fault of your computer. AutoGK and the programs it uses have been tested thoroughly and used, in many cases for years, by many thousands of people. These warnings aren’t meant to scare you away from video encoding, but just so you’ll understand if something does happen. The chances are excellent that you’ll sail through this.

Software Requirements and Installation

AutoGK comes with almost all that you’ll need to create excellent quality backups of your DVDs. If you choose to use the DivX 5.2.1 Codec, you’ll have to get and install that as well (link at bottom). But the AutoGK Installer will install everything else that you need. Just designate a folder for the installation, and everything will be taken care of. Optional programs include the XviD Coder/Decoder, AviSynth, and VobSub. If you already have the most recent versions of them, then you don’t need to install them again (although with regarding of codecs – AutoGK is meant to work only with codecs that are bundled with it or mentioned in this tutorial or FAQ. Newer versions of codecs are not automatically supported, so only use them if you know for sure that they work with AutoGK). If you don’t already have them, aren’t sure if you have them, or have no idea what they are, then go ahead and install them. You’ll need them for your encoding.

A note for those with standalone DVD/MPEG4 players. There are two standalone compatibility options available for you during installation of AutoGK (note they also available after you installed AutoGK in its hidden options):

  • ESS-based standalones. MPEG4 players with ESS chipsets don’t work with the matrices that AutoGK uses with the XviD Codec (you don’t have to understand what a matrix is, just follow the instructions). Please choose this option if you have such player. Perhaps the problem will be fixed with a firmware upgrade, and perhaps not. But you won’t be losing anything, or getting a movie inferior in any way by choosing that option. If you have such a standalone player, and your XviD videos play with corruption and/or smearing, try this setting. For both XviD and DivX codecs this option also enables Home Theatre profile which is a part of DivX certification for hardware devices and which enables control over VBV buffer. Most standalones have issues with high bitrate spikes that cause internal memory of the player to be full and do not accept more data for a short period of time. This causes pauses, skips and and shuttering. Both DivX and XviD support intelligent control of output buffer overflows so that this problem can be eliminated. Make sure to turn this option on if you experiencing such symptoms during playback on your standalone. Note that its not the only possible reason for having pauses and skips – users reported that by burning movies onto DVDRs instead of CDRs playback can be dramatically improved. Also quality of DVD reader in standalone players varies a lot and cheap reader can be a reason behind your problems as well (check out Doom9’s hardware forum for related discussions)
  • MTK/Sigma based standalones. The difference to the previous option is only usage of custom matrices for XviD. VBV buffer control (in the form of HT profiles) is enabled as well by this setting.

If you are not sure which standalone you have its safer to activate ESS support which is the most universal at the moment.

Using AutoGK

First, you have to select an appropriate input file that AutoGK is going to be dealing with and which determines also the type of input source:

  • IFO file is used when you have a DVD like directory that contains IFO file and corresponding VOB files. IFO file is parsed and choice of audio streams and subtitles is presented to the user. If IFO file contains multiple PGCs (program chains) or angles then user will be asked to confirm which ones contained in the vobset (unless the name of VOB file contain this information already). Note that AutoGK cannot work properly on a vobset that still has multiple angles/program chains, so make sure to use appropriate tools to prepare the vobset. Another thing to remember is that AutoGK only works on unencrypted VOB files.
  • MPG, MPEG, VOB, VRO, M2V, M1V, DAT files are expected to have MPEG1/MPEG2 video inside. Only information about audio type (but not language in case of VOBs) is available for these types of files.
  • TS, TP, TRP, M2T files are expected to be transport streams with MPEG2 video inside. If it has multiple video streams then you’ll be asked to confirm which stream AutoGK will be working with.
  • AVI files can have potentially any type of video inside (including DivX/XviD and DV sources). Main requirement for AutoGK to be able to process them is that they can be played in Windows Media Player (or any other DirectShow-based player) on your Windows installation. For current limitations and features see latest FAQ on AutoGK’s web site

If you want to encode multiple input files into one resulting AVI you can do it by appropriately naming input files: *_1.vob;*_2.vob etc and selecting just the first one (Extension can be any of supported types apart from AVI). In IFO mode AutoGK automatically selects all VOBs that belong to one vobset.

In AutoGK select the input file. Select the Output File where you want the intermediate files and final .avi to go. It’s usually the same as the Input file. For the Audio track, select the one you want. Frequently, you’ll have audio tracks in different languages on the DVD. There may also be a 6 channel AC3 (Dolby Digital 5.1), a 2 channel AC3 (DD 2.0), for older, classic films a 1 channel AC3 (DD 1.0) and/or a Director’s Commentary track. If you plan on using MP3 audio, it might be better to choose the 2 track DD 2.0 if there is one. If you’re going for 2 CDs and want the best quality audio, then choose the 6 track DD 5.1 if available. If you want subtitles with your .avi, then choose one of the available languages. These will be “burnt-in” by default, unless you choose external subtitles in the Advanced Settings. That is, they’ll be encoded into the video. About the Output size; the default is for 2 CDs and the AC3 audio (DD 5.1, or 2.0 if no 5.1 is available). If you want to try and put the movie onto 1 CD (with lower resolution and therefore somewhat lower quality), then choose 1 CD, and MP3 audio will be chosen by default. Some movies are long and/or difficult to compress. So (rarely) you may wish to go for 3 CDs. Be warned though; it’s sometimes not possible to fill 3 CDs, even at the highest quality and resolution.

Step 1: Select input file name. Output file name will be filled in automatically from input file name(you can change it of course) or its name would be suggested in the Save As dialog from parent directory of IFO file. You can write them just about anyway you want (but if you’re using Win9x OS then its better to avoid non-english characters in the name of files/directories).
Step 2: By default the first Audio track is chosen, but feel free to choose another of the audio tracks. If you go for more than 1 CD encode it will be included unchanged (not converted to MP3) with the video. However, if you are doing 1CD or less encode then it will be automatically converted to ABR MP3 (which is a form of VBR MP3) at 128 kbps. Second audio track can be selected as well and it might be the Director’s Commentary, or a second language. In this example I’ve chosen to include main audio track and a secondary track that is a Director’s Commentary. This second audio track will be encoded as ABR MP3 at 128 kbps. Advanced Settings (step 4) will allow you to select audio settings manually: whether always leave audio as original AC3/DTS or always convert to MP3. Note that if you are using manual audio settings with two audio tracks then they would both have the same settings. Another thing to remember is that if you are using “target quality” mode (step 3) then by default first audio will be left as AC3/DTS.

If you want burnt in subtitles, then choose your subtitle track. The default setting is for burned in or subtitles embedded into the video (i.e. you cannot switch them on or off dynamically). If you would prefer to have external subs, then check that box in Advanced Settings.

Let’s go into a bit more details about Subtitles. As mentioned before, the default is for burnt-in, or hard coded or embedded subs. You can only have one language of subs at the default setting (because you wouldn’t be able to read two embedded subtitle streams due to overlap). If you prefer to have external or separate subs to be displayed through DirectVobSub, choose your subtitle language in the main screen, and then tick “Use External Subtitles” in Advanced Settings. At the moment, External Subtitles cannot be displayed by standalone DVD/MPEG4 players, although that’s in the process of changing. After selecting External Subs, it’s then possible to have subtitles in 2 languages. With external subtitles you also have a choice of having all subtitles to be included in the output subtitle files (although you have to reload input source in order to “All Subtitles” option to appear).

No adjustments of the subtitles are possible (i.e. position, color, font etc.) inside AutoGK. However if you’re experienced enough and can rip subtitles manually via programs like SubRip (that converts bitmap subtitles from DVDs into text format) or just would like to mess around with VobSub’s IDX files then you can enable external input subtitles option via CTRL-F8. When this option is enabled AutoGK will take external txt/srt/ssa/idx subtitles and burn them into resulting AVI. All other subtitle selections will be ignored when processing external subtitles. The only automatic subtitle adjustment that AutoGK can do is the one described in Hidden Options section (option 14).

Another Subtitle Option in the Advanced Settings is Forced Subs. Ticking that box does NOT force AutoGK to put the subs into the movie. It’s for a special class of subtitles that you’ll want, even if you don’t want the regular subtitles in your language. Examples of Forced Subs may include the Elvish spoken in the LOTR movies, the Alien languages of the Star Wars movies, the Spanish spoken in Traffic, or sometimes signs in a different language. Forced Subtitles can be real tricky to find. Sometimes (usually) they are part of the main subtitle stream. In such cases, tick the Subtitle Stream in your language on the main screen, and then check “Display only Forced Subtitles” in Advanced Settings. Sometimes they have their own separate Sub Stream. So, you will choose a different Subtitle Stream on the main screen, and then do NOT choose Forced Subs in the Advanced Settings. Sometimes Subtitle Streams, regular or forced subs, are mislabeled and will be in a different language than what it says. The best advice that I can give is to run the Preview before doing the encoding to make sure that you have the right subs. There’s nothing worse than spending all the time to encode the movie, and then finding out that you have to do it all over again because the subs don’t show up. When looking for Forced Subs, try different combinations of languages on the main screen plus Forced Subs in Advanced Settings, or languages on the main screen only. Yeah, I know it’s difficult and time consuming. But at least there aren’t many movies with Forced Subs.

Step 3: Here we see the Output Size Box. The default is for 2 CDs. If you have a TV series, or anime episodes, or some such, on the DVD, you may want to choose to use 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 CD for each. Although the default is for a 2 CD rip, you may want to put the movie onto 1 CD or 3 CDs. If you plan to put your movie onto a DVD-R, then you might want to choose the 2 GB option, or fit several movies on one DVD-R by choosing one of the fractions of a DVD-R. If you make a 2 or 3 CD rip, then it will also be split into 700 MB pieces for you. 2 GB and different DVD-R sized rips won’t be split.

There are other Output Size options besides the Predefined Size options. Maybe you have CDs of a different size than the standard 700 MB ones. Maybe you’re going to keep the movie on the hard drive or put it on a DVD-R. In such cases you might want to choose a Custom Size. So tick Custom Size, and either fill in or use the up/down arrows to select a Custom Size. A Custom Size won’t be split. If you happen to choose a Custom Size of 1400 or 2100 MB, then it will be split, like a 2 or 3 CD rip will be split. If you want a Custom Size for those sizes, then make them for a slightly different size, such as 1401 or 2101 MB.

Another Output Size possibility is Target Quality (in Percentage). If, for example, you keep your movies on your hard drive, or run an HTPC, or plan to burn them to DVD-R and not to CD-R, then the final file size may not be important to you. A Quality encode will give you even quality throughout the movie at your designated percentage. The default is 75%, which will give you very good quality (but for DivX6 default is 60%). Good quality percentages begin at about 67% (Quantizer 3). I don’t think there’s much point in going above about 80% because then you’ll lose some of the benefits of MPEG4’s compression abilities. That’s up to you, though. But remember, if you use a Percentage output, you’ll lose control over file size. A Quality Percentage rip won’t be split. The horizontal width will always be input source width, unless you set a fixed/maximum/minimum width in the Advanced Settings. Note: “Target Quality” mode performs 1-pass encoding while “Target Size” performs 2-passes encoding. (1 pass can speed up encoding considerably, but its not two times faster as you may expect.)

Step 4: I’ll get to the Advanced Settings and the Preview shortly
When you’re done setting up each movie, hit the Add Job button. If you’re doing only one movie, then hit Start next, and AutoGK will begin to go to work. If you want to encode more than one job (movie or episode) during this encoding session, then go back and start the process over again. Then when all done, hit Start, and the movies/episodes will be encoded one after the other. If you have more than one movie set up to be encoded, it’s also possible to rearrange their order in the queue, or to delete one or more entirely. Note that you cannot pause the job once its started but if you want temporarily stop encoding after current job is finished you can do so by unticking all other jobs in the queue (to restart them afterwards tick them back and hit Start).By the way, if you have set up some jobs and are all done, then go ahead and start the encoding. If you just set them up, and then close AutoGK, intending to come back later to begin the encoding, you’ll lose all your jobs. AutoGK will start the next time with default settings on the Main Screen and no jobs in the queue.

There have been quite a few questions and problems concerning Quality Mode, so let me try and cover some of them. It’s true that you’ll lose complete control of file size. The final size can sometimes even become larger than the original vob files (the original DVD). This can occur when the material is hard to compress. The most common hard-to-compress materials are noisy/grainy material, and full-screen material filmed with handheld cameras. Concert DVDs are often like that, and can often result in huge file sizes. Cheaply made films using low-grade film stock are hard to compress. In such cases you might want to lower the percentage to around 50% and/or encode at a lower resolution than the default.

Advanced Settings. If this is one of your first tries at this, then you will get an excellent quality backup using the defaults. Once you’re feeling a bit more confident, you might want to venture into the Advanced Settings. 🙂 The Resolution settings will allow you to set a horizontal resolution (Fixed width) or minimum/maximum horizontal resolution. Minimum width means that the movie will not be encoded at a horizontal width lower than what you set. It will try the higher resolutions, but if the compression test results are too low, it will try lower resolutions until it gets to your minimum width, stop there, and encode it at that width (and corresponding height), no matter what the compress test results might suggest. Although AutoGK can make certain adjustments if the quality won’t be good for your chosen horizontal resolution and file size, it’s very possible that the quality will suffer if you choose a high resolution fixed width and go for 1 CD. The chances of this happening are less if you choose a Minimum width, but it can still happen. If you choose maximum width then AutoGK will try lower resolutions and stop when you desired maximum is reached even if compressibility would allow it to go higher. This might result in undersized final files, so you have to be careful. With time you’ll learn the relative compressibility of different movies, but if you change from the default Auto width, you might pay attention to the Compression Test results when they show up in the Log Window. Ordinarily you’ll want a result of between 60-80%, and if you get below 50% or so, the quality will suffer noticeably, or if you get above 95% then you resulting AVI may be undersized. In that case you may wish to abort the process and start over with a different Horizontal width, use original audio or use an extra CD.

Here’s the Advanced Options screen. Auto Width is usually the best choice. Auto Audio will give you MP3 at 128 ABR (Average Bit Rate, a kind of VBR or Variable Bit Rate) for one CD, unless you change it to higher or lower quality (lower is not recommended). A two or three CD movie will automatically get the best quality AC3 (Dolby Digital) 5.1 or 2.0, depending on what’s on the DVD. All of the default choices can be overridden, but make sure you know what you’re doing if you do override them. It is, for example, almost impossible to get good video quality for a one CD rip, if you’ve chosen AC3 Audio, because the AC3 takes up so much room. And if your movie is long, and difficult to compress, even when doing a 2 CD rip, you may want to choose MP3 Audio, rather than the default AC3.

Next is the Codec choice. You have 2 choices, with XviD being the default. There’s a link to Doom9’s Codec Shootout (comparison) at the bottom of the page, which may or may not help you to decide which to use. XviD 1.x.x is included with the main AutoGK Install package. You’ll have to get DivX 5.2.1 from the DivX.com web site (link at bottom). If you’re still not sure which to use, if it’s any help to you, both writers of this guide prefer XviD. Both codecs will give good quality results. Both DivX5 and XviD movies will play well on standalone DVD/MPEG4 players. For those of you with an ESS chipset based DVD/MPEG4 player, there’s a note earlier in the guide, in the Installation section, about a special installation procedure for you if you ever plan to use the XviD Codec.

If you are wondering what is “Output format” setting and why it is disabled – do not worry at the moment. It was designed for future usage of DivX Media Format that is not available yet.

Important: The Advanced Settings will remain after you close and reopen AutoGK, in case you always make your movies with the same Custom Settings. If you use the Custom Settings for one movie, but then intend to do the next one with the Defaults on the main screen (which are reset every time), DO NOT FORGET to also reset the Custom Settings to Auto. You may be unpleasantly surprised , if you next wanted to make a high resolution .avi, to have it come out with a lower resolution because of a setting from a previous movie.

Preview. This will take a few minutes to set up (7-15 maybe, for a full movie, and a few minutes longer if you want subtitles). It has to create a project file using DGIndex, and maybe Subtitles using VobSub. It will then play the movie. This isn’t really a necessary step, unless you just want to see what it does, or check to see if the Subtitles are displaying correctly. If you are testing out different Sub choices, the indexing of a movie via DGIndex happens only once, and after that it’s quicker and easier to switch Subs (although VobSub will still be run for every new subtitle choice). When checking out the subtitles, don’t be alarmed to see them being displayed twice as “double subs”. One is the subs as they’ll be burned into the movie, and the other is the subs being displayed externally by Direct VobSub. After the encoding is complete, they’ll be fine.