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June 15, 2005

DivX 6.0 Goodnes/Crap

DivX 6.0 [divx.com] was released earlier today (or at least it hit the news earlier today) to much fanfare. New features include:

  • XSUB™ subtitles let you author movies with multiple language subtitle sets
  • Interactive video menus offer unprecedented convenience and control so you can quickly navigate between various scenes or bonus features, and select from audio track and subtitle options
  • Chapter points provide flexibility, allowing you to jump straight to the scene you want to watch from anywhere within the video
  • Alternate audio tracks enable audio tracks in multiple language versions or separate audio tracks for specific speaker configurations
  • XTAG™ video tags contain descriptive information like title, author and the video specifications used in the file’s creation to streamline organization
  • The .divx file extension clearly identifies content in the DivX format so you’ll never again be left wondering whether that .avi file will really play in your DivX® Certified device

Okay, so now we have another container file format that acts like a DVD (menus, subtitles, etc.). What does this gain us that other containers, such as Matroska [matroska.org] doesn't? To be honest, the answer is meta-tagging. That's it. But wait! If you check out the Tom's Hardware Guide article [tomshardware.com] then some comments from some VP (Kurt Scherf) should jump out.

... they've got their own DRM to protect the content.

So now we've gone from a technically advanced codec to something that is DRM-ified. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a big fan of DRM solutions, there's just too much that could go wrong with legally purchased content. It's like the saying about tough gun legislation, "Tougher gun laws just make it harder for the honest people to get guns." I'm not necessarily a proponent of gun ownership (currently I'm neutral on the subject), but it illustrates my point. Further down the article continues in more DRM propganda.

To accomplish this, Scherf explained, DivX 6 has to prove itself as an efficient and portable format for file sharing, but also more robust in digital rights management, so that "file sharing" and "DivX" mentioned in the same sentence doesn't automatically create negative connotations--as it has in the past.

I don't know anyone who associates DivX with file sharing. I think that it's quite possible there are some uninformed managers and VPs, or, more probabilistic, is that these individuals are influenced by some large software corporations FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) machine. Names are being witheld. <wink, wink>

Posted by Guy at June 15, 2005 7:16 PM