SmallDVD 2.1 is available for download.
While the functional differences from 2.0 are fairly small, it is a significant release in that it is now Intel-only, and requires Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
The reason for this is that it includes a new, right-up-to-date version of the ffmpeg utility used for converting and multiplexing the video. Previous versions of SmallDVD had been using a version of ffmpeg from March 2007. Since then, a lot of enhancements have been made, and a lot of new file formats added. So it was about time it got updated.
Other changes and enhancements in this version include:
- No longer prompts for the video title when a file is added. The default title is taken from the filename. This can be changed by double-clicking on the title in the video list. Then click “Update Preview” to see the change reflected in the menu.
- Video files can now be resorted by dragging them in the file list. However, this means that when files are added to SmallDVD by dragging (added in 2.0), they must now be dragged to the menu preview, not the file list.
- Fixed a bug that allowed the window to be resized, which messed up the layout.
- Upgraded dvdauthor utility (to 0.6.14).
- Minor changes to the user interface.
I am pleased to announce the first release of SmallShrink.
SmallShrink extracts the main movie from a DVD, and reauthors it to fit onto a 4.7Gb single layer DVD-R. It is inspired by (but currently is nowhere near as functional as) the legendary DVD Shrink application for Windows, with a little help from the various Linux DVD9->DVD5 guides around the internet.
The initial v0.1 release provides a simple interface to a number of command line tools which do the extract, shrinking and reauthoring. It certainly can’t deal with every DVD, and works on about 80% of DVDs I’ve tried it with. More recent, heavily-copy-protected DVDs present the most trouble.
This release is very much experimental, and I welcome feedback – what DVDs does it work on, what doesn’t work? What would make it more useful? I am not yet sure of the final direction it will take – it may stay as a standalone application, or may become part of SmallDVD.
SmallShrink 0.1 requires an Intel Mac, running Mac OS X 10.6
UPDATE: Now also supports Mac OS X 10.5
Two things have happened in the last week that have forced me to finally get round to making SmallNews iPod/iPhone-friendly.
Firstly, I gave in and bought an iPod Touch. I’ve wanted one for a while, to understand the whole App Store thing a bit better, but have struggled to justify buying yet another mobile gadget.
Secondly, I came incredibly close to leaving my Sony eBook reader on a plane last night. It wouldn’t have been the first time – I left a minidisc player on a flight to Stockholm (minidisc… it was a while ago), and I left my first Archos AV420 on a plane to Dublin. I turn them off for landing put them in the seat pocket, then never see them again.
So, new rule, no gadgets on planes that don’t fit in my shirt pocket. And the iPod Touch passes that requirement very nicely.
It turns out that the eBook version that SmallNews works very nicely on an iPod/iPhone using GoodReader. OK, it’s not free, but at $0.99 at the moment, it’s a bargain. Other readers such as Stanza can read the files, but the layout is horrible. So I’m using GoodReader, which also provides a very easy way of uploading the PDF to the iPod/iPhone over wifi.
This is what it looks like with all the menus on:
and this is what it looks like with the menus hidden.
The text would perhaps benefit from being a little bigger, so I might look at an option to create an iPhone/iPod-specific edition in the next release. But it’s quite readable as it is, and of course you can do all that multi-touch stuff to make it bigger.
On a related note, I also got SmallNews running on my Linux-based EeePC. More on that another time though.
Two new versions of SmallNews available today.
v1.0 is actually just the same as v0.4, but is renamed to reflect the fact it’s the last release of this branch of the application.
v2.0b1 represents includes several major enhancements:
- Articles can be saved in a database (either built-in SQLite, or external MySQL)
- Articles can then be retrieved by their id, and posted to Twitter or Facebook
- New handler for The Independent
- Reorganisation of the user interface (see here for screenshot)
The database feature requires a bit of explaining – look out for a post on that soon.
However, there are some features not yet finished. Hopefully they are clearly marked in the application, but they are:
- Creating a PDF or sending an e-mail of an article retrieved from the database
- Purging old articles from the database
- Scheduled creation of the newspaper
- Handler for The Telegraph
- Fix to the handler for The Independent, as the images do not layout correctly in the PDF version.
I hope to add/fix all of these shortly and release another beta version.
One of my biggest complaints about BBC iPlayer is that I vastly prefer watching TV on a TV, not on a computer. So I was pleased to see this article on the BBC Internet Blog describing their plans in this area.
Would this remove the need for me to use tools like get_iplayer to download the programmes? No, probably not, I suppose. Still, interesting to see how iPlayer is evolving.
I am pleased to announce that SmallDVD 2.0 has been released. Intel and PPC versions are available from the download page. If you’re new to SmallDVD, make sure you install iMagine Photo first.
This version has only minor changes since 2.0b3:
- fixed the occasional Applescript errors
- changed the default background image to something a bit blacker
Unless people shout at me, this version is likely to be the last to support PPC and the last to support Tiger (10.4). The reason for this is that I want to upgrade to a newer version of ffmpeg, the tool which is used for video conversion. SmallDVD has been using a version of ffmeg from May 2007, and newer versions support several extra input formats. But it’s increasingly difficult to compile it on older versions of Mac OS X, and fewer and fewer people are using these.
So my intention is that SmallDVD 2.1 will upgrade to a newer ffmpeg, keep it updated it with each release, and be Intel-only on 10.5 or higher.
But if you’re using SmallDVD on Tiger or PPC, let me know, and if there is sufficient demand, I’ll see if I can continue to support them. One possible approach is to create new versions of SmallDVD that use the older ffmpeg on these platforms. That isn’t ideal (as it would result in 3 different versions of SmallDVD), but it’s certainly possible.