The News Archive

October 29th, 2001.

Zoom Player v2.12 beta 1 has been posted on the forum.

October 24th, 2001.

Amazon has started it's Fall Sale with many movies being sold for under $15, and I do mean many, probably over 1000, including quite a few good ones. I'm not about to post a link to every single one of these as there are way too many, so here's a list by sections:

Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Classics, Comedy, Drama, Fitness & Yoga, Horror & Suspense, Kids & Family, Music & Musicals, Romantic Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Sports, Television.

October 21st, 2001.

Announcing Zoom Player v2.10.

Lots and lots of new stuff in this version, make sure you check the what's new file for the full list.

A few of the highlights are:
Support for older operation systems, including NT4.
Improved Play List.
Manual filter insertions.
Per-Media Definition files.
Better Installer setup.
And much more ...

It also seems one of the mirrors is down, Hopefully I'll be able to post the new version there soon, and the one mirror should hold (again, hopefully).

Make sure you read the What's new file.

To download Zoom Player, click here.

October 21st, 2001.

Looks like there are several interesting things coming up in Region 2:
The James Bond Collection, containing 19 movies all the way from Dr. No to The World is not Enough.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Season 3 and Angel - Season 1
Ben Hur / Gone With The Wind / Doctor Zhivago (Box Set)
The Mummy and The Mummy Returns - Ultimate Edition Boxset

In other news, Zoom Player is going to be delayed a bit due to technical issues with my ISP.

October 17th, 2001.

Work is winding down on Zoom Player v2.10 and I'm hoping the final version will be ready by this weekend.

If nothing special pops up, the new version should be out around Saturday.

October 13th, 2001.

I noticed something strange, there's seem to be two additiol star trek movies being released as Special Editions in the U.K.

I know for a fact that paramount was planning to release new special editions of all the movies, but I thought they would do them in order. Weird.

In any case, here's Star Trek 3 - The Search For Spock (Limited Collector's Edition) and Star Trek 4 : The Voyage Home (Limited Collector's Edition).

October 12th, 2001.

I've got 2 confirmations that the latest Zoom Player builds work fine on NT4! This means that most new features should now work on NT4 and older operation systems.

The latest release candidate has been posted on the forum

October 9th, 2001.

I've posted the third Zoom Player release candidate on the forum. What I want people to check, is if this version works on older Direct-X installations (older than 8.0) and if it possibly works in NT4. If it does, I can probably maintain Zoom Player support for these older systems in the future.

October 8th, 2001.

I've done a bit of digging and found some interesting and not so obvious (at least not all of them) releases that are worth keeping an eye on:

A Pixar 3-Pack including Toy Story 1, Toy Story 2 and A Bug's Life for $33.74.
The Home Alone 2-Pack which includes Home Alone and Home Alone 2 for $26.24.
An Arnold Schwarzenegger 2-Pack which includes True Lies and Predator for $26.24.
The Coen Brother's The Hudsucker Proxy for $14.98.
A cult classic on the heals of Conan, The Beastmaster for $14.98.
And lastly the mamoth Star Trek - The Motion Pictures DVD Collection, a 9 disc collection including all 9 feature films.


October 7th, 2001.

The second Zoom Player v2.10 release candidate has been posted on the forum. Make sure you check it out.

October 3rd, 2001.

I have posted Zoom Player v2.10 release candidate 1 on the forum.

If you're a zoom player fan, then please take the time to look for any bugs.

October 2nd, 2001.

I have written a comprehensive IVTC article dubbed "Video Capture 102 - IVTC".

In it you can learn how to IVTC and encode an NTSC source directly to a 2-Pass DivX v4 video.

In other news, BlackStar is running a special with lots of good titles going for £8.49 each:
Blazing Saddles,
The Bodyguard,
Bonnie and Clide,
Conspiracy Theory,
Dog Day Afternoon,
Falling Down,
The Last Boyscout,
Leather Weapon, Leather Weapon 2, Leather Weapon 3,
Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil,
Rebel Without a Cause,
The Searchers,
Singing in the Rain,
The Specialist,
Tequila Sunrise,
True Romance,
U.S. Marshals,
Under Seige, Under Seige 2,
Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory,

And there's seem to be a special on one of the best movies ever released, The Shawshank Redemption at only £7.69.

October 1st, 2001.

DVD Sewer seems to have a nice piece about the Dave Video studio rep. meeting.

Lots of titles discussed, including some of my person favorites such as UHF and Trading Places (2003!? dang). Well worth the read.

September 27th, 2001.

Looks like there's finally going to be a release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1 in the U.S. on January 15th. MSRP is reported to bt $39.95, which means it should probably be up for preorder about $30 any day now.

Meanwhile, in europe you can already preorder Season 3.

And it seems like Moonlighting is also coming out on DVD.

September 25th, 2001.

It seems that it's not just me that's been getting 100's of eMail virii and spam daily. The register is reporting that the Internet may become unusable by 2008 if something isn't done about these eMail virii.

I am still being sent the SirCam virus, one person actually sent me 297 virus, each with an attachment ranging between 100k to over 5mb! People, install an Anti-Virus software, and stop opening attachments!

September 23rd, 2001.

I have updated the Video Capture tutorial to include more in-depth information and insight. Make sure you check it out.

Also, I'm doing some site clean-up. Let me know if you find broken links.

September 21st, 2001.

Work goes on on Zoom Player v2.01, I'm aiming it to be a minor feature+bug fix version. So far a few small bugs have been identified and fixed, and a small number of features have been included. You can grab the latest beta on the forum.

I expect to release v2.01 final possibly next weekend.

On a personal note, after the major disaster on U.S. soil, Movies and TV shows that are even remotely connected or even feature the WTC towers in their footage are being altered. I even heard rumors that they may digitally strip the twin towers out of A.I.'s DVD release.

I can understand the grief, and could even understand the delay of some shows or features that may cause angst to U.S. citizens. But I do not believe in revisionist history. If I know Americans, the WTC towers will be rebuilt within the next 10 years. If I know Americans, they'll probably be tougher, taller and possibly titanium plated (gun turrets maybe?).

Other than some well overdue security arrangement at airports and finally doing something about world terrorism, I don't think that American creativity should be stifled by fearful law-making. Don't let terrorist dictate to you how you should live your lives.

September 17th, 2001.

I've mentioned these movies a while back when they were initially announced for a U.K. release. For some reason, only "Excellent Adventure" was eventually released, with "Bogus Journey" (the better of the two in my opinion) seeming to have disappeared entirely.

And now, both these movies have been announced for a U.S. release on December 4th. And amazingly enough, for only $11.21. These movies are one of my favorite silly movies from my youth, not to mention the nice sound track.



September 15th, 2001.

Announcing Zoom Player v2.00.

I won't even attempt to describe what's new in this version, lets just say that I lost count of how many user requested features that were implemented. The biggest function that went in is support for DVD Playback through DirectShow (if you have a decoder filter installed), basically bringing you the comfort of Zoom Player to a DVD playback interface.

Make sure you read the What's new file.

To download Zoom Player, click here.

September 13th, 2001.

If nothing changes, Expect the final version of Zoom Player 2.00 on September 15th!

Meanwhile, if you know of any errors in v2.00 RC6, please leave a message on the forums.

September 12th, 2001.

Dark day for the world. Our feelings go out to the families of the victims.

September 10th, 2001.

Zoom Player v2.00 release candidate 6 has been posted on the forums.

On on this note, I have a request, If anyone knows how to programmatically disable Monitor Powerdown, please leave a post on the zoom player forum.

September 7th, 2001.

Zoom Player v2.00 release candidate 3 has been posted on the forums.

Few bug fixes, few cosmetic fixes and support for auto-loading of first bookmark when starting to play a DVD.

I'm hoping to release the final version within a week or so, as frankly, the feature list is getting HUGE.

In other news, I have tested the Windows-XP region code system, and as far as I could tell, it's exactly the same as the one implemented in Windows 2000.

September 6th, 2001.

Zoom Player v2.00 release candidate 2 has been posted on the forums.

A few fixes, a few small features and one big features, mappable keyboard.

With this new version you can manually set up which keys do what, and even group several commands onto one key to create combo keys.

September 3rd, 2001.

Been working feverishly on Zoom Player. I managed to complete the v2.00 feature set and you can find Release Candidate 1 in the forums.

Wondering what the new features introduced in v2.00? check this:

  • Due to new features, Direct-X v8 or newer is now mandatory.
  • Implementation of DVD Playback controls, including a DVD specific right-click menu, all the various DVD controls, etc...
  • New "DVD.TXT" file. Highly recommended reading if you plan to use Zoom Player for DVD Playback.
  • New "FAQ.TXT" file containing Frequently asked questions (and their answers).
  • Support for a dedicated DVD mode, where the Play button plays a disc. You can switch between Media mode and DVD mode by pressing "F10".
  • DVD Mode now has a separate skin. Which means, you can assign a different skin to either the DVD Mode or the Media Mode. The moment a mode is switched, the corresponding skin is loaded automatically.
  • When in DVD Menu mode, the keyboard Arrow keys will function as menu item directional selectors instead of moving the video position.
  • When in DVD Menu mode, the Enter key will select the currently highlighted menu item.
  • New DVD bookmarks support. The design is quite nice if I do say so myself. When you add a bookmark (through the editor), it will create a unique directory for the DVD being played under the Zoom Player directory. The directory name is comprised of the Disc's volume label and a unique 64bit serial number. Each actual bookmark is a file within this directory.
    And what's really nice about it, is that once you create a bookmark, you can go there anytime, even during menus, which can come in handy.
    If you remove all bookmarks from a DVD, it's directory will be automatically removed.
  • Radical change to the Control Bar button system. You now can basically assign any of the scripted button functions to the Control Bar as long as there is an associated graphic specification within the skin script. The default skins come with the same button selection as the previous version, but any skin author can easily enable all other functions.
    This change also effects the DVD Mode, basically there are two set of active Control Bar buttons, one for media mode and one for DVD mode. The DVD Mode buttons also include a Rewind and Root Menu functions.
    Another benefit is that the buttons are queued in the order the skin specifies, so buttons can appear in any order deemed logical by the skin author.
    And lastly on this feature, it sort of cripples support for older skin as it no longer uses the BarFileName bitmap. All the skin graphic data is now concentrated in one bitmap file.
  • New "Derived" Aspect Ratio setting. This setting is the setting reported by the file as the correct aspect ratio to display it. Please note that this may required DirectX 8.1 to work properly! When I initially tried implementing this in DirectX 8a it only gave the correct aspect ratio for MPEG1 files and basically threw out bogus numbers for AVI files.
  • New command line parameter, "/DVD" makes sure Zoom Player load in DVD mode, regardless of the mode it was exited at.
  • New command line parameter, "/MEDIA" makes sure Zoom Player load in MEDIA mode, regardless of the mode it was exited at.
  • New command line parameter, "/PLAY". If in DVD Mode, Zoom Player will try to play the DVD, if in Media Mode, it will play if there are files in the playlist. If a file is passed through the command line interface, this parameter is ignored.
  • New command line parameters (ignored if /F or /Z is used):
    /X:[n] - Force GUI Window X-Position
    /Y:[n] - Force GUI Window Y-Position
    /W:[n] - Force GUI Window Width
    /H:[n] - Force GUI Window Height
  • New command line parameters:
    /VX:[n] - Set Video Window X-Offset (in zoom mode)
    /VY:[n] - Set Video Window Y-Offset (in zoom mode)
    /VW:[n] - Set Video Window Width (in zoom mode)
    /VH:[n] - Set Video Window Height (in zoom mode)
  • Re-Enabled the Stay-On-Top feature. You can enable it through the right click Media menu, or by pressing ALT+"T". There are some restrictions though. When StayOnTop is enabled, it automatically disables the OSD and ControlBar support. This was due to window's inability to properly handle Z-Order correctly.
    This shouldn't be too annoying as the ControlBar and OSD do work when Zoomed, as StayOnTop is temporarily disabled when entering Zoom Mode.
  • Internal support for the TFM Audio Filter. You can now access it's property dialog by press ALT+"A". You still need to get and install it for this feature to work, the filter's home page is "".
    I've also included a scripted button feature for this if someone want to design a skin with this in mind.
  • Instead of having the Control Bar width defined by the video width and a specified margin, you can now have the Control Bar width fixed to a specified size while in Zoom Mode. This is useful if you intend to scale the video size beyond the screen width.
  • You can now used Shift+"R" to cycle backwards through the aspect ratio modes.
  • You can now associate the DVD "IFO" extension.
  • You can now set the DVD Auto-Run on insert program through the DVD Options dialog (can be set to Zoom Player or any other program for that matter).
  • Using the "`" Fit To source key will now screen-center the video when used in window mode.
  • Zoom Player can now accept file masks through the command line interface. Example: "zplayer.exe *.avi".
  • Source relative Aspect Ratio can now have a negative value.
  • You can now set the overlay so that it will cover the entire specified window size, not just size relative to the aspect ratio. This may be useful with some subtitle filters.
  • Instead of the time Jump being a 4*Skip, you can now manually specify the number of seconds to skip. Default being 20.
  • New Time Seek function, Similar to Skip or Jump. Basically giving you a third timeline mobility feature. Default value is 60 seconds and can be accessed using the Ctrl+"," and Ctrl+"." keys or through a Skin Script generated button.
  • You can now select a custom icon when associating the player.
  • The overlay color key is now retrieved through DirectShow rather than the previous hack I used to get it earlier. This means that the OSD transparency should work 100% of the time now (as long as an overlay is active).
  • Fixed a few weird WinXP bugs, such as the oversized default play list window.
  • In another WinXP oddity, using WinXP and DirectX v8.1 (the version that comes pre-installed on WinXP), doesn't seem to give DirectShow access to the overlay color key used for OSD transparency! It also seems that the renderer filter has been modified and it now gives a lot less details on it's property dialog! In any case, to combat this silliness, I've implemented a fail-safe mechanism that if the transparency color key isn't delivered directly by DirectShow, Zoom Player will try to grab it off the screen as it did in v1.81.
  • Fixed a case bug in the "DrawText" skin function.
  • Fixed a bug where a selected skin was removed and the player would then load as a black square. Now the default skin is used if an older skin is no longer found.
  • Fixed a bug that would throw an "invalid floating point" error if you tried to switch a track before the previous track was even loaded.
  • Fixed a bug that would throw an "invalid floating point" error if you tried to seek in a video before it was actually loaded.
Quite a lot of changes to say the least.
Hopefully the final release will be within 1-2 weeks.

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