Announcing Zoom Player v19 beta 1

Zoom Player Beta

What's new in this beta:
  * Zoom Player has integrated libVLC, the media engine used by the
    VLC media player. This integrating means that several new features
    that were unique to VLC are now available in Zoom Player, leveraging
    the reliability of VLC with Zoom Player's powerful and customizable
    user interface.

    In theory, Zoom Player's default choice of Microsoft's DirectShow
    media engine is superior to libVLC in a lot of ways. DirectShow is
    a lower-level, allowing me to develop unique features that are
    impossible to do with libVLC. At the same time and due to it's
    complexity, there may be cases where libVLC can be more reliable
    than DirectShow.

    By default only BluRay discs play using libVLC due to libVLC's support
    for playing BluRay discs with menus. However, since this is Zoom Player
    you're reading about, the ultimate choice of which engine to use is up
    to you!
    You can enable libVLC specifically for BluRay discs, IPTV streaming,
    media playback (by file extension) and open-ended streaming (by URL,
    for example "youtube") under the new advanced options section (Adv.
    Options / Playback / libVLC).
    To use libVLC you must either install the latest version of the 32bit
    VLC player or install libVLC from the install center (it does not
    conflict with existing VLC installations).    
    Most Zoom Player features are compatible with the new media engine:
    - BluRay Playback with Menus!
    Enabled by default, opening a drive, folder or the "index.bdmv" file
    begins BluRay playback. Menus are navigated using the standard navigation
    keys (up/down/left/right Arrows + Enter keys). The same limitation that
    apply to playing BluRay discs in VLC applies when using the libVLC media
    engine in Zoom Player, along with any glitches.
    This means that you must have Java installed for the BluRay menus to work
    and that playing encrypted discs will not work by default. As for the
    glitches, I encountered cases where 4K BluRay videos can freeze and
    verified that the same issue happens in the original VLC player.
    - Aspect Ratio Controls:
    Zoom Player's powerful aspect ratio controls are fully supported.
    - Subtitle Display:
    Other than re-positioning the subtitles on-screen, most of Zoom Player
    subtitle features should work great with libVLC.
    - Add Subtitle Track on Drag & Drop / Add Sub file:
    You can easily add subtitle files by drag & dropping files on
    Zoom Player's window or by opening a subtitle file after the
    video is loaded.
    - Subtitle Synchronization Adjustments:
    You can adjust subtitle synchronization through the standard keyboard
    macros (Alt+Ctrl+"+" and Alt+Ctrl+"-" on the keypad).
    - Color Controls:
    Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Hue color controls are available.
    - Audio Framework Device Selection:
    libVLC is pretty flexible in it's audio device selection offering three
    different frameworks (MMDevice, DirectSound and WaveOut). Zoom Player
    makes it easy to choose the framework that works best for your PC.
    - Audio Track Selection & Cycle:
    Easily select and cycle between multiple audio tracks.
    - Audio Synchronization Adjustments:
    You can adjust audio synchronization using the standard keyboard macros
    (Shift+"+" and Shift+"-" on the keypad).

    - Virtual Video Editing with BluRay Movies with Menus:
    The scene cut feature that allows you to virtually edit videos should now
    be compatible with BluRay titles with Menus when using libVLC. However,
    this feature has not been heavily tested so please let me know on reddit
    if it's not working as expected.
    - Play History (position, audio track, subtitle track):
    Zoom Player's play history feature which can save and restore the last
    play position, active audio, subtitle tracks and more is fully compatible.
    - Play Rates (fast play, slow motion):
    Fast Play and Slow Motion might even work on more media formats than
    supported by DirectShow, give it a try.
    - Load Embedded Chapters (Bookmarks):
    Using libVLC, Zoom Player can read embedded chapters or bookmarks from
    both media files and BluRay titles.
    - Load External Audio Tracks for playing video:
    Full support for one or more external audio tracks.
    - Play Next Frame:
    The next frame feature is fully supported.
    - Screenshot:
    The screenshot keyboard macro (Alt+"F") is fully compatible with libVLC
    with the exception that the screenshot file format is limited to ".png".

    + And since this is just a beta, there's more to come!

  * New "Pause closes unseekable live stream (otherwise ignored)" setting
    that controls if Zoom Player closes a live stream when pausing or
    if the pause is ignored.
    Previously the hard-coded default was to close the stream, the new
    (configurable) default is to ignore the pause command.

  * New button on the IPTV interface to quickly open the IPTV settings
    page in the advanced options dialog.

  + To support chapters (bookmarks) using the VLC Media Engine, I had to
    rewrite nearly all of Zoom Player's code related to managing chapters.
    Please let me know if something broke. As a bonus, you can now use
    emojis and other special Unicode characters in the chapter names.

  + Media chapters with no titles will now show a "no title" title.

  + The IPTV stream list group layout (open/close) is now saved and
    restored even after closing Zoom Player.

  + The Custom Action button's hint when hovering with the mouse now lists
    the assigned function and not just a general "Custom Action".

  + Cleaned up a few of the advanced options dialog pages.

  - Trying to switch to the next audio track no longer tries to set
    an audio track if there is only one track present (caused muted
    audio for a second or two).

  - Failing to play an IPTV stream will no longer highlight that
    stream as the active stream.

  - You should no longer be able to erase embedded chapter entries
    (it didn't really do anything).

  - Fixed all sorts of goofs that were possible through the chapter editor.


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