A new era in movie piracy
May 8, 2000 7:01 PM   Subscribe

A new era in movie piracy. These guys managed to hack Microsoft's MPEG 4 codec, and have provided a means of ripping DVD movies to this new format (check the readme file). The little program they have on their site will "update" your Windows Media Player to be able to play the new divx format. The compression is comparable to current .avi and .mpg formats, but the image quality is near-DVD. Wow. I just watched "Disturbing Behaviour" in this new format and I must say I'm very impressed. No ugly chunky blocks like with MPEG. I dunno if I'd ever pay to see movies in the theatre again. Heh, sure sounds familiar eh? (*cough* MP3 *cough*) Looks like there might be some big new players joining the RIAA real soon. :)
posted by PWA_BadBoy (4 comments total)
I went to the site and declined to download it, joking that it might be a scam, a virus or something might be embedded in it.

then it occurred to me: if metallica were really serious about this mp3 business, all they'd have to do is hire someone to write a virus that would wipe out every mp3 on your HD, upload it to Napster, and whoom! no more worries.

posted by rebeccablood at 9:36 PM on May 8, 2000

rebecca, who's to say they haven't??
posted by fooljay at 10:37 PM on May 8, 2000

Hardly a scam..... I'm pretty sure of it. If anything, the guys who did it are probably the types to promote MP3. ;)

Damn.. as I sit here and write this, it suddenly occured to me that maybe I ought to change my login name... Posting hacker topics on metafilter with a name starting with "PWA" doesn't exactly make me look very good does it?
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 11:59 PM on May 8, 2000

Returning to the topic, the DivX (has nothing to do with the failed DVD-like product) codec is EXCELLENT. At *half* the bitrate of a VCD (which is MPEG-1) you get good picture quality (it's not DVD, but it's much, much better than VHS) and mp3-quality sound (I think it's 128k). This is what MPEG4 should be, not the crap that Microsoft has been pimping with their .ASF format.
While this is great for pirates the real winners will be the 'normal' consumers. Streaming video should improve to become better than the utter crap that Realtime, Quicktime and ASF make up. I watched some superbowl commercials in ASF this year and the picture quality left me guessing to what the hell was on the screen.
posted by jedrek at 4:06 AM on May 9, 2000

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