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§ VirtualDub 1.6.5 released

VirtualDub 1.6.5 is out. I actually had this ready on Friday, but April 1st is not a good day to release software. It's a good thing too since a couple of bugs got fixed between then and today. The 1.6 branch is getting closer to stable and as such most of the changes are bug fixes, although a few new features snuck in there.

One new feature that I hadn't originally planned to add was significantly expanded support for automation; I worked a bit on this after talking with someone who was having difficulty automating video processing in a build pipeline. As a result, 1.6.5 introduces two new executables, vdub.exe and vdub64.exe that are used for command-line operation.

Command-line operation

The vdub.exe and vdub64.exe executables are command-line executables that launch the 80x86 and AMD64 versions of VirtualDub, respectively. The main VirtualDub executable is still a GUI executable and will popup windows occasionally, but there are several differences in behavior when using this mode:

In addition, there are a few new command line switches, most notably /?, which gives help, and /queryVersion, which causes VirtualDub to exit with its build number as the return code. You can use this to work around quirks in versions going forward.


In 1.6.4, I added the /i switch, which lets you invoke a script with arguments. I forgot to add a way to convert the strings to numbers, though, which makes the parameters hard to use for anything other than filenames. This has been fixed in 1.6.5 with the addition of the Sylia.Atoi(), Atol(), and Atod() functions. The script is a bit ugly, but hopefully you'll be using your scripts more often than writing them.

The scripting reference was quite out of date, but I've finally updated it with everything that's been added in the 1.6 series, including the SetInputFormat()/SetOutputFormat() commands. All new commands are tagged with their first version of introduction.

Occasionally I get asked if there is a method to change the bitrate parameter of a video codec. The answer is no, because most modern video codecs bury it in the opaque config data structure (the ugly BASE64 encoded string). It is generally trivial to reverse engineer that structure to determine the location of the bitrate parameter, but this must be done on a per-codec and even per-codec-version basis, and unfortunately VirtualDub's scripting language doesn't yet have primitives to edit the BASE64 string.

Edit mode

I was reluctant to add multiple undo until someone pestered me and I realized that the edit list is very light, since it just holds ranges of frame numbers. So I just rigged the code to save entire copies of the edit list in a stack and multiple undo was born.

There was a bug in the fast recompress mode that caused it to run suboptimally for Avisynth users: it was testing UYVY/YUY2 capability before trying the source format, which meant that it basically always used 4:2:2 YCbCr through conversion on the input driver. This has been fixed so that the source format is always tried first, which means that a YV12 Avisynth script should always attempt YV12 first and then fall back to UYVY or YUY2 if the codec test fails. Logging has also been improved so that it tells you the formats involved, so you can tell if a fallback has occurred.

There is a new "run video analysis pass" command on the File menu. This simply runs the rendering engine with a null output backend. If you have a video codec or filter that generates dummy data in an analysis pass, you can use this command to run the pass without generating a junk file.

The edit mode has gotten a bit crufty over the years and it'll probably be time to overhaul it after I get done with the capture stuff. I have to get that done, first. *sigh*

Capture mode

In adding support for auto-saving settings, I forgot to add code to save the audio device. This in turn made the audio format not restore properly in some cases, since the app would use the wrong audio device and then fail to set the audio format since that device didn't support the format. This has been fixed. Note that compression settings and video format are not auto-saved and you have to explicitly save those in Device > Device Settings.

I wanted to add DV capture support to this release but ran into a critical problem: I have no DV capture devices for development. I do have a Pinnacle DVplus, but I have no drivers for it, the website seems to be specifically made to prevent you from getting any, and even if I had them it's not clear I could capture without a DV camcorder attached. It's basically impossible to diagnose capture problems without the actual hardware. As a result 1.6.5 still does not allow you to capture from a capture device that outputs DV data. Sorry.

It is probably not much consolation that 1.6.5 at least doesn't crash if you give it interleaved data that it can't save into an AVI file.

There is a new timing configuration option in the timing options for limiting the length of drop bursts. This mainly prevents VirtualDub from jamming if video timing goes really screwy and the latest timestamp jumps millions of frames forward. Also, the UI still updates even if all incoming frames are being dropped, which will help diagnose timing problems.


Build 23350 (1.6.5, experimental): [April 4, 2005]
   [features added]
   * Script: Added Sylia.Atoi(), Atol(), and Atod() functions to allow
     conversions from string to value.
   * Script: Added VirtualDub.Log(string) command to output to log output
     (or console).
   * Added vdub.exe launcher for basic command-line driven operation.
   * Added multiple undo/redo for timeline edits.
   * Added /? switch to list command-line options.
   * Added support for reading paletted BMPs.
   * Dub input format is now reported in the log. 

   [bugs fixed]
   * Script: Binary operators sometimes promoted the wrong way, i.e. double +
     int -> int.
   * Script: The old form of the Open() command didn't choose the right
     driver when a specific driver was requested, due to sorting by priority.
   * Script: Fixed random crash when adding video filters after opening a
     video file.
   * Script: Fixed crash when issuing SaveWAV() command with no audio stream.
   * Capture: Fixed race condition induced random crash when RGB filtering
     and accelerated preview were both enabled.
   * Capture: Capture stats were not updated while frame dropping was
     occurring, which sometimes made it hard to diagnose timing problems.
   * Capture: Added adjustable limit on length of burst inserts when timing
     anomalies occur, to prevent the app from locking permanently on a very
     bad timing glitch.
   * Capture: Audio device was not auto-saved.
   * Capture: Fixed crash when attempting to capture with an unsupported
     video format (MPEG-1/2, interleaved DV, etc.).
   * MPEG-1 video decoder occasionally glitched due to a missing end tag.
   * Removed dumb debug code that was causing a "???" message box to appear
     when unrecognized command-line flags are seen.
   * Fixed display panes not always updating properly.
   * Fixed rare crash if an MPEG-1 open failed extremely early.
   * Fixed cases where the render start/end point wasn't updated properly
     when a selection bound was used to "push" the other, i.e. "set end"
     before start, or vice versa.
   * Paste (Ctrl+V) wasn't deleting the current selection before doing the
   * Hex editor: Scroll bar thumb wasn't reset to top when loading a new
   * Fixed a bunch of busted paletted converters.
   * Fixed dialogs that had swapped OK/Cancel buttons.
   * Fixed conflicting accelerator for Audio > Conversion menu option.
   * Fast recompress mode now tests source format before UYVY and YUY2.
   * Y8 AVIs weren't accepted even though they could be generated. 

   [regressions fixed]
   * Capture: "Hide on capture" now works.
   * Capture: Preview/overlay display commands toggle once again.
   * Priority drop-downs in preferences didn't have vertical scroll bars.
   * Top-down uncompressed RGB AVIs weren't handled properly.
   * Fixed busted non-MMX XRGB1555>XRGB8888 converter. 


Comments posted:

Might I suggest different names for vdub.exe and vdub64.exe? To someone installing VirtualDub for the first time, it might not be clear which of vdub.exe, vdub64.exe, and VirtualDub.exe is supposed to be run. (I don't think the slightly different icons are sufficient, especially if using small icons.)

James - 04 04 05 - 04:27

I thought about that, but I realized that the names would have to pretty nasty (and thus unusable from CLI) for people to notice the difference. And even then, a few might run it anyway. So I made the apps detect when they are run from Explorer with no arguments, and display help text instead that explains what happened.

Phaeron - 04 04 05 - 23:38

I want to say thanks for all the work you've put into Virtualdub... it's really a fantastic program. Keep up the good work!

Elysseus - 05 04 05 - 01:25

A word about batch photo editing -
can we expect VirtualDub to read/save EXIF in the future?

(I sucsesfully use it to correct large numbers of photos 1600x1200pix from digital camera with no noticeable inconvenience but loss of EXIF data).

Jam_One - 05 04 05 - 18:34

Jam_One, why aren't you using for this?

Anon - 05 04 05 - 19:11

Any plans on actually updating auxsetup.exe? It still says ver 1.4 in the titlebar. :(

Simon E. - 05 04 05 - 23:34

Virtualdub v.1.6.4 was a really great release, expecially when it came to capturing. Great work, simply fantastic. I've been a regular user since 4 years ago, have mainly used it for editing of previously captured or archived avi files, but also for conversion.

I've currently encountered a problem, and I need to ask your help for this:

Would it be possible for me to add a bmp logo in the right-bottom corner of the screen during a live recording from my capture card? I tried the logo filter, but it didn't give me any positive results. It seems the only way for the logo filter to work, is during full processing mode, meaning that the only way for me to do this is to first capture the material to my hd as uncompressed avi, and after convert it to the desired format by also adding the logo using the logo filter during full processing mode.
Is there any way do to this without doing the job twice, meaning to be able to add the logo during realtime recording?

Thanks in advance.

Erjon - 06 04 05 - 12:39

Simon: Nothing's changed in the frameclients or registry entries that require changing the setup program, so I've left it. There's lots more important stuff to work on. One of these days I'm going to have the version numbers auto-update in the build, though (currently I have to update them manually).

Erjon: Enable RGB filtering, and the logo filter should work during capture. However, you will take a hit in performance. Doing native YCbCr filtering is on my really long list of TODOs.

Phaeron - 07 04 05 - 00:11

First, love the program and appreciate all your work. I just downloaded 1.6.5 (been using 1.6.4 to capture and have never had a crash) and have a few questions/cooments.

The capture frame rate seems to be locked in at 25.00 fps no matter what else I change it to.

Also, there still seems to be no way to save video format or compression type.

Finally, any hope we'll see a lock audion/video stream option anytime soon?

On another note I've been using a program called MacroMaker to do timed recordings. Its a free download from snapfiles. I open virtualDub in capture mode, set up compression, format, filename, etc.. then have MacroMaker to effectively press F6 at teh appropriate time and then ESC when I want to end capture. A kludge, but effective.

anon2 - 08 04 05 - 01:10

Thanks for this great software, I've use it since 4 years. I've use for capture and edit my favourite series. Thanks for keep developing it, I'm a economist and I don't have programming knowledge. There will be localized versions of virtualdub? I can traslate it into spanish, I'm from Argentina.

MAU777 - 08 04 05 - 15:46

First of all, thanks for your great program. I can't see where do you get the time for so many projects, and on top of that playing RPGs. :)

When, more or less, will scheduled/timed capture be implemented? I'm still on the 1.5.10 branch, but as soon as this feature is available I'll switch to the unstable one.

Thanks for your hard work and best regards.

xDCDx - 08 04 05 - 23:26

I have been using this gr8 software since 3 years now. I have tried a lot of Pro and expensive softwares for capturing from my analog capturing card but VirtualDub has always been the No.1 in image quality and compression. Although I wanted to see some more options in the software which I think have been implemented in 1.6.5 release.

Do you have any plans to implement the import of VOB and MPEG-2 videos for editing and re-compressing?

Thanks for the gr8 software and keep up the good and hard work.

JayKay - 09 04 05 - 02:15

JayKay: Virtualdub already does that pretty well, as long as it's not CSS encrypted.

My own comment is related: Is there any chance you could modify the MPEG import routine to cache frame indices? (An expiring cache in a folder under Vdub, and based on file mod time is how I'm imagining it.) Multipass or multi-bitrate encoding in job mode can waste a ton of time just reimporting a large mpeg. (Or ogm/mkv in vdubmod, which are very similar streaming containers and would likely use any caching extension.) Another for the long todo list. ^_~

The latest 1.6.x versions are finally making me enjoy capturing again. Thanks. =D

foxyshadis (link) - 10 04 05 - 03:15

About DV capture device - I'm using Pinnacle Studio DV LE (first edition) and now Studio DV 9 on Windows ME and XP and I didn't use any dedicated drivers for it - standard Windows OHCI host controller IEEE 1394 - I am able to captrue and control DV devices without any problems at all. But note that both this cards use TexasInstruments chipset - which was first one puted on DV cards - and TI chipset always worked for me as standard IEEE1394 OHCI Compilant controller. The other chipset (I dont recall the manufacturer in a moment but I will post name as soon as I find out) caused real problems on many platforms.
I think that if you are able to get a DV camera for test you can easily connect it to your Pinnacle card and make it work without special drivers from Pinnacle - since this card is almost ordinary IEEE 1394 controller without any sophisticaded video editing functions.

best regards

Luke - 10 04 05 - 07:08

The mentioned problem causing FireWire was (in my case) NEC - i couldn't make it work properly to cpature from DV device (using Adobe Premiere and ScenalizerLive)


Luke - 10 04 05 - 09:07

Audio setting / compression is still not saved in new release 1.6.5, I tried many times to save in Device Settings but when I restart program the setting for audio is gone, am I missing anything?


JayKay - 11 04 05 - 12:45

Hi there, not sure whether to click on vdub.exe or VirtualDub.exe... I'm luckier than James, I suppose, as I don't have vdub64.exe, and so my choice is 50/50. If I don't report back, assume the best...

thanks for the freeware!

patoche - 22 06 06 - 22:11

Hi there, you should click on VirtualDub.exe.

I received the following error message: Couldn't locate decompressor for format XviD (Unknown)

I give up. I guess I didn't really need to convert avi to dvd.

thanks anyway.

patoche - 22 06 06 - 22:20

With 1.6.16 and the previous version, when I try to open a file compressed with XviD, I get the error message
"Couldn’t locate decompressor for format XviD (Unknown)"
My XviD decoder is in, and was installed with the latest release from DIVX, namely 6.2.5. I suppose there is an incompatibility.
Anyway, please let us all know what to do.

Rick - 04 09 06 - 04:10


rajesekaran - 23 12 06 - 05:07

mine doesnt say anything CLOSE to Vdub EXE... has everything BUT that... plug ins, all sorts of codes... but NOTHING...i repeat..NOTHING says anything nEAR close to EXE afte it... any other suggestions? Thanks..i really want to load this program, but it seems so full of start-up bugs that its not really worth it.Please help.I run Firefox on Vista Business.

marc - 01 12 10 - 03:19

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