I’m very happy to announce our 0.2 release. As always, it was delayed a little past the expected release date as we squeezed in a few more features and schoolwork got in the way. Why can’t we just do RCOS all the time? Anyway, Universal Batch Converter alpha release 0.2 is now up. We have it in tarball, rpm, deb, and windows flavors. I”m looking for input on these, any bug reports or even just letting us know it worked would be great for feedback.
A quick rundown of some of the exciting features of this nerw version:
- Checking for updates: our program now checks for a new version at startup, and lets you know if you’re out of date. This was to mitigate the cost of the other sites which are already hosting our program. We don’t want to be fielding support requests for 0.1 next year, with people not knowing there is a new version.
- Converter detection: we check to make sure that converters exist now, rather than just blindly execing. This makes the program’s functionality much more clear, especially combined with the next feature…
- Working console: Our output console now says more than “this is the console!” It notifies of updates, alerts you to converters you’re missing, and reports about the status and results of conversions.
- Fully dynamic GUI. Adding new plugins will result in the creation of new tabs now, so our program is fully extensible and waiting for more converter types. We hope to add support for many more formats soon, now that the program has reached a (mostly) usable state.
- Executable verification: In addition to checking for the presence of the converter, we now have some rudimentary support for determining if it’s actually the program we think it is. This was necessitated by our use of ImageMagick’s convert, which happens to share a name with the convert program windows has for converting filesystems.
- More formats! I sat down one night and cranked out several more XML files, giving us support for several new audio formats, namely: AAC, MIDI(input only), OGA(Xiph.org’s up and coming audio codec celt), wavpack, and MP2. To use all of them you’ll need faac, faad, celt, timidity++, wavpack, and twolame. We also have some document support courtesy of the Apache Tika project, although it’s a little finicky currently, as it depends on Java and we don’t have support for expressing that properly in the XML yet.
Without further ado, I give you download links:
DEB (64 bit):
Cross Platform Source:
Hi Rcos! This is Jon Kriss checking in. This will actually be my first blog post believe it or not. In fact, I wasn’t even exactly sure how to access this thing. I’m not sure exactly what inspired me to finally find out how. Luckily for me Johnny was able to get me set up with an account in no time at all. Anyway, back to the point of this post. I was just back from running some errands, getting ready to relax when Johnny decided to ruin my whole night L. But seriously it was such an innocent oversight, forgetting to code the File->Exit button.*facepalm*. Honestly who even uses that thing? Mac Users, that’s who.
Apparently Johnny found someone in the RCOS IRC channel, willing to clone our project and attempt to compile and run it on OSX. A special thanks to (Brendon Justin). Anyway one of the problems our program faced in OSX was that by clicking the “x button” for the window it simply minimized it to the dock. That, combined with the fact that the File->Exit button was inoperable led to us having a bit of a problem on OSX. Anyway coding the button took like 10 seconds and now our GUI should function more aptly on OSX, which I’m sure is making Peter Hajas absolutely giddy with excitement.
I’m excited to announce the first “useful” release is scheduled for this weekend. I say “useful” meaning the last release wasn’t stable enough or expandable enough to use. This one should not only be useful, but expandable, and update-able.
We have a few bugs to fix before the release can happen:
-Temporary files need to be created and deleted in a cleaner fashion
-Menus need to be finished and a few other UI tweaks need to be made
Planned changes in Alpha 0.2…
– Automatic update notifications
– Many many more supported conversions. Specifically, the following have been added: apache tika.xml, celtdev.xml, celtenc.xml, faac.xml, faad.xml, flake.xml, timidity.xml, twolame.xml, wavpack.xml
– Support for script or emulator based converters (Ex: a java or python converter)
– Some UI improvements such as more intuitive button locations and a css-styled console (Basic color conventions…red means bad, green means good, white is verbose).
– LOTS of stability fixes and error handling. Even more needs to be done for future releases, stability is key.
– Correctly implemented multistage conversions (Ex: You have a converter than converts from .maya to .3ds and from .3ds to .xsi but want to go from .maya to .xsi, it will do the intermediary .maya to .3ds transparently)
– As always, updated xml format.
The next major goal is to support advanced options for converters. (Example, ImageMagick supports resizing images when you convert them, so “target size” would be an option in the “advanced options” menu in the GUI that would add the appropriate command line flags when invoking the conversion)
I went through and updated ALL of the documentation on the Wiki. Everything there should now be accurate.
The 2 most important updates are on the Developer Page and the Main Page:
We now have more options for installation. I’ve uploaded a deb and an RPM. Both were build on Ubuntu 10.10. The deb seems to work on my system. They are both binary packages, for the source grab the tarball.
On a related note, my appreciation for CMake has increased dramatically in the last few days. I just spent a good 2 hours struggling with debhelper, and after I gave up I found out the CPack can build debs. I had one built that worked on my system in 10 minutes.
A few important updates:
We’ve added a cmake build system (finally). You can now pull the repository and run cmake to build and run the project (Requires CMake, Boost and Qt4 installed). Currently this works on Linux and almost on windows (The cmake script on Windows for including the Boost libraries can’t find them; any help with this would be very much appreciated!). The project can still be built on Windows if you comment out the boost lines in the topmost CMakeLists.txt file and add them yourselves in codeblocks after running cmake -G “CodeBlocks – MinGW Makefiles” src. A Linux package will be available on the website soon.
We’ve updated the skin on the blog a little. It should look nicer now. Sourceforge won’t let us change the title, though, so it will continue to be too big to fit. At some point we might ditch wordpress all together since we have no control over the themes that are available.
Features in the Works
- Auto-Update notifications on application startup. ETA: 1 week (Alex is working on this)
- Get CMake working in windows with boost. ETA: Supposed to be last week..? We’ve had a lot of issues with this (Alex/Johnny are working on this)
- Categorized dynamic tabs (Split conversions up into categories such as Audio, Video, Images… each displayed in its own tab which are dynamically created based on what plugins are installed). ETA: Never? (Jon is working on this)
- Deleting intermediate files for chained conversions. ETA: 1 week (Frank is working on this)