FWIW & IMHO no one’s going to go to a lot of trouble to DRM a <320 pixel width video @ 20 or less fps, unless they’re mainly concerned with the audio track, & even that may be dying finally as the focus shifts to cutting off on-line access to those suspected of distribution.
re: the 2ndary files, I removed one or another & the video continued to play, & the only observable difference was it was missing the pic in the menu.
re: MediaInfo & similar… Video standards are generally for playback – the mpg2 also used for DVDs is a great example. Anyone designing an encoder can do whatever they want, as long as it plays on a std. mpg2 capable player. MediaInfo’s developer is only going to put in detection for those flags &/or specs that folks know about. I think it’s been well proven by now that if you have 2 video files that look identical in MediaInfo or whatever, likely the only one to work on the Fuze came from SMC. Logically this means there’s something else unique about the SMC file that the reporting apps just aren’t programmed to look for.
My suggestion, if you really wanted an SMC alternative would be to post in the forums like those at Videohelp.com &/or Doom9.org, asking the coders if they might please analyze these SMC video files for you. That’s a 1st step anyway… I have no idea if any difference would be something as simple as adding a flag or require a mod or even a new encoder, so I’ve also no idea whether anyone would write a program for you or not – if it’s just processing a DivX/Xvii file & adding a flag, that’s a whole lot less work than even modding an existing encoder.
@neutron_bob… re: audio sync/drift…
Has anyone watched SMC created video on a PC using something like VLC to determine if the drift occurs only on the Fuze, or is a problem with the video file itself? If it’s still a problem after whatever firmware &/or software update…
Video encoding software obviously goes through different internal paths depending on the input video source. If the problem is the SMC video file itself, feeding SMC one format vs… another *might* make a difference. Also please remember that none of these small players have hugely capable decoding chips – making it’s job easier might well provide at least a partial solution… try encoding video that’s already at 12 - 15 fps & see what happens. With this small a picture the fps difference isn’t as noticeable as larger sizes, so the tradeoff of lower fps vs… sync might be worth it.
Not disagreeing – at least about the parts not having anything to do with conspiracies
These small players are incredibly portable, & if it’s a cheaper model, if you lose it, it get’s stolen, it get’s destroyed etc, it’s not nearly as big a deal. One family member likes to watch movies on her Zune in the tub – doing the same with her gaming laptop would be downright dangerous. My wife enjoys watching her favorite movies in waiting rooms, like at the doc’s office, & the player’s small enough to quickly slip in your pocket when the wait’s over. I’ve found that they’re nice to share things like a quick Jib Jab or YouTube file, when/where dragging along a laptop, having someone play a CD, converting to DVD is just too much bother for the quick chuckle the video’s worth.
OTOH I enjoy working with video, so any conversion is not a huge, disagreeable task… that’s me. Many (most?) people I know, including family members, are perfectly happy to watch video I’ve converted, but would sooner cut off a finger than go through the trouble of getting the video on whatever player.
As far as the file sizes go, the smallest video files often use both efficient compression & a lot of post processing – that requires a bit of processing horsepower… most any PC can play a DVD full screen, but playing an AVC HD video is challenging enough that most current video cards include chips dedicated to playing HD. If the Fuze can’t handle std. 29.976 NTSC video frame rates, it can hardly be expected to handle the video processing necessary to decode these more efficient, more highly compressed video formats. That’s why the files are comparatively large for the frame size, fps, & bitrate – the decoding/display processing required is just too complicated for their small brains.