Ok, well.. you're not going to like this response, but here goes
Many of the features you've suggested have been discussed in length in other posts in this forum. For consolidation purposes, I'll go through them one by one.
- Subtitle support. I think this one is HUGE. Yes, I watch a lot of forigen films, but this is important even in films like Star Wars. A MUST to make this a full switch. This is the biggest problem right now IMHO.
We couldn't agree more. This is a very oft-requested feature. Unfortunately, the Cascade SDK provided by Roku does not expose sub-picture streams in videos. FYI, contrary to what I originally thought before doing the research (and probably a popular misconception) subtitles are actually stored as pre-rendered sub-picture streams in the video that are overlayed on top of the main video. They are are not stored as simple text as one might think. For more information on how subtitles are stored, see this link: http://sam.zoy.org/writings/dvd/subtitles/
- DTS audio support. Gotta have. This might be a hardware issue? (I haven't really looked into this one much so forgive me...)
Again, this is a Roku issue. As soon as Roku adds support for DTS in videos, it will automagically start working in MPlay.
- "True" progress reporting. Yes, it shows me where I am in the current VOB - this does me NO good at all. I need to be able to see where I am in entire movie. This is the biggest thing that bugs me personally - I love to know where I am in the movie, drives me nuts that I can't know...
MPlay works the way it currently does for one main reason. It doesn't assume that the full video is available when you start playing, so you can actually start playback while the video is still being captured/transcoded/recorded. As such, MPlay doesn't assume that the available files and file sizes are the final files and file sizes. We could probably come up with something that recalculates every time you hit Info, but I'm not certain. I'll let Marcelo address that further.
- TRUE fast forward and rewind - not 3 minutes ahead and 30 seconds back. Variable speeds based on how many times I press FF or RW. Just like my TiVo. Another biggie...
Again, we're stymied by the Cascade SDK. True FF and RW require being able to only decode i-frames in the video. Currently these aren't exposed to us. This is a feature I think everyone wants.
- Each time I resume from Pause it takes about 3 seconds for the "Play" icon to show on screen - and when it does the audio jumps. Bug I guess...
This isn't actually a bug, it's a feature. When you resume from a paused state, MPlay attempts to re-sync the audio. The intended purpose was to allow you to hit Pause/Pause to re-sync if the audio drifted. Marcelo is already working on making it so this only happens if you do indeed do a Pause/Pause, so it won't happen when pausing for other reasons.
- A progress "bar" - graphically showing me the above. When you press Play or Pause it comes up. Pressing Play again makes it disappear, after say 2 seconds. My DVD player does this, WMCE does this, MPlay should
Not a bad idea, but likely only possible if we can address the issue above.
- Being able to see time remaining, and time played. So you could see "13:18" and "-1:23:17" - and could switch on the fly.
I'd like this one, too. It's a bit tricky, though, since we can't (I think) get at the timecodes in the video. We could probably approximate based on calculated bitrates and actual "playing" time, but it's unlikely we'd be very accurate. For DVD rips, we could probably make assumptions based on info available in the IFOs as well. Definitely something worth looking into.
- Resume from last. Say I'm watching something. I decide I'm done for the night with that film - I switch to audio. It would be nice to easily come back to where I left off - WinDVD does this - asking do I want to resume where I left off last time... You get the idea...
This feature already exists. As long as the Roku has write access to the shares hosting the video, it automatically bookmarks where the video was last stopped, and will ask you to resume the next time you go to play it. You should see a <videofilename>.mplay file in the same folder as the video, which contains this and other information.
- True DVD menu navigation. Since I rip with Shrink and re-author I don't really care about this one but it should be supported.
We've already been working on this one, but as you may have guessed, we're again hindered by the current SDK. Quoted from this post (http://www.rokulabs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=28109#28109
The main problem is with the internal buffering in the MPEG decoder. There is no way currently from the SDK to determine the buffer fullness of the decoder, nor is there any way to find out what frame was last decoded. Another problem is there is no way to flush the decoder without closing it and re-opening it, which as can be seen in MPlay when you fast-forward/rewind, causes a noticeable black screen. The result is either a black screen when you access a menu item, or a several second delay before the menu item is accessed due to the decoder playing out it's buffer.
On top of those issues, sub-picture streams are also not exposed by the SDK, so menu overlays (and subtitles) are not available.
The question is, how difficult is it to expose the information detailed above? The answer is, I don't know...
I've actually written a working DVD player application for the Roku, but the inability to display still frame menus (because of the first point above) makes it virtually unusable with 90% of the DVDs out there.
Again thanks for all your hard work with MPlay - right now it is the ONLY thing keeping me from selling my Roku, which is sad. It's sad that I paid them $500 and not you guys...
You can still send us the $500 if you want. There's a donation link on the web site