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Mydvd8 Writes Bad Volume Labels


afrinl

Question

Howdy --

 

There appear to be at least two significant problems with MyDVD8's handling of volume labels in EMC8 build 805B56B. There's also at least one significant problem with Roxio's technical support processes.

 

First, the two volume label problems in MYDVD8:

 

(1) MyDVD8 mangles volume labels longer than a few (maybe 8-12) characters.

 

After finishing the setup for a project, I click on Burn and get the Burn dialog box. If I leave the disc volume name as the default "MYDVD", the burned disc shows a volume name of "MYDVD", which is certainly correct.

 

But if I change the volume name to something other than the default (e.g., "ASH_2005_IN_REVIEW_PART_1"), the volume name on the burned disc is gibberish. Well, not entirely gibberish. The first several characters (seems to range somewhere around 12-15, but I haven't done enough experimenting to verify this is always true) are indeed what I entered, but all the characters following that are utter gibberish, literally all over the ASCII map. Looks damned unprofessional/amateurish when somebody inserts the DVD in their machine and opens up Windows Explorer or a DVD player to examine the disc and looks at the volume name.

 

After wasting about 10 discs and spending countless hours on reading the UDF spec (http://www.osta.org/specs/), running udf_test (from http://www.hitech-projects.com/udf/) on the ISO file, and using a hex editor (http://www.winsorcomputing.com/wc/) to byte-level inspect and edit the ISO file produced by the burn process, I *finally* produced a disc which shows the correct volume label in Windows Explorer and any of my various DVD player apps. (Editorial aside: Obviously, it shouldn't be this hard to produce a disc with the correct volume label, and it wouldn't be this hard if Roxio had done proper QA before releasing this software. The PC Magazine review from last November was right: I should've waited until the 8.1 or 8.2 release.) (Plug aside: kudos to Winsor Computing's Hex Toolbox, the only hex editor I could find at download.com that could handle the kind of REALLY BIG files that ISO files naturally are. The product may have some minor bugs in it, but nevertheless, you got the job done for me, and thus the check is in the mail...)

 

From what I saw in all this playing around, it seems pretty clear that some Roxio programmer neglected to properly initialize the string buffers into which the volume name (as input by the user) is repeatedly copied as MYDVD8 goes about building the various Volume Descriptor blocks at the beginning of the UDF volume. (I honestly can't tell you if the labels I fixed with the hex editor were VSIs, LSIs, VDs, LVDs, IUVDs, PVDs, IVVDs -- honestly, the UDF spec will make your head spin faster than your disc spins -- but I just kept searching in the hex editor for every mangling of my volume label, fixing it, and then retesting with udf_test until I finally had an ISO that passed udf_test and displayed the proper volume name at every point in the udf_test report. That I should actually have to go through all this crap merely to produce a DVD labeled with the volume name I typed into MyDVD8 in the first place is ridiculous, but short of forking out another hundred bucks or so to try Nero or alternatives, I didn't know what else to do to fix this problem.) Every attempt I made at entering volume names longer than about 8-12 characters, MyDVD8 mangled what I had entered into some half-right/half-gibberish weirdness that it actually wrote into the ISO file and burned onto the disc.

 

Roxio's programmers need to go back through the MyDVD8 code and review what's going on at *every* place in the code that touches the volume label entered by the user, or any other strings derived from that label. Please make sure all your string buffers are initialized properly, and please make sure all your strings are terminated properly. And then I expect you to let me download the fix for free, as it would be adding insult to injury if I had to pay more money to get a fix for what you failed to program correctly in the first place.

 

(2) MYDVD8 incorrectly allows the user to enter *any string of any length* for a volume label, in clear violation of the UDF spec.

 

If I'm reading the spec correctly, compliant volume labels are limited to 32 characters in length, as drawn from a very limited character set consisting of the upper case English alphabet, the digits 0 through 9, and the underscore.

 

And yet, you can easily prove to yourself (just click on MYDVD8's Burn button and play around with the volume label field yourself) that the app will let you input *anything*, of *any* length into this field. For Pete's sake, don't let me enter a volume label that can't possibly be compliant with the spec!!!

 

As to the problem with Roxio's technical support processes:

 

(1) Has anybody managed to figure out how to submit a plain old bug report to tech support? The only reason I'm posting this here in the forums is that after wasting half an hour playing around with the Roxio web site, in the end I could not figure out how to do a simple bug report.

 

Thanks for listening, user community. I sure hope some engineer from Roxio reads this.

 

-- Larry Afrin, M.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Director of Information Technology, Hollings Cancer Center

Medical University of South Carolina

afrinl@musc.edu

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