Another Way to Master Your Digital Video

DivX today launched its DivX Media Format--which includes its revamped DivX 6 video codec--as well as its tools for playing DivX videos and converting content.

DivX has gained popularity with users for its ability to dramatically compress a video file and play it back on a variety of devices that support the DivX format, including DVD players and handheld media players. You can encode DivX video in low resolutions for use on handhelds, as well as on up to 1920 by 1080p for use with an HDTV.

Significantly, the DivX Media Format adds interactivity to DivX-encoded video. As with DVDs, you can now get navigational menus, subtitles, alternate audio tracks, and chapter points. The format also accommodates XTAG video tags, for storing metadata information about a given video file.

The new format adds MP3 support, too. The company partnered with Fraunhoffer and Thomson to integrate MP3 support into the format, and DivX will offer support for the forthcoming surround-sound MP3 as well (due later this year).

Download Available

DivX 6-encoded products will play back on existing DivX-enabled products; however, on legacy devices, you'll only have access to the primary audio and video tracks. Products that will support DivX 6 won't ship until next year, when DivX's chipmaker partners integrate it onboard. However, some existing DivX-enabled products, such DVD players, may offer firmware updates to provide full support for DivX 6 content.

The company is offering two products for download. The DivX 6 Play Bundle, available for download here, provides a free media player. The $19.99 DivX 6 Create Bundle, available at, provides the player plus the new, nifty DivX Creator applet for easily converting a variety of video formats to DivX 6 content.

Drag-and-drop your videos into the Creator applet's holding bin; from there, you can simply and quickly generate multiple DivX files, or a single DivX file from multiple videos. In the case of the latter, the software automatically creates a navigational menu, providing chapter points by grabbing the file name of the video.

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