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Tweenies can't sing and dance on WinXP

More on that DVD incompatibility

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A reader has been in touch complaining that his four-year-old daughter can't access her Tweenies DVD (don't ask - just go here).

An official response from the BBC explains that no BBC Multimedia titles have been designed to work with XP. And worse, the BBC says it currently has no plans for a patch for XP. If you have a small child this fact may leave you anxious. Come on BBC, get your act together!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

There's an altogether happier ending to our story from yesterday which revealed Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs DVD simply refuses to play on Windows XP,

Microsoft released an upgrade, about the same time as we wrote the original story, that should sort out the problem. Go here.

This upgrade also purports to sort out problems with Pagemaker, Dreamweaver, McAfee VirusScan, Money 2000 (actually designed by Microsoft) and RealPlayer 7.0 among many others.

What's going on? Has Microsoft now decided to make the entire DVD industry obselete until it buys some MS-sponsored technology? No. Here is a technical explanation from reader who shall remain nameless.

"The error was in the UDF filesystem image on the DVD. UDF is a ripped down subset of ISO 13346/ECMA 167 and, as with many standards, is considerably more expressive than its eventual use would warrant: namely, basic interchange media. It allows multi-surface volumes, which for instance would be breaking a single volume across a stack of CDs. Snow White has a primary volume descriptor which describes it as part of a three-surface volume.

"And the reason it tips over on 2000/XP is that that implementation checks the field and refuses to mount since it, along with everyone else, doesn't handle multi-surface volumes, which Snow White isn't of course - the error! You can draw your own correct conclusions about the other implementations (9x, MacOS, etc). They aren't noticing or at least complaining that the food tasts a bit funny.

"So the scramble right now is to get a UDF filesystem driver out there which ignores the goof." ®

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