Messer development has stopped
As you may already noticed Messer hasn't been developed since the end of 2000, so I decided to officially close this project.
Here's the last development "snapshot" from November 2000, that was intended to be next available version:
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Q1: Can you add feature X / fix problem Y / help me with Z?
A: Well for first two question answer is: no. Development IS stopped/suspended for now and I don't really know if and when I'll continue.
Anyway thank you all for questions, suggestions and all other e-mails I received so far (I'm sorry I couldn't answer some of them because of lack of time...). So please don't send any new suggestions, but don't hesitate to ask for some support - if you can't find solution for you problem in this FAQ and if I only find the time, I'll try to help. [top]
Q2: Is the source code of Messer available?
A: No, and it won't be. Believe me - you wouldn't want to tweak this mess inside ;-) At first I wanted some simple wav recorder + scheduler, then mp3 recording was added as kind of "proof of concept" (that mp3-on-the-fly is possible, why shouldn't it be?), then some more useful features came out... And adding them became a nightmare without some flexible architecture existing at first place.
As I'm still getting requests for source code: please don't ask. I won't be answering e-mails with requests for Messer's source code. [top]
Q3: I was recording something with Messer, but file contains silence (or just a little noise).
A: It's probably because you didn't choose recording source properly and/or didn't adjust its level. Choose "Run" command from system "Start" menu and enter: sndvol32 -R. It'll bring Volume Control application you probably already know, but with recording controls instead of default playback ones, so now you can choose source and recording volume. Adjust volume so it is high but never reaches full level (look at Messer's level meter - it should never reach 0dB). Too low volume will give you noisy recording - too high will lead to unpleasant distortions ("clipping").
Also some Windows XP users reported that they're getting nothing but silence although everything seems to be set up properly. I really don't know why it happens. Messer was developed under Windows 98 and uses older multimedia programming interfaces (used before DirectX standard was introduced). Basically older interfaces should work with 2000/XP systems (well, they do for me) but sometimes they don't :( Sorry. [top]
Q4: Windows cannot shut down or reboot when Messer is running.
A: Yes it's known problem, unfortunately not fixed. You'll probably have to close it manually. [top]
Q5: Can Messer record from tapes/lp/radio tuner/etc... ?
A: Sure. Anything you can hook up your soundcard can be recorded. See Q3 if you're not sure how to set up your system to record from the source you need. [top]
Q6: Can Messer record streaming audio?
A: That depends on what you really mean by that.
On most soundcards (virtually all modern ones) it can sample anything that your computer is playing including the sound coming from streaming audio players. Simply choose special "loopback" recording source in system sound mixer (it's usually labeled "WAV", "stereo mix", "direct sound", "what you hear", etc). But this way you'll loose some quality because the sound is converted from digital to analog and then back to digital and you'll change the file format (to WAV or MP3). While the first has usually small impact on sound quality, transcoding to MP3 can be more harmful.
On he other hand it cannot record without digital->analog->digital step (as for example Total Recorded do) and it cannot "grab" stream directly, without transcoding to other format (like StreamRipper, StreamboxVCR, ASFRecorder, Oddsock's SaveCast and similar - use Google if you want to find them). [top]
Q7: Is on-the-fly mp3 compression possible with scheduler?
A: Yes it is. When choosing destination file for your scheduled session, give it ".mp3" extensions. Click "more" and you'll see that instead of normalisation options there are controls that allow to choose compression parameters. [top]
Q8: Lame Enc has lots of parameters, tweaked high quality modes ("alt-presets") etc. Why can't I use it with Messer?
A: Not all switches supported by executable version of Lame encoder can be accessed from DLL. "Alt-presets" modes are available in some tweaked versions of lame_enc.dll, but aren't supported as well (simply weren't there when I've been writing Messer). [top]
Q9: What compressor was used to pack Messer's executable?
Q10: Does Messer work with Windows 2000/XP?
A: Yes, it works for me, but see also answer to Q3. [top]
Q11: The mp3 compression options are grayed out. Why can't I choose it?
A: To record directly into mp3 files you'll need lame_enc.dll library (Blade encode dll works as well, but is not recommended). Simply put it into X:\WINDOWS\System\ directory (where "X" is the letter of drive where your system is installed) or into directory where Messer is installed (probably X:\Program Files\Messer\). [top]
Q12: Can Messer be used under MacOS, Linux, (insert you system here).
Q13: How can I record "by hand"? Can't find "record" button.
A: Turn off the scheduler first (click little red clock on the top). [top]
Q14: How can I turn on the level meters?
A: There's a little checkbox between the meters, on left side. [top]
Q15: Does Messer allow a user to record for an unlimited amount of time, up to the hard drive's capacity?
A: There are some limitations. First: WAV format is limited to 2GB and although Messer will create bigger file it'll have broken header and will be unreadable for most of the programs (you may be able to recover the data using audio editors that can read "raw" PCM format). Second: FAT32 filesize is limited to 4GB, system won't allow you to create larger one. So the only way to record without limits is: MP3 on NTFS filesystem.[top]
Q16: What are the minimum CPU requirements for on-the-fly mp3 recording?
A: Messer was originally developed on PII 350MHz, so anything better will do the job. A slightly slower machine will probably handle the job as well, because Lame is faster now than it used to be. [top]
Q17: How can I cut/trim MP3 files without reencoding?
Q18: Messer asks me for output file location each time I start recording. How can I avoid it?
A: Set up "default file location" in configuration. [top]
Q19: I'm getting "MP3: cannot load library!" error.