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Mplayer Adds Sorenson v3 To the Linux Roster 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the celebrate-good-times-come-on dept.
prmths writes "mplayer now plays sorenson V3! This is the last major format that was unplayable under linux and it has now been conquered! They also added the 2xsai algorithm for video scaling. This will let you increase the resolution of non-photo-like videos (anime/cartoons) by 2 times -- it's not a blurring algorithm -- 2xsai actually guesses edges and fills in the pixels."
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Mplayer Adds Sorenson v3 To the Linux Roster

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  • by kafka93 (243640) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:30AM (#4650477)
    "I'm 2xSaI for my shorts"?

    Doh!
  • by Ed_Moyse (171820) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:30AM (#4650479) Homepage
    From the page:
    Oops... We did it again :) So you can play your favourite brand-new quicktime movie trailers with mplayer! Oops... you cannot yet... at least the code is working, and was uploaded to CVS, but it needs some hacking to get it work... (not so bad, you need some DLLs from QT5 player and sdk, and libwine from wine-20020310 and some config.h editing) - okay, we'll work on getting this more user-friendly... :) so be patient, it'll be available in next (pre)release for sure!
    • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:33AM (#4650496) Homepage Journal

      Someone at mplayerhq must have pissed off a /. high-up pretty bad to garner a double slashdotting. This one for the announcement, a future one for the release.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Nonsense. Slashdot is a professional online news site, so everything posted here has been fact-checked. Next you'll be telling us that Stephen King isn't dead.
    • we'll work on getting this more user-friendly.

      user-friendly? That ought to be quick for them, just another RTFM remark in the FAQ and a short line the the manual and it'll be done. Or has the attitude changed since i last checked?
    • At least we can see cool development going on. It probably wont be long before it is usable, anyway.

      On the other hand I would have preferred having a little less misleading story, I almost got up and danced in front of my friends while singing "there u go b*tches, linux is l337!".

      But of course, this is /.
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @11:03AM (#4650688) Journal
      From the style of that quote, it looked like it came from someone having got waaay too much coffee...
  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by vasqzr (619165)


    at least the code is working, and was uploaded to CVS, but it needs some hacking to get it work... (not so bad, you need some DLLs from QT5 player and sdk, and libwine from wine-20020310 and some config.h editing) - okay, we'll work on getting this more user-friendly...

    At least it DOES work :)

  • w00t! (Score:5, Funny)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:32AM (#4650492) Homepage Journal
    But mommy, why do they hurt [mplayerhq.hu] Tux like that?
  • browser plugins? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ender Ryan (79406)
    Are there any browser plugins for using mplayer to play movies online yet?

  • Advancemame (Score:5, Informative)

    by kafka93 (243640) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:35AM (#4650509)
    Advancemame, linked from this story for the Scale2x description, is a fine piece of software, and currently employed in my MAME cabinet. It's ironic, though: for my money, the scale effect really ruins the look of many arcade games, and particularly of things like pacman. While so many gamers are obsessed with getting the most out of their video cards, those interested in emulation often want the very opposite...

    It's still cool voodoo, of course.
    • Re:Advancemame (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:52AM (#4650631) Homepage Journal
      the different guessing/blurring algo's are quite well represented in many emu's.

      some games look crap on some algos, while others look great.. depending on games style, and lots of other things, like what it looked on the arcade machine. those old monitors have a feel and look to the picture too..

      btw, is sai2x basically 'eagle'?
    • Notice, though, that the screen shot from Metal slug looks pretty dope.

      Pac-Man was designed to look exactly as you see it on the screen, pixel for pixel -- so I'm sure the interpolation looks (or, perhaps more accurately, feels) like it's drifted a bit from what the artist(s) intended.

      The graphics of Metal Slug and just about every other modern game, on the other hand, are downsampled to a given screen resolution. In those situations, the algorithm would offset the downsampling and possibly render an image that's closer, not further, from what the artists intended.

  • times two! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Alsee (515537) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:37AM (#4650533) Homepage
    2xsai actually guesses edges and fills in the pixels

    and an MP3 player that doubles the number of notes in a song by guessing and filling them in! :)

    -
    • Re:times two! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)
      Actually similar types of things are done for audio resampling. You use different algorithms to guess at what the new samples should be. It sounds much better than just duplicating the old data.

      Actually it's much more akin to the texture anti-aliasing done by graphics cards, but still.
    • and an MP3 player that doubles the number of notes in a song by guessing and filling them in!

      Actually, that's exactly how "mp3PRO" technology works. It stores a low-bit-rate MP3 of signals from 20 Hz to 8000 Hz, and then it does "spectral band replication" to guess at the frequencies from there to 16000 Hz.

    • I did something similar for my master project: take audio sampled at 8 kHz and produce a new file sampled at 16 kHz, where the "missing frequencies" (4-8 kHz) are "guessed" from the information available. This makes a telephone conversation sound (if everything goes well) like radio quality.
    • Given the god-awful wavery tones of most popular singers these days, that would be a blessing!
  • by 13Echo (209846) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:41AM (#4650555) Homepage Journal
    This rocks! Now I can play those Harry Potter 2 trailers for my girlfriend. The interesting thing is that I just downloaded Pre-10 last night, hoping that this codec was complete. Unfortunately, it wasn't. But the guys at MPlayer cracked the code. You rock! Thanks for making the best video player for UNIX/Linux. No thanks to Apple for being a royal pain in the butt when it comes to their video format.

    Speaking of MPlayer, has anyone tried this [webfreetv.com]? It is a plugin for Mozilla that uses XV overlays and MPlayer to show movies in Mozilla. I'd imagine that it works with plugin compatible apps like Opera also. I haven't tried it yet. Can anyone offer their opinions? I am looking forward to a time when I can finally play those annoying streaming WMV videos in my browser, without having to fight with some ASX file that redirects.
    • Actually apple doesn't own the Sorenson(spelling) codec. That's from the company named the exact same as the codec. Apple owns quicktime which is just a container.
      • But a player would be nice. Even Real Networks has a community supported player for UNIX/Linux.
        • Re:Well, true... (Score:2, Informative)

          by Tet (2721)
          Even Real Networks has a community supported player for UNIX/Linux.

          Yes. Interesting naming they've chosen there. It's closed source, and hence not even remotely supportable by the community. What they're trying to say is "unsupported by Real Networks". There really isn't anything the community can do. It either works or it doesn't in the form they supply it.

      • But nonetheless they continue to encode trailors (which are all anybody outside of Macland seems to use QT for anyway) using Sorensen.

        Does it strike anybody else as rather funny that so much effort has been put into the ability to watch adverts? I mean outside of Apples own adverts and the trailors it buys up, what is Sorensen used for these days (on platforms other than the mac).

        • I've seen some really astonishingly cool 3-d VR type stuff done in quicktime, of all things. Some car sight (Honda? Ford?) has one, where you can take a virtual tour of the inside of the cars - it's really amazing.
    • This rocks! Now I can play those Harry Potter 2 trailers for my girlfriend.

      For your girlfriend...riiiiggghhhtt :)
    • by spotter (5662) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @11:05AM (#4650703)
      But the guys at MPlayer cracked the code

      Not really (at least IMHO) they figured out how to make use of the original DLLs. You will still need the DLL's from a QuickTime 5 installation (as well as wine acc. to the description). This is not reverse engineering the codec, just figuring out how spit encoded frames to the dll and understand the decoded frames it spits back. What was done with the previous sorenson codecs (of actually figuring out how to decode) was much more impressive (at least to me).

      They already use the "use dlls" methods for real codecs, except in that case they have the real linux .so's to use.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Of couse we like rev,. engineered codecs more...
        BUT:
        - it's way too much work
        - legal problems (it's illegal to crack the dll, but it isn't illegal to use them as-is)
        - you have to rev.eng. every single codecs, and there are so many... so it's even more work.
        + rev.eng'd codecs can eb optimized to hell (so can be faster than DLL)
        + rev.eng'd codecs run on non-x86 platforms too

        so, if you did it for any codecs, feel free to send me or to the ffmpeg team the source and we'll include it in the next mplayer release.

        sorry, we have no time to crack the 600kB DLL containing the svq3 decoder, and the 4MB DLL containing qdmc/qdm2 audio and all the others...
        (anyway it will be done sooner or later, as happened to cinepak, svq1, divx3/msmpeg4/wmv1, wma and to all the others)

        A'rpi
    • I don't think they "cracked the code" so to speak. It sounds like they hooked into the DLLs the right way and got it to work in Linux with the help of WINE. It's still a "black box," which is a good thing since there's no worries about reverse engineering the codec (just the DLLs).
      • Are you sure that WINE isn't only needed to install Quicktime to leech the codecs? There hasn't been a single codec that has required WINE for anything that has played through MPlayer.

        I know that they've been halfway there to achieving Sorenson playback for a while. Video has worked very nicely. It is the audio that didn't play back. Doing this in a bass-ackwards sort of way with WINE wouldn't really seem like something that they would do.
    • No thanks to Apple for being a royal pain in the butt when it comes to their video format.

      It's not Apple's fault. Apple has been very open with their QuickTime format, to the extent that it's one of the best supported AV transports in Linux. The big hint about who's to blame for problems playing any QuickTime movie encoded with the Sorenson codec is hidden somewhere in the name of the codec.

  • That reminds me of this Flipcode IOTD [flipcode.com]. It's pretty impressive if you're upsampling something cartoon-ish with not much high frequency detail.
  • by iamsure (66666) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:43AM (#4650566) Homepage
    Okay, its not clear from the site, what file formats remain unsupported/unplayable?
    • There isn't much. (Score:5, Informative)

      by 13Echo (209846) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:53AM (#4650635) Homepage Journal
      As far as I can tell, this was the last major codec that didn't work. Well, it kinda worked before, but sound was unplayable. As of yet though, I've not come across any other file that didn't play.

      Here is a codec status page: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/codecs-status.html [mplayerhq.hu]. It is updated frequently.

      If you get MPlayer, the codec pack, and configure it for XV video output and SDL audio output on a properly accellerated system, the playback produces virtually no CPU load. It is an incredible program. I really like the fact that the GUI is completely optional, and you can just use keypresses to manipulate movie playback.
  • by Second_Derivative (257815) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:44AM (#4650580)
    Clearly not a codec implementation then, or not a full one. Besides, Sorenson will sue them into oblivion when/if they do get it working.
    • Clearly not a codec implementation then, or not a full one

      I have no idea whether it is or isn't, but one possibility is that's a codec implementation but requires some data tables which cannot legally be copied. The codecs for older sorensen versions had this problem, to decode them you needed large tables of numbers which were of course copyrighted.

      Besides, Sorenson will sue them into oblivion when/if they do get it working.

      Nah. Why should they? Have you actually used MPlayer? It's a command line client, with famously dodgy internals (ie the code probably can't be easily reused). It doesn't pose them any threat. Anyway, who would they sue? It's not like you can just pick a random developer and send them a letter from your lawyers.

    • Sorenson has been pretty blase about this kind of stuff so far. They couldn't distribute the decoder to other folks due to their contract with Apple. But they make money selling ENCODERS, so they don't have much of a motivation to come down hard on folks who are increasing their audience.

  • by Mitchell Mebane (594797) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:44AM (#4650581) Homepage Journal
    The *real* homepage of the 2xSaI algorithm is:

    Kreed's Homepage: 2xSaI : The advanced 2x Scale and Interpolation engine

    It is totally different for Scale2x, which is the link that was given. 2xSaI was orignally developed by Kreed (a.k.a. Derek Liauw) for the SNES9x Super Nintendo emulator. Oh, and technically, it IS a blurring algorithm, just a smart one.

    You can find lots of info here [zsnes.com] and here [zsnes.com].
  • exactly how hacked up is this?

    Does anyone know? Does anyone know if the mplayer people (or whoever is actually responsible) cooperated with sorenson?

    Heres a discussion i had at the apple boards on exactly this matter:

    http://discussions.info.apple.com/WebX?50@198.U0Gj afW5d56.6@.3bbaee75 [apple.com]
    • I can't imagine how it would be any different than how they implemented WMV support and the likes. I think that the MPlayer guys are just really good coders/hackers. They seem to be able to take a Windows codec and find out what makes it tick. Maybe they make modifications to the codec file. I do know that the MPlayer codec pack is not designed to work in Windows, despite it's inclusion of hacked Win32 codecs.
  • by benploni (125649) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @10:54AM (#4650637) Journal
    The scaling is 2x in each dimension, so it makes it 4x bigger. Oh, and 2xsai works best on images with clearly defined edges, like arcade games and anime. PLain old movies wont get as much benefit, and some will get worsened artifacting.
  • Oops... We did it again :) So you can play your favourite brand-new quicktime movie trailers with mplayer! Oops... you cannot yet... at least the code is working, and was uploaded to CVS, but it needs some hacking to get it work... (not so bad, you need some DLLs from QT5 player and sdk, and libwine from wine-20020310 and some config.h editing) - okay, we'll work on getting this more user-friendly... :) so be patient, it'll be available in next (pre)release for sure!

    Wouldn't it be simpler to just run QT5 under WINE? This doesn't really look like support, from my point of view.
  • by ACK!! (10229)
    Soon, I will be able to play the trailers for Matrix Reloading without having to switch over to my Windows box.

    Cool.

    Soon, I will be able to laugh at all the Apple Switcher campaign videos with ex-drug addict teenagers.

    Cool.

    Still, what does this mean for the folks who made the Crossover plugin program?

    I can't imagine it will muck them up too bad since they have a half dozen distros ready to put Crossover Office on their disks.

    ________________________________________________
    • Crossover (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shade, The (252176)
      Crossover does a lot more than just play Quicktime stuff. Flash, Realplayer, Trillian and all sorts of other plugins are included too.
    • Re:Soon... (Score:3, Informative)

      Still, what does this mean for the folks who made the Crossover plugin program?

      Not much really. CrossOver plugin is useful for stuff other than the QuickTime plugin, although i'd guess that's what drives sales as most other plugins of any popularity have Linux versions available (glares at apple). Plugin is an interesting side line they have, but the real product is CX Office, which as a general wine distro is very popular.

    • Re:Soon... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually we couldn't get this working without crossover plugin. They contibuted a lot to wine to get QT DLLs loading and working. Also, crossover plugin does a lot more than mplayer: it can stream (even encrypted) streams, and work as browser plugin, not talking about the other programs it runs.
      MPlayer is very limited in this context, it can play http:// steramed or plain quicktime files, but has an advantage: you can use any video output, including hw accelerated ones for playback.

      A'rpi
  • Improving Scale2x? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mr3038 (121693) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @11:10AM (#4650743)
    The screenshots of Scale2x [sourceforge.net] look really promising. Looking at two last examples makes me wonder if the same algorithm could be used for pretty much any texture map to get higher quality output from games. Because algorithm needs only a few neighbor pixels to decide correct value for the output pixel it could be implemented in the rendering hardware pretty easily. Using this method with compressed textures should allow pretty nice texturing without using that much memory.

    Also, by looking the algorithm on the page it seems to me that this algorithm decides which pixel value to use from left and right only. Running the result through a sligthly modified algorithm could perhaps provide 4x scaling with pretty nice image quality. Simple rotate the table with letters from A to I 90 degrees clock-wise and you should get an algorithm which selects best pixel value from above or below. It might be possible to join those algorithms for a single pass one but I'm afraid the result needs that many conditional jumps that it isn't usable for real time processing. Plus you usually don't need 4x scaling for video.

    Scaling animated movie 4x with this algorithm and outputting it through hardware scaler to reduce pixel boundaries should provide pretty nice video quality...

  • by pyite69 (463042) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @11:30AM (#4650896)

    This will never be an acceptable solution until
    distributions can support it out of the box.
    That will require actually figuring out the
    file format instead of just hacking in some
    DLL's.

    You are probably violating Apple's license by
    doing this anyway.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @12:59PM (#4651655)
      Why? We're doing the same as every windows app supporting the quicktime format/codecs. We're using their plugins, via their SDK. Teh only difference is that the app is native linux app, while teh DLL's are windows one, and we're using libwine to connect them. It doesn't chaneg the legal status,imho.

      A'rpi
    • by Nevyn (5505)
      This will never be an acceptable solution until distributions can support it out of the box.

      I agree with this, but due to the patenting of QT5 even if someone reverse engineered the format and wrote a decoder in C it wouldn't be supportable by US based Linux distributions anytime this decade.

      So, in a very real way this is as good as it's going to get anytime soon.

  • Where can I get player debs for Sid/Testing!!!???

    • oops, that should read "mplayer" not "player"
    • Okay, sorry, I answered my own question. It wasn't that hard to find on Google. For all you Debian users. Add the following lines to your sources.list file:

      deb http://marillat.free.fr/ stable main deb http://marillat.free.fr/ testing main deb http://marillat.free.fr/ unstable main deb-src http://marillat.free.fr/ unstable main

    • you should download the source file and use dpkg-build. it's going to make a debian package that's optimized for your system if you do it this way (the right way). debian control files are right in the source. decompress and run "debian/rules binary" in the main source directory.
  • Not the first... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fluffy the Cat (29157) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @11:48AM (#4651027) Homepage
    This is the last major format that was unplayable under linux and it has now been conquered!

    Codeweavers have been willing to sell you a product that allows Quicktime playback for ages. The only real advantages the new mplayer code offers are it being integrated into a more generic media player, and it being free as in beer. You're still stuffed on non-x86 platforms.
  • by vegetablespork (575101) <vegetablespork@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @11:53AM (#4651074) Homepage
    When I play a Sorenson video with mplayer, it fails to present me with a dialog admonishing me to "Get Quicktime Pro Now!"

    Will this bug be fixed in a later release?

  • It requires Wine. Blech! And to think I thought they had actually cracked the codec.
    • Re:Wine...Blech (Score:2, Insightful)

      It requires Wine. Blech! And to think I thought they had actually cracked the codec.

      I'm not sure what the issue is here. They can make it require only the wine libraries that are responsible for loading and interfacing with the dll, this would be seamless and would be packaged with the mplayer binaries. You probably wouldn't even notice. Running the native dlls is much easier and legal, compared with reverse engineering a copyrighted and patented codec.
  • How many libraries, sublibraries, and DLL's does this require now? Even if you could encode just as easily as you can decode every new codec, just by tracking down a dozen libraries and DLL's, your movie would be unplayable no sooner than it became playable because the binary format changed. As for pure decoding of internet downloads, who is still getting high on thumbnail videos today?

  • Guessing edges and smoothing them out -- impressive. That's basically what a human artist does when (s)he takes a miniature picture and uses it to make a painting.

    When we draw a larger version of something, we don't have pixelated or blurred edges. Its great that algorithms can finally realize what an edge is and not blur it.
  • Damn that is some great news!!

    Now MPlayer is missing only ONE major feature, and that is playing from those fscking rtsp://*.real.com urls... rtp/rtsp already works great for some sites, but *.real.com-servers don't follow the rtsp-protocol and uses some secret authentication-method to check that it is an official RealPlayer that is connecting... Really annoying! This will have to be fixed! 95% of the stuff people "need" to download via rtsp are on real.com-servers.. :(

    Anyway, great work!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 2x is a start (Score:3, Informative)

    by dh003i (203189) <dh003iNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @02:26PM (#4652473) Homepage Journal
    Well, its a start, recognizing he edges in simple images.

    Yes, this only works well for relatively simple images -- you won't be able to zoom in on complex images with edge-retention.

    But at least its a start. The way to go about these things is to try to figure out how people can look at a wallet-sized picture and turn it into a poster without introducing blurs or pixelation. Yes, our eyes can see at a very high level of resolution, but we're not capable of consciously discerning the entirity of that resolution in a conscious manner.

    We are, in short, capable of recognizing (in a portrait) where the person's head ends, what lines define their eyes, nose, ears, hair, etc. We're also able to recognize what gradiated things (such as the increasing darkness as you approach the side of the face) should remain smooth and continuous. The idea is to allow computers to also recognize that, thus expand a wallet-sized picture into something the size of the entire screen.

    Obviously, you can't add detail where it wasn't present before. If the picture is too small to make out the freckles on the girl's face, they won't show up in the magnification. But you can at least have a realistic blow-up function.
  • Actual 2xsai link (Score:3, Informative)

    by mdw2 (122737) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @04:56PM (#4653867)
    the link to 2xsai is here at http://elektron.its.tudelft.nl/~dalikifa/ [tudelft.nl]. the link provided in the article is to Scale2x. The page even says at the top "Instead, this effect is pretty different from the SuperEagle, 2xSaI, Super2xSaI effects "
  • ROCK (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chris Johnson (580) on Tuesday November 12, 2002 @04:59PM (#4653892) Homepage Journal
    This is great. Not so much the Sorenson (though it does make me wonder- does that mean I could use the (older) Sorenson I have available, as an output format? I had more or less given up on ever using it seriously because I figured it was only Mac and some Windows and not accessible under Linux.)

    What I mean is, the 2Xsai stuff (under whatever name) is great. I looked at two different pages of screenshots and was blown away- it was literally like redrafting the images to make them more appealing. That's very exciting.

    Not only that- I've been flirting with the idea of doing some animations- not computer, but line art animations. I have only a simple 640x480 webcam for shooting the results, which would then be roughly NTSC resolution... LINE ART. See where I'm going with this? ANYTHING I could do with line art or even shading/crosshatching would be perfectly suited to being scaled with 2Xsai/Scale2X.

    Which is GPLed under either name, so the exact name and source isn't that important. This one is OURS. And I find that incredibly exciting. I do the same thing- I've written digital audio wordlength reduction routines that are the best in the world by some yardsticks and among the best in the world by any standard, and I made them GPLed as well. The tools are falling into place- one person doesn't have to do it all by themselves, we can help each other, and it's getting to the point where in one area after another, the hottest tricks are covered under the GPL and available.

    This is the way to do it. It's exciting to see it happening. And you bet I'm going to be coding up some sort of hack to try 2Xsai on scanned/cammed line-art. The coolest thing is that it will work just as well on any color depth, so long as you want to bring out cel-shadey effects and line edges. This is great, great stuff :)

    High fives to ALL the people who've originated, inspired, and worked on this family of scaling algorithms- and BIG THANKS from someone who will be using it to do neat stuff that maybe you hadn't even anticipated. Because you might not have known there was somebody interested in drawing line art, shooting it with a limited-res camera and scaling it up while preserving the line-artiness of it. But you've just made it possible for anyone filming hand-drawn cels at 640x480 to upscale their footage to 1280x960... which, after just a bit of letterboxing, becomes HDTV standard 1280x720. Hell, digital cinema is only 1280x1024...

    See why this is very exciting? You have a webcam-to-Feature-Film scaling algorithm there. In the event that you had such great cels that you really needed to get professional color density rather than crappy webcam color density, you can STILL do this through a simple webcam by taking multiple shots (say, 10 if you're anal) and AVERAGING them together. That completely deals with the color density problem- introduce slight lighting shifts if you want to get fancy with it. At that point it's only resolution- except, surprise! If you're working with line-art or cels, it's not! Bam, instant film/HDTV resolution output for ANYBODY.

    Sorry for getting so relentlessly technical, but this is VERY exciting and has huge, huge implications AND it's all happening under the GPL. Excuse me for suggesting that we are kicking ass. Rock on :)

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