The December 2009 Edition
The December 2009 Edition of SongShow Plus addresses two major areas. One, its the first edition that is officially supported for use on Windows 7. Two, its the first edition that officially supports multi-processor systems (which also means multi-core and hyper-threaded processors). Windows 7 has been warmly received by the PC users community. After using Windows 7 now for a few months, I can say that I'm not interested in using Windows XP anymore. Its a much better experience. I'm pleased that we are providing support for it so soon after its release (when Vista was released, we didn't get to offical support status for over a year).
I'm also quite pleased that we now have complete support for multi-core processors. This will help you make full use out of your new machines. You'll see improved performance when using animations, transitions, and video backgrounds.
In the process of adding support for Windows 7 and multi-processor machines, we have upgraded to newer versions of the compiler tools that we use, a newer version of the DirectX 9 library, and a few other upgrades here and there. Because of these changes, we have deliberately not included much in the way of other enhancements. Our priority at this time is to ensure that with these changes, SongShow Plus is stable. Implementing a bunch of other changes would have hindered this goal. It also means that files built in the December 2009 Edition are completely compatible with the September 2009 Edition. If you install the new edition and find problems, you can safely go back to the previous edition even if you created new song, slide show, or program files. At my own church, we are running the September edition on an Windows XP boot, and the December edition on a Windows 7 boot. The data files are located on a D: drive so we can use either version at a moments notice without loosing prior work (and idea that I previously discussed).
Typically, when we release a new edition of SongShow Plus for a particular month, we attempt to release the first public beta version within the first week of the month and then hope to have the new edition formally released before the end of the month. Making the first public beta release available on the 31st of a month, as we did this time, is not our usual practice. But we want these new features available to December subscribers and we expect the testing process to go smoothly from this point. The December 2009 Edition should be ready for formal release within just a few weeks.
One of the other changes we made internally here is in our source control system. We can now more easily do new development on a new-feature code base along side the beta testing of a feature-complete code base. This will allow us to move forward with work on the next edition even while we're working out defects in the December 2009 Edition.
Then finally, regarding DVD support, like in Vista, DVD support in Windows 7 is sketchy. What I can say is that we are moving toward a solution but I don't have any further details to offer at this time other than full support for DVD on Windows 7 is intended.
Now that the holidays will be behind us shortly, you'll have plenty of time to install this new beta and give it a try. Let us know how goes!