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colinm42

Some field feedback, and Observations 3.5.101.6

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Here is what I found after about 90 minutes evaluation of 3.5.101.6 .. this may be helpful to you. This is supportive rather than critical comment.

Using a brand new NEC 1570 DVD full function writer with a Windows XP SP2 fully patched, P3 1.6Ghz Athlon motherboard.

Note. The install worked OK, but the reboot is mandatory after installation otherwise confusing system errors are generated when starting the product.

These notes are what I found, I've not re-checked these for errors/consistency so test/evaluate for yourself please.

1. Inserting CD or DVD to burn - did not always select format correctly. I needed to toggle menus or re-run application to force correct settings.

2. Burn rate - About One file per second on average at 6times speed. (25 minutes to burn DVD DVD+RW Joilit format)

3. Size of files in collection - not shown at all or incorrectly shown. This is very unhelpful and fustrating.

4. Certain icons/functions not working/implemented e.g add or remove - need to right click menu option instead - confusing.

5. Removing a selected file from collection, actually removes the entire collection if you use certail buttons- need to start the who collection again.

6. If have too many files in a collection- you are still perrmitted to start the burn and thereafter end up with a crash when space runs out and no data aparent on drive.

7. On starting the burn after making a selection, oddly, the main screen vanished and another screen needs to be maximised (sometime maximised itself though.)

8. A number of burn options are presented with no clear explanation of which should be used of not used eg. "DVD High compatibility mode"

9. Burning 80mb on a DVD, properties on the DVD suggests the file size is 4.2Gb.

10. The auto notification for product updates/new release announcements from the website failed after atempting the registration confirmation.

11. Adding additional sessions to existing RW DVD. Existing files are shown as red, new to be added as green (I think) in the collection. The new green coloured files were ignored not written to the DVD. After restarting the product, the green files turned red. Still couldn't burn to DVD though the softaare said all was OK after the burn. DEleted and started with fresh collection. Still no luck. Left very confused at this point. Problem with multi-session - colour key required to explain red/green significance.

12. I've not investiaged the support forum on the website for any of the above points. These notes reflect the current version at 26Dec2006 - i.e. what you will experience if you install the product today.

13. The small product download file size is mentioned several times on the site - this is irrelevant to 99.9% of users I suspect.

Conclusions:

The software has real potential to be useful for the general user, however, currently its only for IT specialists to use.

(I think this statement reflects some of the more hostile/negative comments from users on the web site.)

If the above basic (fundamental) user interface points are cleared up, its useful CD/DVD burning software for general use.

I would anticipate several more releases before this is achieved involving iterative user feedback from real users.

Currently, unless you are IT aware and have a basic understanding of what is happening here at a technical level, or are willing to troubleshoot the process until you find the sequence thats OK for you, I suggest waiting for a later release (which from the website is planned around Q1/2007).

Alternatively, acquire Nero or similar which is the industry standard are often bundled into DVD drives these days for $50US or £25 UK

including the hardware DVD drive itself and a DVD writing package.

If I have one comment to make its this - fix the basic stuff (usability etc.) before addressing all the clever requests highlighted in the forums!

Try it - if it works for you then great. I'm using it now and the basic functionality if OK.

I did eventually burn and validate DVD's with this software after about 90 minutes testing and checking.

If you are not technically aware (or have a short attention span - are easily fustrated by technology and confusing instructions) and just want to burn CDs or DVDs

without some tinkering, testing and research then wait for a later release

(the website will tell you when the next release is appearing) or buy the commercial (almost free) software bundled with many DVS's thse days.

I hope this helps as positive/helpful feedback for the design process, and my admiration go to the developer who is doing this unfunded and in their spare time.

CM

26Dec2006

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