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BloodSpell Development Updates

Canopus ProCoder - Just Say No.

BloodSpell Development Updates

Canopus ProCoder - Just Say No.

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I must echo Ross's comments on one thing last week - Canopus ProCoder is a total and utter dog of a program. Seriously, I'd be unimpressed by its level of unexplained bugginess in a shareware package, never mind something costing 300 - yes, 300 - pounds.

Let's see.

We bought it to automate our release process by running off Quicktime, Windows Media and Divx versions of our vids automatically. It can't do that - it doesn't play nice with Quicktime 7, and crashes with unexpected errors whenever you ask it to encode an H.264 video. It also sometimes mysteriously crashes when running out WMVs.

We also wanted it to convert our AVI files to Quicktime for Final Cut Pro. It can do that - most of the time. I reckon it crashes about 1 time in 4. However, it can't handle input files with different aspect ratios - it just automatically puts black letterboxes around the edge of some of the videos. It does this, by the way, automatically, and there's no way to turn it off, according to Canopus Tech Support.

(Virtualdub, which is FREE, handles the problem without incident. Oh, how I wish there was a version of VDub that would handle Quicktime.)

And, just now, it won't convert 2 files with inpoints and outpoints into Quicktime. No wierd aspect ratios, no odd codecs- we're using PNG, for heaven's sake - it just crashed out every time with a "QT Writer Error". Eventually I did it in Premiere instead. Because it was easier.

So, if you're reading this and looking for a decent video conversion package, for the love of whatever deity you choose, buy Cleaner XL. (We would, but we can't afford another three-figure purchase right now). Or code your own. Or use Compressor. Just don't buy ProCoder. It's possibly the worst, most buggy commercial package I've ever used.
  • Well, there's nothing to lose in trying. I'd argue it on the basis that you purchased the programme to perform a task which it said it could do, that you're running it on more than adequate hardware, and it's not performing at all to an adequate standard; crashing one use out of four is not acceptable in a programme that costs that much. I think as long as you have the reciepts, and you can send them back the dongle, and tell them that you've been so busy attempting to make up for the lost time that the programme has cost you that you're unable to supply them with the cd and box at this time, but you will do as soon as your deadline is up. I cerainly would advise that it's worth going right up the management chain - after all, they don't know that you're a small company - and it would be very easy for you to let the film community know that their software is worse than useless. I suspect if you get a highish up manager they'll be quite happy to arrange a refund.
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