Armen Yampolsky
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Smile Score: +13
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Ayampols reviewed on 10 Jun 2010
Versions is a wonderfully easy to use svn client. As a standalone client (as opposed to plugin or extension), it is the best one available for the Mac as far as I can tell. It is mostly very stable. It does crash periodically while doing nothing, if it is running behind certain proxy servers. Since this happens when idle, and not during an activity, the crashes can be mostly ignored.

The Versions support team responds consistently and quickly to emails. The problem is that they admit to having a very slow pace at introducing functionality into the product, but have never shown any sign of changing. About a year ago, one could sense a tone of regret, but that has long since disappeared. The pace is really snails-pace. It does not have feature parity with other (free) svn clients, such as Tortoise. Since it is has no serious competition as a Mac client, the team can get away with its high price and slow development pace. I do not believe this reflects well on the Mac platform and its developer community.

A typical example of my correspondence: for over a year, I have been asking for a way to easily copy the path of a remote resource to the clipboard. Every other svn client I have ever used has this simple feature, typically made available in the earliest versions of the software. The Versions support team has always promised to consider the feature. Initially they defended themselves by pointing out that the product is young. Eventually they gave up. Their message was that they had no intention of introducing it, and wished me luck in my use of an alternate product. They have no intention of reaching feature parity with the most rudimentary of graphical svn clients.
[Version 1.0.9]


Ayampols reviewed on 09 Jan 2010
This review focuses on MediaLink's ability to handle mp4 video. Other video formats native to the PS3 work pretty well if one chooses to forego the transcoding option. MediaLink handles audio and pictures well too. But the PS3 has a bug in its DLNA client code which forces enormous bandwidth utilization when streaming mp4 files. This causes stuttering for many users, and Nullriver is following in the footsteps of other DLNA server vendors by introducing forced transcoding of mp4 files. In a way this is unfair to Nullriver -- the bug is Sony's. But since Nullriver is trying to address it, we should feel free to note the result. And the result is poor.

The UI now allows one to "force" transcoding for mp4 files. If one chooses to do so, the Mencoder options kick in. However, some options are ignored (such the bandwidth cap). At times, the audio is out of sync. If one uses the PS3's scene search feature and selects a scene, the screen goes dark for over 60 seconds, and then plays video which does not match the selected scene. Fast forwarding and rewinding hardly work at all.

If one deselects the option of transcoding mp4 files, most features start working properly, and the audio sync problem goes away. The PS3's bandwidth bug kicks in, but if your network is speedy enough this should not be an issue, and it hasn't been. But now, after a period of time, a network error shows up (esp. if you try to fast forward or rewind) and the video stops playing. This never used to happen with version 1.72.

MediaLink has a great UI, probably the simplest, clearest, and most intuitive of all DLNA servers. But if you want a DLNA server that simply works, either with transcoding or without, PS3MediaServer handles all the scenarios I complain about above perfectly, and it's free. I want to see MediaLink reach parity with PS3MediaServer's ability to stream mp4 video. That alone might justify its cost. But this beta is nowhere near that goal.
[Version 2.0b5]


Ayampols reviewed on 22 Dec 2009
There's a lot of potential to this app -- the idea of searching and downloading from a unified UI is a great (if not obvious) one for a bittorrent client. This app has a very nice incremental find control, and a very quick results screen population. It groups results by folders, and allows for selective downloads. The performance seems to be pretty good, and it does not take up a lot more CPU cycles than other bittorrent clients (which is not saying much, unfortunately). It does not allow much customization in terms of torrent search sites -- it fakes customization, because, although it does allow one to add custom search websites, the results from user-added sites do not appear in the same elegant results window as the built-in results. Overall the UI and search mechanics aren't bad -- they deserve attention and could one day be truly excellent.

The main problem with this app is stability. It has no stability whatsoever. I highly recommend avoiding using this software on a Mac running any OS later than 10.6, or any Mac built in 2009. I have not tried it on other Macs or other operating system versions -- it may run as poorly on older Macs as it does on new ones. I have tried this on iMacs and MacBooks (Air and Pro) built in 2009. On all of these, it will, eventually but reliably, display a beachball cursor. The UI will freeze. The Activity Monitor will show that download activity has ceased, and the the app has stopped responding. Although this occurs with regularity, some activities almost guarantee the behavior: downloading many files (such as 10) at a reasonable speed (such as 150 Mb/sec) and canceling the download will more often than not freeze the app.

This review is for the Pro version of the app. It doesn't really matter that I have had this experience on 4 different Macs. Perusing the reviews makes it clear that this is reproducible and happens to many people. Releasing an application in this condition is shameful. It is not just unethical to charge for it (which it is). I'm not complaining about the app, or the fact that the developer charges for it. This is not a complaint, it is an expression of opinion. I am saying only that it is shameful for a developer to release this to the public. Doing so is a reflection on this developer's hubris and quality of character. I have no regrets in paying for the app. To have the ability to warn others about this developer's standards and attitude toward end users, and to be able to do so comfortably, is worth the price of the software.
[Version 2.0v84]

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