Nicolai Scheele
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Maclornebeyn reviewed on 17 May 2010
I recently bought a Hauppauge USB stick that was bundled with TheTube and I deeply regret not having checked on the software first. Of all video/TV solutions I have used so far (which are quite a few) this is the worst.
First of all, the software needs to be registered and activated online and is bound to a single hardware - if you want to use the software on another machine, you have to deactivate it for the current hardware first and activate it again on the other computer. This might be acceptable for a PCI card, but for a portable solution (what USB is usually supposed to be) this is nothing but a joke.
Then the format of the recordings is more than proprietary - I have not found a single software except TheTube itself that can handle it. To export a recording to a usable format, you are forced to use one of only a handful of presets (e.g. for preparing videos to be watched on a computer with a decent screen size, there are only "Best Quality", "Smallest Size" and "Fastest Export"), none of them are explained anywhere in detail, none of them give any hint what the final video might look like or what size it will approximately have. After choosing the "right" preset, you are presented a mask to edit every detail of the video's metadata, but you are not able to select the range of the video you actually want to export (let alone cut out pieces in the middle, e.g. commercials) which means you have to use a second software to cut the exported video down to the final length. With a probability of about 80% the export works flawlessly; if not, the resulting video is unusable, TheTube reports an "unknown error" or TheTube crashes.
Although the software looks shiny and Mac-like, it is IMO not very intuitive to use: e.g. the EPG is a simple list of thousand of entries with only very limited options to sort and filter and the timeshift feature is almost unusable due to the infinitesimal controls and entire absence of keyboard shortcuts.
Last but not least, TheTube tends to be not as stable as a Mac user expects from a software - on my MacPro it crashes approx. once a week, sometimes taking one or two scheduled recordings with it.
[Version 2.9.6]

Maclornebeyn commented on 05 Feb 2010
Perhaps it should be mentioned that it may not be a very good idea to update VMWare Fusion from version 2 to 3 without recreating the virtual machines...

I'm using a WinXP VM for work both on my MacBook and MacPro and updated Fusion the day it was released. Instead of the promised increase in speed, the performance of the VM on both Macs decreased gradually and after some hours I was forced to reboot the VM (and sometimes the Mac too) to be able to work again.

I have downgraded Fusion to version 2.0.6 two weeks ago (which fortunately was not much of a problem), now everything (I'm still using the same VM!) works smooth again. Until I find the time to spend several evenings to fully recreate my VM under version 3, the upgrade fee was wasted money...
[Version 3.0.1]


Maclornebeyn reviewed on 25 Sep 2009
Thank you for the quick reply but unfortunately no, it doesn't. Here's why:

- The user interface kills too much of the window's space with unnecessary buttons, icons or information, leaving too little space for the actual document
- When asked for the password to encrypt a document, you are not asked to type it a second time. If you mistype it accidentally, your work is lost. There is a reason why (almost) every application working with encryption needs you to type in your (encoding) password twice...
- When decoding, you have to select the cipher again. Also, if you select the wrong cipher or give the wrong password, garbage is displayed instead of a proper error message.
- After ciphering, the encoded text (!) is displayed - uneditable and in yellow (and yes, Base64 is applied so that it does not look too bad...). I'm not in the very least interested, how my encoded message looks like but rather would like to be able to continue working on my document without decoding it first...

These were the issues I have found in the first three minutes of testing this application (wrote two test documents, closed and opened them a couple of times (3 or so)). After that, the application asks me to buy it or exit whenever I want to use one of the encryption features. How am I supposed to test it properly within such a short time?!?
[Version 1.7]

Maclornebeyn commented on 24 Sep 2009
"# the secure RTF format upgraded with additional Base64 encryption for better security
# sText now performs Base64 after encrypting with a cipher you choosed for better security" (from the release notes for v1.7)

I'm wondering... Base64 is simply an algorithm to convert purely binary data into a string composed of a selection of 64 characters which exist in every character encoding in order to e.g. send it per plain-text email. The drawback is that the amount of data is blown up to about 133% its original size.
As far as I know there is no key involved, the algorithm is well known and therefore IMO can not improve security in any way...
[Version 1.7]


Maclornebeyn reviewed on 24 Sep 2009
This application really does only one thing: view images in full screen mode only. Besides rotating the image by 90° there are exactly no features to be found, no zooming, no copy/move/delete... even the image information is limited to file name, image size and file size.
There are so many (full-featured) image viewers available which cover Eira's functionality completely (except, perhaps, the support of the Apple Remote - it's of no interest to me so I didn't bother to look for it yet) and are equally easy to use... I'm still not entirely sure if Eira is at all useful at the moment.

Furthermore Eira crashes
- everytime the "check for updated automatically?"-dialog appears (quite often)
- when I try to open the preferences via menu or hotkey - I still don't know what I can change here...
- sometimes when I switch to another application and back

Given the lack of features and the stability issues I would rather think of it as an alpha version than a proper release. And the "promise" on the developer's website, that "v1 is free, v2 will have a hybrid license" does not really encourage me to look into the development of this software any further.
[Version 1.0]

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