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Old 27 Apr 2002, 04:22 PM   #1
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Thumbs down-2 Commericial DVD copying packages

There seems to be a lot of commercial "DVD Copying Tools" out there today, and apparently, lots of them are basically just a collection of freeware tools and an instruction guide on how to use them. Usually, the author of these freeware tools are not consulted when their tools are used as part of these packages.

Consumers are also not made aware that all they are purchasing, in actual fact, is just a conversion guide, and not a "complete DVD copying system". Sometimes, they aren't even made aware of the fact that the converted/copied/backed-up movie isn't the same quality as the original DVD, or that is may not be playable on the majority of standalone DVD players (unless they are VCDs).

These programs should have been marketed as user guides/tech support, rather than a "complete DVD copying system", but this would probably mean a lot less sales, since less people will be suckered into purchasing what is essentially just a conversion guide which is freely available on the net (and probably more accurate/detailed/up-to-date). It seems some companies just couldn't resist the popularity (and the misconceptions) about DVD conversion, and have tried take advantage of novice users who actually do believe that it is somehow possible to fit a 8 GB DVD into a 650 MB CD and still have the same quality.

In short, if people knew about the availability of free DVD conversion tools and the many free conversion/backup guides on the net, or if they were better informed about the quality/content loss that comes with DVD conversion (eg. not always playable on standalone DVD players, loss of video/audio quality, loss of interactivity, loss of extra features ...), then they would probably not be so eager to part with their money ...

I for one am tired of these packages, and the amount of complaint I get in regards to them (person buys package, person finds freeware tools included with them, person finds only thing that they actually purchased was a 10-step conversion guide, person then finds free conversion guides are also available, person goes nuts and complains to me). I've even had people call me a cheat because I allowed "my" freeware tools to be sold, even though my programming skills extends about as far as being able to output "segmentation faults" in UNIX and "blue screens of death" in Windows (I guess you can say my programs are "cross-platform" compatible )

What's worse is the fact that so many hard working webmasters, programmers and enthusiasts work very hard to make their work available for free to everyone, including members of this very forum (who offers their expertise to answering questions for free). Then someone comes along, does a *bit* of original work (a 10 step guide or what have you) and a heck of a lot of marketing, possibily using SPAM, and viola - a "complete DVD copying system" is born, and you can buy it for *only* $39.95.

And that, in the words of my generation, sucks
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Old 29 Apr 2002, 03:22 PM   #2
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P.T. Barnum, the founder of what became the "Greatest Show on Earth - Barnum & Bailey's Circus", said it best about 100 years ago: "There's a sucker born every minute".

Understand that while I vehemently oppose such activity, I can comprehend what's going on. I think that some of us (including both of us) may be a "little too close" to the situation to really appreciate what's happening here. It's the well thought out use of free market enterprise targeted at human greed.

While those of us who have some degree of knowledge of what's involved in ripping and converting DVDs (and, to a lesser extent, the download fanatics who "must" have movies BEFORE they arrive in the theaters) find it reprehensible that people are packaging and selling what we know to be freeware, we comprise an extremely small minority of web surfers. There is a VERY LARGE number of surfers, however, who own PCs with CD and/or DVD burners who know nothing about this - but are titillated by the 'reasonably priced" software that's going to allow them to become "closet criminals" - Boy, were they lucky to receive that email offer ;>}

In summation, I think if we "take a step back" and attempt to appraise the situation unemotionally, it may simply be a matter of some people (the buyers of this crap) "getting exactly what they deserve".

Of course, nothing I've said here addresses the angst that I'm sure has overwhelmed some of the wonderful authors of the freeware that now see these cunning 'net marketers profiting from their well-intentioned (and greatly appreciated by us, the sincere users) efforts. If I were one of the authors, I'd make every effort to track down these folks and "punch their lights out"!

P.S. I'm quite sure that if 'net usage was as high three or four years ago as it is today, the same type of thing would have happened with the original (pre-MAME) software videogame emulators...

Last edited by setarip; 29 Apr 2002 at 03:26 PM
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Old 21 Jul 2004, 04:25 AM   #3
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I agree completely with everything you have said. However, I would like to offer a reminder that in today's "information age," it should be harder than ever to take advantage of someone. So although these companies are actively trying to defraud their consumers by providing "nothing for something" (or very close to it), these consumers have the tools at their disposal to make themselves immune to these scam-like offerings. (Especially when the item in question is being directly marketed to computer users, who by definition have the means of finding the freeware and help guides on their own. It would be different if we were talking about items directed at population segments which have low average computer literacy, such as seniors.)

So I think consumers need to start being smarter shoppers.

This is evident in other areas as well. Although MP3s can achieve decent sound quality, I'll bet most users will select whichever bit-rate allows them to cram as many songs as possible on their portable devices. My fear is that if enough people have this attitude, marketing will drift entirely in that direction and those of us who appreciate access to the utmost in audio and video quality will be left without options.

I also see this in the area of "professional" transfers from film stock (16mm, 8mm, etc.) to home video (VHS or DVD). Thousands of people are earning a profit at converting old home movies, and are using a method that essentially utilizes a camcorder to record the image that is produced by a film projecter (either projected to a flat white surface, or shot through a condenser lens that re-focuses the picture for the camcorder). Sure, they employ some tricks and manipulate some settings to minimize the flicker that is associated with transfers from 24fps to 30fps (60 fields per second). But it is not eliminated. When transferring to VHS, this is a half-reasonable method. But since DVDs will play at various frame rates, why convert to 30fps -- and pick up all of the jitter and half-frame images caught between the frequency gap -- when the DVD would be quite happy playing at 24fps? But consumers don't seem to know enough to research their options, and in the final analysis, most of them are choosing convenience over all other factors.
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Old 14 Aug 2004, 07:12 AM   #4
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the world, whether we like it or not revolves atound money. you will thus always have new techniques, new forms of abuse, new ways of squeezing a few pennies from sucker-clients. the dumber your target is, the more stuff you can force them to buy. thats marketing 101.
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Old 21 Aug 2004, 06:43 PM   #5
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I am a novice in this online world. So from the infants dawn I can report that for the most part every novice does not buy into package gimmicks. On the contrary, I believe that the way i shop in my day to day travels is what, for the most part, led me to this forum. It's a question of reason, would I trust a man on the street with 5 dollar sunglasses when he says they are Authentic, no but if i need sunglasses and he's there then i'm not a sucker for purchasing something that fulfills a purpose. I don't buy things i don't need, and if i get that total problem solving device email I might read it. The next step is to search for like programs, see what they price at, form an average and then decide if this is indeed the cure for cancer for only 19.99. I take what I need from this digital landscape, and if i see a deal I ask people like you to verify. I'm A Metro A-type and we don't buy nothing without kicking some tires first.
Ps.-this forum has already helped me so thanks in advance.
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Old 2 Sep 2004, 09:20 PM   #6
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For what it's worth I think that if someone isnt intelligent enough to do a tiny bit of work researching before they throw their wallets (or purses for that matter) at the situation then they deserve what they are paying for. The freeware is usually downloaded by people who have spent the time looking around before they wind up spending money on one of these packages.

Though, that does not excuse those ruthless bastards that market freeware and sell it to the idiotic masses. The freeware is not theirs to sell and I think that the creators of this freeware should sue the pants off of those theives (providing they can afford it)

I'm not too sure as to what you can tell one of those people that come to you saying they got screwed. I guess you could just tell them "yeah, you got screwed" but seeing as this is a support site (which I have found to be incredibly handy and am very thankful for it) that probably wouldn't do any good.

Just my two cents, ranting is sometimes fun.
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Old 6 Sep 2004, 04:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by DAFT
I am a novice in this online world. So from the infants dawn I can report that for the most part every novice does not buy into package gimmicks. On the contrary, I believe that the way i shop in my day to day travels is what, for the most part, led me to this forum. It's a question of reason, would I trust a man on the street with 5 dollar sunglasses when he says they are Authentic, no but if i need sunglasses and he's there then i'm not a sucker for purchasing something that fulfills a purpose. I don't buy things i don't need, and if i get that total problem solving device email I might read it. The next step is to search for like programs, see what they price at, form an average and then decide if this is indeed the cure for cancer for only 19.99. I take what I need from this digital landscape, and if i see a deal I ask people like you to verify. I'm A Metro A-type and we don't buy nothing without kicking some tires first.
Ps.-this forum has already helped me so thanks in advance.
NEVER buy anything from spam email, all you'll be doing is getting ripped off and supporting spam.
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Old 7 Sep 2004, 04:42 AM   #8
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just heard the report on bbc. the growth of spam storage in emailboxes is said to be at 1 billion GB over last year - we pay for it whether or not we like it, by staying on line longer, deleting this stupid trash and giving our email addresses away, so marketing companies can find them, add them and sell them to their clients...
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Old 10 Sep 2004, 07:15 AM   #9
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Pay where you EAT!
When you download freeware, and it does what you need it to do, and they ask if you can please donate something. Please do so. Not only will it alow for more and better freeware out there, It will also in sure that the people who come up with freeware, get something in return. Please let everyone know novice to pro web user about the great freeware out there.
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Old 9 Oct 2004, 08:29 PM   #10
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freeware is great, thats for sure, and donating should bedone. but the author deciding to put his/her stuff up for free, is aaware of not getting money for that. donations encourage authors, nonetheless.
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Old 10 Oct 2004, 03:43 PM   #11
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whether or not someone uses a solution that was mailed to there email randomly(via email blasts) does not create a favorable light on industries that might use this technique to promote public awareness.
I am in sales and cold calling customers is the cornerstone of business developement. the average on phone "spam" is 2-4 appointments for every hundred calls. so imagine if i'm a business owner with this info and I see a solution that allows me to contact a million people in a day. that's 20-40 thousand people that could increase your business. If I had a business that needed no formal present I'd sure as hell use this method. these people are not monsters, they are trying to make there lives easier and if there product makes yours easier too well good on ya. but don't let the bad ones sour the lot just cause it can be abused. The AARP put out a statement to elders that they should not talk to people on the phone (of the selling variety). If we all listened to this mentality there would still be a market for the Buggy Whip. Be a smart consumer, don't label all blast email as spam just cause it wasn't sent right to you via currier. It's not a witch hunt, it's innovation and I'm pissed I didn't think of it first.
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Old 10 Oct 2004, 03:51 PM   #12
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"The AARP put out a statement to elders that they should not talk to people on the phone (of the selling variety)."

You have, perhaps conveniently, parsed the essence of that statement/article.

The statement was that, SINCE SENIOR CITIZENS ARE THE PRIMARY TARGETS OF "BOILERROOM SCAMS", THEY SHOULD NOT TALK TO "COLD CALLERS" - people on the phone (of the selling variety).

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Old 10 Oct 2004, 04:08 PM   #13
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true, but isn't this the same "cat on a hot stove" mentality that deems all forms of solicitation bad. there has always been a variation of "scam" in business but to say that this philosophy is a good solution for all is crazy. If you have a problem with something you look for a solution, without public awareness of products you would have a short list to choose from. without aggressive selling the companies that solve your problems would be as big as the pizza place down the street. and with no room for expansion your talking about limited variety too. It is the engine my friend, without this the world would be harder to access.
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Old 10 Oct 2004, 04:30 PM   #14
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"without public awareness of products you would have a short list to choose from"

(In light of your job description, I hope you won't take too much personal offense at this) LEGITIMATE product awareness is generated by advertising and reviews by TRUSTED sources - NOT by unsolicited phone calls, from glib "boilerroom" operatives, preying on the elderly - seeking credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and, oh yes MONEY for "free gifts" and/or "the best deal to ever come down the pike"...

"So long and thanks for all the fish"

The late Douglas Adams would probably say, "42"...
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Old 10 Oct 2004, 05:28 PM   #15
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unsolicited phone calls are used by every company that has a product to sell. hell the idea for the computer i'm typing on was sold to an investor. Merrill Lynch is a trusted company by any investors standards(managing over 1 trillion dollars in client assets). In the 50's this corporate giant had sales people all over the mid-west going door to door selling there services. did those people ask this company over or was it the marketing department that thought this sort of exposure demanded an aggressive approach. the evil will always be there, but this practice of soliciting is very real, and every competitive company you call a "household name" is that way because of practices your condemning. Depending on the product, an extension of product awareness must held out for all consumers lest they be left behind.
When I sell something, I sell the fear of living without it. so, if we were to just let thing happen as they may would you have a computer, a TV, air travel. How would you have sold these things to the public? how do you convince joe public to enter a metal tube and travel 35,000 feet above land at sub sonic speeds. Or try paying your morgage if you wait on people to take an interest in a computer that pricetags in the 1000's of dollars. We all know that sales is for some reason a dirty word in business, but it is the beating heart too. You don't see the 10 interviews with various buyers just the sudden change in health benefits or toner used for printing. will there be sharks in my world, yes and damn good ones too but don't put the good people in with the bad. Every good sales rep believes his product will be a positive addition to a clients lives, I only sell for a company if I believe its mission. I am a cunsultant for various companies and I train sales forces for a living. when I finish training these people do with this as they will. anything in business can be corrupted, let us not think everything corrupt because it can be....
"The late Douglas Adams would probably say, "42"..."
If you remember the book the number 42 only led to the search for the question. so let me leave you with a quote: "There is no good and bad but what we think makes it so."
William Shakespeare
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