Popular Mac Software Titles That Can Give You Nightmares

Mac software






There are tons of nice software titles for Mac OS. Occasionally, we see bad ones, too. Maybe, they are badly programmed. In the meantime, the source of a series of nightmares doesn’t have to be software itself. If you sign up to download a trial version, chances are that they will send you annoying newsletters by e-mail even after the trial period is over.






Boris FX Continuum Complete

There is no question that Boris FX offers nice software products for 2D/3D graphic effects. You can try out almost any of their products. (See Screenshot 01-2.) If you provide them with a valid e-mail address, you will get a download link. In exchange for a fully-functional trial version of software, they will send you newsletters quite frequently. (See Screenshot 03.) We don’t use their products for the moment, and the trial period expired a long ago. But, for example, we received their newsletters in March 19 and 26. Actually, every newsletter that they send seem to include a link for unsubscribing them.





Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 01 – Source: MacHouse
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 02 – Source: borisfx.com
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 03 – Source: borisfx.com






The worst part of Boris FX Continuum Complete is software itself. A word of advice is that you shouldn’t install a trial version of Boris FX Continuum Complete unless you intend to buy it. Once you install it, you will see BCC plug-ins on your Adobe After Effects. (See Screenshot 04.) The real problem is that you cannot easily uninstall these plug-ins. You will find a plug-in folder inside Library. And even if you trash BCC plug-in files, the names of the plug-ins will continue to appear on After Effects. The PDF user’s guide doesn’t explain how to install Boris FX Continuum Complete. Boris FX doesn’t have forums of their own, so you can’t ask peer users for help in removing BCC plug-ins out of After Effects.






Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac

If you want to send messages with attachments to Windows users, consider using Microsoft Entourage. If you have Hotmail accounts, you can use Entourage to check your messages instead of using a web browser. The problem with this software title is that if you click on an icon labeled Junk E-Mail for a Hotmail account, software can crash.





Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 04
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 05
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 06






For example, accessing my Hotmail account with a web browser, Screenshot 05 shows that I have one unread junk message. In order to see or read this junk message on Entourage 2008, I have to click on ‘Junk E-Mail’ under a Hotmail account. (See Screenshot 06.) After a few seconds later… Entourage crashes. (See Screenshot 07.) No, it’s not an isolated event. Every time I click on Junk E-Mail, Entourage 2008 quits itself. It never happened with Entourage 2004.

What’s so big deal if I cannot see junk messages? If you register an account online, they will usually send you a confirmation message. Some of them are likely to end up inside the Junk E-Mail folder if you use a Hotmail account.






Snapz Pro X

I presume Ambrosia makes a lot of money selling Snapz Pro X. The current version of Snapz Pro X is 2.1.2. Several software developers have tried to get juice out of high demand for screen-capture. Nonetheless, Ambrosia has no real competitors for screen-capture software so far. We have tried out some and reviewed some. But none of them is good enough to get a substantial market share. That doesn’t necessarily mean Snapz Pro X is by far an excellent Mac software program. I can tell you that Ambrosia didn’t bother to offer a Universal Binary version for quite some time by saying that Intel Mac users should have no problem running the PowerPC version





Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 07
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 08
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 09






The software developer still cannot fix an old problem. Many Mac users use Snapz Pro X to capture screenshot movements and edit the video on Final Cut Pro. But if you import a screen-capture video from Snapz Pro X, Final Cut Pro is likely to recognize it with an incorrect frame rate. For example, if I import a video clip whose real frame rate is 24, Final Cut Pro says the frame rate is 10 fps. (See Screenshot 08.)

So what’s the problem if Final Cut Pro reads frame rates of clips incorrectly? When Final Cut Pro doesn’t fully read the specifications of a clip, you will see a red meter at the top of the Timeline window. And Final Cut Pro won’t play back the video clip on Canvas unless you change the settings of the sequence (although there’s a workaround). But you can’t because Final Cut Pro doesn’t support clips with frame rates of 23.98 or lower in the first place.

It is possible that video clips from other software titles can suffer from this frame rate issue on Final Cut Pro. At least, I can tell you that clips from Boris RED, After Effects 7 & 8, iShowU and Screenography appear to get along well with Final Cut Pro 6. For example, I created a simple animation clip with After Effects CS3. (See Screenshot 09.) The export frame rate is 23.98. And Final Cut Pro recognizes this frame rate correctly. (See Screenshot 10.)

Back in 2005, I think, Ambrosia said on its website that they talked with Apple and got some tips for fixing the frame rate issue and would apply them to the next update on Snapz Pro X. But they don’t seem to be able to fix it. In the meantime, there are a few workaround tips mentioned at their Snapz Pro X forum.






3ivx

3ivx is an MPEG-4-based video compressor for Apple’s QuickTime. More than 9 months ago, software developer 3ivx Technologies Pty. Ltd. introduced a new version. If you install this QuickTime codec, you should have 2 files inside Library > QuickTime. (See Screenshot 11.)





Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 10
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 11
  Mac software nightmares
Screenshot 12






So what’s so bad about 3ivx? You can download and try out this QuickTime plug-in. They won’t send you annoying newsletters. A nightmare will begin when the trial period ends. Every time you open a video clip with QuickTime, a small window will pop up. (See Screenshot 12.) Right, it doesn’t matter whether or not you are going to use 3ivx to export a video. After the trial period is over, you won’t be able to use 3ivx, by the way. But you will keep seeing this window until you buy this codec or remove those files out of the QuickTime folder. Why are we forced to see this annoying message every time we use QuickTime just to watch video clips?






References:

Mac Software Review: Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac
Mac Software Review: Screen Mimic 2.1
Screen Capturing Software for Mac

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