Unfair Slurs Against MarkAble and David Grigg

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Stensvaag

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There is a news topic on MarkAble in which folks are slamming David for his new software and for the price that he is asking for registration. I tried to respond to that news thread, but iPodLounge keeps insisting that I cannot register, because my e-mail address is invalid. Anyway, here is what I would say on the thread, if I could. If anyone has the ability to actually add this text to the news thread, I would appreciate it. Feel free to cut and paste my remarks.

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I feel badly that people are responding so unfairly (in my opinion) to the author of this elegant software. MarkAble does much more than simply rename the file from *.m4a to *.m4b (by the way, I was one of the original posters on this magical way to obtain bookmarkable audio book files). In a very nice interface, MarkAble completely takes over iTunes, rips all those Audio CD tracks, merges them into one large book (for example, a 10-hour book), and makes it bookmarkable through renaming, AND it deletes all the intervening temp files. Anyone who has done this through iTunes itself knows how many steps are involved in this process, and how tedious it is to manually merge the tracks, merge the resulting MP3 files, convert them to AAC files, rename them, and then delete from iTunes all the intervening intermediate files.

If you place yourself in the shoes of the software author, who spent countless hours figuring out how to do this outside of iTunes (invoking iTunes behind the scenes), I'm confident that you would be a whole lot less condescending about the price that he is asking. I paid David Grigg a voluntary $50 for MarksMan, because it is an elegant and excellent way to keep track of bookmarks in audio books. I intend to pay him a voluntary $50 for MarkAble (I received a free copy as a beta tester) because that is how the shareware community works. Hard-working shareware authors deserve respect, rather than obnoxious feedback from folks who have obviously not even tried the software.

Just my two cents.

John-Mark Stensvaag
University of Iowa College of Law
 
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robert

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Unreal. What price did they expect for this elegant software? For the price of about one audio book, or taking a friend to an inexpensive lunch, one can easily and simply convert, rename, and place in iTunes Library any mp3, CD, wav file with so few steps that just about any beginner could do it with ease.

I suggest that those complaining continue with the freeware solutions and leave the community to choose. I personally hate the multiple steps of conversion and file deletion and renaming -- tho until we had MarkAble, it was better than not being able to listen to legitimately obtained files in a bookmarking iPod file.

iPodSync costs about the same and does less in my estimation and I love that too. Allows me to put my calendar and contacts on my iPod -- like MarkAble, all in one fell swoop. All the world loves a free lunch. Wonder how much the complainers have contributed to the iPod community.

This little corner of iPodlounge has reinforced and helped each other to get to this point. The guides would never have been written without a lot of mutual support. David has, with only help in writing the guide, done a tremendous amount of work to develop this shareware.

Right on, John Mark. Where is this thread?

I have no financial interest in MarkAble, but plenty of enthusiasm for what this does for the iPodder community and an investment in beta testing and writing the guides so that David could concentrate on developing the shareware and so that the greater community could benefit. I suggested $17 to David, but he would go no higher than $15, saying that his primary motivation was serving the community. The community can be served without the shareware being free.

Jeeze.

Robert
 

robert

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Anachronism said:
thanks, Anachronism. You have to register separately there and have to use a different name. Strange.

moriond quoted Stensvaag's post there, so you got posted after all, John Mark.

The people there obviously have not tried the shareware and think it is a one page, or much less, script like those that have been posted for renaming only.

I put more than 2 cents in, I think -- probably $14.98.

Go, David!!!

:D :D :D :D :D :D
 
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dordale

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I also added my thoughts to the page...I find it amazing how many people will comment on something they obviously haven't tried...

Robert--maybe someone else is registered on that site as "Robert"--I was able to register as dordale and add my post.

dordale :)
 

enjoilax

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Stensvaag said:
I paid David Grigg a voluntary $50 for MarksMan, because it is an elegant and excellent way to keep track of bookmarks in audio books. I intend to pay him a voluntary $50 for MarkAble (I received a free copy as a beta tester) because that is how the shareware community works. Hard-working shareware authors deserve respect, rather than obnoxious feedback from folks who have obviously not even tried the software.
You're crazy. :p

Thanks for supporting iPodSoft (sorta, all the money goes direct to David, we're just a "label")!
 

david1951

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* blush! * I don't need to defend myself when I have all these good people doing it for me.

But I take no offence from the negative comments mentioned - those posters are merely misinformed about what MarkAble does.
 

ipodinsane

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Marksman is Very Cool

I dowloaded Marskman yesterday and instead of the usual complex process of encoding an Audiobook, I had this great tool that worked just great. Of course since its betware its still slightly unpolished but easily worth the 15$ fee. I sent mine in via paypal after making the first book. If you havent tried it and you are an audiobook fan, you cant imagine how much easier creating books for your 'Pod is with this tool. Even better, I was able to email David with some bugs/suggestions and he replied within an hour of my writing. I just wanted everyone to know that this product is well worth the money (and more) and that there is a responsive developer at the helm. Thats about as good as it gets in the software world.

Thanks David, for a great effort and making my continuing creation of my audio library so much easier.

Lowell Tuttman
 

ArchieGates

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I would love to use Markable, but the program crashes every time I try to do the convert command. It merges the files fine, but doesn't convert. Although, for what it's worth, iTunes keeps crashing on the "Convert to AAC" step too. I'm getting pretty frustrated as I've only got the whole process to work one time. Any idea on what could be giving me so much trouble?
 

Anachronism

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ArchieGates said:
I would love to use Markable, but the program crashes every time I try to do the convert command. It merges the files fine, but doesn't convert. Although, for what it's worth, iTunes keeps crashing on the "Convert to AAC" step too. I'm getting pretty frustrated as I've only got the whole process to work one time. Any idea on what could be giving me so much trouble?
Are you getting the 'unhandled exception' error? That's the problem I am having, I am communicating with David via eMail to try and fix the problem.

Edit - Opps, I didn't notice you said you had the problem when using iTunes by itself. As Robert says below Markable uses iTunes so if iTunes doesn't work then neither will markable.
 
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robert

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ArchieGates said:
... iTunes keeps crashing on the "Convert to AAC" step too. ...
If iTunes is crashing on your AAC converts, the problem is in iTunes. MarkAble directs iTunes to make the conversion, so the problem is obviously in iTunes.

Suggest you reinstall iTunes and see if that corrects the problem. Test the newly installed iTunes with a short existing file conversion to be sure it is fixed. No sense in going thru the MarkAble process until you get iTunes working.

Also wondering if you have a capacity problem. Is your computer hard disc pretty full? It could be that you don't have room on your hard disc for conversions.

Sum is, there is no bug fix for MarkAble that will solve a situation where AAC conversions in iTunes are also crashing.

Hope a reinstall of iTunes fixes it for you.

MarkAble is working great for me. No hitches. It is a mystery why some are having problems and others none. Must be variables at work that I don't have. Guess that is what Beta testing is all about -- to flush the bugs out under all conditions.
 
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ArchieGates

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No, I'm having two separate problems. I get the unhandled exception error with MarkAble. It happens immediately after I hit the convert button. It happens every time.

The problem in iTunes only seems to happen randomly, and it usually happens towards the end of a conversion. For example, I set a 200 MB file to convert, and it was taking 30 minutes. Right around the end, it will crash and actually cause the computer to restart by itself. I've never had that happen with any other program. Sometimes I'm gettin a crash in the program "NT On Access Service" when iTunes crashes.

I will take your advice and reinstall iTunes. I'm not running Windows SP2 (still on SP1) and I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I'm not really wanting to install SP2.
 

ArchieGates

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Here's the message I'm getting: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
 

ipodinsane

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I too am having the same error message on converting. It will convert the first mp3 file ok, and then the message is generated at the very beggining of the second one.
 

david1951

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ArchieGates said:
Here's the message I'm getting: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Would you mind emailing me at (support05 @ rightword.com.au) with the full text of the error message - you should see a 'Details' button or some such which gets you to a long list of where the error occurred.

I'm sorry to read that people are having problems. Please write to me directly at the above email address. The more info I get the better - I hadn't realised there were several people with issues.

MarkAble is definitely still in 'Beta' mode, and I will progressively fix problems - provided I get the information I need to solve the problem.
 

david1951

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Please post MarkAble bugs in new thread

I've created a new thread for MarkAble bugs. I'd be grateful if those having problems would post any they think require general discussion in that thread.

I'm also in the process of having a MarkAble forum set up at iPodSoft. Once that is in place, it would seem to be a more appropriate venue for such bug reports and requests for enhanced functionality.
 
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