Encouraging that they are paying attention and fixing this bug I found, where all MP3’s encoded by Plextools using LAME came out not the standard/default and much more effective Joint Stereo, but ‘binary’ Stereo.
( http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=137184 )
Interesting that they categorize this under “Added”, instead of “Fixes”. Maybe they don’t want to call attention to the embarrassment that all those LAME files for all these years, from the king of DAE, were using the wrong default and a terribly inefficient strategy, creating neutered MP3 files, from an encoding efficiency perspective. It is an addition, adding a choice… but it is also a fix. Hopefully they set it so that Joint Stereo is the default as it should be.
Whatever they want to call it, I’m happy that they’ve done it, and not only corrected the whole lack of Joint Stereo problem, but actually are giving us a choice now for Channel Mode (which they should properly call it, instead of just “Mode”, apparently). Kudos!! I trust that this feature addition will be included in the next version of Plextools Pro. It’s been a long time (relatively for Plextor) that they’ve released an update. They must be hard at work .
This is the second major bug fix which I have discovered and posted on this board (as well as notifying Plextor directly) to which Plextor responded by offering a fix in the next release of Plextools. However I received no personal response whatsoever to the first bug (noticing that Plextor had “updated” to a long-outdated Vorbis library, which affected Ogg, FLAC, and APE). In fact, they didn’t even bother to tell me that they had released a new version of Plextools Pro with the fixed update. (I found out on this board ~3 weeks after they released the fix.) On this second one, I did receive a brief email from the manager at Plextools software development, not really acknowledging anything, mainly saying they’d look into it, somewhat begrudgingly thanking me for discovering the outdated Vorbis library (explaining they “truly believed” they had updated to the current version), and expressed some dissatisfaction on the order that my posts were too bombastically titled (not his words), which point was well taken by me. I didn’t realize Plextor actually reviewed this board and took note from it. I admit I was trying to make sure I got their attention, erring on the side of caution due to the gravity and needlessness of these faults, and it’s good to know they do take note. And that answers a question a lot of the folks had on this board, as to whether Plextor actually monitors this board (you’d think they’d participate, then).
After all those pretty major things I discovered in the span of 2 months I had used Plextools (faults which had gone unnoticed by their pro QC as well as the entire Plextor user community), you’d think he’d offer a way or invite me to work more efficiently with them, or at least offer a copy of Plextools XL for testing and/or a thank-you, considering it’s a new product and must have plenty of bugs. NOPE. I’ve received copies of software in the past for extensive testing I’ve done for free, or cheerful invitations from a company to feel free to report any future problems I discovered, or share suggestions (I have A LOT of suggestions for Plextools). Not Plextools development. I don’t know what is going on with Plextor’s attitude. Esp. considering those goofs were pretty huge and embarrassing (maybe that’s why). Perhaps Plextor sees more value in hoping for my $ for PTXL, than my basically free QC from a person who finds what their own QC didn’t over a span of months and years, and probably wouldn’t… this wasn’t ‘minor bug fix’ stuff.
Although I would help them improve it if they asked me to help (not that they seem to care), I don’t believe in the philosophy behind XL, as I intentionally paid for Plextools in the basically double cost of my Plextor drive relative to others. About $40-60 more, in fact. The idea of paying another $45-50 (depending on the Exchange Rate) to get what Plextools Pro should be providing is not a pleasant one, and one of the weighing factors in where I decide to take my business with optical drives. If XL were just a properly-developed Plextools Pro, free to Plextor users, it would make Plextor more popular and wealthy. But this idea of a pay upgrade, however justified by Plex, went over like a lead baloon in the Plextor community, the people Plextor actually depends on to buy their stuff. It is an emotional turnoff. Plextor users (who can even afford it) are likely to not want to reward Plextor for this with their money, feeling (right or wrong) that every XL license Plextor sells encourages Plextor to NOT provide a fully-featured, quality Plextools Pro (heck, we still can’t even maximize the program!!).
PTXL won’t ever be a big money-maker for Plextor–no, change that to it will be a money loser for Plextor. To charge for a new program called “XL” instead of properly improving Plextools Pro (i.e. letting us maximize!!) will cost them more money than they’ll make on it, as the VAST majority of Plextor users who learn about XL, will feel left behind and/or taken for granted. Learning of the existence of XL after using and paying for Pro is a universally negative experience. They’d make more money with selling tens of thousands of Optical Disk Drives with excellent included software, than they ever will on the few XL licenses they’ll ever sell piecemeal.
Ahead.de makes its fortune charging single-digit $ to OEM’s for Nero Express, not the $60 it costs for a Nero Burning ROM serial number. But Burning ROM is still much more justifiable as a standalone product than Plextools ever will be. Think about it: Plextools XL costs about as much as the Nero 6 Reloaded suite, which includes but is not limited to Nero Burning ROM! That’s just laughable! It’d be funny if it weren’t true!
I once tested for free a key swapper program… it was buggy and frustrating to use. I painstakingly logged the bugs and notified the developer, who thanked me and offered a free version, but then refused my suggestion to ask for less $, I suggesting that it would actually lead to more purchases. He said he couldn’t justify charging $5 for the software he normally charges $40 for (yes, his price/product ratio was even more egomaniacal than Plextor’s XL). I couldn’t imagine anyone paying $40 for his buggy software, and I’m sure almost no one did. I was sure he’d make much more charging $5 or less for it. Now, I’d pay $5 for Plextools XL. I think most people would (and that’s a lot of people). But 39 Euros?!! Come on. Plextor would make far more money charging $5 for it, or even $2, but they’ll never do it; they’ll never be that smart. Plextools, we all know, also hasn’t been wise with business decisions lately as to the realities of PR and word of mouth relating to their software and core business, which is Optical Disk Drives, not glam-luxe software.
So they’re not listening to us in that respect, and they don’t recognize or reward those who help them improve their software (I need not mention anything about the Pxlinux rigamarole, which was tantamount to punishing someone for also doing for free what Plextor wouldn’t–Plextor would’ve been free to use the code themselves [which maybe they have], but I do not want to drag that discussion into here). But at least the software developers do read this board and fix the bugs reported, 2 for 2, and that is my point. Congratulations, Plextor, on fixing the bugs which users find.
Now where’s the ability to use full command-line features of LAME with Plextools??!