WARNING! All Media Fixer 2008 is scamware. Do not buy it

The title is deliberately loud so that it shows up in Google and Yahoo searches. This is to prevent other poor saps like me from falling for this con.

I started a previous thread here asking about All Media Fixer 2008 by Newlive, but not surprisingly I got very little information. I have now completed my analysis of the software and tracked the source.

This is what I found.

  1. The software is supposed to be able to repair media files, in particular most .avi and .mpg files.

  2. I downloaded a fresh copy from the home site to ensure that I have a clean, unmodified install. (I won’t advertise the site but it isn’t difficult to find.) I have a paid-for registration key and used it to install and register the product.

  3. I have now profiled some of the system calls and traced the general operation, thread usage, memory allocation and disk I/O using VS and other tools. This is not exhaustive by any means but it is sufficient to show what it’s up to.

  4. The software is utter scam. It does nothing but copies the input to the output, byte by byte. It makes no attempt at repairs and has no functioning components. The only thing which works is the GUI which appears to be a modification of some Japanese educational or game software.

  5. I uninstalled and scrubbed it from my PC including the registry and reinstalled it. But this time I gave it a fake name and registration code made up of random numbers. Yes!!! It accepted it and installed as before. In fact the registration key is held as clear text in a .ini file in the install directory and is used only to show up when an “About” query is done.

  6. I have had zero response to several emails I sent to the support address.

  7. I did a net Whois on the distribution site. Guess what! There is little information because it operates under WhoisGuard (oops!) but the location is given as 8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Westchester, CA 90045. This address is associated with numerous on line scams including pyramid schemes, fake business franchises, get rich kits and lots of other things. A quick Google brings up lots of hits. First entry is from www.scam.com. I rest my case.

I feel utterly stupid for having been taken in by such an obvious and simple scam. I can only say that I was in too much of a hurry to clear a nuisance problem and jumped at the first solution. These thieves rely on the moments of inattention we all have to hook and reel us in. In the end it didn’t cost me all that much and did no lasting damage. But what really bothers me is that the scum who pull these stunts are using my money to finance some other evil activity.

GENERAL WARNING: All Media Fixr 2008, All Media Fixer Pro 2008 are scamware. Other products from the distributor are also likely to be fake. These include All Video Fixer, All to Real Converter, All media to MP3 Converter Pro etc. DO NOT DEAL with the publishers Newlive and Realconvert and anyone associated with them.

I have now, (by sheer coincidence?), received two emails from RealConvert, the “developer” of this software. The first goes like this,

"Hello Joe M…,

Maybe you have downloaded the old software,we give you the latest software download website:
http://www.realconvert.com/download.htm
Second,if your file is more than 2G,it can not fix now,but our technical team is researching seriously all the time,please believe us.We can release the upgraded version.
Third,due to this fixer technology is very complex,some files are damaged badly so it can not repair it now.Thanks for your
understanding.But we are improving the fixer technology all the time and adding more functions into it.You can try to fix other files to see if it works.
Fourth,please copy your file into the hard disk to repair."

Aha! See the “please believe us” bit. The second email,

"Hello Joe M…,

If possible, you can send your file to us, we can try to repair for you.

Best regards,"

Yeah, sure. My response is,

  1. I have the latest software from their download site.

  2. I have the latest hardware, i7 920 (OC), ASUS P6T, 6GB DDR3 1600, GTX 295, 5TB of HD.

  3. The files I tested ranged from 3Mb to 850Mb with a whole variety of codecs as shown by Gspot.

  4. I tested one 274MB file by removing one byte from an early frame. A SINGLE BYTE. It’s trivial to detect in all codecs. Most fixers will drop the whole frame, which is acceptable. Some expensive ones will pad the frame. My freeby fixers drop the frame and let me know about it. It takes a few seconds.

After forty or so minutes of intensive “fixing” (on a 3Ghz, 4 core, 8 thread i7!!!), Media Fixer just copied the dud frame to the output. So much for their technical team.

I am deeply concerned about the possibility that I might be harming competent, hard-working, honest colleagues who simply have a buggy product still under development. I thought long and hard before I posted here.

As thing stand, I am convinced that this is a scam. I have heard nothing from people who got this thing to work, these emails have scam fingerprints all over them and my own research still stands. Beware!!!

On a hunch, I just ran the All media Fixer installation exe file through the software. Yes, you guessed it. All media fixer has dutifuly “repaired” this “media” file and produced a nice clean “[Fixed]all_media_fixer_2008_pro.exe” file. It just goes on.

I have to modify a previous statement. The installation key has some simple checks on it. A completely random key won’t do. But swapping digits seems to work.