rogue amoeba email

here is the email i sent to rogue amoeba about their software just a few seconds ago. hopefully they find it helpful. i took the extra time to clarify in this email because they are a small company and i have been advised that they pay attention to their feedback.

I am writing to you as someone who tried out your product and was greatly disappointed.
I am a radio show producer and host of an FM show in Victoria, British Columbia. I wanted to set up recording of the show so that I could leave home, the show would record, and I would come back and it would be finished all on its own. I set up Audio HiJack to do this. It did, but while I was gone setting up the radio show, it started recording and I assume a dialogue box appeared saying “You haven’t registered, we’re going to insert a bunch of generated static to screw up your recording.” My show is 3 hours long and this happened in the first 5 minutes. What a waste — if I knew this was going to happen I would not have used your product. And since I was only trying out your product, I now have no inclination to buy it. I am particularly livid that there was no indication of this in the first time set-up instructions. If you put a built-in schedule timer (so that the trial user doesn’t have to be around for recording) in your trial product, and an expiration-static-insertion-timer on the recording, how are the trial users supposed to see it? They will not see it until it’s too late and the recording is totally destroyed by the Rogue Amoeba generated static.
Let me make this real scenario perfectly clear:
1) Trial user downloads Trial Software and installs it.
2) Trial user follows first time instructions and sees nothing about audio files being destroyed by software-generated noise.
3) Trial user sets up scheduled recording without a hitch. Trial user also tests to make sure the line in software is working. All a success.
4) Trial user leaves because, to the best of their knowledge, they are no longer required to be present for the product to work.
5) Trial software starts recording on schedule, while the trial user is gone. This is the only reason the trial user is trying the product.
6) Trial software automatically and purposefully destroys the recording with generated noise.
7) Trial user comes back later to see recorded files. Trial user opens them up and is greeted by a few minutes of successful recording and then hours of sonically annihilated .AIFF files.
8) Trial user is livid because they could have stuck with what they had before and not lost one of their own radio shows.
9) Trial user feels cheated by Rogue Amoeba’s registration tactics.
Angrily yours,

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  1. ugh. I’ve read reviews about the ‘ol HiJack — had I known you were going to use that, this could have possibly been prevented. Eeeurgh…

  2. Stick it to the man Judge !! Damn. How aggravating that must have been. I’ve never heard of that program, but I’ll for sure steer clear of it. Steer clear indeed.
    Give ’em heLL BoS.

  3. neil, i knew he was going to use it — unfortunately i thought he already knew about the limitation (and had purchased it), so i didn’t warn him.
    to be fair, rogue amoeba mentions the limitation davin describes on both the download site and in the documentation — but it should be more front+center. adding a note beside the scheduled recording explaining that static will be added would be optimal, in my opinion. then there’s no way you could miss it.
    shareware limitations aside, it’s a pretty good product — i don’t think it has an equal out there in terms of functionality or ease-of-use.

  4. indeed they do have a warning on first time installation in bright red font. they emailed me back fairly quickly saying this, and i responded that i think it’s pretty safe to say that bright red font on one of the instruction pages is not enough — a warning dialogue box before recording on a timer for the first time would work (better). they thanked me for my feedback and that’s all. i have to commend them on their fast response, even though i feel pretty sour about their product still.

  5. I think no matter what means they employ to warn you of the static bomb, they just shouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t it be smarter, easier and far more consumer friendly to let you record perfectly for a short amount of time? Like, five minutes, just so you can see how it works? And then announce that loud & clear. Maybe even a 5-use trial. Then on registration the unlimited recording can be unlocked. Static. That’s just dumb. No Audio HiJack for THIS dj.

  6. it still sucks a lot that they would even think of destroying anything you might try to record with the demo. I agree that it would be better if they had limited it’s use to say, 5 times, rather than 5 stinking minutes. Other than that glitch tho, it sounds like a worthwhile product if you pay them for it.

  7. Wow, that really stinks, Davin, my condolensces.
    I don’t know if anyone has recommended it to you, but I use Total Recorder to rip live streams. I’ve been using it for a year or so and I couldn’t be happier. It has scheduling for pre-set times, works with any audio card/driver, saves in wav and mp3, and offers some minor editing functions. I’ve burned a hundred CDs of my fave live DJ sets using TR and they sound fabulous.
    The trial editions are the full versions with truncated recording times (40 secs, I think) but purchase is only $12. Cheeeep!

  8. Adrian, you get 10 minutes of perfect recording per session without static.
    But that doesn’t alleviate the real problem, which was that Davin thought it would record fine, when in fact, it wouldn’t. The time bomb goes in effect /after/ recording starts. So if you start recording many hours later because you’re using their new “scheduled recording time” function, potentially you won’t know about the problem until, well, many hours later.
    Sim: Looks like an decent app, with one major problem: it’s not Mac compatible. A question, though. What happens when you set a timer to record hours in the future with the unregistered version? Do you get a warning about the 40-second recording limit?

  9. Ahhh, the Mac factor. Sorry, I’ve been working in media for too long — I assume that everyone has a Mac and PC sitting around on their desk. My bad.
    I don’t think you can schedule with the unregistered version, but I’m not positive on that one. Either way, I hope you guys find an app that won’t wreck your next show! 🙂

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