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 Post subject: First impressions
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:58 pm 
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I've been a mostly satisfied user of MuvAudio 2 for over 2.5 years now. I'm also a sucker for upgrades, so I quickly pounced on a trial download of MuvAudio 3 when I got the e-mail. I've played around with 3 for a little while now, and want to throw a few first impressions out there before I decide to upgrade.

First, my system:

Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5600+, Count: 2
Memory: 2046 MB OS: Microsoft Windows NT 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 x86
(Windows Vista 32)


Interface:

I like the darker, slicker visual style of the GUI. I got accustomed to the pale blue of MA2, but it was definitely due a change. However, I miss the options panel!. I see that all the same options can be accessed after clicking Options and clicking through a tab and maybe an "Advanced" dropdown, but I much prefer the MA2 options panel that shows ALL options at once. Depending on the files I'm converting, I change quality or filename/directory options each time, and it's very quick and easy to do with MA2. But with MA3, I'll have to click through several paths (plus there's a delay before the options window comes up, which is annoying) just to get to each setting I want to change, and i can see that getting old. Please bring back the options panel! I understand many users may like the simple, clean interface where they can set the options once and forget about them, but it'd be great if there was an option to enable a permanent options console like MA2 had for users like me who are a) more "advanced" or b) need to change settings often.

My other complaint is that I no longer see an estimated completion time before or during conversion. That's handy in MA2.

Speed:

I can't say too much about this yet since I'm limited to 60 seconds. I did run a comparison test with ten 60-second files. MA2 was set to 10x, MA3 was on auto (recommended 11). MA2 completed in 5:09 minutes, MA3 finished in 5:00. The initialization process seemed to take about as long between the two, but MA3 seemed to convert a bit faster. For full 3-5 minute tracks, i could see MA3 being noticeably faster than MA2.

Reliability:

This one goes to MA3 already. Maybe it was something fixable, but I always had occasional problems with MA2 picking up Windows sounds (if a friend IMed me, the IM sound would show up in the file), and combining tracks (I'd get one blank file and one file with two tracks playing at once). So far none of this has happened with MA3 trials. A friend made sign-on/sign-off sounds on AIM while converting, and it didn't show up in the file, and i've even browsed the web a bit while converting, and got no funky results. (I should note that in my ten 60-second track test mentioned above, MA2 produced a blank track 9.)

Conclusion:

If I can be convinced that MA3 will be significantly faster for my system or if I can't tweak MA2 to match its output reliability, I'll upgrade. OR if the options panel returns, i'll upgrade. Otherwise, I'm hesitant to bother upgrading even at the very attractive promo price.


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 Post subject: Re: First impressions
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:24 am
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Quote:
My other complaint is that I no longer see an estimated completion time before or during conversion. That's handy in MA2.


This is planned for a post v3.0.0.1 version. I just didn't have time to get it in before the release of 3.0 and Windows 7.

Quote:
For full 3-5 minute tracks, i could see MA3 being noticeably faster than MA2.


I'm thinking that your system may be able to convert at speeds higher than 11. In the current release I tried to be a little on the safe side as far as the auto conversion speed. I'd love to get your "system rating" and then love for you to find the highest speed that you could convert at that didn't cause skips in your converted files. This will help us improve the detection of the optimal speed for future releases.

Vista was a tough spot for MuvAudio 2 due to the complex changes in the Operating System. MuvAudio 3 was a complete rewrite with Windows 7 in mind so it's reliability is much better and will continue to improve as we get feedback.

Regarding the options, I tried to make everything cleaner but in doing so, knew that there would be a major change in UI from MuvAudio 2. With the Quick View Info section at the bottom, you can click on each section and it should open the options to that screen directly. I'll look at ways that I can improve the startup speed of that window and other possible ways that I could make items modifiable from the main screen.

Could you provide me with the most essential settings that you would need access to from the main screen?

Thanks for the great feedback. A major new release with a rewrite is always a tough thing to do and your feedback is invaluable.

I look forward to you upgrading here in the near future.

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John
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 Post subject: Re: First impressions
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:23 pm
Posts: 6
Awesome, thanks for the quick response!


Quote:
I'm thinking that your system may be able to convert at speeds higher than 11. In the current release I tried to be a little on the safe side as far as the auto conversion speed. I'd love to get your "system rating" and then love for you to find the highest speed that you could convert at that didn't cause skips in your converted files. This will help us improve the detection of the optimal speed for future releases.


I closed my browser and Steam, and ran the system rating assessment a few times. The results were sometimes erratic (from 4000 up to 6000), but my best score was 3654, which granted me a recommended speed of 14. Sometime soon I'll test the limits of the conversion speed as you suggested and give you that info.

It's my impression that on "auto" my system rating is assessed before each conversion and the speed is based off that. Is this correct? If so, it'd be nice to see the current speed of the conversion.


Quote:
Vista was a tough spot for MuvAudio 2 due to the complex changes in the Operating System. MuvAudio 3 was a complete rewrite with Windows 7 in mind so it's reliability is much better and will continue to improve as we get feedback.


Yes, as I recall I had no problems with XP. I only noticed the output errors after I upgraded to Vista. That's nothing new; I'm used to Vista quirkiness. :roll: Can you tell me if there are significant stability or speed advantages with MA on Windows 7?


Quote:
With the Quick View Info section at the bottom, you can click on each section and it should open the options to that screen directly.


I discovered this and it is kinda handy, and will take me to the two tabs i'll use the most. But it is still extra clicking, and the info and settings still just aren't as accessible up front like with MA2.


Quote:
Could you provide me with the most essential settings that you would need access to from the main screen?


Looking at the MA2 options panel, the options I most use are:

Bitrate - I'll occasionally make other encoding adjustments, but 90% of the time I'm just changing the CBR bitrate between 128k (for podcasts, audio books, etc.) , 160k (for some music i don't mind squeezing some extra space out of), 192k (used most often for music), and 256k (for the most deserving of music).

Directory and Filename output settings - The root directory stays the same, but I'll often tweak the directory and filename choices depending on what files I'm converting, where they're going, etc.

After-conversion settings - Occasionally I will change what to do with the original files after conversion, depending on the file, but not often enough to consider this essential for the main page. I liked how in MA2 the option popped up in the Conversion Setup screen just before confirming conversion, but since MA3 doesn't have a popup before conversion, it's not priority for me for the main screen (though perhaps it could go in the "Start Converting" space beside the "Shutdown PC" option?)


What it all boils down to is that I'm the flight-commander type who likes all info and controls in view at once where I can quickly check and adjust them according to circumstance, and if my controls are all split up and packed away out of sight I get all uncomfortable and nervous. :lol: Maybe the majority is with me, or more probably the majority disagrees and prefers less "clutter". That'd make a good poll or survey.

Either way it'd be nice to have a "clean" option and a "cockpit" option. I think MA2 did this well with the options panel that could be easily shown or hidden.

Thanks for your time,

Phi


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 Post subject: Re: First impressions
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:24 am
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Quote:
Can you tell me if there are significant stability or speed advantages with MA on Windows 7?


Windows 7 works like Windows XP did (it doesn't do conversions in sections, but rather, starts a new conversion as soon as one finishes). This makes the conversion time, much shorter than the Vista version. Windows 7 is my recommended OS for MuvAudio v3.

I'll keep all of the other information in mind and see if I can implement it in a non-invasive way.

Thanks again for the great feedback.

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John
MuvEnum

Resources: Manuals, FAQs, Forums, Blog


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