This popular software package is the self-proclaimed industry standard for streaming media production. Purchased and extended from the venerable MediaCleaner Pro, this package performs one essential function: read in a video stream and convert it to another (usually compressed) format. It doesn't give you any fancy editing options (although it does have some simple filters), but it can convert to and from most commonly used formats.
Cleaner is indeed an incredibly useful piece of software, but it has a dark side that I feel everyone, particularly students, needs to be aware of. It is licensed under the AutoDesk Software License Agreement, which among other things has special provisions for Academic licensing. Most notably the license is only valid for two years, and it may not be used for professional purposes.
Now working in an educational institution, I regularly purchase academic versions of software for professional use all the time. Academic versions are generally there for University departments as much as they are for students. Most licenses specifically exclude for-profit use of the software, but not all professional use. The idea of using this software for educational purposes alone is laughable, if you know why you need it then you're already 90% of the way towards mastering it. And a two-year license? Microsoft's been itchin' to try that for years, but it hasn't quite hit the mainstream yet. Neither of these gargantuan details appear in the on-line store listing. They give you a paltry 25% off ($450 vs $600) for a ridiculously crippled license that renders the package worthless.
So kids, get yourself a full version of this piece of crap or nothing at all. Oh yeah, in case you are wondering what kinds of formats it supports:
- Video for Windows
- Windows Media
- QuickTime Image File (QTIF)
- Silicon Graphics Image File
- Targa Image File (TGA)