Smart Converter 1.2 on the App Store

Smart Converter Pro Icon
Smart Converter Free and Pro version 1.2 are now available on the Mac App Store!

Free updates for both, so get them now!

Fixes and Improvements

We had a couple of minor problems with version 1.1 which resulted in some conversions running much, much slower than they had under the original Smart Converter Free.

In short, we had inadvertently disabled some of the 'smarts' being applied to conversions in some situations, so Smart Converter got a bit dumb. It was converting as slowly as all the other regular converters out there in some situations.

The good news is that Smart Converter is now back to its previous level of intelligence, and even a little bit smarter in some cases (mainly involving AVCHD, or MTS high definition videos) so we're sure that you will love it.

No VOB Support

As per our previous post about this, Apple won't allow VOB video file support in Smart Converter. VOB files are the videos inside a DVD.

We do allow VOB support in our Shedworx version, so if you need this, get the Shedworx version of Smart Converter, not the App Store version.

What's Next?

Due to the financial success of Smart Converter Pro, we're able to get started on the next version already. We're planning features for the upgrade now, so please email us with any suggestions you have. We'll post the feature list for v1.3 as soon as we confirm it.

Download Now!

As for all App Store apps, this is a free upgrade, so download it now and see for yourself.

If you have any problems, please email us at smartconverter@shedworx.com. If you have some general questions that you think others might also want the answer to, feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this post and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Good luck with your conversions and thank you to everyone who has purchased Smart Converter Pro so far.

Smart Converter now available on the Shedworx Store

Smart Converter Pro Image

You've spoken, we've listened.

Smart Converter (Free and Pro versions) are now available on the Shedworx Store as well as the Mac App Store.

Why have we done this?

Many reasons, but here are the main ones...

VOB (DVD) Support

VOB files are the video files on a DVD. The first version of Smart Converter Free contained VOB support so that you could convert a DVD movie file.

We did not allow Smart Converter to convert copy-restricted DVDs (i.e. any commercial DVD) so we thought we were within Apple's guidelines.

When we submitted Smart Converter Pro, Apple rejected it because it contained VOB support, even though we didn't allow copy-restricted VOB files to be converted.

So, we had to remove VOB support from both the Free and Pro versions of Smart Converter that are listed on the Mac App Store.

It turns out that a lot of people used VOB conversions!

We have no restrictions on our own site, so we've enabled VOB conversions on the Smart Converter that you can download from Shedworx.

Update Speed

We have always been committed to fast fixes for serious bugs which people hit. Often, a serious bug can be fixed in minutes and released just as quickly.

Smart Converter updates have taken up to two weeks to be released on the Mac App Store.

When we make a fix, we like to be able to get it in the hands of the person who needs the fix straight away. Releasing Smart Converter on Shedworx allows us to do this.

The App Store Isn't for Everyone

While we think the Mac App Store is a great idea, we appreciate that not everyone wants to sign up to the Apple machine. For these people, there's always the Shedworx Store.

The Features We Haven't Thought Of Yet

Smart Converter will continue to grow and become more capable. Sometimes the things that we will really want to add won't fit within the Apple guidelines.

When we come across features that Apple won't allow, we will still create them, but they will only be available on the Shedworx version.

Which Version is Best for Me?

Should I buy from the Shedworx Store or the Mac App Store?

If you're reading this post, you're the kind of person who likes to find out more about the software they buy. This also means that you're more likely to care about the features we add to Smart Converter that Apple won't allow.

Whether its Smart Converter Pro or Free, the Shedworx version will always do more than the App Store version. For this reason we think you will be better off with the Shedworx version. After all, it's the one we use.

Smart Converter Pro - top ranked Video Converter Worldwide

Smart Converter Pro Icon
Within 24 hours of launch, Smart Converter Pro has become the top ranked Video Converter on the Mac App Store worldwide!

Smart Converter Pro is now the top ranked video converter in both the Top Paid and Top Grossing lists on the Mac App Store.

Smart Converter free edition continues to hold down Number 1 spot on the Top Free list for Video. We've been the Number 1 free Video app for five weeks now.

The Smart Converter Engine

Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world are now using the Smart Converter Engine to convert their video and music. The same Smart Converter Engine is used in both Basic and Pro versions of the app, so everyone can enjoy the unprecedented speed that Smart Converter makes possible.

Go Pro

For people who have a lot of files to convert, or just need to take more control of their conversions, Smart Converter Pro is the answer. We're pleased to see so many people buying Smart Converter Pro to take control of their conversions.

Smart Converter Pro out now!

Smart Converter Pro is now live on the Mac App Store!

Click here to buy it now.

Smart Converter Pro builds on the strengths of Smart Converter and now gives you:

  • Batch Conversions - A brand new batch listing area has been added to make those big jobs easy
  • Send to iTunes - Switch this on and off in the Preferences
  • Output Location - You can now choose where your converted files go.
  • Notifications - we've added a simple audio alert for starters. More coming soon here.
  • Conversion preferences - we've made a start on Advanced conversion settings to give you more control when you need it.

This is just the beginning for Smart Converter Pro.

Here's what we're thinking of for future releases:

  • Subtitles - A solid and reliable way to include subtitles in converted movies.
  • Notifications - Integration with Growl to let you know what's going on with conversions.
  • Scripting - An AppleScript API to let you hook up Smart Converter to your workflows.
  • And Much More - We will continue to check on the App Store reviews and listen to what you tell us would help you. We're Smart Converter users too, so we'll keep looking for ways to make Smart Converter the best media converter out there.

OSX Lion product updates complete

All Shedworx products are now fully tested and supported under OSX 10.7 Lion.

Here's what we fixed.

Cosmos
CloudSync fixed.
Window resizing working again.
Other minor layout fixes.
mkvWatch
User interface updated to be Lion compliant. This was actually a problem related to Safari 5.1. mkvWatch is a WebKit app which means its user interface is done in HTML. Some parts of the UI did not work under Safari 5.1.
Changed audio defaults to convert AC3 audio to AAC by default. This will avoid a few problems with trying to watch AppleTV formatted movies on your Mac.
Jaksta
Fixed minor layout problem on the disk image installer.

Ten Things You Need To Know about OSX Lion

Here are the 10 most important things you need to know about OSX Lion.

1. You can only get it from the App Store

This means that you have to be on the latest version of OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and have a Mac App Store account.

Lion is a 3.5 Gb download so make sure you are on a good Internet connection before you kick off the install process.

2. Reversed Scrolling!

Apple have reversed the scrolling direction on the trackpad so that the page moves in the direction your fingers move.

This makes the trackpad match the iPad and iPhone scrolling behavior, but it is extremely annoying. After giving it a while to see if i could get used to it, I've turned it off.

The basic problem with this idea is that while touch-based scrolling works on a touch screen, it's doesn't work on a trackpad.

3. No PowerPC Apps

Once you move to Lion you won't be able to run PowerPC apps. This is a housekeeping change to make life easier for Apple. At some point they need to leave behind old operating system features.

Before you upgrade, you can check for PowerPC apps by going to the About This Mac option from the Finder and click More Info...

Then go to the Software node on the list and see all your apps listed out.

Anything with PowerPC in the type field won't work when you go to Lion! See if these apps matter to you and if so, look for replacements before you upgrade.

4. New Document Model

iPad users will be familiar with the lack of a 'Save' idea on most apps. If you have used Pages (or Numbers or Keynote) on the iPad you will know that you never save a document - Pages is autosaving constantly in the background so that you don't have to worry about it.

This has been a fundamental part of iOS from the beginning - keep the apps simple and autosave all the time - don't make the user remember to push a button.

I've found autosaving on the iPad to be a great idea. In OSX Lion, Apple brings this idea to the Desktop.

Apps have to implement the new Lion document management approach to bring it to life. This isn't something that an app gets 'for free'. So far this is the iLife and key OSX apps (e.g. Preview and TextEdit) only.

Here's what has changed in these apps. I'm using Pages as the example here:

  • No Save button - what? Thats right, you no longer Save things. Just work away and close the document when you are done. Pages takes care of the rest.
  • Save a Version - Pages will be saving a version whenever a 'significant' change is made, but you can also force a version save whenever you like. Note that this command uses the traditional Apple-S command, so it is very much a replacement for the old Save idea.
  • No more Save As - this is now Duplicate and does the same thing - creates and saves a new copy
  • Revert to Saved - with Pages constantly saving versions of your documents you still need to get back to the saved version sometimes.
  • Versions - when you use the Revert to Saved option you are also given the chance to revert back to any version that Pages has saved along the way

These changes mean that you can forget about document management and concentrate on what you need to get done.

Document management also means that Pages (and any app that supports Lion's new document model) can restore itself to its last state on restart. This means that you can restart your Mac and have everything come back up as you had it at logout/shutdown time.

5. Application Lifecycle

Mac users will be familiar with the Application Lifecycle that is used by most apps where the app stays running after you close the last document window. This has always been a key difference between OSX and Windows.

In Lion, Apple takes this one step further where an app never really quits, even when you tell it to Quit. There is a new preference in the Dock settings that lets you switch off the indicator light for running apps in the Dock. This was actually the default behaviour in the developer releases of Lion.

Apple is now telling you to completely forget about whether an app is running or not. You can leave this up to the operating system now, even more than before in previous OSX versions.

6. Saving your Session

When logging out of your account, you will now see this window. On next login you can choose to have your apps re-opened to their last state.

A lot of this functionality is made possible by the new Document Model, so that apps like Pages can re-open all your open documents.

7. Mail

Users of the inbuilt OSX Mail app will notice a change to make it more like iPad mail. As for the Launchpad, this helps Apple with "pull through" Mac sales from iPad users.

8. Launchpad

The ability to pop up a familiar iPad-style home screen is cute but useless. I rarely need to see all the apps on my Mac, so I still use Overflow to store links to those apps that don't fit on the dock, but I still use from time to time.

When trying to understand why Apple does things, you have to remember that Apple is a hardware company. It couldn't be more different to Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc.

Apple sells more iPads than iMacs. This will only increase over the coming years so Apple will push to convert iPad Windows users into iPad Mac users.

The Launchpad is a tool to help with this. It's a marketing gimmick that you, the Mac user, can safely ignore!

9. iCloud

iCloud promises to be the biggest improvement to the whole Apple experience since the launch of the iPad. Today, document management across iOS and Mac environments is a joke. Sending files back and forth to yourself in order to keep them up to date is something out of the nineties.

There are a number of clunky workaround solutions available but you can get that Apple will get this right when iCloud is released.

iCloud should make all your important documents keep up to date by 'magic' across your Mac and iOS devices.

ICloud is included in Lion, but it's not working just yet. Apple have already released developer updates to Lion containing improved iCloud builds. Once iCloud is working under Lion you will be able to share documents across OSX computers. We will have to wait for iOS 5 to see the real benefits of iCloud.

10. App Store

As we've reviewed before, the App Store is a huge step forward for buying Mac apps. For the user, it is super-easy to buy reliable, tested software. For us Developers, its an easy way to get good apps out in front of millions of new customers.

The Mac App Store came out in January 2011 but was only available to users who updated to the latest OSX Snow Leopard patch. Since most people don't seem to do this, Lion is the first time that we will see widespread rollout of the Mac App Store.

The Bottom Line

Out of everything listed above, the only thing in Lion that will affect you short term is the new Document model. This will only impact you if you use the iLife products as Microsoft may not jump onto this.

If you didn't upgrade to get the Mac App Store in January, Lion will give you the Mac App Store for the first time.

As with most operating system updates, the update itself does very little for you straight away. It's the apps and updates that come in the next year that will make upgrading worthwhile.

My advice for Lion upgrades - do the upgrade, switch the trackpad back to normal and forget about it. iCloud and iOS 5 are the things to look out for later this year.

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