Thursday, September 1, 2011

JCopia Review

I recently received a request via email to do a product review on my blog. I did one of these software reviews last year: http://clogginsart.blogspot.com/2010/10/snapit-review.html, so I decided to try my hand at another one. This one is for Jiteco's JCopia 4.7.5466. JCopia 4.7 captures streaming video or audio and saves it as a file to your hard-drive.


I downloaded the program from the link in the email I got, and right off the bat, I was a little miffed. After the initial download of a very small (1.5Mb) file, JCopia required an additional download of .NET Framework 4.0 (48Mb) before it would install itself. Once I had allowed the .NET Framework download and JCopia had installed itself, I clicked on the icon to open it, and a little dialogue box came up and instructed me that I must now download the WinPCap library. What!






At this point I gave up. It always makes me a little suspicious when a new program keeps asking me to download more large files before it will operate. I know that JCopia probably runs on the .NET Framework, and it probably just needs a packet capture application like WinPCap to capture that audio and video streaming over a network, but WinPCap can also be used to gather and analyze all network traffic. I just don't know enough about Jiteco, the creators of JCopia, to give their little application anymore powerful controls over my system or network, and their official video doesn't give me anymore confidence. Who's narrating this? Borat?






Okay, this guy obviously has a heavy Russian accent. I'm sorry to be prejudiced, but Russia still has a terrible reputation for malware, spam and botnets. I'm always wary of anything on the web that looks like it originates from Russia. They still have a ways to go to live down their cybercrime image.


Besides, when it comes to capturing streaming video, I already have a great application, and it's free. RealPlayer. Since RealPlayer 11 they have added the ability to capture streaming video from tube sites and the like. If you have version 11 or later (I think 14 is the latest), you automatically have a free streaming video downloader as an addon to your browser. I know it works well in IE and Firefox. When I recently upgraded to Firefox 6.0 Firefox said the RealPlayer Downloader addon would no longer work, but it does. When a streaming video loads in my browser a "download this video" option pops up in the corner of the video, and if I want I can click on it.




RealPlayer has worked great for me so far. And there are many other free options. Youtube even gives you the option to download any of their non-protected videos. You just type save in front of the youtube address of the video you are watching and youtube gives you the option to save the streaming content as an .flv or an .Mp4. For instance: http://www.saveyoutube.com/watch?v=nr-SZXIVvuo lets you download a cool video of singing kittens. Actually, on second thought, I don't think saveyoutube.com is affiliated with Youtube, but even though it doesn't supply identity info, it appears to be safe.

5 comments:

  1. I just received the same email today. Do you think it's legit? Do you think it's safe?

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  2. I don't know if it really is safe. I'm suspicious as I said in the post. I don't think it would do anything too bad, but I suspect it could spy on you. I just can't find out enough about the company, Jiteco, and it's not worth it for me to try when RealPlayer is free and basically does the same thing.

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  3. I just got one of their emails as well: I think they must be spamming everyone who's got a blog! I was a bit suspicious about who they were, and so I was doing a bit of checking around, which is how I came across your "review".

    I'd very much agree with you. I didn't bother downloading the program and trying it out: I've at various times used different free flash video downloaders, of which I've found RealPlayer is by far the best and easiest to use. And they are not doing themselves any favours at all with that demo video.

    The only thing I did wonder is whether it would work with XTube videos, which RealPlayer doesn't seem to be able manage properly, but since they don't mention it specifically in their list of "sample" sites, my guess is that it probably doesn't. Either way, I'm not going to bother putting it to the test.

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  4. Thanks for the post--saved me a headache.

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  5. I got an email too. After reading this I decided against it. It's just too hinky.

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