Sunday, May 6, 2012

Checking Out EZVid Movie Editing Software - Part 1

This shopping has me exhausted. I need to take a curiosity break. Spotted EZ Vid in the wild and I'm taking a look under the hood.  This software is designed for novice or casual users who want a quick way to create slideshow or photo/video movies.

It has some quirks but it does seem to do what they say it can do. This is a tutorial video from the vendor.

I have some concerns like I can't find a complete breakdown on what you can and can't does with the software. Now they do have a more information page.  They are forth coming with what the product is and what you can do.

Let me try to show you what I am getting at:

Supported Computers: Unknown, it seems if the software will run under Windows XP then it should be functional with Pentium level computers. I would think that having a Dual Core computer and above would be the proper level for operation.

Supported Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3, Vista, Windows 7

Memory Requirements: 1GB of RAM

Hard Drive Space for Operation: 5GB

Supported Video File Types: MOV, WMV some forms of 3GP, maybe MTS (?)

Supported Photo File Types: JPEG, PNG

Supported Audio Types: You cannot import your own music or audio files. The software has a bank of preloaded music from NATOarts that the user can select for their videos.

You can record your own narration through the software and then adjust the music to accompany the voice.

Something else you should know about the music. If you create a video using the music provided you might get a copyright flag notice from sites like YouTube. In the Terms of Service before software installation (Yeah, I actually read the Terms of Service) it states:
16. MONETIZATION ON UGC NETWORKS. Ezvid has licensed the Bundled Audio from NATOarts. Any uploads you make to UGC Networks (e.g. YouTube) may result in an automatic “claim” of the audio portion of your upload by NATOarts. This “claim” will not lead to strike against your account, however, you will be unable to claim and monetize this upload for yourself on the UGC network.
So loosely translated, it is possible that the automatic copyright sniffing robot on YouTube will detect that there is another video with this exact same music. You might get a notice from YouTube or the audio might get blanked out or something. Or nothing.

Wait, Monetization?

Not so fast. Also in the Terms of Service is the statement that you can't use this software for commercial purposes. And if an ad appears overlaying your video my understanding is that you don't get to profit because you used the software and/or the music that you had no choice in using in the first placed.

You own your own content. They own the software and NATOarts owns the music. I said it once and I'll say it again, free is not always free.

Didn't I mention that this is free software? Oops. Yep, it is.

More Questions

One more bothersome item. I don't like it when I can't contact a vendor other than an email form.
Gives me the willies. There is no alternative contact other than the forums, which do seem active and EZvid is currently responsive to questions..

From the Terms of Service I gather that it is a Los Angeles, California company.  If there is a legal problem or concern you might have to venture to the City of Angels to resolve it.

Another item is a line in the Terms of Service about Affiliates. What kind of affiliates are we talking here? NATOarts? Folks on commission pushing the software for side money?

I don't know.

Last question is about Google Analytics.
24. ANONYMOUS USAGE REPORTING.  Portions of this software use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”).  Google Analytics uses occasional HTTP requests, which are small packets of data sent from your computer to Google, to analyze how users use the Software. The information generated by the HTTP request will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the Software and compiling reports on software activity for Ezvid.  Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.
Now if you are a Google user you know full well Google is tracking your data for their own monitization goals.

I can understand a company wanting to know how users are doing with their software. What has me itchy is how many hands are in the soup. It could be EZvid, Google, law enforcement, RIAA, MPAA and who knows with the laws folks are trying to enact in Congress.

I ain't feeling the warm fuzzies about this. But I won't be using this computer too much longer so I am going to give it a go.

I should say that I have MalewareBytes and other antispyware detection. I didn't have any alerts so I'm going to give it a shakedown.

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