I do screen casts about Microsoft stuff. I do them because I think Microsoft makes some really good products and I believe that they spend a lot of time and effort trying to make developers more productive. I also enjoy using their products. To date, I have been using Expression Encoder Screen Capture 3 and Expression Encoder 3 to create, edit and produce my screen casts. I find that the workflow is good and I figure since I already paying the MSDN Professional Subscription price (around $2000), why shell out a couple hundred more for Camtasia Studio.
All of that rational logic went out the window a few days ago.
Recently, Expression Studio 4 was released and, as I always do when there is an update, I went over to MSDN, downloaded and installed it. Good to go. I fired up Expression Encoder Screen Capture 4 and received a message stating that I will only be allowed to record my screen for 10 minutes.
OK I thought. Its new software. Maybe its just a bug with an easy workaround so I googled on Bing for “10 minute restriction Encoder 4” and found this post.
If you choose not to read it, it essentially says that this is not an error. One of the Microsoft moderators makes it clear in his post:
1. If you are using "Expression Encoder 4" (which also comes bundled on some MSDN SKUs of Studios), like Sam posted, there is a limit of 10 minutes and that’s intentional.
And he offered this helpful advice:
Of course, you could also screen cap multiple clips of ten minutes and merge them in Encoder.
So let me understand. If I want to record for more than 10 minutes with Encoder Screen Capture 4, something I did all the time in version 3, I need to shell out ANOTHER $500 to have that right?!!?!?!
What super smart person in the Microsoft pricing dept came up with this idea? Does anyone within Microsoft think that the person who came up with this idea may actually be working for Camtasia? If you aren’t thinking that, you should be. I simply will not pay another $500 for the right to record for more than 10 minutes. Ill be happy to give $299 to Camtasia for unlimed recording time.
I jumped over to Tweetdeck and posted the following on Twitter
“Expression Encoder 4 limits screen captures to 10 minutes unless I pay $500??? Come on Microsoft…are you begging me to use Camtasia???”
A couple of hours later I found the following message in my inbox:
I saw your tweet on twitter regarding the time limit on expression encoder screen capture. We found out that on some computers that screen capture is limited although the user has Pro or Pro Without Codec Encoder. We are working on it and I will keep you updated.
Sorry for the incontinence.
Here I need to give props to Microsoft. Not only did someone find my angry little tweet, they took the time to visit my blog and send me a message explaining the situation. Bravo.
That’s where the goodness ends though. Following the initial note, I traded 8 more emails with this Microsoft employee. After all the correspondence including screenshots of title bars and MSDN levels, I’m STILL not sure if at some point Ill be able to get a version of Encoder that allows me to create screen casts longer than 10 minutes. Sigh.
I guess Camtasia just made $299.00 and Microsoft is cornering the market on how to lose customers.
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