I've been using it for the best part of a year with EX1 and EX3. While it does do essentially the same copying with CRC check as Clip Browser, it is very quick and can copy automatically to several locations at once. It's been worth the price to me.
I've used it for a year as well with good results. Verified copying to several drives at once is great. What is not great is the email this week announcing the forced $50 upgrade to Shotput Pro. Basically, after next month,if you do not upgrade, you'll be screwed when you want to move your license to another computer. So if you have a hard disk crash etc, you'll have to buy the software all over again. Not cool.
I wonder if they're doing this because they're in some difficult financial situation and if they don't force the entire base to jump (and cover the R&D for the changes they made) they may fold. Keep in mind products like this server a very small niche and since many of their products are really improvements on free products rather than necessities, they may have seen new purchases drop severely.
Good point, Craig, and well said. As a small business owner, I've felt the pinch big time. However, if I tried solving my personal financial crisis by telling clients to cough up another 50 bucks, or their video may stop working, I think most would say fold it 4 ways and stick it where the moon don't shine. I paid (their asking price) for this software and if it gets corrupted for some reason (requiring reactivation) I don't think I should have to pay again. I don't feel I should have to pay for the changes they've made after the fact, that I don't need. Chiefly Primera Bu-Ray archiving that requires a huge hardware investment as well.
From their email:
This is your last chance to upgrade single format Shot Put versions (EXpress, RED, P2) to the current Shot Put Pro.
Since we no longer offer these applications you must upgrade to PRO in order to move the software between computers or activate. (The old activation server is no longer available so it is not possible to activate these applications--you'll receive an error message.)
Take advantage now of all the improvements PRO has to offer like multiple formats, faster offloading, Primera Blu-ray archive support and more for only $49.
This last chance upgrade price will expire July 31, 2009.
I had an issue with the Boomerang Data Recovery software people, I had purchased it a few months before they decided to make the next version pay to play. Yes they changed it and then without saying they had changed it with their free upgrade, I had to pay more money for something that I thought was a program license I had already purchased. By downloading the free software the license changed to a pay per usage situation. After I contacted them they said I could go back to the original version but after 3 months went by and without ever using the program I received an email telling me I violated my license and it was revoked. I asked them to prove it and I never heard from them again. I wouldn't ever do business with this company again. The original price was $200 and it never recovered any data when I deleted 4 clips last year from an SxS card.
Basically they're EOL (end of life) their current products so it seems. Unfortunately this is not uncommon.
Think of how Serious Magic / Adobe Ultra users felt when they were shut down (activation ended I believe).
In the non video world there was Qualcom Eudora in which they ended activation.
I bet somewhere in their EULA statement it gives them the power to do this. They aren't ending your use of the product as is but ending re-activation. I too would question the ethics behind this but software based companies have a business model that doesn't jive many times with the rest of the world.
BTW there are situations where there are limited time rights in video. I remember working on a PBS project in which rights to air programs were limited and too expensive or time consuming for them to renew. While they were preserving such programs (my part of that project) they would not be able to air them again. That's sort of like the video stopped running in your example. Basically they could keep and preserve but could not use publicly, programs which I'm sure were quite expensive to produce.