Rating What's Hot:
This is a product that you could never accuse of being short on features. This is truly a Swiss Army knife type of tool. For video conversion, you can convert from just about any type of video file to MPEG 1 or 2, WMV, or AVI formats; you can even convert video to Flash (.FLV) and more. For audio conversion, you can convert just about any type of audio file (including CD) to MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, and more.
Note: all these conversions are “two way," where any of its output file types can also serve as input file types and vice versa. The utility also provides for compression, editing, batch processing ,and so on for each type of file it works with.
The feature set is so broad in fact that you can mimic Windows Media Player’s ability to rip the tracks from a CD and allow the application to get album and track information from the Internet. Blaze Media Pro uses GraceNote for this information.
My experiment was with a song by one of my daughter’s “tween" vocalists, from a Walt Disney CD. I chose this one because the disc generally spins up in a computer as a Flash application rather than the default behavior of a normal CD. Plus, it’s fairly new and had the best chance of not being identified by the CDDB at GraceNote. My initial guess was right; the application couldn’t find the album or track information. It was, however, able to find the information for other conventional audio discs without a problem.
I also experimented with a video track. This one was from a customer of mine who wanted a video (.WMV) set up to play on their website. They received the file as a fairly large Windows Media Video file from the TV station. I used Blaze Media Pro to resize and compress the video, add a title and closing slide (just images I made in my image editor), and then output the file as a .FLV (Flash Video) file, which I could stream into a conventional Flash (.SWF) file embedded into the customer’s web page. There were no problems with any of the operations at all.What's Not:
While the application strives to do a lot of things, and it does a lot of things well, there were some issues. At one point I received an out-of-memory warning when struggling to grab my daughter’s CD information from GraceNote, and at a couple of points the video conversion would run but result in a converted unusable file of 0 bytes.
I’m sure with more experience using the product I would have overcome these issues, and I’m not surprised to find some things that didn’t work perfectly. I’ve found less than perfect functionality in A/V programs costing literally ten times what Blaze Media Pro costs, but they’re issues nonetheless.