Graphic Popcorn 3

Popcorn 3
Manufacturer: Roxio
Retail Price: $49.99

When I first received my copy of Popcorn from Roxio to review I was expecting software that copies DVDs. It's interesting software because, at first glance, it almost seems illegal. Roxio imports DVDs, VIDEO_TS, MPEG 2 and other formats and copies them to a DVD. That would seem to infer that you could take a DVD that you'd rented from a video store and copy it. That's not the case. Roxio is careful to note that Popcorn only works with unprotected DVDs. Most commercial DVDs are encrypted. Except in rare cases your personal DVDs aren't.

So with a few clicks you can take an unprotected DVD such as one made with iDVD of your vacation along the Yuba River and quickly back it up or make an extra DVD for a friend. To be honest, until I made my first copy, I didn't see the advantage of using Popcorn over burning another disk in iDVD. Afterwards, the difference was plain: time and ease.

Popcorn copied my DVDs quickly and simply. I found Popcorn so easy to use that I copied my first disk without having to read the manual. That's the mark of a good Macintosh app.

But Popcorn's more compelling features aren't DVD copying. Popcorn will take your videos, including those that you've imported onto your Mac through TiVo or El Gato's EyeTV, and burn it to a DVD or send it to a device like an iPhone or Apple TV. So, instead of purchasing a television show from iTunes, you can use Popcorn to load up your iPhone for your next plane trip. You can also take a dual-layer disk and compress it to a single layer DVD.

But all wasn't perfect with Popcorn. I had problems with my review copy and Leopard 10.5.2. Although it went through the installation process, the boxed version refused to launch. I went to the Roxio website and downloaded the latest update and it performed flawlessly.

I found Popcorn to be an easy to use and recommend to anyone needing to copy DVDs or download them to a portable device.


Review by NCMUG member James Bleifus