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Terran Interactive's Cleaner 5

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The questions
Some of our users out there will have two very good questions about Cleaner 5: Does it work with the hardware you got with your Media Cleaner Power Suite, and is there a "lite" version available? As you might know, the Media Cleaner Power Suite was a high-end version of Media Cleaner Pro 4 that shipped with, among other things, an Ultra BlueICE board to accelerate compression. Since the time of the Power Suite's release,
Media 100, the parent company of Terran Interactive, purchased the technology behind the ICE, but they have yet to offer a hardware solution for Cleaner 5 and have not given any indication of their future plans. So, no, Cleaner 5 will not work with your Power Suite hardware.

As for a "lite" version, one is not available yet, but you can still download Media Cleaner EZ 4 for free for the Macintosh from (It also comes with a free version of EditDV.) No word yet on when an EZ version of Cleaner 5 will be available. But keep in mind that Media Cleaner EZ 4 was not free when it was first released and that, while it offers the same great compression as Media Cleaner Pro, it didn't have all the same features.

You might also be wondering whether any options are available for Cleaner 5. Yup. There's MPEG Charger and MPEG SuperCharger. MPEG Charger adds variable bit rate encoding to Cleaner 5, while SuperCharger adds VBR and hardware acceleration via a PCI card. I haven't gotten a hold of these two yet, but information is available on Terran's Web site.

You can also purchase the Cleaner 5 Compression Suite, which includes Cleaner 5, Sorenson Video Developer Edition and QDesign Music Codec Professional Edition. Codecs can also be purchased separately. (The Compression Suite runs $1,399.)

The bottom line
Assuming you've never touched any version of Media Cleaner, do yourself a favor and first download the free version from the link above. Use the Settings Wizard to play around with some options, and watch the results. You will be amazed with the final file size and quality. Now try to quantify your joy as a number between one and 10. Multiply that number by 1,000, and that's the dollar value of the experience you can expect from Cleaner 5. If the number came out to be higher than $599 (the retail price of Cleaner 5), you are obligated by law to purchase it.

For those of you who do use Media Cleaner Pro, you're probably already sold anyway. The upgrade price is $179 and well worth it. If you happened to have purchased Media Cleaner Pro (including the Compression Suite) after Sept. 10, you can upgrade for $49, but you have to upgrade before Dec. 1 to get this deal, and that's just a little more than a week away. Get yourself an early Christmas present. Our recommendation: strong buy.

For more information, visit

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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital DTP; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, DCC Designer, DCC Workstation, Digital DTP, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.

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