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EasyVideoSuite Review

In 2010, I published a review of Easy Video Player 2.  Since most of the other so-called reviews for this product online were just promotional hype-fests and mine actually pointed out some flaws in the software, the post was a bit controversial.

The “sequel” to EVP2 has just generated a lot of buzz with a big launch and I’m already getting questions about it, so I decided I should publish a review of EasyVideoSuite as well. As usual, what you’ll find here is not my participation in the launch of the product. It’s an actual review, not an advertisement.

With that said, let’s get right to it.

Overview

Name: Easy Video Suite
Creator: Josh Bartlett
Medium: Video Player
Price: $297 (+$97 for commercial/whitelabel license)

EasyVideoSuite has two components: a desktop application and a hosted (or optionally self-hosted) online tool.

The EVS Desktop App

Here’s a quick video tour of the desktop software component in EVS:


In summary, the desktop app does three things:

  1. Record screencast videos.
  2. Convert video files to a web-optimized format.
  3. Upload videos to your EVS hosted app and to YouTube.

The EVS Online App and Player

Here’s a tour of the online component of EVS. As a double-demonstration, the video below is shown in an EVS player, which has been blinged out with several of the available features:

So, What’s Wrong With It?

Let’s not beat around the bush. You aren’t reading a review on activegrowth.com because you want to know about all the things this product does right. There are approximately half a million other “reviews” out there, that are only about how great EVS is.

What you want to know is: is it actually any good? Or is it rubbish? What are the bad things about this piece of software, that nobody else is talking about?

As mentioned in the video, the  way social buttons are shown, when you add them below the video is not optimal.  I suspect you’d get more shares if it just displayed the official Twitter, Facebook and Google+ buttons that everyone is accustomed to, instead of showing custom button graphics. Also,t he cheesy “shiny” effect on the bar looks out of place

I love the fact that EVS lets you easily add chapters to any video, but the implementation in the player is less than ideal (see video above). The chapter markers float awkwardly on top of the video and there’s no way to show them below the play bar. There’s also no way to permanently display the play bar, so that the chapter markers would look less out-of-place.

On that note, it’s also not possible to show the play bar below the video area. The bar always covers the bottom of the video, when it’s visible.

As you can see, there are a few niggling issues with EasyVideoSuite, but I’m really nit-picking.

Is it Actually Good, Then?

Most importantly, I can’t find any fundamental flaws in EVS. EVP2 had a big flaw, which was the loading times. The video player itself could take up to several seconds before it even appeared on the page and depending on the video size, it could take another 5-20+ second before the video would start. Worst-case scenario: half a minute or more before your video plays. Within half a minute of forced waiting time, you’ll easily lose 80% of your visitors.

And even if it just takes a few seconds, that’s still a big deal. Site speed is massively important and it will only become more important in the future.

I’m happy to report that EasyVideoSuite does not suffer from this same issue. The player loads instantly and if you set it to auto-buffer and stream via CloudFront, initiation speed is good and there should be no issues with buffering, even for visitors on slower connections.

The greatest accomplishment of this piece of software is that it really lives up to its name. You do get a full suite of tools to use and it is very easy to use. As mentioned in the video, the developers did a very good job of presenting a ton of functionality in an intuitive user interface.

Will it revolutionize your business and forever change the face of online video marketing? No.

But it will be a very useful tool for you, if video-marketing is something you do. Will you make use of features such as opt-in gating, interactive events in videos, social sharing and more? Will you take the time to look at your video analytics and make decisions and changes based on them? Will you take the time to set up multiple videos to split-test? If so, then EasyVideoSuite is well worth the investment.

How Does it Compare?

If you’re wondering how it compares to using a free platform like YouTube, then you need to read this post first.

As you may know, my preferred video service for the last couple of years has been Wistia. It is head and shoulders above any other video service I’ve used before or since.

The question is: does that change, now that EVS is on the scene?

I have to admit, it’s a close call. Right now, EasyVideoSuite has more features than Wistia and especially the fact that you can have opt-in and share-gates in videos represent quite a significant advantage for some forms of online marketing.

The obvious difference is that Wistia is a service you pay for on a monthly recurring basis, while EasyVideoSuite is sold for a one-time fee. However, you have to keep in mind that with EVS, you’ll still have to pay recurring bills for the Amazon servers that your content will be hosted on and streamed from. EVS is not something you will pay for only once and then use forever!

Yes, Amazon S3/CloudFront is cheap, but with heavy video use, you’ll soon be paying three-figure monthly sums, whether you use Wistia or EVS. The price should not be the determining factor, between the two.

Ultimately, if you’re already using one of the two, there aren’t compelling reasons to switch. If you’re starting from scratch or using an inferior solution, it’s a difficult call to make. I’d say EVS has a slight edge, at the moment. Wistia add new features at a steady pace and EVS will probably also be updated regularly, so it will remain interesting.

Conclusion

EasyVideoSuite is a very well designed and fully-featured video player. There are some minor flaws, but none of them are deal-breakers and the brilliant user interface makes up for it.

If video marketing is a thing you do or want to start doing, you won’t regret getting EasyVideoSuite.

Shane's Signature

Shane
 

I'm Shane Melaugh and I'm the guy writing most of the posts on this blog. My goal is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to grow your business by creating compelling offers, driving traffic and increasing conversions.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 32 comments
Mike - January 18, 2013

It’s refreshing to read a non-biased review for once, rather than another sale pitch – thanks!!

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chad - January 19, 2013

Shane, one thing which I think was left behind(and I believe zillion of reviews out there didn’t touch on this as well) is this question;

Does EVS integrate well with WordPress?!

Thanks for the review which didn’t end with a long list of bonuses, which ppl don’t have time to read let alone consuming those bonuses:)

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    Shane - January 19, 2013

    Hi Chad,

    Thanks for your comment!

    Yes, EVS works well with WordPress. There are two options:
    1) Just insert the embed code in HTML mode, in the WP editor.
    The problem with this is that WordPress will destroy the code if you switch back to visual editing mode. I don’t know why, but WordPress just loves to mess with your code, when you switch.

    2) As a solution, there’s an EVS WordPress plugin that you also get when you purchase EVS. With it, you can just click a button, select the video you want to embed form a list and you’re done. Using the plugin, you also don’t have to worry about the code disappearing when you switch editing modes.

    Reply
      chad - January 21, 2013

      Thanks for the response, Shane.

      My experience with EVP2 is that even though I use the plugin I can’t find the video(or the code) anywhere once I inserted it… not on visual editing mode or on the html mode. When I view the page it’s there though. So, in a way, once it’s there and inserted I just can’t get rid of it, because it can’t be found on the WP editing mode pages:)

      Just for this reason I stopped using EVP2…and I was wondering if the same issue is there for EVS.

      I’m aware that WordPress has issues with switching the editing modes but “losing” the video and its code in the editing mode is not a fun experience as you may guess.

      Anyways, not to talk bad behind the product. It looks like it’ll sell well especially for the newbies. But honestly, I don’t see why an EVP user should switch to EVS when the video editor is extremely basic and a free software like Handbrake can take care of the formatting side of the equation.

      Reply
Bob Marconi - January 20, 2013

Could only listen to this review because a pop-up about a case ‘study’ came up a covered good part of the window. Would not go away when clicking the “X”…

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    Shane - January 20, 2013

    Uh oh… what device/browser are you on? Looks like a bug that needs fixing.

    Reply
      Wayne Cochrane - January 21, 2013

      I have a experience with the (Free Case Study) popup Shane.

      Pops up in the bottom right hand corner and covers about 20% of the screen. Has two overlaid X buttons that when clicked reload the same page in a new tab, with the popup still in place in both pages.

      I was using FireFox 18.0 and now FireFox 18.1.
      Same problem with both versions.

      Wayne.

      Reply
      Paul - January 21, 2013

      That’s really strange – I’m using Firefox 18.1 and can’t replicate this at all yet I’ve had other people mention the same to me about this Firefox issue. Proving a tough one to track down this…

      Reply
      Paul - January 21, 2013

      OK, I’ve spent most of the morning looking at this – Hybrid version 2.11 is released with what I’m hoping is a fix – although I’ve still not been able to replicate so very much in the dark on this one!

      Reply
Sean Daily - January 20, 2013

Shane, awesome, authentic, unbiased content as always. Thanks for being a candle in the darkness that is IM content! Reinforced my decision to upgrade from EVP to EVS and also gives me some perspective about them vs Wistia which I have also found some use for with client websites. For my own sites, EVS is definitely what I want due to the feature set.

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Norm - January 20, 2013

Hi Shane,

As always thanks for your super work! Normally I just learn but this time around I have an alternative. Will wonders never cease??

I use the AVS Studio. The link: http://www.avs4you.com … $59 for a forever license. It’s a cloud suite. Price is normally $99. The lower price is advertised good thru January 2013.

What AVS does not offer is the player. However for the money you get a superb video editor which also has Camtasia-like features. Well, the Camtasia screen capture feature wasn’t working so good, but they said they fixed it. I haven’t verified this. Regardless, it’s a full featured editor chock loaded with goodies. When you’re done you can record your masterpiece to several different popular formats and specs to work with just about any service like YouTube. This takes out the guesswork for the final upload video. I LIKE this editor.

More, since it’s a suite you get a full featured multi-track sound mixer, video conversion tools, and a whole slew of other modules too numerous to even mention here. Look at their page to see what I’m talking about.

I’m not selling it, nor do I have any relatives who work there. Just using it.

While I’d rather have, say, some kind of slick Adobe video editor, well, I can’t afford it. For the money, this is a dead serious no brainer. While it takes more steps to make a vid than a high priced product, with patience you can do nearly anything you can imagine. The only thing it lacks is a video squeeze. But it does have a chroma key. A chroma key is the thing the weather guys use to put the fake map behind them. There is also a simpler audio editor embedded in the video editor.

The AVS audio mixer is also particularly high function. It’s about like a 4x version of Cool Edit.

If you or a reader are unfamiliar with Cool Edit or chroma key and such, don’t worry. Just understand that the positive comparisons lends value to the AVS stuff.

So, if you have any intention of ever doing vids you ought to grab a license while it’s nearly half price. Even at the regular price of $99 it’s still a steal.

Maybe you would do a review of the AVS suite sometime Shane and check out my glowing testimonial.

My good deed for the day.

Norm

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Nick - January 21, 2013

The review video was buffering a lot for me although the other one about the desktop app served by Wistia played without problem. Is that an Amazon S3 issue or an EVS problem?

One thing I don’t like about EVS is that you have to pay an extra $97 for the commercial license if you don’t want a branded player. I think if you’re paying for a product you should get the unbranded version. It’s like your paying them to advertise their product!

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    Shane - January 21, 2013

    That’s an Amazon S3 issue. I’ve not activated CloudFront distribution for EVS yet, so it’s a bit slower. I’ve also not set this video to auto-buffer, because it’s not the first thing on the page. Most visitors will not watch it, so having it auto-buffer would be a waste of bandwidth.

    I agree with the branding thing.
    To clarify: the “Powered by Wistia” band on my videos is not mandatory. With Wistia, there is no front-end branding at all, unless you use the free plan.

    Reply
      Nick - January 21, 2013

      Thanks for clarifying the buffering issue. I’m about to sign up for an Amazon S3 account so the CloudFront aspect is obviously important. Knowing about auto-buffering is also useful if a video is a primary element on a landing page.

      Cheers

      Reply
michael duvall - January 21, 2013

If you use EVS and upload a video to youtube. Does, amazon still charge you for the views on youtube??

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Henk Vos - January 21, 2013

Hi Shane,

Interesting review…

I’ve looked hard at it but since I already have
Camtasia
Handbrake (for conversion optimisation)
Cloudfront
EVP 1
etc

I could not justify the additional expenditure given that they make you pay $97 to remove the branding – that’s just off!

Cheers

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michael duvall - January 21, 2013

Thank You for the answer and as always, your great Content”‘lol

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Paul Grimm - January 21, 2013

Hi Shane,

I am just getting started in video. Have left it way too long. My plan in the works is to create videos using powerpoint slides.

My question is this:

Do I need Camtasia to record the vids and something like EVS to process them or is Camtasia adequate both for posting vids on youtube and for imbedding on web sites like wordpress sites?

Paul Grimm

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    Nick - January 21, 2013

    In PowerPoint 2010 and above (not sure about earlier versions) you can export direct to video. No need for screen capture software.

    Reply
    Shane - January 21, 2013

    EVS will get you started. As Nick mentioned, there’s also some built-in capability in Powerpoint, although that won’t help if you want to record anything outside of the slides, as far as I know.

    I suspect you’ll soon want better editing capabilities, though. At least for me, editing is really important. I can’t ever make a good video in one take.

    You can probably take EVS files and edit them in a different (perhaps even free/open source) editor, if you want to save on the rather expensive Camtasia, for now.

    Reply
      Nick - January 22, 2013

      Just to follow up on this, I’ve previously used a free screen capture program called BB Flashback Express. In its free version it’s obviously not as fully featured as Camtasia but it may be enough for casual use.

      Reply
Hector - January 28, 2013

I’m using Camtasia, it’s also good but the chapter markers on EVS are cool.

Hey Shane, I have a question a bit off topic here:
I read your Blog network and Link building software articles, They are great reviews!
I am doing SEO in German Deutsch, giving the fact that you do SEO in Switzerland Deutsch, I wanted to know which blog netowrk or backlink software would you reccomend?
I was about to buy magic submitter but I asked MS is the software had or could scrape websites in Deutsch and he was unsure…

Reply
    Shane - January 28, 2013

    I’m currently not using any tools for SEO and I never had any German sites, so I’m afraid I can’t help you with that question. Sorry.

    Reply
jay venka - February 8, 2013

Shane, the review looks good, we can see the difference in the two videos, one with Wistia and one with EVS clearly

both are unique in their own ways.. For beginners i prefer EVS and for advanced marketers, Wistia can have an edge.

Thanks
jay

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    Shane - February 8, 2013

    Thanks, Jay!

    That’s a good way of looking at it. I agree that EVS might be a better solution to start out with.

    Reply
dennis - February 13, 2013

Hello Shane, I have been reading all the reviews and you do an awesome job. And I thank you for sharing this great super information.

I am going to be building a membership site, and it will be all video training,so what would be better to use for hosting them. Amazon s3 or Wistia. I would appreciate any help if you can, because its all new to me. thanks Dennis.

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federico - February 19, 2013

Hi Shane, I bought evs. I have found many problem with internet explorer. for the payer and the buy button.

other people have the same problem?

thanks

PS: i love evs

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Christian - June 11, 2014

I appreciate the honest review. The squeeze page seems to promise the world and you have broken down the hype very constructively without bad mouthing the tool. I personally use Wistia just because I hate amazon S3. My wife had the opportunity to attend Wistiafest this year and they have some really cool things planned. Look for Wistia to offer more capability in their upcoming platforms. Thanks for the review.

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Keith LeBlanc - December 2, 2014

Thanks for the unbiased review. It was very helpful and informative, which is a hard combination to find these days.

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Paul d - April 28, 2015

Top work Shane, I thought I was going mad not being able to reference any honest appraisals without the hype and squeeze nonsense… even forums are overun with paid protagonists.. this is worrisome.

For me my site must be slick, i want S3 +cloudfront going forward with a simple player that is sleek. I may go Wistia now so put off by the tacky EVS pages and also by the ridiculous lookj of the player. To me this is shameful and would actually detract from the professional presentation of the material.

How anyone can take that seriously as a presentation tool for their videos is beyond me. If you want split marketing why not do it properly and simply use analytics across two compared tuimeframes?

Id like to go Vimeo pro but going forward I dont like the idea of iFrames and apparently Vimeo doesnt work well with HTTPS which is a massive no no for me.

I will thus so far whittle it down to use Camtasia + S3 + Cloudfront as this option gives me most control and either wistia or video.js as i hear JWplayer is troublesome. Also wanted viddler but I hear video quality is so so.

So next up then, video security with s3 my next headache.

Good work Shane, a breath of fresh air in a sea full of stage managed glee that has been utterly counterproductive to their “cheap” AVS branding and image thus far.

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