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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    Seeking TextPipe or alternative (filter/replace)
    I've seen several very positive references on ABW to a product called "TextPipe Pro" (all from past years), and last week I downloaded the trial software and was quite pleased. I spent several hours setting up filters and quickly and effectively filtering dozens of ShareASale and CJ datafeed files. Of course, the trial version has several limits, including lines-per-file and number-of-files processed, which my needs far exceed.

    However, my attempts to place a $395 order for the full version of this product have failed, and the phone numbers listed on the company's (Data Mystic) web site are answered by machines that don't identify any company name. "Pre-sales support" emails have gone unanswered, as have queries sent through the company's unusual "in-software chat" mode. (The company is located in Australia, and I've called both their toll-free USA number and their international number to direct-dial Australia.) I'm concerned that even if I find a work-around to actually place the order and download an unlocked version of the software, the company might not be around to provide support or future upgrades.

    So now, despite being incredibly impressed with the apparent capabilities and performance of TextPipe Pro, it looks like I need to find another tool instead.

    What similar tools are you familiar with? I was using the trial version to:
    - remove embedded HTML,
    - handle character-mapping (converting all those unusual foreign characters and symbols embedded in many datafeeds),
    - make dozens of string substitutions (e.g. replacing
    + "<---CLICK HERE FOR LARGE IMAGE" with "",
    + all-caps words in product names with proper/title case, and
    + replacing strings like "Niker" with "Nike(R)" or "Nike&reg;"

    I'd appreciate any helpful feedback. Thanks!
    Last edited by markwelch; January 20th, 2009 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    2,973
    While continuing to search, I found that DataMystic offers an affiliate program through RegNow, promising $90 per sale in addition to $5 per sale paid by RegNow. But on their affiliate page, DataMystic provides HTML code that sends customers (through a Digital River/RegNow link) to their primary web site, which redirects all customers to another fulfillment entity (avangate) and not to RegNow!

    I suppose this is another signal that the company might not really be there any more.

    Added: And yet, despite the risk, I went ahead and placed my order through RegNow (Digital River). After my order was complete, I was prompted to download the software from Digital River, but after uninstalling the trial version and installing the downloaded version, when I launched the program it warned me that the software detected the presence of filters from a newer version of the software. Digital River delivered version 7.9, while DataMystic is at version 8.2. Fortunately, I was able to uninstall version 7.9, use a link to download the newer full version from the DataMystic web site, install the new version, and then when I launched the program, it accepted my "old" installation code.

    Bottom line: I think that TextPipe Pro is an amazing tool -- so useful that I was willing to spend $375.25 (yes, 5% cheaper than advertised) even knowing that the company might not even be there any more!
    Last edited by markwelch; January 20th, 2009 at 08:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    Ahh, that's too bad, I was a BIG fan of TextPipe back in my corporate days - the price was a little steep in my self-employed state.

    For my text needs, I now use TextPad, it has Macro functions, but haven't tested it with datafeeds.

    http://textpad.com/index.html

    I have also used this utility - looks complex at first glance (command line based), but after reading/testing, it's amazing. Allowed me to split bigger files into smaller category-based excerpts.

    http://stahlforce.com/dev/index.php?tool=rep
    http://stahlforce.com/dev/index.php?tool=filter

    Third.. I had a datafeed that was very inconsistent, so I put a job out on RentACoder - paid $50 for a custom script that did the trick. I can PM you the programmer info, if you like - he was thorough, and left me enough instructions that I could modify it myself.

    Hope some of this helps! I feel your pain, text scripts have always been a little confusing to me, and utilities like TextPipe have been a big help.

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    2,973
    FYI, the registered version of TextPipe Pro managed to filter through 139 ShareASale datafeeds (1.18GB of text, including CSN Stores [451MB] and TheNerds [106MB]) in 20.5 minutes. The filtering included removal of HTML, character mapping, removal of extra white space, conversion from pipe-delimited to CSV, and substitution of several dozen troublesome text strings.

    Now I'll start importing those files into the database, and within a few days I expect to have a much longer and more complex set of filters to apply -- but even then, the data still won't be very useful until I create another layer of filters within the database to properly re-categorize products.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 24th, 2007
    Location
    South East Asia
    Posts
    1,045
    AMWSO offers a free datafeed cleaning tool which might do what you need.

    http://www.amwso.com/affiliate_tools.php

    Edited to add: sorry, didn't read the end before I posted and see that you found a solution

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