Suddenly, a number of XRay users began e-mailing me with questions about a supposed version 4 (!), or saying that someone else had published an application with the same name, and that I should do something about it.

Well, I already knew there was a video app around called DivXRay (as well as dozens of Windows app with various spellings of the name), but nobody had ever confused them before… but upon checking more closely, there certainly was a new app there called XRay 4. Worse, their website made reference to “XRay 3” and “XRay 2”, and as you all know, I’m still working on XRay 2 myself… so something indeed had to be done.

I e-mailed Martin Hering, the author of the application, and in some few minutes we had a long conversation over iChat. He’s German too, so I got a chance to practice icon_wink.gif. Turns out he was indeed the author of DivXRay, took it with him when he left the company that formerly sold it, and had now shortened the name of the new version at the request (with a cease&desist, I suppose) of DivX.

He wasn’t at all overjoyed at the news that he would have to change the name again – especially since he’s already selling boxed CDs in German stores. However, XRay is a common enough word – although not in that particular spelling – so my intentions were just to avoid user confusion on VersionTracker and MacUpdate. We finally agreed that he would call the application “XRay Video 4” on those sites, and that we would link to each other’s sites to avoid user confusion; since our apps are not competitors, that’s quite satisfactory for me.

Well, there’s a lesson here: searching carefully for existing application names (and trademarks) is always advisable…