The activation system that MediaShout uses enables you to run MediaShout on the number of computers you're licensed for, and we want you to understand the process and the importance of managing your activations carefully.
When you activate a computer, the activation system stores a digital 'key' on your computer, and it also records the date and time that you activated the computer, as well as a unique installation ID number that identifies the system that was activated. Every time you run the software it checks for the presence of an activation key, and if it's present it continues to run. If not, it asks you to activate (or re-activate) the computer.
With each version, there is also a "phone-home" process that needs to take place every so often to confirm that the computer is an allowed and current activation (to prevent piracy or volunteers leaving with your license if they leave your church). If your system is not connected to the internet to do this check when you open MediaShout, then we recommend that you do an "offline" activation or contact us for help if you have already activated it online and we will work with you to make a more appropriate setting for your situation.
If you decide to take a computer out of service, the best way to preserve that license for reuse on another computer is to open MediaShout and go to Tools > License Manager and select 'Deactivate'. If you're connected to the internet that will remove the license from the computer and send it back to the activation server. Once that is done you can immediately use that activation on another computer. (If you do not have an internet connection it's still possible to deactivate the system, but you'll need to give us a call and we can do that over the phone.)
Occasionally -- when they have lost track of where their licenses have been used -- a customer will ask if we can deactivate all of their computers. Due to the way this system works, we cannot simply deactivate all of your computers and then have you re-activate the ones you need. To be able to do that we'd need to have access to each computer to remove the activation key -- and that's not possible. Because of this, it is very helpful if you record the date and time of each activation along with the installation ID and a description of the computer being activated. An activated computer can be identified by opening MediaShout and going to Help > About MediaShout (in v4.5), and noting the first 10 digits of the 32 digit number shown in the box under "This product is licensed to". Or go to Tools > License Manager (in v5) and note the first 10 digits of the Computer ID that is displayed there. In V6, this is found in the "i" in the top right of the program.
Because your activation key is written to the hard drive in your computer, we strongly recommend that you deactivate MediaShout before any intensive disk maintenance, partioning, or operating system upgrades. It's possible that your activation key would survive those changes, but it's also possible -- and more than likely -- that it wouldn't. To prevent a problem that only we can fix, you'll be better off to deactivate, perform your maintenance and then re-activate MediaShout.
If you encounter a problem with managing your activations, the best way for us to fix that is to have you identify the systems that you currently have activated and in use. You may be able to avoid this trouble by either deactivating systems that you remove from service or calling us when one catastrophically fails and have us adjust the activation record to reflect that. We will do our best to be of assistance in these cases, but it is always in your best interest to be proactive in managing where your licenses are in use, and knowing what computers have been activated.