As you know, Ryan started his own mono-thematic blog on ACD NMR software. In his recent posts he repeatedly praises the "multiplet reporter". It is a simple little piece of software, a sort of translator, that creates a formatted list of chemical shifts and J couplings starting from a table of the same values. As far as I know, it doesn't perform all the possible checks. For example, let's say you have hydrogen A coupled with hydrogen B. If you state that A gives a doublet with J = 7.3 Hz and B another doublet with J = 7.4, the program will not complain (will your reviewer?). I have never used the ACD processor and I may be wrong on this point. I have examined other programs that also have a "multiplet reporter", namely MestreNova and "iNMR reader". [The latter costs 30 or 40 times less than Ryan's product and has far better graphics].
The principle, however, is the same. Ryan says that the multiplet reporter is a killer application; he also gave me a lesson on the meaning of the expression "killer application".
I have a theory about it. They say: theories come and go, facts remain. In my theory what gets killed is the spectrometer. Most of the people don't like off-line processing because:
1) Why buying another program when we already paid a lot for the spectrometer software and its upgrades?
2) They want to seat in front of the spectrometer. It's the most coveted toy in the department and everybody's still a child.
I loved sitting at the spectrometer even when the monitor was placed on top of the electronic console and the noise of the fans was too near to my hears. I had to struggle against their hypnotic power. You know, we Italians like pasta and it's difficult to remain awake after lunch, almost impossible when the fans are going and each Fast Fourier Transform takes from 20 to 30 seconds...
Afterwards I had my own NMR software to use, and it was more funny to use a PC or the Mac. For the rest of us, who don't usually write their own NMR software, the spectrometer fascination remains intact.
The multiplet reporter is the bridge between NMR software and MS Office (or Open Office for some users). It only makes sense if you copy and paste the text into a report (paper, patent, thesis, etc...). Who can use a spectrometer to write a paper? You have no excuse, you can't do it. The bottom line is: we finally have something to convince people to process NMR spectra away from the spectrometer.
To further explore the subject Ryan points to a movie that amply demonstrates how ugly the aliased graphics of ACD are by today's standards. I have no movie. You can get iNMR reader 2.3 from here (requires Mac OS 10.4) or see the "J Manager" in picture or wait for iNMR 2.3 (to be released on Monday).