Blogblog 


06

January '11

TapeDeck on the Mac App Store

Going forward, TapeDeck will be available for purchase exclusively through the Mac App Store. I feel that the Mac App Store and TapeDeck are a great fit.

Based on my experience with supporting TapeDeck’s customers, I learned that it is very common for folks to purchase the application sight-unseen, and then they have trouble registering the app, or simply forget to.

What’s worse is when I get a gut-wrenching email from a paying customer that tried to record a meeting, only to realize that TapeDeck cut out after 5 minutes because it is in trial mode.

When I encountered situations like the above, it made me wonder whether TapeDeck was better suited to a pay-to-download model. Or, if it should exist as boxed software (which I get asked about quite a bit.)

Handling licensing and registration is a difficult problem, and I think I’ve handled it well in Capo and FuzzMeasure. However, both of those applications serve very different markets (which include products requiring hardware dongles, networked license servers, etc.)

TapeDeck’s customers have made it clear to me that licensing and demo limitations are the largest blemish on TapeDeck’s reputation. I am so glad to finally offer an improved solution for customers from now on.

I am also looking forward to a better track record for product updates in the field. Many customers requesting support appear to still be using older copies of the software, having chosen to disable the automatic Sparkle updates. I can only assume that the Mac App Store will make this a better experience by offering system-wide update checking.

Free updates to the 1.x product will continue for paid customers of TapeDeck. It means a bit of extra maintenance on my part, but I will do my best to keep my existing customers happy.

If you haven’t already, head over to the Mac App Store and check out TapeDeck. Maybe buy a copy for a friend as a gift, if you already have one for yourself… :)

29 Comments

Tim

Months ago

Great idea – congrats on the move to the app store. This is a win for your customers and should be one for you too – hope this proves out.


lui

Months ago

Too bad – you’ll be losing customers.

I’m against locked, proprietary, single company controlled distribution model. And the faster MacStore becomes “the only source” for apps – the faster Jobs and Co will go to hell..

Sad times ahead…


MSK

Months ago

Will Capo go this way too? I think it is a great idea. Simpler license and update model. For me the App stores have made me buy more software than ever before.


Chris

Months ago

I assume this wouldn’t run on PowerPC anyway since neither will the App Store?


chris

Months ago

@Chris: The demo at http://tapedeckapp.com works on G4 machines (10.5+), and a license can still be purchased in that case. See http://tapedeckapp.com/buy.html for further details.


Hamranhansenhansen

Months ago

Too bad – you’ll be losing customers.

Based on what? Your gut feeling? Your politics? Apple is not known for losing customers, and the App Stores have expanded the market for native apps dramatically. Just yesterday alone, 2 of my friends who have never before installed a native app on any computer (except iPhone) installed multiple apps each from Mac App Store. And both were delighted! So even if developers lose crusty old ideologues like you, they will gain 100 enthusiastic new-to-native users in your place and everybody wins, including you who is free to use Windows, where only malware self-installs.


David V.

Months ago

@lui: Why?

(I’m asking a sincere question — not a rhetorical one. I.e., what wrong with Apple distribution model? Previously there was one source for TapeDeck; now there is still one, but it’s arguably more convenient. Where is the hurt for customers?)


Florent V.

Months ago

I kind of understand your concerns with support for this application. But I’m wary of what the Mac App Store is doing to the Mac ecosystem. As a user, I can see a few downsides to the App Store:

  • Less control for power users like me. What happens if an application — or the version you bought a few years or months ago — is not available anymore on the store, and you have to reinstall your computer or migrate your data to a new one? As a power user, I avoid this risk when I backup my apps (zip or dmg + license keys).
  • Paying the 30 per cent Apple tax. Mixed feelings about that.
  • The end of upgrade pricing.
  • No test-before-you-buy. I’m not a big fan of lite versions and crippled demos (though you managed that quite well in Capo and TapeDeck).

I wonder what the economic rent provided by App Stores will do to the OS market(s). Will Apple get lazy? Will they work more on OSX if it generates big bucks? Will OSes, and perhaps even hardware, become free/cheaper to drive customer adoption of the platform, with profits coming from distribution fees from app stores? We’ll see.


Florent V.

Months ago

Anyway, I’m glad I bought Capo 2 a few days ago, before you can be tempted to distribute it through the App Store only. (By the way, I see that it’s not in the App Store for now. Did you submit TapeDeck first to test the waters?)


Riccardo Mori

Months ago

Does that mean that TapeDeck will become a Mac OS X 10.6-or-higher application? What about those users still on Mac OS X 10.5?

RM


chris

Months ago

Riccardo: I will continue to offer 10.5/ppc support as long as TapeDeck carries the 1.x versioning. See http://tapedeckapp.com/buy.html for 10.5 user purchase details.

2.0 will very likely be 10.6 (or 10.7) and newer. Rest assured that work on 2.0 has not even begun, and there are still some free updates in the pipeline for TapeDeck users.


John Stracke

Months ago

You could have the trial version keep recording after 5 minutes, but encrypted. Then, if they pay, they get the decryption key. That way nobody who relied on it loses data.


Riccardo Mori

Months ago

Thanks for the prompt clarification, Chris.

Cheers! RM


chris

Months ago

@John: Not entirely a bad idea, but I’ll have to think about that one.


hcabbos

Months ago

lui, you’re joking right?! You actually sat down, pondered, and made a conscious decision of refusing to buy any product that’s issued in the “single, company controlled distribution model”? Dude, you have too much time on your hand. Please man up and tell us that was a joke. Get a life. There are a million and one issues that that mind of yours could be put to good use for, like world hunger, unemployment, children’s education…should I go on?


davesmall

Months ago

Great idea but I think you should also cut the price to about $5 from $25.

I believe Photoshop CS5 lists for about $600. Adobe doesn’t have it on the App Store. They should drop the price to around $30 and put it on the App Store.

The $600 price takes it out of reach for the general public and makes it a niche product for graphics arts professionals. I have a copy based on upgrades from previous versions so I know how great it is. If I had to pay the $600 I would not purchase and would never know what I’d be missing.

Suppose they were to cut the price to $30. They would then need to sell 20 times as many copies to generate the same amount of revenue. I don’t believe they’d sell 20 times more copies. I think it would be more like 2000 more copies.

Software is highly price elastic. Apple learned that from the iOS store. That’s why you see them unbundling iLife and iWorks and cutting the price of Aperture in half.

Tape Deck sounds like a useful program that I would only use occasionally. After reading about it, I think I’d go for $5 but not for $25. I also think you’d make a whole lot more money at the $5 price point.


wctaiwan

Months ago

@davesmall: Pricing also conveys the value of software. $600 attracts one kind of customers (people who can afford it, i.e. mostly professionals or people who got it from their organisation), $30 attracts another (“CS6 is such a minor upgrade! Why didn’t we get an upgrade pricing of $5????”). Once you devalue your software, it’s going to be very hard to make people believe it’s worth how much it’s actually worth again.


hcabbos

Months ago

I agree with @wctaiwan, at some point the line has to be drawn.


FrancescoK

Months ago

What about Capo? I’d love to see that on the App Store.


chris

Months ago

@FrancescoK: It will happen, eventually, but I can’t give you any dates. There is a bit of private API use in there, and some work that needs to be done to make it happen. At the moment I have real features and fixes to put into the software, which are a higher priority.


Brian

Months ago

Can we have Capo on the app store please? =( And for less money? =D It’s a great app, but I’m still using the demo, because 50 dollars is a lot of money to someone who doesn’t earn dollars… =\


grooveisamust

Months ago

Get Capo on the App Store now!!


FrancescoK

Months ago

Just seen that Capo is now available on the App Store. Fantastic! Thanks Chris.


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