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Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:46 am

Been pondering this a bit and was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts. The whole business of the iPad and apps is truly an amazing thing. In our industry the stuff that can be picked up for a few quid to run on an iPad is mind boggling. IK's iRig is a good example, so is the Reactable http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reactable-mobile/id381127666?mt=8 not to mention matrix sequencers, drum machines, TC's polytune etc etc. Now the flaw in the iPad, from a serious music tech point of view, is that you can't integrate it with anything and you can't run two things at once. I play in a church worship band and it would be a beautiful thing to outfit everyone with an iPad that had all the written music on so you could dial up whatever song is conjured up next - even better if the band leader could "push" the right music to all musicians with the slide of a finger - and for me i'd like to be running Amplitube and the polytune at the same time - but you can't. Shame.

So, anyway, my question is about whether "apps" are ever likely to make it onto more open platforms. There are Windows 7 tablets on the way, like the ZooStorm SL8 http://www.zoostorm.com/News/5-zoostorm-launch-the-sl8-tablet-netbook.aspx that have the potential of being more useful to the performing artist (i think) but it all comes down to the software. If i have to run the full version of amplitube and Cubase, plus Sibelius and an ASIO audio interface it'll cost nearer £1000 in software alone as opposed to maybe 20 quid in apps. Maybe that's the point, maybe the iPad and apps are designed to be a toy exactly so that you can't actually do anything serious with it - therefore manufacturers of software aren't actually giving you good value anything, it's just a marketing ruse - an expensive advertising hoarding, that then gets people to buy the real thing to run on a real computer.......

Are apps the future of software? Would we ever see Cubase going for £3.99 on iTunes? Is there an alternative? I think the iPad is a beautiful piece of work - just wish it did more :)

Any philosophical thinkers out there?
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:02 pm

Looking at the spec of that Tablet it looks no more powerful than the current atom based kneebooks, which doubt would give you much joy trying to run Cubase 5 & Amplitude!

Maybe as the dual core atoms become more common, but even then running a fully fledged sequencer is still a while off. Cantable and a few plug ins through would be more likely I reckon, given the right I/O options.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby The Elf » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:16 pm

No matter what platform a typical commercial DAW is designed to run on, I can't see £3.99 being enough to feed a team of programmers to deliver it! :crazy:
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:45 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:Looking at the spec of that Tablet it looks no more powerful than the current atom based kneebooks, which doubt would give you much joy trying to run Cubase 5 & Amplitude!

Maybe as the dual core atoms become more common, but even then running a fully fledged sequencer is still a while off. Cantable and a few plug ins through would be more likely I reckon, given the right I/O options.
Yes, sure, but i'm looking at it conceptually rather than pragmatically, besides i've run Ableton live sessions from a netbook, with Novation guitar FX without problems. Technology aside do you see apps becoming how all software is delivered in the future?
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:56 pm

The Elf wrote:No matter what platform a typical commercial DAW is designed to run on, I can't see £3.99 being enough to feed a team of programmers to deliver it! :crazy:
And yet we find plenty of complex apps, that do indeed feed teams of programmers on caviar sandwiches because they've had a billion downloads. The Amplitube Music iApp is a tenner, the less featured Amplitube Live for regular computers is £100 - they will easily sell the app ten times more than Amp Live. All this micro-budget stuff is key don't you think? It's there, it's instant and it's only a tenner.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:10 pm

robinv wrote:
The Elf wrote:The Amplitube Music iApp is a tenner, the less featured Amplitube Live for regular computers is £100 - they will easily sell the app ten times more than Amp Live. All this micro-budget stuff is key don't you think? It's there, it's instant and it's only a tenner.


Yeah, but the vast amount of the development work has already been funded by the full program development and then it's simply been ported which is a far cheaper job.

The biggest problem for windows tablet developers is the lack of store front to keep the downloads legit. The reason people have been making money from Apple products is the effort to jailbreak them for a none technical user and the fact the store is easy to use and well managed. You only have to look at the Android platform to see what happens when this isn't the case (i.e. sod all in the way of decent pay apps).
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:32 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:

Yeah, but the vast amount of the development work has already been funded by the full program development and then it's simply been ported which is a far cheaper job.
Perhaps, but that's also true of Amplitube live being an off shoot of Amp3 - didnt require anything other than removing features and yet it's £100. There's also plenty that's only ever been available as an iapp - where's the TC Polytune VST? So this is surely to do with perceived value and what the market can stand - don't apps show us that the days of high value software are numbered?

Pete Kaine wrote:
The biggest problem for windows tablet developers is the lack of store front to keep the downloads legit. The reason people have been making money from Apple products is the effort to jailbreak them for a none technical user and the fact the store is easy to use and well managed. You only have to look at the Android platform to see what happens when this isn't the case (i.e. sod all in the way of decent pay apps).

Is the lack of pay apps on Android to do with the shop being not as good? Not sure about that (by the way i dont own a smartphone so my experience is limited - no mobile signal where i live). As for making things legit - if Cubase was £10 there wouldn't be any cracked software - they'd be no point, that is surely part of the attraction of the "app". People don't mind paying the cost of a coffee and a pork pie on a piece of cool software they may or may not use - there's no incentive to steal it, there's every incentive to give it a go and blow a couple of quid.

Photoshop is another good example. If each of the products in CS5 was a tenner as opposed to a grand then everyone would buy it - "everyone" being every computer user in the world. In fact it would probably ship preinstalled on every machine. Adobe would make a squillion and be able to sell support contracts to pro users who need the assurance of tech support. No more piracy - job done, mine's a martini.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby The Elf » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:36 pm

robinv wrote:And yet we find plenty of complex apps, that do indeed feed teams of programmers on caviar sandwiches because they've had a billion downloads.
...which won't happen for a DAW, because only a tiny percentage of people would even know what it is, let alone pay for it.

And don't we already pretty much have this model anyway? When I buy most software now I don't get a box and manual - I just get a link to a download. Isn't that all an 'app' is in reality - an instant software download?
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:44 pm

HTC are reportedly developing an 'iPad beater' tablet to use with Google Chrome OS, so it will be interesting to see what emerges there.

However, as has been hinted, the market for DAW apps is tiny in comparison with most others. iRig is great (and it did in fact require considerable re-programming to work on that platform, according to a conversation I had with IK) but the market for fretboard-w***er applications is much larger than that for DAWs.

I'm sure there'll be an increasing role for multi-touch-screen technology in DAWs, whether for the DAWs themselves, or as control surfaces for studio or live stuff... but screen size on tablets, whatever the power, will probably be a show-stopper for many people when it comes to full-scale DAWs.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Carillon Audio Systems » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:23 pm

for the pro and home pro studio I see the move towards apps that interface and supplement your main DAW but I don't see them replacing. In that sense I also don't see a huge swing to lower software costs although I do think there will be a downward trend.

One problem is that they simply aren't that ergonomic or user friendly for a large project, recording a couple of tracks on location though is an area that they can excel at.

If one comes out with a HDMI input you can use it as a monitor for your DSLR video camera, can the iPad do this? Not audio related just something I'm looking for!
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:27 pm

robinv wrote:
Perhaps, but that's also true of Amplitube live being an off shoot of Amp3 - didnt require anything other than removing features and yet it's £100. There's also plenty that's only ever been available as an iapp - where's the TC Polytune VST? So this is surely to do with perceived value and what the market can stand - don't apps show us that the days of high value software are numbered?

Yeah, but these have to be developed and paid by someone when a new product is required. Your asking if it's the future and I'm just saying it's a small part of the picture rather than the ulitmate destination at this time.

robinv wrote:
Is the lack of pay apps on Android to do with the shop being not as good? Not sure about that (by the way i dont own a smartphone so my experience is limited - no mobile signal where i live).

Very much so. Android handsets have been out selling Iphones for most of the year and yet developers are still not taking to it because the shop is so bad at the whole payment thing. Apples Q.C. process whilst a pain in the arse for some developers has at least kept the shop in check.


As for making things legit - if Cubase was £10 there wouldn't be any cracked software - they'd be no point, that is surely part of the attraction of the "app". People don't mind paying the cost of a coffee and a pork pie on a piece of cool software they may or may not use - there's no incentive to steal it, there's every incentive to give it a go and blow a couple of quid.

Some people will take it if it's available for free. The's no other reason I can think of for the Jailbroken Iphone Appstore where you can pretty much get everything for nothing.

I also have to point out here that Apple still isn't No.1 O.S. wise. Last time I checked a few months ago market penertration is still something like 4th place and it's still being outsold by at least 2 of the O.S's above it. If Android/Symbian/Noikia app shops start to do the whole charging thing properly at some point it might work, but then you have to have developers porting the client 4 times and that once more costs time and money.

I know I'm focusing a lot on the Iphone platform here, but it's the only one that is currently making enough money to pay the developers. As soon as you move to windows you open up to the world of hacks and cracks again.


Photoshop is another good example. If each of the products in CS5 was a tenner as opposed to a grand then everyone would buy it - "everyone" being every computer user in the world. In fact it would probably ship preinstalled on every machine. Adobe would make a squillion and be able to sell support contracts to pro users who need the assurance of tech support. No more piracy - job done, mine's a martini.

Better ring them up and tell them then! It'd be foolish to believe for one second, that they haven't already considered this themselves through. Not everyone requires or needs photoshop through... If they did GIMP would have been downloaded by everyone on the planet by this point.

Mixedup wrote:HTC are reportedly developing an 'iPad beater' tablet to use with Google Chrome OS, so it will be interesting to see what emerges there.

Back in March this year the was over 120 Android based tablets announced as being due on the market by the year end, and I've seen many more announced since then. The's already loads out using it in fact, and I like a few of them as PMP's and mobile devices (I had a Dell Streak to play with for a few months) but I can't see them being an all in one solution for a while. Sure they can run some apps and using it as a pedal board sim is ideal for instance, but once you start working with multiple plug's within a host your going to start chipping away at what little power the really is very, very quickly.
Mixedup wrote:
However, as has been hinted, the market for DAW apps is tiny in comparison with most others. iRig is great (and it did in fact require considerable re-programming to work on that platform, according to a conversation I had with IK) but the market for fretboard-w***er applications is much larger than that for DAWs.

That's what I was getting at :)

I've no doubt the will be the power futher down the line to be able to achieve what's being discussed here, and no doubt the ability to sell it through will also finally be developed as well. I'd be more excited to see cloud processing happen first through to be honest, as that could happen now if someone was to develop it but once more I don't imagine the is the market there to make it viable at this time.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:14 pm

Mixedup wrote:

However, as has been hinted, the market for DAW apps is tiny in comparison with most others. iRig is great (and it did in fact require considerable re-programming to work on that platform, according to a conversation I had with IK) but the market for fretboard-w***er applications is much larger than that for DAWs.
Yes and no :)
People want to do stuff on their computers. Lots of people get pleasure from GarageBand - PC users don't get that opportunity without having to "discover" something for themselves and few do. The market for music making software can be huge if done right - but you need Garage Band (or even Rock Band) style instant gratification. It's like without photo software shipping with cameras most people wouldnt know about it - or if it wasnt for Windows Movie Maker most people wouldnt know that you could edit video on a computer. I tend to use my dad as my rule of thumb when it comes to a clueless but keen computer user and that's been his experience. In response to what Pete said my dad's never heard of GIMP but he has heard of Photoshop and has a cut down version and would love the real thing - if it was pennies.

Mixedup wrote:
I'm sure there'll be an increasing role for multi-touch-screen technology in DAWs, whether for the DAWs themselves, or as control surfaces for studio or live stuff... but screen size on tablets, whatever the power, will probably be a show-stopper for many people when it comes to full-scale DAWs.
I believe that too, but it's difficult to know exactly what the current technology is capable of. Very few multi-touch screens specify how many touches it takes - most seem to assume that you will use two fingers - no good if you want to use a mixer. I saw this - http://solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/TouchSystems/TouchScreen/Solutions/Multitouch/ looks flipping awesome (£1299) but the fact they specify the high touch count makes me think that other cheaper sub-£300 multi-touch screens are a bit light on the multi - dunno - could someone try this out for me - thanks.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby pwhodges » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:26 pm

Even the tiny iPhone has three-finger gestures in a couple of programs I use.

Paul

(Oops, I meant "apps", didn't I!)
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:27 pm

robinv wrote:
Mixedup wrote:
I'm sure there'll be an increasing role for multi-touch-screen technology in DAWs, whether for the DAWs themselves, or as control surfaces for studio or live stuff... but screen size on tablets, whatever the power, will probably be a show-stopper for many people when it comes to full-scale DAWs.
I believe that too, but it's difficult to know exactly what the current technology is capable of. Very few multi-touch screens specify how many touches it takes - most seem to assume that you will use two fingers - no good if you want to use a mixer. I saw this - http://solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/TouchSystems/TouchScreen/Solutions/Multitouch/ looks flipping awesome (£1299) but the fact they specify the high touch count makes me think that other cheaper sub-£300 multi-touch screens are a bit light on the multi - dunno - could someone try this out for me - thanks.

The issue is the lack of applications being written with multi-touch support. You don't want two or three finger gestures for DAW mixing. You want faders to independently recognise three (or more) different cursors (fingers) so that each can be moved independently. If you've ever worked with multiple mice (eg via Glovepie) you'll know what I mean: you can have multiple cursors, but Cubase/Logic/Sonar etc only recognises one — even if the OS recognises multiple touches.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:32 pm

Pete... I reckon there's a bit of mis-quoting going on above. I never said that about Photoshop!

Btw, another key difference between iPad/iPhone and potentially competing stuff is that the hardware is all the same for Apple. So, eg. iRig adapter will definitely work with iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch, but it's harder to guarantee and test it for every HTC, Samsung, Nokia device, even if they can test with the OS itself. Just like OSX v Win 7 all over again.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:33 am

robinv wrote: In response to what Pete said my dad's never heard of GIMP but he has heard of Photoshop and has a cut down version and would love the real thing - if it was pennies.

Why does he want Photoshop when Gimp can do everything that a consumer user would ever require in a simplified user front end and it's free?

Photoshop is universal because of adobes marketing campaign for the last couple of decades. GIMP has been around for well over a decade but has had no marketing because it is open source.

Microsoft office is another example. Taking your previous example, I'm sure your father would love to get a copy of that for a few quid but Open Office has been going a couple of decades as well and does more than M.S. office does these days but I bet if your father was going to get an office application he'd pony up for M.S. rather than use the more featured free one.

It's all about marketing as I'm sure we're all well aware. And a very large chunk of those sky high software fee's is what pays for it. If everything suddenly became worth £5 as an app then you'd have a generation of apps that are well known and everyone would buy them. But then without the funding they couldn't continue to expand the product line and maintain the marketing so either their popularity starts to wain or more disturbingly (and I fear more likely) they'll become dominant with all of the cash flow for that market sector going to them, and then they'll stagnate and other applications won't be able to surpass them in sales (no marketing) and it becomes bad for progression of the market itself.

I'm almost tempted to return to my opening question and say that he simply want's it because it has a value, but the question is what would happen to the market long term if you then removed that value?

Mixedup wrote:Pete... I reckon there's a bit of mis-quoting going on above. I never said that about Photoshop!

Sorry... Got a little Mixedup! :)


Btw, another key difference between iPad/iPhone and potentially competing stuff is that the hardware is all the same for Apple. So, eg. iRig adapter will definitely work with iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch, but it's harder to guarantee and test it for every HTC, Samsung, Nokia device, even if they can test with the OS itself. Just like OSX v Win 7 all over again.

Very true. Google's certification team is already having kittens about staggered roll outs across all of it's licence holders, and it's only getting worse as more people enter the market.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:51 am

Mixedup wrote:

The issue is the lack of applications being written with multi-touch support. You don't want two or three finger gestures for DAW mixing. You want faders to independently recognise three (or more) different cursors (fingers) so that each can be moved independently. If you've ever worked with multiple mice (eg via Glovepie) you'll know what I mean: you can have multiple cursors, but Cubase/Logic/Sonar etc only recognises one — even if the OS recognises multiple touches.

That's an interesting question and something i'd like to investigate - because you can move multiple faders with MIDI, so it's not as if Cubase can only do one thing at a time - but i get what you say about the implementation of the mouse - seriously needs to be tried out :)
Glovepie - you know i actually own a P5 glove :)

The iPad apparently supports 11 touches.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:07 am

Free/cheepo model aside through:

http://most-expensive.net/top-ten-iphone-apps

Once the handhelds power get's up to being usable for larger apps there's certainly already a predecent for more expensive specialist software being made available in a held form.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:09 am

Pete Kaine wrote:


Why does he want Photoshop when Gimp can do everything that a consumer user would ever require in a simplified user front end and it's free?

Ummm because he's never heard of GIMP - where would he get that information? You assume far too much savvy in the average user. Although funnily enough my mum uses OpenOffice - but then she's a secretary and has been online longer than me (Compuserve - those were the days).

Pete Kaine wrote:
And a very large chunk of those sky high software fee's is what pays for it. If everything suddenly became worth £5 as an app then you'd have a generation of apps that are well known and everyone would buy them. But then without the funding they couldn't continue to expand the product line and maintain the marketing so either their popularity starts to wain or more disturbingly (and I fear more likely) they'll become dominant with all of the cash flow for that market sector going to them, and then they'll stagnate and other applications won't be able to surpass them in sales (no marketing) and it becomes bad for progression of the market itself.


But this is exactly what i'm trying to get across. Sell 5 copies at £1000 is the same as selling 500 copies at £10. What iApps have demonstrated is that many more people are prepared to pay small amounts of money for software (when it's done right as you say). Music is a good example here - music is now essentially worthless - it costs pennies but still people are reluctant to buy it. It's become so widespread and legitimate as free (spotify.com) that artists are having to find other ways of making money - gigs, special editions, HD, merchandising etc. Software will go the same way. Artists are still making money and making music - software houses will do the same if their model changes. I don't imagine my kids will ever have to pay hundreds of pounds for software - they may subscribe to something, pay for an entertaining game experience, but ultimately it'll probably be a £10 app for anything serious and then perhaps pay for some online training and support :)

I don't believe things will stay as they are in terms of the relationship between software, computers and perceived value - i think apps demonstrate that and IK demonstrate that by moving from small Italian music tech software house to (almost) house hold name with a £3.99 app and £20 interface for the iphone. All those months spent crafting the Miroslav Orchestra and all they needed to do was pretty up a jack plug - they will make tons of money.


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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:10 am

Yeah, it's easy enough to give direct control of parameters via MIDI, OSC or whatever, but the GUI is a layer in between - your mouse controls the fader, controls the parameter. When using a control surface, you're directly controlling the parameter. Not impossible to do by any means, it's just that it's different from how most DAWs' GUIs have been designed to date. I'd expect to see that change before long.

Anyway, sod the touch screen, why not just control your DAW with Glove gestures ;)
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:49 am

robinv wrote:but ultimately it'll probably be a £10 app for anything serious and then perhaps pay for some online training and support
I think you are seriously underestimating how much it costs to write, develop and support a piece of software, such as Logic, or Cubase. The number of paying users at £10 would simply not support the hundreds of man-years required to deliver such software.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:13 am

robinv wrote:
Pete Kaine wrote:


Why does he want Photoshop when Gimp can do everything that a consumer user would ever require in a simplified user front end and it's free?

Ummm because he's never heard of GIMP - where would he get that information?


My point exactly!

Why has he heard of Photoshop? Because Adobe has spent millions & millions over the last 20 years in promoting it and everyone accepts it as the defacto standard thanks to promtion and pushing of the product through various channels.

robinv wrote:
You assume far too much savvy in the average user.


I assume the same as you do. That he won't know about it unless he's told about it. That will be either through word of mouth or more likely via some company spending a wad load of cash to make him aware of it.


Although funnily enough my mum uses OpenOffice - but then she's a secretary and has been online longer than me (Compuserve - those were the days).


I recall using Openoffice when I was at school and it was still called Star Office and pretty much the going standard! If she's worked as a secretary for a good number of years I'm not supprised she's got a good grounding in it. I was always a bit suprised when it went open source.

But then they couldn't compete with the M.S. juggernaught of branding that is M.S. Office when it was paid for, or even now it's free!

robinv wrote:
Pete Kaine wrote:
And a very large chunk of those sky high software fee's is what pays for it. If everything suddenly became worth £5 as an app then you'd have a generation of apps that are well known and everyone would buy them. But then without the funding they couldn't continue to expand the product line and maintain the marketing so either their popularity starts to wain or more disturbingly (and I fear more likely) they'll become dominant with all of the cash flow for that market sector going to them, and then they'll stagnate and other applications won't be able to surpass them in sales (no marketing) and it becomes bad for progression of the market itself.


But this is exactly what i'm trying to get across. Sell 5 copies at £1000 is the same as selling 500 copies at £10.


So say M.S. office or Adobe is now priced at £30 or you have Open Office or GIMP priced at £4.00.

They both do the same job, and acheive the same thing.

Which are people going to want?

I'd say the £30 one's because of perceived value due to past and current advertising. The £3.00 app's can't match this level of product pushing so they continue to not make money and the developers go out of business.

On the other hand the piracy of the £30 continues to take place, because "Hey, we're not paying money out to these rip off merchants..."

So all the small talented developers undersell themselves and go out of business because they can't compete with the giants and their big budget adverts. It then get's to the point where no one can compete with the established No.1 in the market place and they give up. Long term that firm sits on it's hands and then fails to increase development and it leads to the stagnetation of the market place as it then fails to develop.

For an example of this I'd say look at the history of IE6 and all the B.S. current web developers continue to deal with due to that dark period in the net's development.


What iApps have demonstrated is that many more people are prepared to pay small amounts of money for software (when it's done right as you say).


What it's proven is that Apples market share is mostly none techincal end users without the ability to jailbreak their phones...


Music is a good example here - music is now essentially worthless - it costs pennies but still people are reluctant to buy it.


That proves my point above and disproves your "smalls amounts" theory. We've reached a stage now where a lot of people (I hesitate to simply point the finger at the under 25 age bracket) take it as granted that you can get pretty much anything you want for free media wise if you know what your doing. Apple's done a great job at keeping it's phones locked down and preventing piracy, but other firms using a Microsoft/Google O.S. as it's desktop won't have the same Orwellian control over the code being run on it.


It's become so widespread and legitimate as free (spotify.com) that artists are having to find other ways of making money - gigs, special editions, HD, merchandising etc. Software will go the same way. Artists are still making money and making music - software houses will do the same if their model changes. I don't imagine my kids will ever have to pay hundreds of pounds for software - they may subscribe to something, pay for an entertaining game experience, but ultimately it'll probably be a £10 app for anything serious and then perhaps pay for some online training and support :)


Ahhh... I think our points just kind of merged ;)

I agree. But then no one has currently worked out just what and how they are going to manage to do this.

The world of GOO guys sold their game through at under £7. They did this to encourage people to pay for what would otherwise have been a £20 game. It has been one of the biggest selling indie games of all time and yet they still estimate that 90% of players are on pirated versions.

Cost will not beat piracy. That genie is well out of the bottle.

So if an application has a market place of half a million users world wide and half of those pay a tenner (the other half pirate it) then the might be the market there to support one product being developed, but is the, the market there to support more than one?

If the isn't then I don't feel that this would be good for the market place due to the lack of inovation I fear would follow.

The other saviour here is the long touted cloud computing angle and it's the one that the guys with the real money are going after (Google/Microsoft/Sun)

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/microsoft-cloud/

In all honesty I don't buy into that either (and I've spent the best part of a decade following it) but it's the only model that would enable them to control software use via subscription 100%. Personally through I don't fancy having my software all stored and accessed remotely not for security reasons but for network capability reasons, although I'm sure business's will look at that in reverse.


I don't believe things will stay as they are in terms of the relationship between software, computers and perceived value - i think apps demonstrate that and IK demonstrate that by moving from small Italian music tech software house to (almost) house hold name with a £3.99 app and £20 interface for the iphone. All those months spent crafting the Miroslav Orchestra and all they needed to do was pretty up a jack plug - they will make tons of money.


I would love to see their sales figures and then see how much it contributes to the overall value vs development time over the years it took to get to that point.

I just went and looked for a stock listing for IK acturly to see if the was any end of year finances I could have checked but to no avail.

Put it this way though, if it was a public limited company I wouldn't add it to my portfolio...

Back to your point above about Miroslav Orchestra. What about the users who want to buy that software and not some £3.99 budget guitar rig. If IK tomorrow turned into a company that wrote nothing but guitar amp sims for the iphone because it made them a load of money, that would put more speclist products like Miroslav on the back burning or in the bin as it does take the time and money to develop. Do we really want that?
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Carillon Audio Systems » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:02 am


In all honesty I don't buy into that either (and I've spent the best part of a decade following it) but it's the only model that would enable them to control software use via subscription 100%.


This is definitely where I see the future of software going, but how far in the future we are looking I'm not sure.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:02 pm

One of the best peices I've read on M.S. and it's cloud strategy is a old Wired piece interviewing Ray Ozzie who is lead on the project. I was trying to find it to post this morning, but I've only just remembered who the focus of the artical was.

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-12/ff_ozzie?currentPage=all

Worth a read it your interested in where they want to take the desktop.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:19 pm

Mixedup wrote:

Anyway, sod the touch screen, why not just control your DAW with Glove gestures ;)
Oh my aching arms! :headbang:
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:23 pm

The Elf wrote:
I think you are seriously underestimating how much it costs to write, develop and support a piece of software, such as Logic, or Cubase. The number of paying users at £10 would simply not support the hundreds of man-years required to deliver such software.
I would be if i believed that the 50 people who bought the software at £1000 would be replaced by 50 people buying it at £10. What i believe apps have shown is that with a keenly priced bit of software through decent delivery technology you can pick up 100 times or 1000 times more sales. I'm therefore suggesting that the income would be at least the same but probably more. You seem to be saying that dropping the price would not result in more sales, just less revenue - i'm suggesting otherwise :)
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:44 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:

So all the small talented developers undersell themselves and go out of business because they can't compete with the giants and their big budget adverts. It then get's to the point where no one can compete with the established No.1 in the market place and they give up. Long term that firm sits on it's hands and then fails to increase development and it leads to the stagnetation of the market place as it then fails to develop.
.... nations fall, earthquakes, mass hysteria!

I get all of that i do. I'm not trying to make some kind of point here or win anyone over to anything. I'm looking at iPad apps and thinking geez, these are good, these are fabulously priced, people are buying, people are making money from their products. It's funny how i am now more likely to be able to make money by selling an app that will play my album rather than selling the album itself.

You mention indie games - through Steam i've spent a few quid on indie games some of which are amazing. I never would have done that without the Steam delivery system and i never would have heard about them without browsing through their library and trying some demos. I imagine that Steam has revitalised the fortunes of a few indie programmers. And i'd rather pay a fiver for something real than waste half a day searching for a bittorrent or crack somewhere and go through the potential horror of downloading something nasty etc etc. iTunes also shows that there's a section of the market who dont want to fanny about finding cracks and free downloads, they just want the real thing and dont mind paying a few quid for it.

So... some people pay, some don't, but what i've seen is that far more people are happy to pay a quid for a simple add-on to their phone than i would have believed. The success of the app store came from nowhere - it's a completely new market, a new stream of revenue that simply didnt exist before except perhaps in ringtones - and who would have believed people would pay for that? But they do.

Pete Kaine wrote:
Back to your point above about Miroslav Orchestra. What about the users who want to buy that software and not some £3.99 budget guitar rig. If IK tomorrow turned into a company that wrote nothing but guitar amp sims for the iphone because it made them a load of money, that would put more speclist products like Miroslav on the back burning or in the bin as it does take the time and money to develop. Do we really want that?
I dont think so but i dont think music software is developed purely from a business point of view - the same as a hand built guitar is not about the money, it's about the craftmanship. I would say that the iRig is going to enable IK to create even more fabulous things because they have a new revenue stream to fund it.

The cloud stuff - nice idea but as i dont even have a mobile phone reception in my village i doubt the viability of a flawless network available everywhere to enable me to use my dumb terminal. Same with email - i like it local to my machine - but that's just me, for the average user i'm sure they'd love it.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:47 pm

robinv wrote:
The Elf wrote:
I think you are seriously underestimating how much it costs to write, develop and support a piece of software, such as Logic, or Cubase. The number of paying users at £10 would simply not support the hundreds of man-years required to deliver such software.

I would be if i believed that the 50 people who bought the software at £1000 would be replaced by 50 people buying it at £10. What i believe apps have shown is that with a keenly priced bit of software through decent delivery technology you can pick up 100 times or 1000 times more sales. I'm therefore suggesting that the income would be at least the same but probably more. You seem to be saying that dropping the price would not result in more sales, just less revenue - i'm suggesting otherwise :)

I just can't see it happening. Maybe those 50 sales are all that would happen, no matter what the price. OK, I'm exaggerating a little, but you see my point.

If a piece of lathe-control software is going for a tenner would I buy it? No, because I have no idea what to do with it, no interest in using it and would need other things to make it of any practical use. I believe it's the same for something as specialised as a DAW.

In the tight-knit audo-centric technical world that you and I inhabit we tend to imagine that everyone shares our interest - in reality the number is tiny.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Carillon Audio Systems » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:55 pm

There is also the point that when you get to the £10 mark you aren't investing any real money so you don't invest as much time learning an application. It becomes too throw away and so the depth that would be in an application such a full DAW wouldn't be found by most of it's users so although it might have a killer feature is wouldn't stand out over a basic option at the same sort of price.

If you have decided to pay £300-1000 on software your going to take your time and learn it.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:15 pm

robinv wrote:
Pete Kaine wrote:

So all the small talented developers undersell themselves and go out of business because they can't compete with the giants and their big budget adverts. It then get's to the point where no one can compete with the established No.1 in the market place and they give up. Long term that firm sits on it's hands and then fails to increase development and it leads to the stagnetation of the market place as it then fails to develop.
.... nations fall, earthquakes, mass hysteria!

I get all of that i do. I'm not trying to make some kind of point here or win anyone over to anything. I'm looking at iPad apps and thinking geez, these are good, these are fabulously priced, people are buying, people are making money from their products. It's funny how i am now more likely to be able to make money by selling an app that will play my album rather than selling the album itself.

And I do agree with all that. I've just playing the counter arguement :)

The's only a finite amount of cash kicking around the ecomony and taking ringtones as an example they worked and made money, because your average joe couldn't download, sideload or write them in a midi editor free of charge. At the same time singles plummited because you could do those first two to your hearts content, and as more and more mainstream offer the ability to use audio as your ringtone, those crazy frog slinging firms are slowly making less and less money.


You mention indie games - through Steam i've spent a few quid on indie games some of which are amazing. I never would have done that without the Steam delivery system and i never would have heard about them without browsing through their library and trying some demos. I imagine that Steam has revitalised the fortunes of a few indie programmers. And i'd rather pay a fiver for something real than waste half a day searching for a bittorrent or crack somewhere and go through the potential horror of downloading something nasty etc etc. iTunes also shows that there's a section of the market who dont want to fanny about finding cracks and free downloads, they just want the real thing and dont mind paying a few quid for it.

And I agree with all that whole heartedly. I'm the same, I've spent many hours playing Audiosurf, which I'm sure I'd never have bought otherwise and my client is full of games I've bought on impulse when they've been in a sale that I've never even downloaded after paying!

I can't help the inital enthusiasm for Apps is the same as this, and as it all becomes old news those million copy sucess stories will slowly dry up.

Hell we're already at a point where those apps that are not in the top 10 are selling many, many times less than those who are. Your only going to make your fortune if you can get an app to the top of the store, and this is a risk that would be pretty huge for a proper development firm that has to pay wages.


So... some people pay, some don't, but what i've seen is that far more people are happy to pay a quid for a simple add-on to their phone than i would have believed. The success of the app store came from nowhere - it's a completely new market, a new stream of revenue that simply didnt exist before except perhaps in ringtones - and who would have believed people would pay for that? But they do.

See above!


I dont think so but i dont think music software is developed purely from a business point of view - the same as a hand built guitar is not about the money, it's about the craftmanship. I would say that the iRig is going to enable IK to create even more fabulous things because they have a new revenue stream to fund it.

It's an interesting counter arguement and one I agree would stand for the more boutique developers. Those that have a business driven focus through I'm not so sure.


The cloud stuff - nice idea but as i dont even have a mobile phone reception in my village i doubt the viability of a flawless network available everywhere to enable me to use my dumb terminal. Same with email - i like it local to my machine - but that's just me, for the average user i'm sure they'd love it.

That's why I don't buy into it as well. I want things local that I can control, although long term if the big boys get their way I can't help but feel they don't really want to give us a choice in the matter. Apple is the only firm in a postion to acturly pull this off through at this point, and they are not exactly forging ahead with it.... think we're safe for a couple of years yet!
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