I get people asking me about my upgrade policies for Guitar & Drum Trainer every now and then. I don't have an “official policy” for upgrades posted. I suppose I really should though. The problem for me in posting one is that software licensing isn't all that easy or straight-forward. Sometimes it's just downright complicated. And that makes things tough for me to simplify.
I don't ever want to charge for upgrades. I'd like to say “free upgrades forever!” But I know that's just not possible.
There are things that I'd like to put in GDT that would cost money that I couldn't afford to not charge for. e.g. AAC support. AAC is a patented technology and bears royalties. To put that in GDT without a token fee would be very difficult and entirely not practical. It's not like some software where I could just plop down a few hundred dollars and be done with it. To start, I'd have to plop down thousands of dollars. To start...
There's one thing that I'd like to do, but dropping $25,000 on it seems a bit much. That certainly wouldn't be possible for free upgrades as I'm not independently wealthy. Let's all hope that I win a lottery because then it's not a problem at all! :)
So saying “FREE UPGRADES” is pretty much out of the question if I'm going to be honest about it. The alternative is to say “free upgrades withing a major version,” but I don't want to charge for major version upgrades.
Having ruled out both upgrade policies, how do I post a policy? Catch-22.
I suppose the way around that is to have those things that would cost too much to put in as extra “add-ins” for GDT. But that seems unnecessarily complicated and not something that I'd want to deal with as a customer.
There's still time though, as I haven't added any of those things in to GDT.
I get a good amount of email from GDT users, and really, I consider myself very lucky. They are some of the nicest people you'd ever meet. I've been very blessed with a fantastic customer base of people that love music, and find my software is something worth spending a few dollars on to help them with their music.
Some people email me and tell me that they used to use the competition software, but needed to pay for the upgrade, found mine and bought it instead. I suppose I need to thank the competition for that! :) The best part of those emails is when people tell me that they like GDT better!
At the end of the day, I suppose I'm just another sucky guitarist with a problem to solve, and a solution to that problem that I can make available to other people. My take on it is that I like to be treated well, and I should pass that on as much as possible.
So, in short, I hate being milked with upgrade fees (yes - I still have software licenses where they royally milk me for money and I keep upgrading...) and will do everything I can to not be a “software milkmaid.” :)
Upgrades are free whenever possible.