Downloading Ardour: Changes & Backstory
As some of you may already have noticed, the way that downloading Ardour works has changed tonight. Rather than everything be available as direct file downloads, the download system now requires you to go through a "donationware" path that is loosely modelled on Radiohead's recent experiment. Key points:
- SVN is still wide open for anyone to use at any time
- If you do not wish to pay for source releases, you do not have to. Consider the system a reminder, rather than a requirement.
- If you want a ready-to-run package for OS X, you have two choices:
- Pay a minimum of US$1 to download the latest version with AudioUnit settings & and preset support.
- Pay nothing and get a version that will not save AudioUnit plugin settings or load AU presets.
- There are more reasons than ever to register with site. While any payments received from anonymous users will be welcome, we cannot identify you in the future and connect future downloads that you may want to get with your prior payment.
Existing registered subscribers will not be asked to pay for any release while their subscription is valid. Unfortunately, it is impossible to do this for unregistered subscribers - the site simply has no way of knowing who you are since you chose to not tell us when you kindly added your subscription. If you are a subscriber but the download system does not recognize this, then please send me an email with: your paypal email address and your ardour.org user name, and I will manually connect your subscription with your user account.
Registered users who have made donations will be thanked and given the chance to make another donation of any amount. Again, donations from unregistered users, while hugely appreciated, can't be tracked in the same way - we don't know who you are.
What about updates?
If you are a registered user and you pay for a download, then all other updates in that "series" (e.g. the 2.8 series) will be available to you without being prompted to pay again.
I Refuse To Use PayPal!
I will be adding Google Checkout support in the near future. Both of these services offer semi-reasonable rates and very nice website integration when compared to traditional credit card processing services. If the revenue rises high enough, I will consider adding one of these services as well. The other options for processing payments that I have investigated do not make sense at this time.
Two important notes: many e-commerce websites use PayPal as a credit card processor without you even seeing them as part of the process, and PayPal is held to the same exact security standards as every other credit card processor. They are not permitted to store your credit card information if you do not have an account with them. Second, and perhaps more importantly, you can use your existing credit card with PayPal without having an account with them.
The current donation & subscription revenue, while incredibly gratifying and hugely successful for a niche open source project like this, appears certain to be insufficient as a living income for myself. It has become clear that there are somewhere between 5000 and 20,000 downloads of Ardour for OS X every month, and therefore I have decided to introduce a little more "obviousness" and "force" into an attempt to get people to actually pay something (even as little as US$1) for the program.
At present, the download pages do not explain very much at all, and take a rather uncharacteristic (for me) terse approach to the whole process. This is an experiment, and they may need more explanation added if it appears that the current process confuses people.
I have massive thanks for all the financial support the existing Ardour community has put into the development of the program to date - this is a (possibly final) effort to see if it can generate enough to pay 1 US-located developed to work full time. I am crossing my fingers.