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Why is Cakewalk by Bandlab free?

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As far as short sighted managers are concerned, it is their job to make corporate profits, every quarter. They are looking to keep their job by keeping expenses low, profits high, and a constant turnover with their user base.

It's the down side of Capitalism/"Corporationalism" (not that Communism is any better, it has an opposite set of and IMO worse problems)

When a product is new, if it is good, it grows by attracting new customers, the stock prices go up, the stockholders are happy, and the upper management make huge bonuses and salary increases.

Then it reaches a saturation point, just about everybody who wants that product has it. New sales keep trickling in, but the huge growth period is over. OK the increase in stock prices isn't as good as it once was, it's not losing money, but there are bigger growth opportunities for stock buyers elsewhere. What to do? The managers need their bonus. New features, frequent updates, or subscription models will keep the revenue flowing. Stockholders are happy again.

But those new features introduce new bloat and new bugs so eventually the people stop buying the upgrades, and the subscription people hate paying for something they feel they should own so there go the stock prices.

This is what is happening to Apple. the iPhone was their big money maker. It was a great invention and well adopted. Then it improved with new feature after new feature. Every new model had a line at the Apple Store around the block waiting for it to open. Stock prices went up. Managers got bonuses. Then the new features started to be bloatware (all the good ideas got used up). The sales dropped. They started jacking up the price to sustain stock prices. The most faithful kept buying new phones, and they became a trillion dollar company. But nothing can grow perpetually, and eventually the faithful started to think that their old iPhone was good enough, and paying a thousand dollars for what used to cost only a couple of hundred was a cause to wait until their present iPhone no longer works. And now Apple stock has dropped 33% because without that perpetual growth, stockholders are looking for growth stocks and jumping ship.

Another approach is "Chiclets" items. Chew them up, spit them out, and buy again. It worked for Kodak for years, chew up a roll of film and you need another. For Gillette you dull the razor blade and you need to buy another. Canon copier out of toner? Buy some more. Buy water or a soft drink in a disposable bottle and the bottle company makes a sale. With disposable products, you don't need constant upgrades. All you need is a growing population.

Perpetual growth is the big problem with corporations.

Now a small business only needs to make enough money to feed the owners and employees. Without stockholders who do not physically work at the company, but only want profits, they don't need perpetual growth. Just steady as it goes. It can grow, and that's good, but has no stockholders demanding growth every quarter or they bail.

Capitalism/"Corporationalism" is the economic system we are stuck with, like any system it has good and bad points, but any system that depends on perpetual growth is foolish. That's a big factor in why some former big businesses are no longer here or floundering, Sears, RCA, Atari, Gibson, K Mart, Kodak, Montgomery Wards, Chrysler, Woolworth's, and so many others. Some day Amazon will go under for the same reason.

Having a free product that attracts people to your store might just work as long as your store remains profitable. Let's hope that this is the BandLab strategy.

Having a free product that uses you as the customer and sells your information to corporations hungry for growth is another answer. Apple, Microsoft, have gone this way, Google, Facebook, Twitter and so many others paved the way, and it has become a profitable business model. How long with this last until that market is saturated? Depends on how may others get in the game.

There should be a better system than Capitalism, but while I can see the flaws in the current system, I'm not smart enough to see the cure.

OK, that's probably more than enough rambling musings and the world according to me.

Insights and incites by Notes

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4 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

FWIW, I don't think the "Free" upgrade to Win10 was an altruistic move by Microsoft.

They're trying to get Win7,/Win8.1/Win10 users on a single platform.  Less to maintain/support 

It's hard to maintain a secure, stable platform and innovate when you have users spread across  4-5 different OS revisions, causing developers to design and develop apps for the least common denominator (i.e. Windows XP).   XP's driver model, security model, etc. all different from Vista (and later) in some major ways - the same way Windows 2000 was a big jump from Me.    XP had a bad firewall and didn't even have built in AV/AMW.  It was limited to DirectX 9.  It doesn't support the most recent CPUs and developing drivers for both Vista/7+ and XP is expensive - this is why OEMs dropped support for a lot of older hardware in the move from XP to Vista.  Similar things happened with Windows 9x /Me to Windows NT/2000.

This is hard with software, which can contain their own bugs and vulnerabilities...  With an Operating System... the costs are exponentially higher.  This also limits how Microsoft can design and develop it's own software, due to XP's limitations.

On top of that, they have to maintain other components like .NET, Compilers, Application Frameworks and Libraries, etc. because developers expect backward/forward compatibility on Windows - to a greater extent compared to other platforms.

At the end of the day, getting everyone on a single platform where they just get feature updates (similar to Apple's macOS) is beneficial both to users and to Microsoft.  Users don't have to worry about paying to upgrade their OS, or having applications drop support for the OS they have on their PC (Windows supports old[er] PCs better than macOS, where this actually is an issue); and Microsoft gets to [eventually] stop supporting everything back to XP.

Getting a new PC is no longer about raw system requirements for the OS (i.e. XP vs. Vista), but for the user's needs IRT the applications they run and the technological advances in the computer industry (Biometrics, AI, 3D Printing, etc.).

If they weren't dumb and allowed OEMs to put Vista Capable stickers and give Vista Upgrades away with low end hardware in 2007, they would not have been in this pickle 😉 Windows 8 didn't help, either. 

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Capitalism is all about the consumer.  If the people allow companies to exploit them, and their wallets... its their choice.  It's actually quite democratic 😛

We just love making excuses for things and acting like we can't live without Facebook, Twitter... a smartphone... whatever.

First world problems.

If people would change how they look at these things, and start valuing the money they're  slaving for, day after day, it would easily correct itself.

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6 hours ago, marled said:

Exactly! There is free and free and free on the internet ... 

There is some wisdom deep in that statement. I'm just started wondering which one is Cakewalk by BandLab...?

:D

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8 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

FWIW, I don't think the "Free" upgrade to Win10 was an altruistic move by Microsoft.

Of course not. Microsoft exists to make money, and everything they do is to that end

And I hope nobody thinks that I believe that BandLab's licensing model arises from altruism.

The company BandLab exists to make money, and everything they do will be to that end. Meng as an individual may be a guy with altruistic principles, but that's not what corporations do.

The concept that I have been trying to hammer is that there are legitimate paths to making money that are not directly "I make a thing and you hand me money for getting to own it or use it or experience it."

Even in what we do, it's been this way for a long time, at least at the semi-pro level. Bands can lose money on the door, but make money on selling merchandise, or lose money on recording and printing CD's, but make a pile on touring and merchandise, or break even on printing t-shirts but make money on downloading songs or whatever. Printing fliers never made money, but we did it because punk bands HAD to have a flier for every gig. Kids collected them.

One activity loses money, but promotes and props up another that makes money. It shouldn't be so difficult for people to get that this might also be the case in the business of online social media marketing and associated apps.

BandLab had existing freeware DAW's when they acquired the IP from the former Cakewalk company. One for iOS and one for Android. Or maybe that was one, for two different platforms, whatever. And the one that runs in Google Chrome browser. Cakewalk was just adding another. Maybe they'll get one for Macintosh OSX at some point.

When we talk about Cakewalk in the context of BandLab's software business, it's really "Cakewalk and the other BandLab DAW's," because they were already a software company. If we want to know how good they are, we should be checking the reviews for their other DAW's in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

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On 2/3/2019 at 2:33 AM, marled said:

Although there is some truth in it, very blue-eyed and optimistic, Starship Krupa!

I like freeware, too. There is some freeware on the net that is quite better than paid "shrinkwrap" (and CbB is one of the pearls), but on the other hand there is also a lot of crap out there! But that is also true for paid software. Sometimes I feel that software companies invest more in advertising and promises than in proper development!

Someone once affectionately (I hope) described me as "one of those annoying 'glass half-full' people." Like that guy in your avatar pic, it's hard-won. And I can usually back it up with examples and facts.

Just stating what is possible if it goes right. Anything can go wrong. Put a bad manager in the mix, an untalented programmer or two, I've seen plenty of promising products die sad deaths. I was at Macromedia when they killed Deck. 😲 Yes, one of the early, very promising DAW's, I was firsthand witness to its downfall.

Freeware is fun, but requires sifting through, vetting. Bedroom Producers Blog is great at that. That's where I learned that Cakewalk had gone freebie. Maybe I'll start a thread in the Coffee House for "other happening freeware."

It's so easy to wind up with 30 compressors and 25 EQ's when one should really focus on getting to know maybe 5 of each, if that many.

If somebody said to me "you can't get a top-quality mix using all freeware plug-ins" I'd say, "perhaps that's true in your case."

OrilRiver reverb, Unlimited limiter, Reaplugs collection, Dead Duck FX, there are some fine things out there.

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touch wood it doesn't happen but if Bandlab jettisons Cakewalk has Meng indicated the program will no longer be required to phone home every 6 months?

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8 hours ago, Notes_Norton said:

Perpetual growth is the big problem with corporations.

Indeed. Another reason I bailed on the commercial software biz. Every company wanted to "go public." When I left, I swore that I never wanted to work for another publicly traded company again.

As soon as the company became publicly traded, it stopped being about selling our product and started being about putting on a shadow play for analysts.

You and I agree on many points about economics, Notes. (I want to call myself "Rests")

Anyway, I'm enthusiastic and optimistic about Bandlab's experiment. I can envision their collaboration platform becoming popular on a certain scale, and I can see many ways that Cakewalk will fit into it. It's no mystery to me how it could all work, and it'll be pretty neat if it does.

If it fizzles, and development stops, I'll be left with this great DAW software and will have to rely the people who own it to continue the free subscription or be kind enough to release a version with a perpetual key. For the value I'm getting now, it all seems quite worth the risk.

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2 hours ago, backwoods said:

touch wood it doesn't happen but if Bandlab jettisons Cakewalk has Meng indicated the program will no longer be required to phone home every 6 months?

Cakewalk's future looks as good as any. On the plus side is that Cakewalk doesn't have to keep increasing sales revenue every quarter to stay alive, and that's a good thing! They even had a big presence at NAMM 2019!

I doubt that failure has been considered as an option for Cakewalk, as they are still in ramping up mode. So it would be silly for them to  publicly discuss exit plans. As if  there is even any obligation for them to do so.

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On 2/2/2019 at 11:33 PM, Starship Krupa said:

 

Oh, also we don't have to pay any money for it.

That's the correct answer and all that needs to be said. 

 

I have paid for versions sonar 4  through  Plat 

 

I still use them and others. And there are nice people here.  :)

 

DAW software is going to keep changing and unless you save your copies and they are usable on whatever upgrades are coming in technology and the computers we all own  - I suppose change is constant and nothing  here last forever.   

 

I am all for change and progress .. when it's BETTER and not not actually regressive 

 

 

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2 hours ago, abacab said:

Cakewalk's future looks as good as any. On the plus side is that Cakewalk doesn't have to keep increasing sales revenue every quarter to stay alive, and that's a good thing! They even had a big presence at NAMM 2019!

I doubt that failure has been considered as an option for Cakewalk, as they are still in ramping up mode. So it would be silly for them to  publicly discuss exit plans. As if  there is even any obligation for them to do so.

Probably you're right. It's just that I've used cakewalk stuff for about 15 years and in that time they've had 4 owners. People were pretty sanguine about roland and then gibson too!

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I have found with advanced multimedia programs there is a free or open source product available that is often superior than most if not all paid options...radical projects by artists not marketers hoping to win over an audience.

bandlabLAB.jpg

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12 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Someone once affectionately (I hope) described me as "one of those annoying 'glass half-full' people." Like that guy in your avatar pic, it's hard-won. And I can usually back it up with examples and facts.

Okay, now I understand more who you are. "glass half-full" ...

But in one thing you are completely wrong! That guy in my avatar picture, he's really a "glass half-empty" one, it's me in 1985. Looks cool, doesn't it?

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16 hours ago, chris.r said:

There is some wisdom deep in that statement. I'm just started wondering which one is Cakewalk by BandLab...?

:D

The future will show! But one thing is sure, they are not the completely altruistic ones. Otherwise it would not be necessary to create a BandLab account, use their installer (instead of a simple download) and there wouldn't be the need of authorizing Cakewalk! 😉

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24 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

In today's economic world, few have the luxury of being 100% altruistic. 

I am aware that companies are usually not! And that's alright, they have to survive.

Altruism is rather the kingdom of individuals and non-profit organisations!

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10 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

<...snip...>

If it fizzles, and development stops, I'll be left with this great DAW software and will have to rely the people who own it to continue the free subscription or be kind enough to release a version with a perpetual key. For the value I'm getting now, it all seems quite worth the risk.

I started out with Master Tracks Pro, a MIDI sequencer on the Atari/ST computer. Then I followed it to Motorola Macs (Classic II), and finally Windows (I hated DOS and was happy to see Windows).

Microsoft bought Passport Designs (the parent company to MTPro) to use the patented technology in Power Point and abandoned the program. This was before Windows 95 because I still have the last Passport copy with 8.3 file names.

GVox bought Passport mostly for the Encore notation app and they scooped up MTPro in the process. They introduced a number of bugs, most, but not all have been fixed, and they sold it to a company renamed Passport who was underfunded, went belly-up so now MTPro is orphaned. The non-buggy 8.3 version does not load in Win10 but the slightly buggy one does.

IMHO MTPro is the best stand-alone MIDI sequencer in the biz. Great interface, great editing tools, everything available in a mouse click or two (no sub-menus or sub-sub-menus), and the 8.3 version never-ever crashed. Sadly the new version occasional does.

Why am I saying all this historic stuff?

If Bandlab decides to abandon Cakewalk, it's possible we will be able to use it for many years - until Microsoft changes it's OS making it no longer compatible (like the 8.3 version of MTPro).

Sure there will be no new features in orphaned software, but there will be no more bloatware either.

Insights and incites by Notes

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18 hours ago, SomeGuy said:

Capitalism is all about the consumer.  If the people allow companies to exploit them, and their wallets... its their choice.  It's actually quite democratic 😛

We just love making excuses for things and acting like we can't live without Facebook, Twitter... a smartphone... whatever.

First world problems.

If people would change how they look at these things, and start valuing the money they're  slaving for, day after day, it would easily correct itself.

I've got to respectfully disagree with your first statement. Capitalism is all about the corporation. It's about making profits so the non-participant stockholders can increase their share value.

Now they partially do this by focusing on the customer, because customers are necessary. But the focus is on profits and nothing else. But then, isn't that the reason to be in business?

The difference is in a small business, the company doesn't have to grow perpetually to stay in business.

But I do agree that we can live without Facebook, Twitter (I do), Google (that too), Smartphone (minimize my apps and permissions because I need the phone for business), and value the money that I'm not slaving for (I'm a professional musician - I make a living by enjoying myself).

Capitalism has it's flaws, but so far it's better than the alternatives the world has tried. By pointing out the flaws we can minimize their impact on us, and perhaps someday someone will be able to improve it.

Insights and incites by Notes

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9 hours ago, backwoods said:

Probably you're right. It's just that I've used cakewalk stuff for about 15 years and in that time they've had 4 owners. People were pretty sanguine about roland and then gibson too!

Agree that Cakewalk has probably struggled with the for-profit model, even as a great program.  A lot of competition in a saturated market, ever smaller slices of the pie.

But as a free lure to bring folks into the Meng dynasty, who knows? New game in town! :D

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