commercial audio applications and max / msp
I’m starting to see the end of the audio appication I’m making in max/msp. I initially started making it for my own purposes, for live improvisation / performance. I like using it a lot, and I’ve been continually developing it. I’m in the final year of my degreee, and the patch has become a major facet to my project. A lot of like minded people like the idea of the patch, and I’d love to go about distribute it.
this leads me to a few question:
1) what is the legality behind distributing software made in max / msp? I’m not a registered business or anything, and I’m guessing any online payment will be made through paypal.
2) is any existing commercial software made in max? (I’m kinda guessing that radial is, but any more?)
3) How do I go about some kind of registration processs to avoid piracy?
I really hope I’m not being over confident in my application, but people have showed genuine interest. Plus it might help bail me out of the forthcoming years of student debt!
there’s a bit of info available at http://www.contouraudio.com
oh and if anyone wants to make a suggestion as to how much it ought to be sold for, (no piss taking now) let me know
>2) is any existing commercial software made in max? (I’m kinda guessing that radial is, but any more?)
as for cp, well, you just have to figure out something like a serial number or a challenge response between the loadbang and everything else. it’s a pain, and maybe not worth it for small-time distribution.
I had the same question awhile back. The kind folks at Max told me that there’s no specific restrictions — BUT if you make a standalone for Windows you have to pay a $1000 licencing fee. Explanation is here:
Just pointing you in the direction, I of course am not the final word on any of this.
Good luck — paying off student debt with a Max app is something I’d love to do too! That would be a feat…
> hey… I’m not saying this’ll wipe my student debt! Maybe just take a
> chunk out of it… maybe just pay the price I payed for max!
I’d be interested as well in experiences how well commercial attempts work.
I’d like to have some real life comparison between projects which just
charge an amount x for the use, with or without copyprotection and those
who base their compensation on a sort of donation system.
would it pay for "the price I payed for Max"
or would it pay for "my daily breakfeast", "my rent" or even "let
survive my family"
The last category would be something like "it is the advertisement for
If those who have commercial projects running could comment on that, I
think this would be an interesting poll.
My software will pay for:
Cat 1: "the price I payed for Max"
Cat 2: "my daily breakfeast"
Cat 3: "my rent"
Cat 4: "let survive my family"
Cat 5: "it is the advertisement for getting hired which is my income"
Cat 6: "it pays for x employees…"
The average payment would be a crucial information as well.
Average Payment: xx$ or Euro from xx customers
Model 1: fixed price, copyprotected
Model 2: fixed price, not copyprotected
Model 3: donation, closed source
Model 4: donation, open source
Type of application:
Type 1: Standalones
Type 2: Plug-ins
Type 3: External collections (for other Max programmers)
Some of this info would be something not everybody would let the world
know, but, if you trust me, I’d collect the info if you sent it offlist
anonymisly and calculate some statistics…
On Oct 28, 2006, at 3:11 AM, Stefan Tiedje wrote:
> would it pay for "the price I payed for Max"
> or would it pay for "my daily breakfeast", "my rent" or even "let
> survive my family"
> The last category would be something like "it is the advertisement
> for getting hired"
I’ll respond, even though I never charged for my externals and vst
plug-ins. I really feel that the Max/MSP community embracing my work
had a direct effect to me getting academic jobs. I have been
fortunate enough to work full-time teaching since completing grad
school. So in that respect, free software "let my family survive".
For that I am forever indebted to you guys.
Plus there is the added bonus of meeting the people who use your
stuff. Every time I am at a conference or festival, it seems I meet
someone new who already "knows" me because of the software. I enjoy
the instant connection and hearing what people do with it.
Then of course there is Hipno, which is sold by Cycling74. Without
my previous granular work, I would not have been asked to contribute
Hipno. And while I am not able to quit my day job, it has let me buy
a few pieces of gear that I might not have splurged on otherwise.
No dollar figures, but that is one man’s tale. You get back what you
give. Especially true in Max/MSP. Hope that helps.
I’ve been selling Kenaxis (http://www.kenaxis.com/) – a max/msp standalone with simple challenge response copy protection through share-it.com.
At this point it has pretty much paid for itself – fees to web designer and cost of Max/MSP – but not a whole lot more. Considering the time it took to write a manual and make it truly robust enough for public consumption it has not paid for itself.
Still – hearing from people that use the software and some of the music created by it is very rewarding. Knowing you’ve created a different way of thinking about making music and allowed others to use it is great.
I still update it regularly because it is my main tool and how I make music. Its great to then pass on these updates and get feedback from users of your software. You also get feature requests that open you to think of how your software works in new ways.
Of course its all in marketing. Perhaps eventually I’ll start making a few more steady sales, but I can’t imagine without a ton of marketing work and capital to advertise that it would ever be something to live on.
Guess part of it is about time. I have a host of smaller applications that I hope to soon make available as freeware downloads to help create a sense of community since that is one of the most rewarding parts of the process.
There’s Tritone Digital, who are developing and distributing Pluggos…apparently quite successfully.
I have no idea how much they’re making but their forums seem to be pretty busy and i have to confess to a fondness for colourtone and phasetone, (the free versions).
My suspicion would be that without robust copy protection, if you develop a good product the unpaying masses will exploit your hard work for nothing…many "major" commercial artists are using pirated software, (despite the fact that they can afford to pay for it), and there was even a furore a while back about a Windows XP tone that had been developed (or edited) using a pirated version of Soundforge (it was found in the header file of the .wav!).
IF wikipedia is to be believed, Ableton Live was also developed in Max…but that’s a big IF, although if it’s true then presumably the developers have done pretty well out of it since!!!
Just my 2p,
I’m pretty sure a lot of the original Live concept was developed in and out of Max.
Stefan Smulovitz wrote:
> I’ve been selling Kenaxis (http://www.kenaxis.com/) – a max/msp
> standalone with simple challenge response copy protection through
> At this point it has pretty much paid for itself – fees to web
> designer and cost of Max/MSP – but not a whole lot more.
Thanks for sharing this, I think for a specialized project like this
there isn’t much more to expect. And as its also your own main tool, it
had been worth to setup the website and sell it the way you do it.
The site looks very nice and professional by the way. Congratulations to
your web designer.
(allow to link to this service, (s)he deserves it… ;-)
Stefan (the other… ;-)
john inder wrote:
> My suspicion would be that without robust copy protection, if you
> develop a good product the unpaying masses will exploit your hard
> work for nothing…many "major" commercial artists are using pirated
> software, (despite the fact that they can afford to pay for it),
That’s actually what I am interested most, to find some information
about real life projects of all sorts to be able to prove such theories.
The "free culture" evangelists claim it works better than copy
protection, but I guess it depends a lot on the product and I haven’t
heard of a serious research about this yet. Not that a little poll would
be serious research, but it could add to the picture. And of course
there its much more than about money, it’s about: is it worth to put in
the extra effort which depends a lot on your own use of the software
youre giving away…
> and there was even a furore a while back about a Windows XP tone that
> had been developed (or edited) using a pirated version of Soundforge
> (it was found in the header file of the .wav!).
That would be great if you find something like that. I’d love to sue
a company like Microschuft for intelectual property abuse (Well, you
probably just tell around the stories till they think this its doing
more harm than paying you… ;-)
> IF wikipedia is to be believed, Ableton Live was also developed in
> Max…but that’s a big IF, although if it’s true then presumably the
> developers have done pretty well out of it since!!!
I think it relates to the first prototypes, for sure Max is a perfect
and very professional rapid prototyping tool…
Microsoft using pirated software for XP’s development;
You can read the story yourself here: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11183-0.html?forumID=89&threadID=173539&start=0
Obviously it’s not clear whether it was a freelancer or one of the internal Microsoft team, but either way you’d expect that they’d be able to afford to buy the software!!!
In fact certain "warez" hackers refer to their products as "try before you buy" and urge the user to buy the software if they’re using it commercially…honour amongst thieves?
I suspect that analysis of other prominent files in commercial software will produce similar results as it seems that some people have an allergy to paying for software…which is especially ironic when those same people are also software developers, but hopefully there’ll be an element of karmic readjustment at some point ;-)
i know this is a deep dive into the archive, but did you ever get this (or something like it) off the ground tom?
i’m in a very similar place with questions like your first post right now.
to avoid piracy there are two working tricks:
1. do not create and distribute content at all.
2. distribute content for free.