Wednesday, February 23, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Path Finder Subscriptions

Steve Gehrman:

You may be wondering, is this Path Finder 11? No, from now on it’s just called “Path Finder”. We’ve decided from now on we will no longer use version numbers in the apps name. There is still exists an internal build number which you can use to determine if you have the latest build, but Path Finder will now be an constantly evolving, frequently updated app.

We plan on at least one new build per month. You will no longer have to wait until the major release to get out latest and greatest improvements.

[…]

Big releases are always a nightmare. So we are saying goodbye to big releases and switching to a very simple subscription model.

[…]

If you purchased Path Finder 10 less than a year ago, the new Path Finder will run using your License key until you reach the one year mark.

It’s $2.95/month or $29.95/year.

Previously:

12 Comments

Corentin Cras-Méneur

Nope. Just no.
I want to be in conrtrol of what upgrade I purchase and when based on the value it offers. I won't give my card number just hoping that new features I'm actually interested in will be implemented and knowing that the day I stop paying I won't be able to use the software ever again.
And please, don't pretend like it's better and more convenient for me, the end-user.

And it's sad in a way since up to now, I've paid for upgrades one after the other for the app (because I liked the new features that were offered).
I'll stay in PF10.

Agenda has a better approach to the issue you really must implement a subscription model: Pay if you want new features for a year, and then if you don't pay, you don't get the new features but at least you keep the old ones active for you. It ends up being fairly similar to the traditional license and upgrade model.

I'm kind of impressed Path Finder is still around, and if a subscription model helps them, sure.

PF10 has only two activations. You must pay for a 3rd, 4th, etc. and it is a subscription only model. From their site:

"The credit card processing company we use for example only handles subscriptions and doesn't handle one time purchases with license keys. Given that limitation and after searching for months for the best solution [andweighing] all the pros and cons, we decided it's best for everyone if we switched to subscriptions."

"it's best for everyone"

PF9 for the win! One license, 3 activations for home, work, and laptop.

Time to say good bye.

Of course, I understand that a subscription model is a great temptation for any software company. Reliable incoming payments and no worries about whether everyone will keep up with an update. For the customer, it primarily means a significant increase in costs, which is disguised with an apparent gain in convenience.
I have already started looking around for alternatives. I did that with TextExpander and Ulysses, and I will do it again with each subsequent software.

Corentin: "Nope. Just no. I want to be in conrtrol of what upgrade I purchase and when based on the value it offers. I won't give my card number just hoping that new features I'm actually interested in will be implemented”

Then you should avoid proprietary software altogether, because this is fundamentally unavoidable, regardless of whether they use subscriptions and monthly releases or versioned licenses and big-bang releases.

Every application ever written adds and removes features from time to time. You never had any assurance that any release would only add features you might want, without the risk that they’ll remove old features you need. Or (especially as a Mac user) that the version you use today will continue to run on a newer Mac, or a newer version of macOS.

There have been millions of Mac users over the years who have been upset that they have one app that requires macOS newer than version V to run, and another app that only runs on macOS older than version V. Subscriptions didn’t cause that problem. If anything, they should improve the situation, as developers have an incentive to keep existing users happy.

Corentin Cras-Méneur

Tim, I understand what you want to say, but there is a massive difference: With a standard licensing scheme (or the Agenda option for subscription), I keep some control as to whether I want to upgrade or not based on the perceived value of the new version.
With a subscription, I have zero control. Even worse, if I stop paying, Stop being able to use the software altogether.

I have a number of old software acquired ages ago that still function quite nicely on my Mac. I know that some day, they won't be compatible anymore (I miss FinderPop :'-( ), but again, in this type of situation, I am in control.

The argument you present only makes sense if the old versions of the software quickly becomes obsolete or unusable.

Stefan Brunner

I used to routinely upgrade year after year, it was $18 for the upgrade before. $29 is a very very steep price increase, in addition to a limit of only two seats, where most of us have multiple devices. I am also saying no thank you, and saying good buy to Pathfinder after many years.

I've been a Pathfinder user & buyer since Pathfinder 5. Have paid for every upgrade since then, no complaints.

Moving to a subscription model = NOPE. I'm now a Forklift user! Congrats team!

Subscription:
- No control over when I'm forced to upgrade software.
- No way to signal discontent over crappy releases by opting out from purchase until issues are fixed.
- Disrespect and infantilization of the end user by sticking a straw into the wallet instead of allowing user to decide when to fork over for upgrades.

When you're done with the Brave New World of subby software models (i.e. when a traditional single-purchase perpetual license option is restored,) give a shout-out and I might come back.

Until then:

I hope Pathfinder slowly bleeds out its userbase to Forklift, ON GENERAL PRINCIPLE, EVEN IF PATHFINDER HAPPENS TO BE A TECHNICALLY-SUPERIOR, MORE FEATURE RICH PRODUCT.

THAT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU ARE ABUSING YOUR USERS WITH STUPID FORCED SUBSCRIPTIONS.

Vlad Ghitulescu

I also have been a customer and buyer since version 5.

I have some issues with the tags and iCloud in Path Finder.
I opened for both a support-ticket in 2018 and they are still there, unresolved. Meanwhile I got the tickets automatically closed and opened them again.

After getting the news about the new version I asked about compatibility with Mojave and got no answer yet.

And I also tested ForkLift but was not convinced, so I'm still using Path Finder.

Yeah, see ya Path Finder. Subscriptions are a scam and require me to keep paying you for upgrades that are seldom worth the price. It is like a waiter who already includes the tip in the bill...NOPE!

I am moving to Linux. The KDE UI is free and they have a beautiful file manager and all the software I need runs on it. Seriously tired of Apple and all the expensive software I have to buy. Now I am being hit for a subscription by a file manager?

Downloaded trial.

It doesn't find anything. At. All. Is the search function disabled in the 30 day trial? I sure am glad I did not pay up front.

Deleting.

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