Rumble rumble

November 19th, 2008 by Christopher  


Been quiet around here, huh? Six months since the last blahg update. Not much going on then, I guess? Sitting on the ol’ laurels, right?


I’ll admit, it must look quiet from the outside. But if you come join me down here in the Figure 53 bunker you’d see a different story. Down here in the laboratory these last six months have been a maelstrom. Coding like Figure 53 has never coded before. Coding like gangbusters, if gangbusters could code. Coding that has been frenetically, obsessively focused on QLab version 2.

And it’s almost done.

When exactly will it be released? Well, software resists prediction. This summer I made noises on the QLab mailing list that I expected a late fall release. Then a last-minute architectural bottleneck arose and forced me to rewrite the entire video engine from scratch. It’s the nature of software; it doesn’t work until it works, and you just can’t predict exactly what it will take to make it work. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a manager.

“Great Chris. But when will it be released?”

Okay, okay. What I can say is that I’m back on track and coming down the final stretch. A small but devoted team of beta testers has been whacking away on the new code since mid-September. I really, really want to get it out before the end of the year. Right now I’m feeling confident I can achieve that goal.

And what will it cost? Prices are not yet finalized, but I will point you to the upgrade policy as described on the mailing list. Short version: the full cost of your Audio, Video, and MIDI licenses from v1 can be applied to a v2 upgrade.

Back into the bunker with me. I’ll be coming out again shortly with a new tool for you to try. I think you’re gonna like it.

7 Responses to “Rumble rumble”

  1. Peter Landers Says:

    Ooh, I see a few tantalizing hints of features I’ve been wanting for a while now. And it looks a lot more like a “standard” Leopard application. Not sure about the dotted line above the options pane, isn’t the standard just a single centred dot?

    All in all, I can’t wait for the final release!

  2. Michael Roper Says:

    Sweeeet looking screenshot there Chris, its looking like a very polished app!

  3. Seb Says:

    wouw!!!! Looks great! It will be a nice christmas surprise if it comes before the end of the year! ;-)

  4. ole kristensen Says:

    looks nice!

    any hope for an rs-232 / 485 comming up?

    if you want help, i’d love to look at any cod esketches you might have, as i might choose to do a software solution myself anyway.

    best / ole

  5. Scott Says:

    Looks good but I’m a bit worried about the new pricing. Since both the pro MIDI and the Pro Audio can be credited toward it looks like the new minimal price for an enhanced system is over $200. Not that that isn’t nec. fair it is a BIG bump for those who don’t use/need MIDI. And it looks like the Pro control isn’t applicable so it seems minimum upgrade for those with a pro audio and pro control license holders is going to be at least $150, probably more like $200 (or the upgrade would be free for Pro Audio + MIDI users. My minor squawk is that for those of us that for those of us that don’t use/ need MIDI it’s a fairly steep upgrade. I know it’s not part of the plan but I’m really going to miss the splits that used to be, and I’m wondering why MIDI was bundled into the Audio?

  6. Christopher Says:

    Hi Scott,

    Good questions. There are a number of factors that went into the new licensing structure. For starters it’s become clear over the last couple of years that there are basically two kinds of users: audio folks and video folks. As you note not everyone in these two categories uses MIDI, but that’s how everyone can ultimately be classified. I want the licensing to reflect that simple set of options: “are you interested in audio or video?” A fair number of people get confused by which licenses they need in the current system, and simplifying the choice should help.

    Beyond this, I need to find a fair price that will also sustain the company. The $49 dollar price point isn’t enough to do that when it comes to the size of this market. With all the new features on the way (including major additions for audio, video, MIDI, and other areas) I felt I needed to find a fairer balance to the pricing structure. It’s either that or stop working on QLab. :-)

    I’m still committed to a very capable free version of the software, and I also have a plan for a new kind of licensing structure that I haven’t publicly discussed—one that is specifically intended to make QLab accessible at an extremely low cost for many circumstances.

    At the end of the day my goal is to make a great tool accessible even to small budgets, while at the same time making sure that Figure 53 can keep writing software for you now and in the future. I think the new licensing options will achieve that balance, but of course I am always open to feedback if folks disagree.

  7. Scott Says:


    I understand and I will probably upgrade at whatever price. I manly work in film now and have been doing theatre mostly for universities the last few years. My concern was that after getting these schools to move to Qlab that the upgrade was going to put you over the price of other local software in the same category. Right now for less than the cost of a textbook one can have a very capable show app (for sound). If the price is more in the $200 – $300 range then…. It becomes a harder sell. I’m worried that by making the first step up so steep you will discourage folks from moving beyond the basic (free) version. I understand your income needs and I don’t think the price is out of wack, it’s just that one could sort of build up to it before and the new model is a really big step. It’s not hard to get students to drop $50 for the added features it’s going to be a lot harder to get them to drop $200+ and it gets to be too much to require it for a class. Basically I’m worried about your making less money not about your making too much. The more I use QLab the more I like it so you have me, and I want you to stay programing and improving it. But who knows maybe I’m wrong, but I think you may end up wanting to add an intermediate step in the pricing?
    Here’s hoping it all works out for everyone!


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