fdbryant3

I Was In Support Of Sync 2.0, Right Up Till They Broke A Promise

Recommended Posts

Am I missing something or is this what they are doing? Maybe you are their CFO :)

 

It is so close to what they are doing that it is painful to watch them blow it!  

 

There are tons of people here saying they're willing to hand over $40 for a perpetual license for a product!  But instead they are leaving.  So if you or BT can't figure out how it is different, then you need to stop and think about it.  (You can say, the customer is wrong, *harumph*, and be sad and poor that these whiners leave, or you can repair the customer-business relationship, and get them to happily and enthusiastically hand over money.  In this scenario, blaming the customer is a needless tragedy.)

 

... pause for thinking.  Ok.

 

It is different in that:

  • You buy a product, and keep that product forever if you don't want to renew.
    • As has been pointed out frequently here, there is a lot of value in the software as it is now that warrants $40.  If they add a bunch of cool features, in a year it might be worth another $40 to have the latest and greatest.  That choice should be up to us.  We should not be imprisoned to vendor lock-in and future price hikes, and the threat of BT dying and taking out our software.
  •  It (virtually) doesn't cost BT any more if users have 10 folders or 30 folders, so it just angers users to be charged for something that does not cost anybody anything.  The software cost BT a lot of money to create, but BT isn't charging for that -- they are charging for something perceived as meaningless. 
  • It is indeed harder to earn $40/year from software updates, but for fans and true believers, we have an emotional connection that wants to feel the software vendor is earning it.  We are biased to want to believe.
    • Also, a discounted yearly renewal can get customers to feel better about it, which is why I propose a higher price point for the initial purchase.  (Maybe a $10 discount is too small.  $49.99 / $29.99 might help reach a wider audience anyway. I think above $50 might be too high, and above $30 for renewal might seem too much if the new features aren't earthshattering.)

 

BT could also charge:

  • $5/year per person for hosting a central tracker (included in the yearly subscription), or else force people to use a free central tracker put up by random people on the internet, or set up their own.
    • Everybody gets 5-30 free folders in the official tracker, after that you pay.  I'd maybe pay for this -- might need it for sharing with family/strangers who aren't going to be using a random tracker, or my private tracker.
    • *THIS* is where a service subscription makes sense, and it is worth peanuts per year, not the price of a software product per year.  
  • $x/year for X GB storage on a cloud, (Free 20GB included in yearly subscription)
    • This also makes sense as a service-based subscription.
    • I think this only has value to many of us if the source is open.  If they are irrational about their software not being good enough to stand on its own merit, maybe they are also irrational about opening the source code.

I would perceive all of this as positive.  The way it is presented now seems like a giant screw you, we're taking away the functionality we offered, and now you have to pay perpetually on an ongoing basis to be our prisoners.  There is a possibly irrational and ungrounded fear that they can't win people over to buy their software as a product when it is probably the best sync software to come along in 10 years, with no real strong competitors in the mass market right now. (I know there are some commercial products, but many of us never even look at them them since they don't have free versions we can try.)  Some people stick with old versions of software, but many like to upgrade to the latest.  They may look at the money they would not be getting from from non-renewers of software (who would upgrade only intermittently, every few years) and people who can't be enticed by premium features  -- but look at this thread of all of the customers they are losing forever!  And these people will fuel the momentum of a competitor!   Greed and fear can inspire business people to make wrong business decisions that end up being less lucrative and I think that is what is happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I would perceive all of this as positive.  The way it is presented now seems like a giant screw you, we're taking away the functionality we offered, and now you have to pay perpetually on an ongoing basis to be our prisoners.  There is a possibly irrational and ungrounded fear that they can't win people over to buy their software as a product when it is probably the best sync software to come along in 10 years, with no real strong competitors in the mass market right now. (I know there are some commercial products, but many of us never even look at them them since they don't have free versions we can try.)  Some people stick with old versions of software, but many like to upgrade to the latest.  They may look at the money they would not be getting from from non-renewers of software (who would upgrade only intermittently, every few years) and people who can't be enticed by premium features  -- but look at this thread of all of the customers they are losing forever!  And these people will fuel the momentum of a competitor!   Greed and fear can inspire business people to make wrong business decisions that end up being less lucrative and I think that is what is happening.

 

 

Well put - I think you hit on a number of accurate points here. And as you said before, BT needs to come out with a real mea culpa - one that includes a change to their fee model to something more like we've described - free version of the app, with additional features in the pay version to entice users to upgrade, *without* deprecating features in v1.4. Otherwise the audience will be much smaller, and frankly the kind of userbase their targetting with this new model isn't very large. BTSync is by it's very nature a functionality for more than the average user, but their new model is insulting to that very target.

 

I'm a very analytical, skeptical, critical consumer. I've bought very little software over my 25+ years in IT, so it really has to be good to sell me...BTSync ain't-not at $40/year! Backup services charge that much per machine, for *terabytes* of storage. (Crashplan was $49/year when I had 4TB up there, and it was accessible via the web form any machine. Yes, it wasn't Sync...but BT isn't providing cloud storage...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading the recent reviews on the Mobile Android app and found that Sync's support people were responding to complaints about the 10 folder limit with:

"Dear XXXX, note that 10 folders limit is not applied to Sync for mobile. Sync Support Team."

or

"Dear XXXX, note that limitation of 10 folders is only applied to desktop computers. Sync Team."

I know a few people in this thread has mentioned how it's easy to exceed the 10 folder limit on a mobile device because you can't merge all the folders you want to sync under one folder because each apps expects to find their files in a specific location thus you have to create a separate Sync folders for each App you want to sync data for which can eat up your 10 folder limit quickly. I personally run into this issue too.

Based on the responses above by the Sync team, it sounds like you can create more than 10 folders on a mobile device without having to upgrade to Pro BUT even if this is true, I'm not syncing my mobile device to another mobile device but to my PC which is limited to 10 folders thus having unlimited folders on a mobile device for free is still useless unless you pay for Pro on the PC. I also see this whole unlimited folders for free on mobile and not PC as a big WTF! but that could just be me.

To me a nice compromise that the Sync team could do is only apply the 10 folder limit to Sync folders created using the new v2.x Sync folder format while allowing unlimited number of Sync folders using the v1.4x Sync folder format. It sounds like (I haven't verified myself) that the v2.x apps are backward compatible with the v1.4x folder format and you can create new v1.4x folders via the v2.x apps so they would just have to update their license code to check for total # of v2.x Sync folders instead of all Sync folders which I'd like to think would be a quick change but I'm not a developer nor do I know what their code looks like.

I think that would go a long way to making a lot of people happy again and would be a legitimate way for them to keep their promise of not removing any v1.4x features.

Granted this might be a somewhat short term "fix" being that I'm sure they will want to eventually stop supporting the v1.4x format from a code bloat point of view. Sure they made a promise to not remove any features from v2.x that were in v1.4x but I doubt they will make the same promise for v3.x. As such I still feel, like many others, that a re-evaluation of their pricing model still needs to get done. A non-subscription option for at least personal / home users would be nice as in pay once for a major version with updates (security) then an upgrade price for the next major release if we feel the need to upgrade.

Any ways, that's my feedback

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another problem I have with paying for btsync, apart from the subscription, is that for me the program is still in beta as the my NAS (MyBookLive) is still not going to sleep mode with 1.4x. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are misleading mobile users using the truth... And that in my book equates to intentional misleading... (Which is very close to criminal intent in many cases, but I digress...)

 

Yes, the number of directories remains unlimited on mobile devices, but the majority of people use those mobile tools to sync to desktop/server computers, where the limitation still applies!

 

And it would have been so easy: grandfather the early adopters in to an unlimited directory version of the system, even if only for the 'old style' key based sync (which I prefer anyway!) which is in 1.4, and provide an upgrade subscription (without mandatory automatic renewal) to the rest... It works for many others, including Stardock, whose annual 'subscription' I used for many years until I stopped using every single tool that was in their desktop package. Even when I was only using a single tool (Fences), and it'd been cheaper just to buy the new version once in a while, I retained the 'upgrade subscription'...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading the recent reviews on the Mobile Android app and found that Sync's support people were responding to complaints about the 10 folder limit with:

"Dear XXXX, note that 10 folders limit is not applied to Sync for mobile. Sync Support Team."

or

"Dear XXXX, note that limitation of 10 folders is only applied to desktop computers. Sync Team."

I know a few people in this thread has mentioned how it's easy to exceed the 10 folder limit on a mobile device because you can't merge all the folders you want to sync under one folder because each apps expects to find their files in a specific location thus you have to create a separate Sync folders for each App you want to sync data for which can eat up your 10 folder limit quickly. I personally run into this issue too.

Based on the responses above by the Sync team, it sounds like you can create more than 10 folders on a mobile device without having to upgrade to Pro BUT even if this is true, I'm not syncing my mobile device to another mobile device but to my PC which is limited to 10 folders thus having unlimited folders on a mobile device for free is still useless unless you pay for Pro on the PC. I also see this whole unlimited folders for free on mobile and not PC as a big WTF! but that could just be me.

To me a nice compromise that the Sync team could do is only apply the 10 folder limit to Sync folders created using the new v2.x Sync folder format while allowing unlimited number of Sync folders using the v1.4x Sync folder format. It sounds like (I haven't verified myself) that the v2.x apps are backward compatible with the v1.4x folder format and you can create new v1.4x folders via the v2.x apps so they would just have to update their license code to check for total # of v2.x Sync folders instead of all Sync folders which I'd like to think would be a quick change but I'm not a developer nor do I know what their code looks like.

I think that would go a long way to making a lot of people happy again and would be a legitimate way for them to keep their promise of not removing any v1.4x features.

Granted this might be a somewhat short term "fix" being that I'm sure they will want to eventually stop supporting the v1.4x format from a code bloat point of view. Sure they made a promise to not remove any features from v2.x that were in v1.4x but I doubt they will make the same promise for v3.x. As such I still feel, like many others, that a re-evaluation of their pricing model still needs to get done. A non-subscription option for at least personal / home users would be nice as in pay once for a major version with updates (security) then an upgrade price for the next major release if we feel the need to upgrade.

Any ways, that's my feedback

If you are backing up your phones witch would be at least 2 folders per phone (system/pictures) and if your family has 5 phones thats 10 folders on the pc or server (NAS) your backing up to....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a bit off topic to discuss how to work around the ten folder limit or if this is enough or not. It's rather a fundamental question if you trust a company with closed source code which apparently broke their promise. What is next? You can guess...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first discovered BTSync I was bowled over and wowed by its simplicity and ease of use. Version I was an excellent product, with good security and flexibility. Then along comes 2.0 - and with it, a tale of woe and growing disillusionment. To get the shares I needed it was necessary to rig up new devices when I only needed one, just to stop the promiscuous syncing between every folder in site. I eventually gave up because the time and fiddling outweighed the functionality.

 

On the licencing issue, the company has taken a nose-dive into shallow water. Subscription models are not popular with any of my colleagues, friends or contacts - nor with the majority of contributors to this forum. I want to buy a product and upgrade it when needed. For good, fair and successful software licence models you have to look no further than the excellent JRiver Media Center, or my favourite backup system, R-Drive Image. Both of these I've happily upgraded through several major version changes. They've got a happy customer and a regular cash flow from me.

 

I no longer have a syncing feeling - I have a sinking feeling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a bit off topic to discuss how to work around the ten folder limit or if this is enough or not. It's rather a fundamental question if you trust a company with closed source code which apparently broke their promise. What is next? You can guess...

 

@freigeist - the open/closed source debate is also somewhat off topic to this particular thread. Sync has always been "closed source" this position hasn't changed with the introduction of Sync 2.0, which this thread is about. There are other more appropriate & relevant topics [like this one] for that particular discussion to continue in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I no longer have a syncing feeling - I have a sinking feeling.

I nominate this as the best quote in this thread, perhaps the whole forum. This really summarizes the opinion of most of the people in this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the 10-folder limit should not have been approved. It is always a bad idea to take away functionality from your users (it's like taking away your favourite toy).

 

Now, having said that, I am happy to see that backwards compatibility will be maintained. I can't speak for the future and I don't like outdated software that is not updated anymore, but at least it seems we can keep using BTSync 1.4.

 

I also think a better solution could have been to simply make people pay for the "added features" that you advertise, like any cloud provider charges for added storage, you should have charged for new features, but not take features away and then say - look you can get them all back, for a little annual fee of $.

 

I generally dislike the new obsession with annual fees / abo model. I can understand that you need money to develop software, but please let the user decide if he wants to pay for added features or not. Simply charging an annual fee is ridiculous. What if you (as in you, the developer) decide to stop the development? You will simply keep charging people, but there will be no more support / no more updates / no more new features. I rather pay for a new version every year and decide myself if I really need that new feature.

 

I guess as  pointed out before me, SyncThing will be welcoming everyone with open arms ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first read that there will be a pro version and no changes to the known feature set in the free version, I already have thought that this is not what's going to happen. And it didn't happen. It is so much easier to cut features and force users into the Pro version than comming up with Pro features that are worth to pay for.

 

Just you wait. They will raise the number of synced folders to 25 soon and call it an act of generosity (since 10 is already sooo much).

 

What a disappointment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are backing up your phones witch would be at least 2 folders per phone (system/pictures) and if your family has 5 phones thats 10 folders on the pc or server (NAS) your backing up to....

 

2 folders per mobile device is the bare minimum. Add in save game data (1 directory per game) or other apps that store their pictures folders outside of the system default pictures directory. Heck the pictures directory doesn't even contain the directory that the camera on the device stores it's photos in. A single mobile device can blow the 10 folder limit on a PC easily.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@freigeist - the open/closed source debate is also somewhat off topic to this particular thread. Sync has always been "closed source" this position hasn't changed with the introduction of Sync 2.0, which this thread is about. There are other more appropriate & relevant topics [like this one] for that particular discussion to continue in.

 

I disagree - the closed source is an aspect of trust, and broken trust is the heart of what's happening - BTSync claimed one thing, then changed their tune. Since they're source is closed, how do we know their claims about their source are any more valid than their claims about features not being deprecated/removed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly but I think most would like to leave this thread discussing the 10 limit or the $40/yr subscription as the closed/open source is somewhat of a dead horse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree - the closed source is an aspect of trust, and broken trust is the heart of what's happening - BTSync claimed one thing, then changed their tune. Since they're source is closed, how do we know their claims about their source are any more valid than their claims about features not being deprecated/removed?

 

Again, issues/concerns/comments surrounding the open/closed nature of the source code are already being discussed in other threads here in the forums, as indicated in my previous post.

 

As a reminder, the theme of this thread is "I Was In Support Of Sync 2.0, Right Up Till They Broke A Promise". Because the open/closed status of Sync has not changed for 2.0 - nor was it promised to - it is off-topic to this particular thread and belongs instead in the relevant, dedicated threads covering that particular subject.

 

Thank you for your co-operation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How exactly does more folders effect BTsync's hardware/tracker server or whatever ?

It doesn't affect them and no one (on either side of the fence) is saying it is. For most software that has a free vs pro version, the pro version doesn't cost the company more, it is just a way to entice subscribers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't affect them and no one (on either side of the fence) is saying it is. For most software that has a free vs pro version, the pro version doesn't cost the company more, it is just a way to entice subscribers.

So the 10 folder limit is just to force you to go pro if you need to use your own hardware with more of your own folders?

REALLY ???

 

PAIN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Sync 2.0’s free version, there are no limits on folder capacity, nor will there be any performance throttling. 10 active folders is a lot of syncing activity and we feel that those who need more capabilities will benefit much from Sync Pro.

 

They trying to tell me I'm going to wear out MY hardware ? or piss off MY ISP ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They trying to tell me I'm going to wear out MY hardware ? or piss off MY ISP ?

No offense but you're missing the point of this limitation. It isn't a safety feature for you, traffic control, because the program is optimized for 10, or because you shouldn't cross the streams!

2.0 introduced a paid tier and if you want more than 10 shares you need the paid version. Again, enticement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No offense but you're missing the point of this limitation. It isn't a safety feature for you, traffic control, because the program is optimized for 10, or because you shouldn't cross the streams!

2.0 introduced a paid tier and if you want more than 10 shares you need the paid version. Again, enticement.

 

I know this I was being facetious....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, well I am yet another user to register in response to the broken promises by Bittorrent Inc. I agree that removing functionality, whether it is perceived functionality by the staff of Bittorrent Inc or not, is wrong. You crowd-sourced our input as beta testing for your product which you are now selling -- and/or offering free but with reduced functionality breaking your own promise.

 

Furthermore, the trustworthiness of your company as a whole is currently in question given the very recent issues with EpicScale being installed silently alongside uTorrent (which is developed by Bittorrent Inc).

 

see this link: http://forum.utorrent.com/topic/95041-warning-epicscale-riskware-silently-installed-with-latest-utorrent/

 

How can we possibly believe that the free Bittorrent Sync product will not be relegated to the same fate as uTorrent given that they are owned and developed by the same company. Furthermore, how can we possibly believe that it won't be bundled with software similar to Epic Scale given this quote from Bittorrent Inc's very own N4TE_B "Epic Scale is a great partner for us to continue to generate revenue for the company, while contributing funds to good causes."

 

Yes, Bittorrent Sync users, you read that correctly, Bittorrent Inc has now surreptitiously bundled software for generating revenue from CPU/GPU cycles of its users in uTorrent.

 

On a somewhat more personal note, I have used Bittorrent Sync for about a year now and have evangelized it to many people personally because of how convenient it was in the era of 1.4. I do not believe I will use your product any longer and I will advise others to do the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.