epounds

On Sync 2.0's Pricing Model

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I can't use or pay for 2.0 even if I want to. I can't tell all the people around me whom I've recommended Sync to, to upgrade to a version that they need to pay for. Therefore, I'm stuck at 1.4, since I won't be able to upgrade my entire network of friends and colleagues to 2.0, and I share folders with them. I. e., the 10 folder limit will make it useless for them, and not all will want to pay for the additional features.

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What this 10-folder limitation surely did for me - it destroyed the trust in the Bittorrent company.

It is forcing me to re-setup and reconsider the structure that I successfully used since I started using BTSync.

I am living in a 3rd world country, and I am fine with paying like 10$/lifetime/device, but $40/year is totally insane for me, for what BTSync is. For the near future I will be rolling back to 1.4, and will start looking for alternatives. I will also stop considering Bleep as a future messaging platform because of the lost trust.

Edited by negrusti

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You've lost me with a subscription model. I really liked BTS, and I recommended it to everyone. Now I'm doing the opposite.

 

I'm now looking at other apps that do the same thing. There are others -- even on the Mac App Store -- for a one-time payment.

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I totally agree with MisterRider. This is still very confusing. I'm figuring out how 2.0 works by try and error. Seams to be a step back from v1.4 at least from that point of view. At the present moment I'm trying to figure out if it is possible to share different sets of folders between different devices that belong to the same entity. :-(

Such an important change of functionality and switch to a payed-for model should not come with an automated update IMHO - but should be thoroughly explained to the user before he agrees.

 

Also subscription pricing seems far to expensive to me. I use SYNC mainly to keep seven devices synced. 2 Belong to team-maids and 5 belong to me. I understand that I would have to pay 120,- € / year to go on using this software. This would make it the second most expensive software in my office. I think as a software provider the pricing has to fit the importance (and exchangability) of the piece you're trying to sell. That's a miss in my case as I can very well use windows build in functions to substitute SYNC for the office usage - and than just use it to maintain my phone synced. As this makes the hole scenario so uncomplicated it's easy enough to change to different software altogether of just drop phone syncing totally.

 

I would very well pay for the software once - but I'm not paying this amount of money for a minor commodity tool. If you rethink your pricing to late most people may have found a different solution for their syncing needs. 

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I totally agree with MisterRider. This is still very confusing. I'm figuring out how 2.0 works by try and error. Seams to be a step back from v1.4 at least from that point of view. At the present moment I'm trying to figure out if it is possible to share different sets of folders between different devices that belong to the same entity. :-(

 

I don't think so, an identity has all the shares associated to it on all peers. However, you can disconnect them on peers where you don't want them and no actual files are sync'ed. You can also configure the default behavior to be connected or disconnected.

 

The new model is indeed more complex than 1.4, but it also has an advantage: you can now configure a NAS with your identity and have it sync new shares automatically. This is much nicer then the old set-up where you had to log on to the NAS to add shares (which may not be visible from the outside).

 

 

Also subscription pricing seems far to expensive to me. I use SYNC mainly to keep seven devices synced. 2 Belong to team-maids and 5 belong to me. I understand that I would have to pay 120,- € / year to go on using this software. This would make it the second most expensive software in my office. I think as a software provider the pricing has to fit the importance (and exchangability) of the piece you're trying to sell. That's a miss in my case as I can very well use windows build in functions to substitute SYNC for the office usage - and than just use it to maintain my phone synced. As this makes the hole scenario so uncomplicated it's easy enough to change to different software altogether of just drop phone syncing totally.
 
I see broadly two user groups: those who want pretty much the same functionality as 1.4. Bittorrent Sync let down that group by first promising to not remove functionality and then introducing the 10-share limit. I think that was an extremely bad move PR and trust-wise. On other sites you see a lot of people who used to like/promote BTSync who are disgruntled and now effectively advocate against it.
 
The other group wants the the Pro functionality (selective sync, modifying permissions on existing shares) and is quite happy to pay for the extra features (perhaps not in form of a subscription). I am in this group, I really think the extra Pro features are worth it, so I decided to drop money on BTSync a couple of days ago.
 
At any rate, the 10-folder limit makes it really hard to advocate BTSync, and sadly, the PR damage is probably already done. I hope that Bittorrent Sync finds a new groups of users, because I do like the product a lot.
 
Ps. The EU price is not 40 Euro, but 34.99 Euro ;).

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i do not agree when you say "now i can have all my file everywhere on my tablet".

 

No you can't, if all your computers are down, and have just your tablet you can't. With dropbox you can. It is not a cloud service.

 

I really like btsync, it open solutions of lots of problems i had, but it doen't deliver anything else than sync your own device, nothing more. When i leave home or office for a long time, i take my backup disc, where i sync with btsync. If my computer is down i can't sync anything else. If my home and office burn in the same time, well i've lost everything. Nothing compare to a cloud service or a backup service.

I use btsync everydays, with 7 folders and about 2To in total. But for me the price is not equal to the job btsync does.

As i said, maybe we pay for dev work, i understand, but for me it is to expensive for what it does compare to other service which needs lots of investment

 

You know if Amazon's server ever goes down, you'll be without your dropbox files then as well. 

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You know if Amazon's server ever goes down, you'll be without your dropbox files then as well. 

 

And what do you think the odds of that are? I mean, Amazon has a rather huge array of servers in multiple parts of the country. If one datacenter goes down, another temporarily takes over. Downtime occurs, but it's usually so brief as to be unnoticeable. And you won't be without your files, but rather you'll be without the ability to sync them.

 

The odds of your personal equipment failing is orders of magnitude higher than Amazon going completely down for a significant amount of time.

 

I don't think so, an identity has all the shares associated to it on all peers. However, you can disconnect them on peers where you don't want them and no actual files are sync'ed. You can also configure the default behavior to be connected or disconnected.

 

The new model is indeed more complex than 1.4, but it also has an advantage: you can now configure a NAS with your identity and have it sync new shares automatically. This is much nicer then the old set-up where you had to log on to the NAS to add shares (which may not be visible from the outside).

 

And this is actually worse in my books. I'm not using an NAS, and I don't WANT an identity adding all of my existing shares to a machine that I install BTsync onto. I want only a small subset of my my shared folders, plus whatever new ones for the new computer or device.

And more specifically, I don't want an identity AT ALL. I want each folder to stand apart from the others. Identities are not a convenience for me. They're the problem in reverse. Instead of having to manually add shares, I have to manually remove them. And given the number of them that I have on my main computer, that's more work.

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We do not like hate the 10 folder limit. I have just started testing alternative apps.

What is the problem with the following sentence? "Putting your fingers in your ears and humming really loud"

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We do not like hate the 10 folder limit. I have just started testing alternative apps.

What is the problem with the following sentence? "Putting your fingers in your ears and humming really loud"

 

So you don't like it. Your problem is not mine. 

 

I think from a technical standpoint BT Sync is an ingenious method to sync items. It's main advantage is speed. For me this is a huge plus as I have several large files that take forever on cloud services today despite my relatively good broadband connection. 

 

Do I wish there wasn't a subscription fee? You bet! I would love to pay triple to quadruple the current annual rate and pay for updates as they are made available. I stay because of the technology behind BT Sync. Nothing else competes in the speed realm. I have many computers that span more than one network, so the problems with downtime and missing computers to sync with don't apply to me. I also employ a NAS which takes my peer to peer sync and turns it into a hybrid of peer to peer and centralized storage. 

 

We get your disappointed and justifiably so, but at some point you need to either walk away or stick around and stop complaining. Otherwise you're just trolling. 

 

2d

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We get your disappointed and justifiably so, but at some point you need to either walk away or stick around and stop complaining. Otherwise you're just trolling. 

 

You're absolutely welcome to refute any points you'd like. But unless you're secretly working for Bittorrent Inc., you really have no business implying that people who don't like the current direction are trolls (an ironic bit of trolling, incidentally). 

 

Perhaps you didn't notice, but this thread was started by a BTsync staff member. The reason people are angry is that he avoided talking about any of the issues we raised and instead came up with a completely idiotic statement about subscription models and long-term development of the program. 

 

Speaking for myself, I'm still using the product (albeit v1.4) and I have every right to not walk away, and to bitch about it to my heart's content. If you don't like that, do what Bittorrent Inc. staff do and avoid answering questions here.

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And what do you think the odds of that are? I mean, Amazon has a rather huge array of servers in multiple parts of the country. If one datacenter goes down, another temporarily takes over. Downtime occurs, but it's usually so brief as to be unnoticeable. And you won't be without your files, but rather you'll be without the ability to sync them.

 

The odds of your personal equipment failing is orders of magnitude higher than Amazon going completely down for a significant amount of time.

 

And this is actually worse in my books. I'm not using an NAS, and I don't WANT an identity adding all of my existing shares to a machine that I install BTsync onto. I want only a small subset of my my shared folders, plus whatever new ones for the new computer or device.

 

 

With regards to Amazon: I was merely pointing out that your argument seemed rather arbitrary given the constraints of even traditional centralized cloud sync. At the end of the day you are of course right. If the EC2 server ever went down we would probably never even notice. This is one reason Dropbox uses them instead of creating their own. 

 

One other important difference though between dropbox and bt sync is that you control the hardware, it resides only where you want it to. This means it's private and always under your control. With services like DropBox you're told that your files are encrypted but the exact details and transparency to see this in effect are a different matter. (Granted I've never asked for proof from DropBox) 

 

The main point here is that there are trade offs with each solution. Based on the number of clients you have hardware failure is a moot point, and based on the number of clients the inability to sync because of missing peers is also reduced. 

 

With regards to how BT Sync works on a NAS. You can configure it. If you don't want it syncing a folder you simply disconnect it. However Sync All is always on for any folder connected on a NAS, so you can't selectively sync files in a folder. It works for me as intended, but I can see it missing features some way want. My guess is that the NAS client will one day be indistinguishable from the desktop clients. 

 

2d

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I know simply this: they'd have had my money already, if there were a purchase option.

 

Because there's only a rental option, they'll get nothing.

 

The only reason to not provide both options, to literally turn down money, is if they have calculated that those who would prefer to purchase, but can't and so will begrudgingly subscribe, will be large enough in number to offset the loss that is the purchasing model (as compared to the subscription-based cash-cow).

 

This alone, speaks to how overwhelmingly profitable the subscription-model is.

 

Aside from this, the four biggest issues I have with subscription-based models, for software, is that it kills incentive to innovate because the developers already have your money; it dismantles the cycle of reward for significant features and fixes.

 

What's more, the subscription model is unfair to those for whom the version they're on is working with their configuration, and therefore don't need to upgrade.

 

The basic user ends up subsidizing the more advanced user with more complex configurations that do need to upgrade due to the never ending (but understandable) bug cycles. E.g., mobile and exotic NAS configurations.

 

Those with the exotic (and never working perfectly) configurations should be the ones that pay the upgrade fees for the new versions they need, or choose subscription-based if the numbers work favorably in their more bleeding-edge situation.

 

The user simply syncing two PCs together shouldn't have to shoulder that burden with the same subscription price.

 

Thirdly, the subscription model often works to rewards bugs, because the more buggy the product, the more justification there is to continually pay. You continually pay for promises. If it worked perfectly, no one would see the need to keep paying endlessly; and without any ownership...

 

Lastly, there is never any sense of ownership.

 

Years of payments, of being a loyal customer, end up meaning nothing to the renter once the money stops flowing outward. When the rent cycle is up, the payer must revert to the free version. They don't even get to "keep" (use) the last full version they were on!

 

Worst customer loyalty program ever.

 

There is no way the subscription model can be the future vision of software, except through the distorted lens of the largest software companies (like Adobe), because they're the only ones that could afford a dystopia in which all the software they, themselves, need internally, would each have a monthly / yearly fee.

 

For the rest of us, in this subscription-crazed dystopia, our software tools would quickly add up to be more than our mortgages / rent / car payments.

 

So, anyone doing it now, it's untamed gold rush greed, pure and simple.

 

I will not support what is not sustainable.

 

I have no problem with companies that offer both methods of monetizing and will very likely open my wallet for BTS if it happens.

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Lastly, there is never any sense of ownership.

 

And with that one of the other important disadvantages: if Bittorrent Inc. goes bankrupt or cancels BTSync, you have to migrate before your subscription ends. If you own the software, you can migrate at your own pace (and continue to use the software as long as it works).

 

As I also mentioned, Adobe has a subscription model, and it is insane. Before, I used to look what new features an upgrade offered and decide based on that. Now you always pay, even if the changes are only marginally interesting. Luckily, not all their products have moved to a subscription model (yet?).

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I believe if BTSync would honor their original statement that all current features would continue working in the free 2.0 version and return to unlimited folders, the flood of criticism would start to recede. Maybe they'll consider the rent vs. buying as well and many of us would purchase to own. Right now I'm sitting on 1.4 and clicking no every time it pops up inviting me to upgrade.

 

In my business, there have been times I've changed something that interfaces with customers believing it would be received positively. Many times it's worked out. Sometimes not so well. Learn quickly and return to gaining ground.

 

Wise management is not afraid to admit a mistake and adjust their course, seeking to regain the goodwill of their customers.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/amyanderson/2013/05/01/admitting-you-were-wrong-doesnt-make-you-weak-it-makes-you-awesome/

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Why is everyone comparing BT Sync with DropBox when they should be comparing it with ViceVersa Pro? Also notice that ViceVersa is a one time cost outside of updates.

 

Maybe because ViceVersa Pro is a shadow of what BT Sync is? (Don't get me wrong, it looks great.) It is only syncing to a source. Their is no NAS client, and for that matter the only OS supported is windows based. This means no mobile clients either. VVPro also does not appear to offer block level file sync which is important when dealing with extremely large files. 

 

Remote access, etc. is possible but will require manual port forwarding and rules. (and leaves the encryption and authentication completely up to the individual) This also does not support automatic client discovery on like networks. 

That all said it looks like you can get pretty detailed with setting up batch jobs, etc on VVPro, it however is more akin to GoodSync or other programs like that. While they can be configured to approximate most dropbox like services they are in no way direct plug and play alternatives in the way that BT Sync is. 

 

2d

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Why is everyone comparing BT Sync with DropBox when they should be comparing it with ViceVersa Pro? Also notice that ViceVersa is a one time cost outside of updates.

 

I guess because people use it as a substitute for Dropbox. Sure, it's peer to peer file transfer. But if you use an always-on machine such as a NAS (or a Mac with the bug in the current version ;)), it functions nearly the same as Dropbox.

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There's really an excellent term for the Sync 2.0 model: bait and switch.

1.4 was unlimited on folders etc, 2.0 became "pro" only and actively removed features that used to be in the previous version. That's pretty scummy by just about anyone's standard.

1.4 is no doubt dead-ended now, I'd be surprised if we saw anything there beyond emergency bug fixes going forward very much longer, so this is essentially a radical change from "free with extras" to "crippled unless you pay".

The yearly free instead of a paid single price for this program is down to income maximization, not user friendliness or a desire to "constantly improve" much of anything beyond the bottom line of Bittorrent - it's not like the company actually stores the terabytes or yottabytes or whatever that Dropbox does. You provide a switchboard so the software installations can talk to each other. So the yearly fee that Dropbox charges starts looking mighty affordable now, since they don't just offer the sync service, they offer an automatic backup too.

Either way, this bait and switch has ensured that I for one - along with many others - went from a champion of the software to someone now working hard to abandon ship. I certainly won't recommend this to anyone, or consider it for work. Behavior like this shouldn't be rewarded.

"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further." -- Darth Vader

Edited by KimmoJ

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Why is everyone comparing BT Sync with DropBox when they should be comparing it with ViceVersa Pro? Also notice that ViceVersa is a one time cost outside of updates.

 

I'm going to say because most people know what Dropbox is and virtually no one has heard of ViceVersa Pro but hey you may have won them a sale or two.

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So instead of high-cost entry price points and upgrade costs every 12 to 18 months, then the added cost of premium support agreements, we chose a simple, all-in, per user/per year price.

 

One price for every user.

Do you even thought about that this makes no sense for Bittorrent Sync? In your opinion a small creative team with 3 people who wants to share some files is the same like a mid-sized company with 50 users who want to share files.

 

Every other software or service offer different usage tiers or different software versions for different usages. Do you think they make this just for fun?

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Maybe because ViceVersa Pro is a shadow of what BT Sync is? (Don't get me wrong, it looks great.) It is only syncing to a source.

 

I am paying customer of both ViceVersa and BitTorrent Sync. I use rsync, robocopy, and numerous diff tools with various levels of automation on a daily basis. Frankly, considering BitTorrent Sync has no way to do conflict resolution between files. It is basically just a toy for people who need mirroring. ViceVersa and VVEngine solves this much more gracefully. For example, here is a simple test case.

 

1. Install Gomita's Scrapbook in Firefox (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/scrapbook/)

2. Save a web-link at any site using Scrapbook (instructions) and synchronize it between two machines

3. Once both machines are in the same state, save another link on machine #1

4. On machine #2 save another link to something else

5. Quit out of Firefox on both machines and wait for BitTorrent Sync to sychronize.

6. Load into Firefox on both machines and notice the most recent save overwrote the results from the older save. No conflict files exist in the .sync folder or elsewhere to show the scrapbook.rdf was different between the two machines.

 

This is unacceptable in a collaborative environment. To make an analogy, as of right now BitTorrent Sync is a bit like a car without doors, seat-belts, or any other protective measures, because it just allows data to be overwritten purely based on timestamp and then even worse -- doesn't even say that it did so. While I love the philosophy behind BT Sync, until this is addressed I'd be better off just using Beyond Compare and a manual diff and merge.

Edited by xtraeme

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...

 

1. Install Gomita's Scrapbook in Firefox (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/scrapbook/)

2. Save a web-link at any site using Scrapbook (instructions) and synchronize it between two machines

3. Once both machines are in the same state, save another link on machine #1

4. On machine #2 save another link to something else

5. Quit out of Firefox on both machines and wait for BitTorrent Sync to sychronize.

6. Load into Firefox on both machines and notice the most recent save overwrote the results from the older save. No conflict files exist in the .sync folder or elsewhere to show the scrapbook.rdf was different between the two machines.

 

...

 

I'm curious how VV, for example, would resolve the scenario you just provided. The best possible outcome is that a program could merge those two saves into one file that Scrapbook can use. This would require BT Sync to have knowledge on how Scrapbook interacts with files and how those files are formatted. In any other solution you would have to choose which of the two files you want to go with. This takes time and still leaves you without a change because you have to pick only one of the files and discard the other. It's also clunky and depending on the number of conflicts can be very time consuming. 

 

I would say based on your example, that Scrapbook is the real problem. It should be using more than one change file so as to allow increments. By only using one file, and not providing any kind of cloud back end, how would any changes get merged with the one file unless Scrapbook is doing the merging itself?

 

2d

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