Ambrosia Software’s Snapz Pro X 2.1.1: Finally it no longer nags rightful owners of 1.0 license

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
August 28th, 2007 • 3:53 pm

Phew! It’s only taken them, oh, a little over three years.

When Ambrosia Software released Snapz Pro X 2.0 three years ago, the big improvement was the addition of advanced video recording capabilities. (Snapz Pro X 1.0 only had basic video recording capabilities.) At the time, I was a registered user of Snapz Pro X 1.0 “with movies” and I used it exclusively for taking still pictures (screen shots). I therefore had no incentive to upgrade to 2.0 for the video capture, but I was interested in the improved interface, and the upgrade path indicated that you could use Snapz Pro X 2.0 with your 1.0 license, as long as you didn’t want the advanced video recording capabilities.

There was only one slight problem with that option. If you chose to use Snapz Pro 2.0 with your 1.0 license, each time you launch Snapz Pro 2.0, it would display an annoying modal dialog that had to be manually dismissed, as if you were using an unlicensed copy of the software.

I complained to Ambrosia Software about this back in 2004, and here’s what I was told:

I can send you a license code for SP X image capture only. You’re getting that notice cause you have a license code for SP X 1.X *with movies*, which is different than a license for SP X 2 with movies. The static image capture license codes are the same for SP X and SP X 2.

If you enter a license code for SP X without movies that notice will disappear forever. However, if you ever want to upgrade to with movie capture at the discounted price of $20 (SP X with movies to SP X 2 with movies is $20, but using the code I’ll send you that will dismiss that notice for good, it would cost $40 to upgrade to SP X 2 with movies) you’ll have to use your SP X 1.X with movies code.

Sorry for all the confusion. We’re still working the kinks out of the registration/upgrade system.

Let me know how you’d like to proceed.

Well, since I was only interested in taking still pictures, I did ask them to send me a code for Snapz Pro X 2.0 without movie capture. But I never got a reply.

Since the e-mail seemed to indicate that they were “working the kinks out” and would eventually get around to the problem for registered users of Snapz Pro X 1.0 “with movies,” I thought that the problem would get fixed in a future update. But it never did get fixed.

So I ended up living with the nagging modal dialog box for three years. It only appeared when launching the application, i.e. after a user log out or system restart, so it wasn’t so bad, but it still was annoying. Of course, I could have simply spent the $20 on the upgrade to the full Snapz Pro X 2.0 with advanced video features, but really I have no use for these features and, for the principle of it, I didn’t want to spend $20 just to get rid of a bloody modal reminder.

Then yesterday I got around to installing the 2.1.1 update, for no particular reason other than the expectation that a few minor bugs that I might never encounter had been fixed. I also noticed that the release notes indicated that the registration process had finally been folded into the main application, instead of being handled by a separate (and rather antiquated) application.

Well, it looks like that, in the process of folding the registration process into the main application, they actually have got rid of the modal dialog that has been annoying me for the past three years. It is probably not entirely intentional on their part, but I somehow feel vindicated for not having spent the extra $20.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I truly appreciate the fact that, after several years, I haven’t had to spend any money in order to be able to continue to use the software. We have been through several major system upgrades and an architecture change from PowerPC to Intel. Ambrosia Software could easily have forced me to purchase an upgrade license just to be able to continue to use the software, because of the work required on their part to maintain compatibility with the new system software and hardware. They did not, and I am still using Snapz Pro X today with my original 1.0 license.

I am still somewhat disappointed that it has taken them three years to address an issue that has been a regular source of annoyance for me. But maybe I’ll feel a bit more comfortable paying a small upgrade fee the next time a new version comes along with improvements/features that I might actually enjoy using.

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