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General Comments - Schedule Importer, Logbook Pro, ADPL

stevemackay

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
9
Firstly my background. I've been using logbook pro since I started flying in 2001 and think it is a fantastic program worth every penny. I expanded to logbook pro companion for the Palm. Eventually when I got on with an airline I moved on to get ADPL for the Palm platform and used schedule importer with great success after some initial set up issues with ADPL.

Every step of the way NC Software has given great support with very good response times to my questions and excellent response time to any software fixes they needed to implement especially with respect to Schedule Importer and ADPL.

I was furloughed for 2 years but have recently started to fly 121 again. In those 2 years I didn't use the NC products very much and have moved on to an IPod Touch instead of the now dated (but excellent) Palm platform. I was expecting to have to pay to get a logbook pro license on my IPod but I was surprised to see that it is now free but in order for it to be useful you have to purchase the sync subscription.

The point of this post is to express my unhappiness at NC's movement toward a more subscription based business model. From a consumer point of view I am very sensitive to my monthly financial commitments because it is amazing how quickly a bunch of seemingly small monthly bills add up to significant costs over several months or years. I personally do everything I can to reduce my monthly bills including paying higher one time fees in order to elimate a recurring monthly cost.

While the price to sync my IPod LBP to my PC LBP is very reasonable I'd certainly have preferred to pay 30 to 40 dollars for LBP on my IPod rather than pay a subscription to sync. I guess the unfortunate need to use iTunes may have something to do with your decision. However I must say I am quite shocked at the price of the Schedule Importer subscription. $9.99 per month just seems like too much to pay for importing data into LBP. Especially considering it is not nearly as functional or effective as ADPL at importing data to LBP on the palm platform.

I am really looking forward to when you release ADPL for the IPod/phone platform but I am concerned at what my monthly fee's will be to use the product. Am I really to expect that I'll have to pay $10 per month to import my schedules, another monthly fee to sync to ADPL and another fee to sync LBP? I can see that if I were to get back to the utility of the NC software systems I was using 2 years ago on the palm platform I could be paying perhaps $20 per month. That would be too much.

If you continue to impose recurring fees for utilizing key software features please at least give us a way to purchase a 'lifetime' subscription. The utility and thought that goes into your software is very good and your support over the years has been excellent but recurring fees just do not work for me.

Steve
 

Neal Culiner

Founder, President
Staff member
Joined
Nov 14, 2001
Messages
12,458
Location
VA
Steve,

I appreciate your feedback. The schedule importer is not $10/month unless you only pay monthly which is designed for people that rarely use it. It is something I created for those that are not regularly flying or need it for minimal use such as importing older data to reconstruct a logbook for an interview, etc. For those that are actively flying it's only $5/month based on the 2yr subscription and if you had purchased a 2yr subscription like many did this past weekend on sale it's only $4.25/month. If you knew the level of programming required to create this system, the time to support it, the requirements to host it, then you'd understand the need to ask customers to pay a small fee. While the system may look somewhat simple, it is an extremely complex system on many fronts from the parsing of schedule data, storage, integrations, etc. I just want to give you a feel for what goes into it.

The cloud sync subscription is all of $1.67/month or $19.99/year. If you have multiple devices you can pay all of $34.99/year. What you all don't realize is that this is a more cost effective method than buying the software outright. If I was to go back to a $29.99 app for the iPhone and $29.99 for iPad then you'd have to buy for each platform. And in that scenario there would be discontinued development at some point such as on version 1 and in 12 months, a typical software cycle, we'd release version 2. Granted, you could stay with version 1 but there would be no new features and no bug fixes. So at some point you'd have to buy version 2 and pay full price all over again. The subscription model I moved to with the iPhone/iPad app allows you to never have to buy the app at full price. You can take the worry out of the software fixes/features and pay a small fee instead. Again, I have to throw the "if you knew..." what it takes to develop and support an application like this as well as the server resources to sync, etc. then you'd understand that a $20 bill for an entire year is nothing. I could go into a long list of what other companies such as Verizon charge for features. They are a huge company, why is it okay for parental controls that would be used once to limit cell phone use to cost $5/month? Why is it okay for all of us to be paying what we do for data plans? Text messaging plans? It's okay for the big company to do it but us smaller companies that work from eyes open until eyes shut can't? I hope you understand my point. Let me give you another example, another iPhone logbook costs $50 for the app, $80 for the iPad app, which is ridiculous to say the least! Watch that in a years time they will come out with a new product requiring you to pay exorbitent fees to upgrade, if you don't have to pay full price yet again in a year. And they even discontinued support for the prior version where you can't sync it to their desktop app so you have to buy!

iTunes, it has nothing to do with it. What a lot of people don't realize is 3rd party apps cannot sync via the cable. We can only sync across a network, some use WiFi which is a PITA! I created a cloud sync system which works flawlessly, assuming of course you have an Internet connection.

The bottom line is this. If you want NC Software to remain providing you products and services then we ask for your continued support. If the product is not worth it to you then of course, please find something that suits your needs and your budget. I have been completely reasonable in pricing of these subscriptions, I have never changed the price of Logbook Pro or APDL in the entire lifetime of these apps. I have been completely opposite of "greedy" but instead have been incredibly generous. My pride is not my bank account, my pride is people using my products. If I wanted a huge bank account then I would have been charging for Logbook Pro upgrades for 13 years now and been rotating revenue on upgrades. Instead you have never had to pay for an upgrade period. Logbook Pro or APDL. In fact when the product was acquired from Paul Auman we gave everyone a free v6 license.

So again, I appreciate the time you took to post your thoughts and I hope you can understand mine. This is a business and to pay developers to create products and services for YOU, our customer, that money has to come from somewhere. You're paying for what you're going to get in return.
 
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