License or Subscription?

Did I buy a LICENSE or a SUBSCRIPTION? I don’t remember v2 being a subscription. How does that work?

Hi rd2rk,

Read here …

Hi Dave. Thanks for the reply. I know that Brad takes good care of us, and that link does answer some questions I never even thought of (Brad - best wishes for good health and long life)! It doesn’t address the issue though. There’s an expiration date on the license (1 year). If it expires, and stops working, that means you don’t actually own the product, it’s a subscription. What happens a year from now, when we’ve invested our time and, indeed, our musical careers, in having our performances tied to Cantabile? Especially important as Cantabile is a very unique and powerful tool. Are we tied to paying a renewal fee every year? I also use Sonar, which has a similar setup. However, with Sonar if you don’t renew, the software still works because you OWN it. You simply stop getting updates. Is that how this will work with Cantabile?

From the Cantabile Buy Now page:

“The purchase price includes a license for Cantabile 3 and one year of free updates from the original purchase date. After the first year you can continue receiving updates for $39/year (Solo) or $99/year (Performer). If you decide not to continue with updates, Cantabile will continue to run but you’ll miss out on any new features and fixes.”

So to me it seems like somewhere between purchase and subscription - you buy a licence giving you a year of updates. If you pay nothing more, Cantabile continues to run for ever, although you don’t get any updates. From that point on you can subscribe to get the latest updates for as long as you like. So it appears to be the same as the Sonar model you mention.


Hi rd2rk,

Neil’s right, it keeps working, just no update after subscription expires.


Thanks, Neil and Dave, sounds fair, works for me!

Feels like a classic “License + Maintenance” model to me; pretty common in the business software market. You first purchase the license, then pay an annual maintenance fee to pay for ongoing development, bug-fixing, etc. Maintenance is usually around 20-30% of the original license fee.

This would be my only criticism of @brad’s licensing model: compared to the original license, the maintenance fee is a bit steep (50% for performer). But given that this is a pretty narrow market, I can understand the need for a steady income stream to support the incredible amout of work @brad is putting into this on an ongoing basis. So, personally, I’m happy to support @brad’s work financially - Cantabile is an indispensible tool for my live setup. Compared to what I pay for guitar strings and picks, it’s pretty OK…



Thanks Torsten. I agree, having (in a previous life) tried to make a living as a contract programmer, I can appreciate the huge amount of work that this requires. Never mind the hand-holding for us annoying users, which Brad handles with much grace and aplomb. I didn’t much like v2, but v3 is excellent! All things considered, well worth the cost. My only concern was that the program keep working if I encountered a short-term cash flow crisis and was temporarily unable to renew. This has been addressed by others, and I’m quite happy with the deal.

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Just wanted to comment on this. Often maintenance agreements don’t include upgrades - just service releases/bug fixes. Cantabile’s update subscription does include new features and what would traditionally be called new versions.

Another way I could have worked this is to release a new version every 12 months and charged $99 for the upgrade - that would be a more typical and accepted model. However, although the price would be exactly the same, the differences would be significant:

  • With the update subscription model I’m incentivised to constantly release new features and builds.
  • With a new version model I’m incentivised to hold off features to make the new version more appealing.

In other words, with the subscription model you get new stuff more quickly and the turn around cycle to get feedback and improve things is quicker.

I also considered a flat subscription model. For Performer I probably would have priced it between $10 and $20 a month. The update subscription that I’ve chosen is cheaper and you get to continue using the software even if your subscription expires.

Torsten is right - it’s a niche market and there needs to be some sort of recurring revenue stream to make it a long term viable business - which I think is what everybody wants.


So… If I want an upgrade, and only pay the subscription 13 months after purchase, it won’t work? I have to buy a new license again at that point?

No, it will work forever, just no updates…you only need to get a licence once and you can pay for a subcription each year to receive updates throughout the year if you wish.



You can renew your subscription at any time before or after it expires and in either case it’ll extend it for 12 months from the date it expired.


  • if your subscription expires in Jan 2017 and you renew it in April 2017, your subscription will be extended to Jan 2018.
  • if your subscription expires in Jan 2017 and you renew it in Dec 2016, your subscription will still be extended to Jan 2018.

Only if you let it lapse for a couple of years does it become cheaper to buy a new license.

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Ahhhh… Makes total sense now! Thanks! :blush:

I have to admit I found the notion of only updating for a year and then having to sort of “re-buy” the software off-putting at first, but having read the rationale behind it I’m good with it. Lord knows, this is something worth supporting. I don’t gig many times a year but the ones I do are fairly high profile. At least one of them should net me a hundred bucks lol :smiley:

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