Thanks very much for your support, understanding and comments on this and we value all feedback we get (and, like you, we valued contributions from Tobias).
This whole area is *very* tricky to get right (there are *so many factors* we have to balance) and it is very difficult to try to “develop in public” where we just cannot set out all those factors for discussion. Besides, we would probably bore people to death.
Allied to that is we do not like to pre-announce things because nothing is done until it is (there may be a last minute hitch that means we have to go back to the drawing board). Some decisions are harder than others to take and get right and business models and pricing are right there at the front of the queue.
We do know that we *always try* to find solutions that are to the benefit of both existing and new customers, and that allow us also to move forward as well as even maybe try to grow a little in such a small (and unprofitable) niche area as ours. We are in it for the long run so we do try to think ahead as far as we can before doing anything (at the same time as trying to make things simpler), partly because we know that once something is done it can take on a life of its own and be hard to change if we later decide you want to tweak it (this is a case in point).
It is never easy getting that balance right and there will always be some who benefit more and some who feel they have lost out - but that is also the nature of any change, no matter how careful we are to think of and cater for all the different use cases. Sometimes it takes us a few bites at it to get it right - something I think you will agree that we are prepared to do, as we have done just that in the past.
When we started out with subscriptions we did it for a number of reasons. We set out some of that thinking here in this FAQ: https://intermorphic.com/help/#faq-subscriptions
We have learnt a lot about them in the last 10 months and so we are soon going to change what subscriptions we offer and how they work. For this reply (breaking with tradition) I had written about what we are going to do, and a lot about why we are doing it. In reading what I originally wrote about the reasons for it I realised that was just too complicated to communicate (too many factors involved). So, I am going to stick largely to "the what" with a bit of explanation thrown in. There are a lot of things we are trying to do this year so I hope it makes sense and it works for you …The long and the short of it is that we have decided to revert to 8 hour Music Play Time (MPT) [i.e. as was in Wotja 2017]. Wotja 2018 will see this change first, and the Wotja Unlocked subscription will see it in a few months at the time of release of "Wotja New", below (this change means that limited/commercial use of Wotja for live continuous music generation will again require a Wotja XT (and/or when available a New) tier and we will change the EULA accordingly).Wotja 2018 (Annual Versions - iOS/macOS)
--------------In the light of the continuing discussion of the value of MPT for Wotja 2018 we have decide to increase it back to the 8 hours that were in the 2017 version (rather than the 4 hours proposed earlier in the thread). This will be in Wotja 2018 5.1. Thanks for the feedback on this.Wotja (Subscription version tier changes - iOS/macOS)
--------------The current Wotja In-App Subscription tiers will not change at this time.
Since introducing the 6 month XT tiers, however, it transpires the XT hard limit on maximum continuous Music Play Time (MPT) is OK for some things but does not support some new use cases we have had enquiries about. And, it is also complex to get one's head around, too. Because of these issues, and specifically for those who really do need music play times longer than 8 hours, we are therefore planning some big changes to subscriptions that will come about when we release “Wotja New” (below) in a couple of months.
At this time we will altogether remove from sale ALL the Wotja 6 month XT tiers leaving only the Unlocked tier. The Unlocked tier will have the MPT increased from 1 to 8 hours, meaning the Unlocked tier effectively becomes the present XT1 tier; existing XT1 customers can just subscribe to this tier at renewal time, if they want, saving themselves money at the same time as the price of the Unlocked tier will not change. Customers requiring longer than 8 hour play time would need to check out the new tiers coming in "Wotja New". Wotja porting to Windows / Android
It is a longstanding ambition of ours to make Wotja available on Windows/Android as well as macOS/iOS. The largest issue in this relates to interfaces. Because we are so small and interfaces are so expensive / time consuming to develop we can really only do this if have just one common interface. We can only do that by using a different underlying framework which in turn means Wotja will eventually need to become a new app.
We have settled on the framework and we are midway through a port of a *new* Wotja app that we will release (maybe within a couple of months) for iOS, macOS, Windows and Android (name yet to be decided - lets call it “Wotja New” for now).
“Wotja New” is a partial port, in that it will initially only allow Automatic Album level of creation/playback (with 8 hour MPT), but we plan for full "Pro" editors (i.e. as now) to be available later in the year (for Windows/Android in 2018; iOS/Mac will be 2019). Our plan is to get all porting work done in 2018 (amongst other things!).
NB: The current Wotja/Wotja 2018 for iOS/macOS will stay in place in 2018. In 2019 the current Wotja iOS/macOS subscription versions will be retired and Wotja New will replace them. The new Wotja 2019 iOS/macOS annual version will be based on Wotja New.
NB: The new framework does not support use of Emoji, so we will will be deprecating use of those (older content using them will still play though). Nor does it support Safari App Extensions; to allow us to focus 100% on forward development we will ASAP be removing support for that in the existing macOS versions (but we guess it could come back later as a separate headless app if there was real and sufficient demand). It does not support Apple Watch either; that app will stay but only in the present versions for 2018).“Wotja New” and New subscription tiers
Where it is a subscription version, “Wotja New” will be free (with Free Mode) and will include a low cost 6 month auto-renewing subscription to unlock full Automatic album creation (with 8 hour MPT). When the "Pro" editors are available (i.e. as in Wotja iOS/macOS now) we will include a tier for those, too, similar to "Unlocked" now.
For those who want very long play times there will be some new auto-renewing weekly subscription tiers that will disable, whilst active, the MPT limit altogether (this is as simple as it can get). The lowest price of weekly tier will be for personal / limited commercial use and is expected to be $1 per week on mobile. If you really want to try leave it running for e.g. 8 weeks (something not possible now, e.g. for an installation) then fine, you can, and that would cost only $8 and you could then cancel the weekly subs. We will also be including a few tiers for commercial use, too (this represents a totally new experiment for us).
Auto-renewals are EASY to cancel, so it means if at different times in the year you want to dip into very long play times (i.e. > 8 hours) it works out a lot less than the present 6 monthly XT2/XT3 tiers. It does work out a bit more if you want to try running 24/7 x 365 of course, but we feel that requirement is actually very very specialist.
As ever, there will always be some who benefit more and some who feel they have lost out, but we feel that this is simpler, way more flexible and extendable AND most present XT subscribers will save money (the *vast* majority of present XT subscribers take XT1, which will effectively become Unlocked as it will have 8 hour MPT).
We know the above is a lot to take in, but to keep moving forward we also have to keep changing. At the same time, I hope you can see that we *do* think very carefully about impact on existing and new customers and try to do the best by them - and we do listen and react (and we are just 2 people).
Thanks again for your feedback, support and interest - they are always valued, appreciated and never taken for granted.