Ajarn Spencer

Jack of All Trades, Web Guru, Ajarn Sak Yant, Dhamma Teacher, Author, Anthropologist, Occultist, Linguist, Ufologist, Historian, Philosopher, Online Entrepreneur, Anarchist, Human Rights Activist, Musician, Astronomer, Sci-Fi Freak, Amulet Trader, Podcaster and Blogger

The End of the Subscription Service is Nigh

Subscription Services Become Ever Less Popular as the Public Realises that Paying Forever is worse than Paying Once

Recent Years has seen I.T. and Internet Related software and services move from one time payments with new versions of the software being the upgrade, to monthly subscriptions, and constant updates. But people have slowly come to see this as an abuse, and a way of overcharging users, and keeping them on the hook.

Screentime Subscription Service
Screentime is an app to monitor your children and their movements and activities from afar, which uses the subscription method

Above; Screentime is an app to monitor your children and their movements and activities from afar, which uses the subscription method instead of one time payment, which is both immoral and greedy. They charge 5$ a month, which if one considers that one may need another 20 or so types of apps with subscriptions, could end up costing you the same as a mortgage on a condominium or a car! 9$ for Apple Music a Month, 5$ to watch your Kids, 9$ for One Drive, 9$ for Office 360, 5$ a month for your screencaster app, and so on….

“Whatever happened to one time payments? Like, buy Photoshop 4, and pay once, use it for 5 years and if you need Photoshop 5 then you buy that!! Much more Fair to the End User”.

This has been the trend with developers since around 2014-2015, where the phenomenon began to become ever more widespread, as one greedy Dev after the other followed the trend… all trends end one day, and the day for the subscription trend to end, is Nigh!

Be it Microsoft Office 360, Web Hosting, Ecommerce Software, or even  software Plugins and addons for a browser’s premium version is a subscription. I have decided to make a series of Blogposts, each showing you how to get the best software for free or at least only one time payments, and to avoid, and boycott endless subscription services, which will help to speed up the end of this disgusting and greedy trend.

I then saw with Glee that the latest upcoming ‘trend’ in marketing is the following line; “No Subscription One Time Payment’, which means that my own prediciton, based on my own feelings about the matter, is coming true. Namely that people are deploring the eternal subscription greedy trend with online software developers, who seem to think that an app (piece of software), can be rentabilitised by subscriptions, in the same way that services such as Netflix and Hosting Services do.

Screencastify charges 24$ per year for their Chrome Browser screencast recording Plugin.

Screencastify charges 24$ per year for their Chrome Browser screencast recording Plugin., which doesnt even let you export the video to PC, and only lets you share or upload it to Youtube or social networks.

Why pay repeatedly when you can have a much more powerful app for one time payment, such as Active Presenter? The price may be relatively high for the standard and pro editions, but to be honest, for most people’s needs, the free version is much more than what is needed.

Atomi Active Presenter is a feature rich app with Free Version allowing up to 10 Minutes recording of screencasts, The Upgrade to Pro Version is a One Time Payment

I have not developed my skills with this app very muych as have only used it twice to make screencasts, but even then, with no knowledge of the interface and using the free version, i managed to make a semi decent screencast that was better quality than the ones i made trying the other apps with subscriptions, such as the chrome screencastify extension.

This was the second attempt i made with active presenter, using only the basic Functions

If you have an Apple Computer then you will be laughing at the fact that screencasting costs money, because Quicktime does it for free built into the OSX system, and if you are a seasoned Windows 10 user, you will know you can screencast for free using the Xbox recording feature. So why Pay? IN addition, Quicktime can also record an iPad or iPhone screen as a ‘movie recording’, and is costless.

But there is a big difference between a screencasting software, or an app like photoshop, or Microsoft office, and a service like hosting, or video access service such as Netflix (which I Myself use and am happy with for 400 Thai baht a Month, as 5 users can have it so my family in Singapore and Thailand can all watch it from 5 different locations).

My Netflix

My Netflix allows Me and 4 other Family members to Enjoy, wherever they are in the world, at 400 THB a Month.. this is one case where a Subscription Service is Valid and Worth It.

Subscriptions are justified for services, but not for apps. And people are realising this, as are some innovative developers, which is demonstrated in the screenshots of two different screencasting apps, one with subscription and only usable as a Chrome Browser Extension, and the others, such as Active Presenter, only ask for a One time payment for Pro version, with a Free Version (up to 10 minutes), that is ten times more extensive in its power tools and options. In truth, Active Presenter is not just a Screen recorder, rather, a fully fledged E-Learning Content Creation App for HTML5 content creation. I Highly recommend downloading the free version on their website to try it out for yourself.

Active Presenter - Powerful E-Learning Software
Active Presenter – Powerful E-Learning Software

Perhaps this might reveal, that the ‘Trend’ right now is moving away from subscriptions and back to one time payments, because, 98% of the world, even the common consumer, has realised thgat paying forever year by year month by month however you count it, is very expensive way to ‘buy’ software.

People are into one time payments, and buying the software usage rights, not Renting them.,
Hence, i am not buying your premium product because you dont sell it, you rent it forever.
My advice from a webmaster with well over 20 years experience? Get off the subscription gravy-train if you want to survive

I like Jared Newman’s Point in his blogpost titled “Why I am Giving Up Streaming Music and Going Back to Mp3s“, where he says “For me, extreme convenience is no longer worth the trade-off”. You can read the varied opinions of other people on the topic of Subscriptions Vs. One Time Payments on Business.Com

In truth, there is at least one free alternative to every paid app, that comes up to the same standards as the paid app, if you move to the open source way of thinking

Alternative apps to paid subscriptions or paid apps

Microsoft Office Free Alternatives;

Open Office is a very high powered word processor and can be used to make .lit .pdf .docx and other formats, and is what i used to write my first 6 Ebooks with, which is what first pulled me out of poverty and gave me some income.

Open Office Interface
Open Office Interface

Download Open Office

I now use Apple Pages however, which is Free generic installed app on all Apple devices, be they Desktop or Mobile. Below are some screenshots from my last publication in 2017, the Book of Thai Lanna Sorcery, which i made using Pages from Apple, and is a completely free App.

The desktop version is better than  the Mobile version, or online browser version, but indeed, if you make yourself an Apple ID for free and iCloud account, you should have mail and pages and other apps available to you in a browser for Free (not sure if this works if you don’t own a device, but think so). Click here for For a full list of new features in 2018 for Pages in iCloud 

My iCloud Apps accessible in Browser – True Cloud Computing

Online editing in Pages can be done in a browser if you dont have a Mac, even on a Windows PC. Your files can be ordered into folders, in a more easy to follow way than Microsoft 360, as well as being Free to Use.

Pages Online Browser Editor
An example of a page in process of being edited using Pages Online Browser Editor

In the browser, in Pages for iCloud, you can export the .Pages file as a PDF and send or save to PC/Mac by using the toolbar.. and Hey presto new Ebook! This is free, and high quality, so why pay?

Libre Office

Libre Office is currently also one of the most popular open source text editing and word processing apps available and many people prefer it to Microsoft Office 360 paid subscription service, especially seeing as it is free, and high powered.

Download Libre Office

Libre Office Interface
Libre Office Interface

I hope to show you more free and one time payment alternatives in future blogposts, and hope this helps all of you who are sick of subscriptions, and those who are so poor they cant even afford a one time payment option, but who have a book they wish to write, or content they wish to create. Creativity should not only be available to those with money…. there are many creative geniuses who cannot afford Microsoft Office Subscriptions, but do have the Book of the decade in their Heads. The same goes for Movie Editing, Music Making, and many other forms of content Creation such as Video Tutorials using Screencasts, Graphic Arts, and so on….

Please Join Me in Protesting against Subscriptions and insist on either one time payment software if you can pay, or seek open source free solutions if you cannot pay. and Join the Open Source Community

The Importance of Open Source Software
The Importance of Open Source Software – click image to read article