If zrythm is free software, why pay for the installers?

First of all, I thank the developers for this great application, because as soon as I found it I was surprised by how versatile and powerful it is. however I have some doubts with the way you distribute it and I apologize in advance for my misspellings (since I don’t speak English).

Zrythm is supposed to be free and open source software, so why do you have to pay for the installers? I understand that this is the economic entry for the maintenance of the program, of the website, and that you deserve it for your great work. But don’t you think it is contradictory to promote this application as free software and at the same time put a price on installers? I know that the source code is free, but don’t forget that not all users know how to compile. therefore unfortunately a large number of beginning users of free software will not be able to test the potential of zrythm because they cannot get the full installers for free, but a trial version, (as if it were a proprietary daw). For this reason, reaper’s policy is better than ardor’s.

If zythm installers were free, then more users would come, and if more users would come, more contributors would come. Why do you think LMMS, Audacity, Mixxx are so famous ?, not only for their usefulness but also for they are free. Zrythm would have no problems if it were completely free for its potential. I don’t want to appear stingy, but that’s my observation in free software.

Commonly when a user can pay for a proprietary program he chooses the most commercial one and with a good technical support such as fl studio or ableton; but unfortunately zrythm is a very new application and it is still in alpha phase and this creates mistrust in users who do pay for proprietary software. I think you would receive more financial support with a patreon account and a YouTube channel, just like the developers at Olive Editor do.

Zrythm has a lot of potential and with all the features it has, it comes to fill the empty spaces left by LMMS, Ardor and Audacity, the best thing would be to free the installers in my humble opinion, correct me if I’m wrong. Regards

Free != Libre.

Zrythm is FOSS, meaning that the source is freely available and can be modified and redistributed. But there’s no reason for it to be free of cost.

Alex is putting a tonne of work into this, and has every right to set a price on his labour. Compiling from source is a small ask if you want it for free.

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You’re right friend, I have not said otherwise. The effort and time spent by Alex are quite noticeable, and he has every right, believe me. it’s just a question that I have. regards

@gabrielxd195 welcome!

as @naught101 mentioned, Zrythm is free as in freedom, not price (if this is confusing to you think of the word “free” in “free speech”). Unlike proprietary DAWs, Zrythm gives you the following freedoms adequately:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1).
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3).

Free software means that users have the freedom to do these things, and that they know they do. See here for further explanations if this is a new concept to you. Also see here as to why we avoid the term “open source”.

If money is a problem, you can install it from source or get it from your distro at no cost. If you happen to use Guix, I even package it there in the official repositories. FreeBSD also has the latest version available. Unlike other free software, like Audacity that you mentioned, Zrythm is super easy to build, even for distro maintainers. You can even find all the dependencies and commands you need for each distro here: https://git.zrythm.org/cgit/zrythm/tree/.builds

I completely disagree and I find any proprietary software to be a disgrace to humanity. Software where the developer has power over the user is an injustice and does not belong on your computer. Meanwhile I can hack Ardour to work as I wish, or I can freely re-use and edit its code, like I do for Zrythm. All computer users deserve this freedom.

I am not sure how true this is. GNU/Linux users can easily install Zrythm without using the installers, and most do it on their own, and Windows/MacOS users can easily migrate to a system that respects their freedom instead (it even costs less!).

I don’t know much about Audacity or Mixxx, but LMMS has almost no active developers while Ardour employs 2 full-time developers thanks to its distribution model.

It would have the huge problem that I would have to spend time working other jobs to make a living instead of developing Zrythm.

People who use proprietary programs are suckers and I hope they find freedom in the future. I also hope Zrythm becomes a path to the free world for many of them. You can get free (gratis) technical support from the community, which includes many hackers who know how Zrythm works internally, and if you find something you don’t like or something that is missing, you can even fix it yourself (and hopefully send me a patch so I can incorporate it upstream!) because you have this freedom. How many Ableton users can do that? :slight_smile:

First of all you shouldn’t pay a cent to Patreon or YouTube, and making others use those platforms in order to support you is like giving cigarettes to kids. Zrythm already has a LiberaPay and PayPal account if you would like to donate. Some people already do, even though they installed it from source at no cost (and I am very thankful for their contribution). Besides, I already made more money than Olive Editor this month thanks to the financial support of many users (via the installers), and I think this is incredible considering it’s still unstable for production use, and very motivating for a developer.

I think you are wrong. Providing installers for a price has proven to be much more effective than donations in sustaining this project. In the future, I hope to be able to work full-time on Zrythm and not have it sit as a “hobby project” I work on when I’m free from other work. I encourage more free software developers to do the same so they can spend more time doing what they love.

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Well, I cannot deny that I agree with you on many things that you exposed, except on the part of pricing installers because this distribution model does not convince me. but I am glad to know that it is giving you benefit, because this assures us the development of zrythm which is the most important thing. In any case, I will be watching the development of this great application and I will try to promote it to Spanish-speaking users. regards

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Well, while in my experience providing paid installers has proven more effective, I am not 100% sure this is the case and you might also be correct. Blender receives a huge amount of donations for example, and so does GIMP, but they are already super popular and have organizations behind them to fund them.

Maybe once the software is more established it would be better to provide the installers at no charge, and I will consider it then, but for the time being I think keeping the current model would be more beneficial to the project.

Thank you! If you would like to help with Spanish translations, you can edit all of them here: https://hosted.weblate.org/engage/zrythm

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This is a good take. Software pricing that supports developers sufficiently, but not preposterously makes sense. Some kind of curve where as the total number of users goes up, the pricing per unit trends down would be really cool.

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If I were a developer, spoke English and had accounts online, I would certainly collaborate with this great project, but for now I only give ideas and promote free software. Thank you for your dedication to this program. Let’s hope if God wants zrythm to be established, because this aims to be a great tool. regards

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This is the best answer ever.

A community who doesn’t pay a dime doesn’t really help the software developer.
Ideally, we want everything: a paid developer, a great friendly and skilled user base, good exposure etc. But it has to start somewhere.

So now the best support we can give is report bugs and give Alex the means to correct them

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