I have to protest the Dorico 2 upgrade cost

Am I the only one who is more than a little bit salty about having to pay 100 dollars to upgrade to Dorico 2?

Dorico 1 got me excited, so I invested early. You cannot deny that it was (and still is) an incomplete program, and lots of features were promised to be unveiled as quickly as possible. It felt like being part of a cool “beta” test, with the one issue being of course that the lack of some of these features made the software essentially unusable for real professional situations (like, 1-bar repeats and slash notation? come on!).

Now as I’m seeing it, the “remainder” of the program that I thought I had purchased in its entirety is now behind a paywall. Only the people who came in late to the game are granted the “4 week free upgrade” benefit? You got it wrong guys. It should be the people that supported your idea from the beginning. There is no way I’m going to give you $100 more, when it feels like you’re just going to keep releasing “sequels” until you’ve finally hit a baseline of functionality. I am all about the DLC model: but those should be packs of boutique options, graphic notations, UI skins, or features that not everyone needs to use.

Kind of want my money back at this point, since I have not been able to use this program more than casually. I would rather wait until Dorico 10 when it contains everything it should have to be a viable option compared to what I already own.

For what it’s worth, no one’s forcing you to buy it and I think we all saw this coming. It’s kind of in line with what upgrades usually cost from Steinberg.
I understand where you’re coming from though. I haven’t really used Dorico for anything professional other than teaching examples, since I’m mostly writing contemporary art music. But the updates surely show that they’re in this for the win, and I think it’ll overtake Sibelius anytime soon. For me, the most important thing missing is an easy way to do lines with arrows to show gradual change, but I’m sure I’m in a minority there.

Hi jziemann,

there have been some people here voicing their concerns. I’m sure you can find those threads either by scrolling through the first pages or by using the forum search.

As Daniel would say: The team has been very clear on what Dorico can and can’t do when it was released, and obviously there have been Evaluation Versions of Dorico (with the very first few weeks of Dorico 1 being the exception).

I’ve never experienced music software developers being so transparent about their product, its limitations, and their intentions for its future as the Dorico team has. I can see not liking the upgrade price, in the sense that it’s nicer to own $99 than to spend $99, but I can’t imagine feeling sticker shock.

The only alternative to paying for periodic upgrades are subscriptions. Subscriptions make software developers less motivated, since they no longer have to earn your dollars, but only avoid angering you so much that you cancel the subscription.

And for a point of contrast, Sibelius wanted me to pay $300 to upgrade their software for another year. And I own something they call a “perpetual license”.

Agreed; one wonders, too - with respect - how Steinberg could fund any work at all (software development, this outstanding support, documentation, bug fixes, localization, new features, refined functionality… etc) if users didn’t pay for major upgrades.

The Steinberg upgrade policy is the best. I only wish the grace period could be longer than the demo version…8 weeks of grace should be the standard.
Anything but subscription!

I think you got it right when you said you ‘invested early’. I view this as investment in something that may make our working life far easier.The returns will come.

Hmm, my last Cubase Pro upgrade was $60 so this isn’t exactly in line with “what Steinberg upgrades usually cost”. Given that original buyers invested a lot of money in a product that wasn’t ready, this doesn’t seem like the way you reward your original investors for taking a chance on an incomplete product.

With respect, eboats, ‘readiness’ is something of a moveable feast, isn’t it!

Daniel and the Steinberg team were completely open from the time when Dorico was conceived about the fact that it would have features added incrementally. And so it has.

Isn’t there always going to be some feature which one user wants, yet which is irrelevant to another.

For the latter, Dorico has always been ‘ready’.

Do please stick with it; it’s an exciting journey we’re all on. I suspect that a majority of users see where we’re heading and find the trajectory and pace very reassuring.

It’s a figure of speech! I can’t imagine I would be the only one.

Yes, they were clear about what Dorico can and can’t do when it was released, HOWEVER it is in my opinion still a bait and switch, because I purchased it thinking “given about a year’s time, they will update the core features until the software is up to speed, and I’m comfortable sitting back and learning the program while I wait for that to happen.” Then when the final few pieces are put into place, they are hidden behind a paywall upgrade. That is the part that I take major issue with.

Imagine a scenario where I am a keyboard manufacturer. You bought a new keyboard from me knowing it was a brand new experimental model, and that it would be missing some keys, but that they would be added as resources allowed. You’re aware of its flaws, and limitations, but are excited to try something new. When it arrives, there are no black keys. Eventually they release the C#, D#, and F# keys. You’ve been practicing your scales such that the G# and A# keys are avoided, for the time being. Then I email you less than a year after the release and say “Hey customers! Check it out: full sets of G#'s and A#'s for sale! $100!” You would mad, because to you, calling something a keyboard implies that it will eventually include the 12 basic keys and a couple of other features. Things like chord symbols and slash notation and 1-bar repeats are as essential to a copy of notation software as the G# key, and I should not have to buy them separately as an upgrade. End of story.

If they had laid out for us exactly which features will be released when and which ones will cost money, then I would say maybe it’s on me. There is a major difference between an upDATE and an upGRADE: at least certain parts of this “pro” release is an upgrade when it should be an update.

How they can afford to fund development work is not really my problem as the customer! Nobody forced me to buy this software, sure. But nobody forced me to buy the car that I need to drive to gigs. I bought it because I needed it. You are all far too casual about throwing away another $100 and apologizing for Steinberg…maybe you’ve been held hostage by the music notation software industry for so long that it feels normal. In my eyes, there is no justifying the sticker price for something like this if you have to pay a quarter of the original price every year just to (again) start to achieve baseline notation software functionalities.

Again I’ll repeat that adding basic notation symbols that you would have expected the software to have right from the beginning = an update.
Adding advanced playback features and major overhauls of UI or engine, or advanced graphic notation capabilities = an upgrade.

I’m happy to pay for an upgrade, but an update should be free.

I can only agree with Mark. I have used Dorico professionally for more than a year now, having had very few problems. Of course I have feature requests for the future, but my workflow has from the beginning been a major step up from Sibelius. And the output prettier.
I can easily appreciate that for some users, crucial features are still missing, but - as it has been said a number of times - it has from the beginning been extraordinary transparent what Dorico could and couldn’t do. There’s a trial version (well, not right now, but you get my drift), so every potential user can check it out and see if it’s useful. If it’s not, you don’t have to buy it - and if you buy it anyway as an appreciation of the initiative and the brilliance of the team - don’t whine about how useless it is to you. You knew that!
And about upgrade prices and grace periods: Remember that you still own the product you paid for. Dorico 1.2.10 won’t stop working because of the release of 2.0. My Sibelius 7.5 still works, even though I haven’t paid a cent to Avid in years. It even got me a cross-grade discount on Dorico…

Dear jziemann,
I am sure every reader got your point. You still got it wrong, because you COULD have tried it and notice it could not be useful to do your job (while other software exists that could fulfill your needs). I’m confident you would not have bought a car with three wheels — the fourth one being possibly an update, but maybe an upgrade — to go to your gigs…
There already have been plenty of literature on this forum with people comparing Dorico to a car, I do not think I could match the imagination of their authors. What I can tell you is that during the whole Dorico 1 period, I could do real work with it, earn time and money with it, so I guess I was lucky… or maybe I bought a tool I could use.
You’re blaming Steinberg for buying Dorico too early — as many others did — and it was Steinberg’s concern that this would happen as little as possible : angry customers won’t do them any good. This is why there has been a very honest policy on trials and information about what really is inside that software.
I hope you’ll soon get a nice contract (with a high fee) that will help you get that upgrade for eventually earn enough money to let you forget about the upgrade price ! And let’s not forget the devs have to earn a living too, and that Steinberg is not charity but a real business ^^

No, you guys are missing the point:

“Don’t whine about how useless it is to you”

Your words not mine! I have used it and it’s great for certain things. I’ve never claimed to be unaware of its shortcomings: it’s always been a question of how long until these shortcomings are rectified. My issue is that basic features which represent shortcomings that should have been rectified (eventually, but for free) are now instead part of an expensive upgrade. As a customer, they haven’t even earned the original few hundred dollars that I paid to them. All I’m saying is that if this is their model, then that is complete b.s. That is all.

I wish people would let go of the overwrought, pitiful attempted metaphors. One doesn’t have to like having to part with one’s money. But lousy metaphors, denigrating Dorico/Steinberg’s intentions, or implying that those who support Dorico’s development process are either shills or dupes is unlikely to engender much sympathy.

After all, if I captured a space alien, and discovered later…

I’ll just throw a couple of points into the mix that I don’t think have already appeared:

A) The bulk of the early adopters will have crossgraded from competing (established) software, and will have thus received a hefty discount on their initial purchase. I don’t know whether the OP falls into that category, but if so, would you feel differently if the “time-limited” crossgrade price had now been increased?

B) Core features: SINCE v1.0, we’ve had chord symbols, percussion kits, cues, fingering, and countless smaller improvements, entirely free of charge. Each of these features blow the competition out of the water. Same goes for the new divisi implementation. From Daniel’s Making Notes blog, before Dorico v1.0 was released, we were told that the Dorico way was “if you do something at all, do it properly”. I think that principle has been stuck to admirably, but it’s slowed certain things down.

Rather than grumbling about the $99, why not say what you’re actually missing in Dorico? The few weeks post-release are, if I understand correctly, the time when most decisions are made about what to develop next. Speak up about what you want, and it may get pushed up the todo list.

Which ‘shortcomings’?

(Bearing in mind Steinberg’s total transparency about what to expect in the 21 months, or 600 days, and eight major updates, of its life for about US$2 a day - assuming one cross-graded. before version 2.)

I was following Dorico development on Daniel’s Making Notes blog avidly from before 1.0. When 1.0 came out it was without percussion support, and I’m a drummer. So, I didn’t buy it. I waited until the features I needed came out. I actually missed the 1.2 release, and so when I finally noticed what had been added I was only 10 days or so into my FREE 1.2 evaluation when 2.0 was released with another bunch of things I wanted. So I bought 2.0.

I can’t help thinking that there is a very strange sense of entitlement in thinking that by buying something you knew didn’t fit your needs you now deserve to get what you need for free.

The oddest thing of all to me is that people who presumably work in music in some form or another, the industry most hard hit by the “I want stuff for free” mentality, are complaining here about not getting stuff for free.

Yes, they were open about it not having features in earlier days. But I don’t recall hearing from Daniel/Steinberg in earlier days that it was going to cost this much to go from a v1.2 to a v2.0. This is beyond what Cubase upgrades have cost me for a comparable upgrade. Remember, not everyone was able to get a crossgrade discount price. Dorico is/was $579 and now they’re asking for an additional $100 (15-20% of original cost). There’s a certain fanboy unquestioning of Steinberg/Daniel on this board, but IMO it’s a fair point to question the pricing on this upgrade.