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Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 11:13
by tommalm
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Norway, Posts 91

After reading the announcement regarding the new upgrade paths I'm left quite worried.

If I'm reading this right, it means users of the First & Pro Edition libraries will no longer be eligible for the discounted price of the Vienna Instruments Extended editions.

In my case this mean that despite having bought both the complete First Edition and the complete Pro Edition, I would have to pay 9200 euros+ taxes for the Symphonic Cube Extended, after the 15th of july. In other words I would lose my discount worth of about 4k euros, and I'd have to pay the full price for the library.

Is this assumption correct? Or am I completly wrong? Please tell me I am wrong.

Kind regards

Tom-Erlend Malm

Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 14:23
by tommalm
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Norway, Posts 91

Would someone from the VSL company please comment to confirm or deny this assumption? This is of great importance to me, and I would think to anyone with a First/Pro Edition license who is considering an upgrade.

This would in my case make it virtually impossible to aqcuire the Symphonic Cube Extendend, due to economic reasons.

Regards

Tom-Erlend Malm

Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 14:33
by herb
Joined on Mon, Aug 05 2002, Posts 4622

Hi Tom,

it would be helpful to know what's unclear in this announcement:

"...As of July 15, 2008, upgrade discounts from Vienna Symphonic Library sample libraries (First Edition, Pro Edition, Horizon Series) to Vienna Instruments Collections will no longer exist."

http://vsl.co.at/en/65/71/1017/1018/632.vsl 

best

Herb

Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 16:09
by tommalm
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Norway, Posts 91

Ok...so maybe it isn't unclear. Thank you for making that point.

Why, may I ask have you come to this decision? As the VIP pricing was one of the major selling points for this great library, atleast back in the days of First and Pro Edition. In what way do you consider this to be a reasonble strategy towards existing customers? To completly remove the upgrade path is a drastic move, atleast within such a short notice. 

If you haven't upgraded your license within the 15th july, then you are stuck with a product you neither can upgrade nor obviously re-sell.

I know you are not "other companies", but I think it's still a fair point to compare this to software upgrade paths. Especially since the VIP arrangement always has been promoted side by side with the product. As a Cubase SX user, you can still get an upgrade path to Cubase 4. As a NI Komplete 2 user, you still could get an upgrade to Komplete 5. Even though these paths weren't announcent and used as a selling point for the product. But what you are doing now, is completly removing the possibility to upgrade with any kind of discounted price.

I am sorry but I just cannot see how this would make any sense. Or how this in any way is reasonable, especially since the VIP arrangement has been a way for customers to feel safe. This is for me a sad day, because this will probably mean that I won't be able to get the Symphonic Cube, atleast not for many years to come.

Tom-Erlend Malm

Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 17:02
by herb
Joined on Mon, Aug 05 2002, Posts 4622

Most of our users have already upgraded, and there are hundreds of requests of upgrade options from Special Edition and Special Edition PLUS to the big DVD collections.

It's not possible for us to offer all upgrade pathes parallel.

Therefor we have announced this upgrade grace period of three month were you get also special discounts (free extended libraries).

And on July 15th we'll switch to the new VIP pathes.

best

Herb

Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 18:49
by tommalm
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Norway, Posts 91

If this is the case, that most users already have upgraded, why not keep the the path availiable for the few that remains? The VIP policy has always been a major selling points for customers investing large amounts of money in your products.I hope you understand that the sudden removal of this policy feels like a major stab in the back.

As many others I have been planning to get the SC but the money is short, and I would love to jump on your current upgrade offer, but I just don't have the money, atleast not within July 15th. For me, and probably others, loosing the VIP option means not getting the SC at all. It gets to expensive when you have already invested such amounts in both First and Pro Edition. After July 15th the Extended license costs as much as I've already put into the product.

I am sorry but I truly do not understand why you would choose to do this. I absolutly love your products, and until now the companys policy, but this is a blow below the belt. As a hobbist composer I do not get much income through my music, and the amounts I already has spent in VSL products are for me ALOT of money, and represents much hard work. So this is truly just a sad day.

Still kind regards

Tom-Erlend Malm

Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 19:12
by Mobius
Joined on Mon, Jun 06 2005, Brighton, U.K., Posts 134
I agree with Tom.


I assumed I had missed something when I first read about this announcement; surely you couldn't mean after July 15th there would be no discount for First/Pro Edition customers? But it seems that is the case.


This is quite a shock to me too. I am in a similar position to Tom's. I have a full time office job that is not very well paid, and the Pro Edition took me a lot of time to save for in order to buy. I have held off upgrading to the SC thinking I was safe in the knowledge that the upgrade path would be there indefinitely. I was considering upgrading at the end of the year. Now I have a big problem, since I haven't budgeted for this expense at all, and 3 months isn't enough time for me to save the money to buy SC.


No way would anyone pay twice for the same samples. I thought this was one of your mantras - no-one should have to pay for the same sample twice. It seems like a fair policy - why abandon it now? Just because you will have a new upgrade scheme - it doesn't mean you have to wipe the slate clean completely.


How about, as a compromise, you extend the deadline until say December 31st? That would at least be a token gesture for your loyal customers? I know you have already sent out the press releases and ads, but companies extend deadlines quite often if it is in the interests of everyone concerned - even you guys.


Please give it some thought. I'm sure there are many others in our position.


-Darren
Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 21:24
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1090
herb wrote:

Most of our users have already upgraded, and there are hundreds of requests of upgrade options from Special Edition and Special Edition PLUS to the big DVD collections.

It's not possible for us to offer all upgrade pathes parallel.

Therefor we have announced this upgrade grace period of three month were you get also special discounts (free extended libraries).

And on July 15th we'll switch to the new VIP pathes.

 

best

Herb

 


I don't understand how it is difficult - let alone impossible - to keep , if not all, then at least the "big boys'" from the Pro Edition to the Cube, parallel to your other offers. From what I read in the forum, problems with upgrades started with people who buy one note and articulation at a time - "How do I get the brass without getting the woodwind again.... the extended appassionata without the plus percussion" and more convoluted requests as everyone is trying to tailor-make a library according to their bank and purpose. Surely the customers that buy the big products cannot be punishable for that situation which VSL itself created by offering the library a piece at a time... If VSL considered that this practice could make more money for them that is fine by me, but as an old owner of the then Rolls Royce product (Pro Edition) I expect the commensurate treatment. If there is any credence to be accorded to Herb's claim that "it is not possible to offer all upgrade paths parallel" (highly questionable but for the benefit of the doubt...), then at least an exception for people that spent many thousands of euro in one go (as opposed to many hundreds of euro - there is a BIG difference) should morally be made in my opinion, and that is certainly not giving them a 3-month 5400 euro ultimatum (more like extortion given the time period), but,


is it because the company suddenly needs cash and foregoes its good word about not paying for the same sample twice?.. I certainly hope the reason is not that there is a new kind of Cube coming along in December or early next year (better sampling rates, more articulations, 64bit new software, what-have-you) for which the owners of the current cube could upgrade for thousands of €€€€ and of course the same would have to be extended to Pro Edition users and this current scheme is to have them pay twice that in less than a year or even two...


I ask that you reconsider your ultimatum as this hurts a lot of your loyal customers deeply, the ones that refused to buy pirate 'complete orchestral packages', the ones that felt you deserved to get handsomely paid for such a magnificent product and got strange looks from others who happily shared their softwares, and who paid thousands of €€€€ for the only item of expensive musical equipment they possessed that they could not legally re-sell... You are asking these loyal MUSICIAN customers to put aside a whopping €1800 per month aside from their huge monthly profits(....) in order to make your seemingly arbitrary deadline. I wonder what your mortgage-paying musicians, secretaries, electricians and other staff would think if someone asked them to do exactly that. That is €21,600 after tax, after debts, after living expenses, disposable income in a single year!


Please re-consider,


Best wishes,



Errikos.
If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Fri, Apr 18 2008 02:46
by stevesong
Joined on Mon, Oct 18 2004, NYC, Posts 714

 Well, the news is great: according to the latest VSL newsletter, the price is going up another 10% for those buying with US dollars and the upgrade policy has been changed.

What makes people most unhappy is that the original advertising accompanying the First Edition and Pro Edition suggested to users that their libraries would never become obsolete - - that, if they invested in these libraries, they would always be able to upgrade at some discount to the price charged to new users. In such a situation, when "never" and "always" turn out to have a finite duration, there is bound to be severe disappointment - - a disappointment that harms the unique collaborative relationship between VSL and its customers. In my view - - as someone who does NOT own the First Edition or Pro Edition - - this is the worst, most short-sighted, marketing decision VSL has ever made because it disturbs the bond of trust between the company and its customers. Ah well......

Stephen Siegel
New York City

MacPro (4.1) dual-quad Xeon @ 2.9.3 Ghz
24GB RAM; OS 10.8.5
2 960 GB OWC E2 Mercury Accelsior SSDs one dedicated to samples and the other partitioned into a partition for samples and a part ion for apps and files.
MOTU 2408 MK III (PCIe)

MacBook Pro with 2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo
4GB RAM; OS 10.8.5
MOTU 828
Firmtek/Seritek 2SM2-E Express Card SATA adapter.

Logic 9.1.6.; Finale 2011
Posted on Fri, Apr 18 2008 09:24
by mosso
Joined on Thu, Jun 23 2005, London, England, Posts 376

I hope that VSL will reconsider this decision. All the money I've spend on sample libraries since I first purchased Glass & Stones has gone to VSL. I purchased libraries as soon as I was able to afford them, and I was planning on upgrading to the full cube as time allows. I simply don't have the income to upgrade in the next 3 months, or 12 months for that matter.

I understand from user requests that people who have bought the SE want to upgrade to the Cube. They have spent between £250 and £1100 (depending on whether they bought standard/extended and SE+), and although I understand that they would like to get the amount discounted from purchases, I don't see how the new upgrade path would need to over-write the one that already exists.

In some ways it seems that by taking it's current path VSL would rather give discounts to people who have spent £250 than to people who have spent thousands (in my case my best guess is in excess of £4500). Why can't we both have discounts? Since there's so few of us left would it be possible to do the discounts by email (backoffice?) rather than through the web shop?

I bought the Pro Edition (as I had the Opus 1 before it) safe in the knowledge that the money I spent would also be an investment that could be discounted against future products. I'm now being told that the upgrade path that was supposed to protect my investment is going to expire, despite being sold the product with that understanding and wanting to make use of it. On the other hand, people who were never told that they had an upgrade path when they purchased from the company will now get one.

As I've said, I'm a very loyal VSL customer and I say this with the greatest possible respect for the company and it's achievements - please reconsider this course of action and find a way for us to retain our discounts.

Thank you,

Martin
 

Martin Thornton
<a href="http://www.mosso.co.uk/" target="_blank">www.mosso.co.uk</a>
Posted on Fri, Apr 18 2008 13:54
by tommalm
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Norway, Posts 91

Dear VSL team.

As some of the above posts states; please reconsider this decision. Atleast allow a compromise. Theres is no doubt that the offer you are making with free extended libraries is a good one, but, the timeframe is just too short. I know you have reserved the right to change to VIP arrangement. But is this really the way you want to do it? Do you really consider this a fair, or let aloine a reasonable arrangement? A three month "warning" and basicly and "ultimatum" to buy or lose the discount.

I do not know what your thoughts about the VIP arrangement has been, but for customers it has been considered something which "protects" their investments, and certainly not thinking that this arrangement would suddenly dissapear. And to have that policy pulled within a three months period is just not right. I can't imagine that keeping the VIP discount path for the old sample libraries, or atleast keeping a longer grace period, will in anyway drive your company out of business. 

But stop for a moment and think about what it means for the customers who has already put their hard earned money into your product. If you cannot afford an upgrade now, your chance is forever gone, and we'll have to invested over twice the amount of money. This ofcourse includes buying samples we already have once again. This rules out an upgrade for many of us. As one of the above posters proclaimed; this is actually the most expensive piece of musical "equipment" any of us got access to...and we only own a license.

If my memory serves me right, a similar "grace period" was proposed by Native Instruments, although the product was different. Severel times those arrengements, or deadlines to upgrade, where pushed back to allow more customers to be included. These three months can not in any way be considerd a long or reasonble amount of time considering probably none of your customers even thought you were to remove the VIP arrangement at all!

So Herb and the rest of the VSL team...please...extend the grace period. Atleast the ability to upgrade, not necesserily the free extended libraries. Give your loyal customers a fair chance to use their promised VIP upgrade path.

This is quite litterary me begging...And thats not something I tend to do. But pride doesn't matter here. However 4k and the possibility to get the Symphonic Cube does!

Kind regards

Tom-Erlend Malm

Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 00:06
by clarkcontrol
Joined on Mon, May 03 2004, The Pagan Underground, Posts 315

 Oh, boy, this makes me feel sick inside...

I find it hard to believe that it is really that difficult to keep up with all of the upgrade paths.  After all, isn't that what the discount calculator is for?

Consider this:  My first Edition and Horizon libraries STILL hold their own against ANY other library out there.  If they can hold their value in a practical sense, shouldn't VSL honor that kind of staying power?

I overextended myself when purchasing over $5000 US for these libraries years ago.  I thought with the VIP I would never have to worry because I could wait to reenter the sequencing field while work took me elsewhere.

I still use a 2x1.25 G4 with 1.5 gig of RAM.  It still works great.  The samples work great.  I have a never say die attitude about my music, it has allowed me to persevere where the less tenacious have given up.

Do not abandon us, please please please.

As stated above, the idea of extending the deadline is an excellent one.  Please consider six months or even December 31st.

Also, if the database management issue is real (and I don't mean to insult you by not believing that it's too difficult to update the discount calculator) maybe only allow upgrades from the full 1st Ed./Pro to the full cube while eliminating the horizon and piecemeal upgrades.

Remember, you are setting dangerous precedent here.  Basically what you are saying to your customers is that there is only a VIP as long as it is convenient for you.  At any given moment, EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

 EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

 EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

 EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

At any given moment.

That is what you are saying. 

Clark 

Clark
Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 08:40
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
clarkcontrol wrote:

Remember, you are setting dangerous precedent here.  Basically what you are saying to your customers is that there is only a VIP as long as it is convenient for you.  At any given moment, EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

 EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

 EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

 EVERY SINGLE VSL customer is at the very most 90 days away from losing their entire investment.

At any given moment.

That is what you are saying. 

Clark 

I'm sorry but this makes no sense to me.


For a start, there is no investment. You have a non-transferable licence, that's all. It has no value, except to you. This is not an investment.


Secondly, even if there is no upgrade, your samples still work, they sound exactly the same, and you yourself admit that they stand up to any other library, so you have lost nothing.


Thirdly, VI is over 2 years old. In technology terms this is hardly new. You can't expect upgrades to last for ever.


Now, you may have a point in saying that VSL is not honouring the VIP program that they started, however that is also not strictly speaking true. They are honouring it, but are just giving you a time limit in which to take it up.



DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 10:05
by tommalm
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Norway, Posts 91

You say we hardly lose anything? If a customer is planning an upgrade, you lose the entier worth of, say the Pro Edition. We lose what we as customers were promised. The discount when buying future product containing samples we already have. And I would say this is quite a value. In our case it's worth 4K euro.

It's a fair point that upgrades can't be expected to last forever. And yes the VI's are two years old. But first, there is no new product. There is no new samples, no new software. It's basiclly still the same product. Two years isn't a whole lot if you see how other companies deal with possible upgrade paths. In this case it's just pure severance. This is where the whole point of the VIP policy comes into view...It's an advertised arrangement. There hasn't been any indication that it would be removed. Then VSL decides to remove it within 3 months. And the point made above is exactly that; from now on you cannot consider the VIP policy to protect your possibility to upgrade, any longer than 3 months at a time. This is a COMPLETE turnaround in their philosophy.

Think about those who doesn't visit the forum at a regular basis. For every poster here there is bound to be alot more that either hasn't seen this announcement, or actually understood the severe consequences. Disbelif should be expected when a bond between customer and company is being cut like this.

Thank you

Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 12:25
by mathis
Joined on Sat, Feb 07 2004, Munich, Germany, Posts 1137

I personally upgraded already, so I'm not hit by this decision. But I'm also very surprised by this decision. And the excuse is rather lame: too many upgrade paths.... I'm sorry, this is a joke, isn't it?

Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 12:48
by julian
Joined on Fri, Jan 07 2005, UK, Posts 720
DG wrote:

For a start, there is no investment. You
have a non-transferable licence, that's all. It has no value, except to you. This is not an investment.

DG

As someone who is fortunate to earn their livelyhood in the music
industy I would certainly consider the money I have spent with VSL as
an investment. Similarly, I'm sure studio owners would regard their
premises as an investment in their business even if they only rented rather than bought.

I would hope that VSL might take
another look at their upgrade programmes. I'm certain the old (never
pay twice for the same sample) set up has earnt them a lot of goodwill and sales.

Julian

Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 14:07
by dschweitzer
Joined on Tue, Jan 25 2005, London, UK, Posts 37
I have to say I agree. I think the principal of never paying twice for samples was an important one when I chose to 'invest' in the symphonic cube. The cost of upgrading to the VI version was already extremely high for 1st ed / Pro ed users (though I understand and accept why this is the case). But I think anyone who hasn't upgraded (and I'm sure it's more than a handful) will feel pretty annoyed by this move, and will think less highly of VSL as a result.
David
Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 18:21
by stevesong
Joined on Mon, Oct 18 2004, NYC, Posts 714

The following is a quote from the VSL newsletter of November 12, 2004:

"When
registering your First Edition, you are automatically entitled to all privileges
of the Vienna Symphonic Library VIP program and therefore eligible to upgrade to the PRO EDITION for the reduced VIP price at any later date." (emphasis mine)

I wish I could find some of VSL's advertising copy of that era which expounded the virtues of the VIP program and stated that your "investment" in the library would always be protected by the VIP program.(People who purchase licenses for sample libraries are indeed making "investments" in their work and businesses - - as well as making an investment in the company from which they purchased the license!!)

One might guess that, if the advertisements had, instead of promising an always available upgrade path through the VIP program, expounded the pseudo- legalistic argument propounded by DG (who states: "For a start, there is no investment. You
have a non-transferable licence, that's all. It has no value, except to you. This is not an investment.") sales would not have been nearly as brisk as they were. 

However, if one really wants to get legalistic (not something I reccommend) about all this, the VIP program - once highly touted by VSL as a major selling point - - might be considered part of a contract between the customer and VSL - - so that VSL's decision to end the VIP program might be then construed to constitute a breach of that contract. 

I want to emphasize that this decsion does not affect me since I never owned the Pro Edition. I am happy with VSL's products and have the greatest respect for their work and their committment to excellence. For me this decision is problematic as a matter of principle and as a classic example of a poor business decision.  The problem is that this decision breaks a promise that was explicitly given to VSL's customers and, thereby, very palpably harms the trust between VSL and its customers. That this is its effect is evidenced by the comments on this thread. 

People simply don't like it when one party to a deal unilaterally changes the terms. 

Stephen Siegel
New York City

MacPro (4.1) dual-quad Xeon @ 2.9.3 Ghz
24GB RAM; OS 10.8.5
2 960 GB OWC E2 Mercury Accelsior SSDs one dedicated to samples and the other partitioned into a partition for samples and a part ion for apps and files.
MOTU 2408 MK III (PCIe)

MacBook Pro with 2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo
4GB RAM; OS 10.8.5
MOTU 828
Firmtek/Seritek 2SM2-E Express Card SATA adapter.

Logic 9.1.6.; Finale 2011
Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 18:32
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9135

i know this discussion will last a while .... but i'd ask you to also consider 2 things:

stevesong wrote:

"When registering your First Edition, you are automatically entitled to all privileges of the Vienna Symphonic Library VIP program and therefore eligible to upgrade to the PRO EDITION for the reduced VIP price at any later date." (emphasis mine)

absolutely correct - but it is no longer possible to upgrade to the pro edition, because it is sold out ...

and to be honest: who likes to return to the older sampler formats after having played with the ViennaInstruments?

 

in a certain way loosing the discounts for the older sample libraries was an indirect consequence of many users' demand for discounts from the Special Edition to the big collections ... more or less the upgrade paths have only shiftet their levels ...

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 18:33
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1090
DG wrote:

"For a start, there is no investment. You have a non-transferable license, that's all. It has no value, except to you. This is not an investment."

 

DG is unfortunately correct; it is not a matter of semantics.  Strictly speaking the VSL library is an investment insofar as one can recuperate and hopefully end up making money through the use of that library. The difference with every other bit of equipment in a studio however, is that everything else carries a considerable resale value on top of that. VSL is only a license. And this is exactly why this situation is now bordering on unethical, as what is a license if not a gentlemen's agreement over time; and what is that agreement worth if one of the parties welshes on it? Which brings us to the second point,

"VI is over 2 years old. In technology terms this is hardly new. You can't expect upgrades to last for ever."

 

 This is one of my fears that I mentioned before that nobody seems to share. Indeed, the VI are more than two years old. Is there something looming over the horizon which is going to replace it (I mean as a better similar comprehensive package not individual or SE packages) to which owners of the Cube will have to pay 4-digit € to upgrade? What is then happening with Pro Edition owners? Do they end up having paid twice (if they let this "forced" deadline pass) for a product that a newcomer will pay for once?... Or more than twice (if they upgrade now) in a matter of months?... What feeds that fear the most is that surprisingly lamest of excuses given by the company, that they cannot cope with several upgrades at once. Quite silencing.....

"Now, you may have a point in saying that VSL is not honouring the VIP program that they started, however that is also not strictly speaking true. They are honouring it, but are just giving you a time limit in which to take it up."

I believe these sentences to be vague and somewhat self-contradictory, and as I have indicated in my previous post, this particular time limit with which one party redefines this license - this gentlemen's agreement (including the VIP program) - in my opinion is extortion-like.

In any case, it is certainly not DG's responsibility to answer our serious complains; I have never heard a note this man has composed but having read his innumerable posts as he benevolently helps everyone with their problems, he seems to know what he is talking about, he is a power user of the VSL so I am certain he has a lot on his plate. I am actually surprised we haven't yet heard from the company again on this. I suppose they are re-considering their offer, or maybe just waiting for this post to fall from the top ranks into the obscurity of past posts and pages. I am hoping for the former.

Sincerely,

Errikos. 

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
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