Advice for On1 direction
Long time On1 User. My primary Photo program.
I recently completed a survey for On1 about its future direction. Unfortunately it suffered from all the problems of a multiple choice survey.
I wonder how to get my thoughts to On1.
On1 is a real utility tool for photography. Unfortunately it is not best of breed in any area except perhaps Effects.
It does not have the best demosaicing (Probably PL6), the best sharpening/deblurring (probably Topaz), or the best selective AI masking (probably Adobe), the best DAM (many others). Most importantly there have been glaring bugs which get reported, acknowledged but dont seem to get fixed. For example loss of edits.
I have seen that On1 wants to be cutting edge and I appreciate that, but its infrastructure needs to be rock solid and I would advise ON1 (if asked) to turn its attention to making the program more robust, rather than adding new bells and whistles. Pros and amateurs will not trust their work to a program which is not reliable and sturdy. Looking at negative reviews, they are largely rants about data loss or unfixed bugs and unfavorable comparisons to the feature leaders. Fixing these issues would draw more into using what is overall a very good photographic tool.
I may forward this to tech support and see if they then forward it to someone who would think about it.
I would send that to customer support through a support request. They are unlikely to see it here.0
My plan was to post here and see if other users agree and then forward the chain to On1 support
Steven wrote: I have seen that On1 wants to be cutting edge and I appreciate that, but its infrastructure needs to be rock solid and I would advise ON1 (if asked) to turn its attention to making the program more robust, rather than adding new bells and whistles. ... Fixing these issues would draw more into using what is overall a very good photographic tool.
Yes, yes and yes.0
I agree, as I've received a recent email from ON1 survey 2 weeks ago, I answered all the questions in it; asking for more improvements/bug free/lacks and lags. ON1 PR is my #1, but the developers should be more working in resolve old and permanent problems than give us a Fibonacci grid ! I watched many photos softs comparisons, and even is ON1 PR is great, it's stability is the #1 complaint.
As I used for architecture a very complex program (now I'm 75 years old so I don't use it anymore), I never had so many "bugs" and "magic button: delete settings". (Mac user since 1995).
I guess the company is aware for these requests, but they go on, go on, AI, AI, AI, they wish to supplant LR and others but it's a long way they don't want to understand (small company ! Nonsense pretext as Affinity, Pixelmator and others are small companies too). I contacted support etc for user guide translated and some complaints, for non-english speaking potentials users it' a lost of money for them, etc etc0
That was my advice in the recent survey – spend more time fixing outstanding bugs. You can send it to support if you want but I would also send it to Customer Service. Support has enough to do answering questions for people.0
As a user, fixing bugs seems like it would be a very important and high priority task for any company. But thinking from the company's position just how important is it?
You can advertise a new feature and make it sound amazing. You can even create videos of it "doing its thing"! But advertising that you fixed a bunch of bugs in your software would be very foolish!!! It says, "we released software without adequate testing and are now getting around to fixing some of the issues". Not what a potential customer is looking for.
A company that wants to grow would do exactly what ON1 is doing: adding more and more features to get the attention of potential customers! Of course they eventually have to deal with fixing bugs, but that would garner fewer resources since it does not have the same impact on the bottom line.
I ask anyone who has purchased ON1 software on or before the initial release date, WHY??? If you have been using ON1 a while you KNOW a new release will (likely) have a fair number of bugs. One thing that differentiates adult humans from teens is that teens still have the desire for immediate gratification. Adults (mostly) eventually learn that waiting has advantages. Wait 3 months - or 6 months. Then see if bugs that effect your use of the program have been resolved.
You will not be surprised to hear that I am still using 2022. I would really like to get the features of the 2023 version and do plan to buy it if the issues that effect my usage are resolved. I do not need or use any of the selection feature (catalog, keywords, etc.) so bugs in that logic do not concern me. I check after each new release to see if the "important" bugs have been squashed. If not, I continue to wait. I also wait for a good sale, but that is secondary to the program being reliable for my needs.
I love all the new features that appear each year and encourage ON1 to continue enhancing the program. I understand (from a business prospective) why they put their development resources where they do. I wish, like most of you, that more of a priority was given to fixing errors. But it is what it is. You can buy it as is and live with it (or complain about it) or wait till the fixes are made - or find another program that is more focused on fixing bugs. Your money - your choice.1
Doesn't it come down to how On1 can generate the income it needs to survive? As with most post processing products income seems to have been based on selling upgraded versions each year as perpetual licences.
This must be an unreliable source of income so there has been a move towards creating a more reliable income stream via making the software available via subscriptions, starting with Adobe and Lightroom/Photoshop.
Many people objected to this move on basis that if they cancelled subscription then software would stop working or only work in crippled mode such as Lightroom only acting in Library mode, so at least users could still access edited images.
While On1 has introduced subscriptions there seems to be a core of users who only want to have perpetual licences. I don't know what proportion of On1's income comes from these, but if it is significant then On1 are stuck with producing annual upgrades that appear to offer enough new features to make it a reason for many perpetual licence users to upgrade. Hence the need to focus on coming up with new bells and whistles. How many people would buy PhotoRAW 2024 if it is only an improved version of 2023 with few new features, just bug fixes, improved AI training and addressing odd missing features like support for grayscale images.
PhotoRAW is relatively cheap considering it is has full range of features which, while not necessarily being best of breed, are good enough for many users who value the convenience of an all in one solution. Could they double the price and keep bug fixes and minor upgrades coming for two years, so first year they can concentrate on this and then in second year work on features that will make people want to upgrade? Offer at half price if purchased in second year?
Alternatively what would persuade more users to take up a subscription which could give On1 a more reliable income stream?
- Capture One have a new scheme whereby when users cancel their subscription they can purchase a perpetual license for the current version at a discounted price based on length of subscription, after a certain time this amounts to a free copy.
- Produce a free standalone version of Browse with just Export enabled and which would take over the PhotoRAW database when it was installed. This would allow users to retain access to the images that they have edited and export them as required.
So I think the future development of PhotoRAW etc is as much a question as what On1 should be focussing on as how they can generate the income to carry out this work.1
While I understand the rationale for the method of chasing the next great thing to lure new business, you must also keep the old business or you will not net grow. The reputation of a program will often be pushed one way or the other by net influencers, Like Kelby or Scott Davenport, or users on this forum or DPRreview or well known photographer website. If the program kills a photographers work or is not among the top tier in results, it is just too easy these days to just go elsewhere. A lack of quality or reliability becomes rapidly and widely known and can be a deal killer.
On1 needs to perform its base functions flawlessly and pay attention to quality and reliability or users will vote with their wallets and feet.
David, it definitely comes down to how On1 can generate the most profit. Whether that is the most units sold, is not clear. Which is more profitable, selling fewer units at a higher price or selling many units at low price? Of course that depends on many factors. I am confident that ON1 is paying close attention to that.
While ON1 is specifically advertised as NOT being subscription based software, when a product gets an update every year and users have to pay for that update every year, that is an ALMOST subscription based paradigm. The main difference is that users can continue using a current product if the do not want buy the new version. However I suspect that most users do upgrade.
Steve, ON1 fixes most bugs, eventually, so I am not sure that releasing a product with bugs is that devastating to their image. Or, the new enhancement's (shiny toys) distracts users from the issues (remember most users do NOT experience every bug found). As I suggested above, if users waited a few months before getting the new version they would avoid the most serious bugs and still get to enjoy all the new features.0
I totally agree with you about software stability being the top priority. Flaky software from any company makes me believe that they care about their pockets, and not their users. The fact that ON1 can't put any effort into stopping settings file corruption problems that have been occurring for at least the 5 versions that I've used PR supports this lack of focus.
The release of 2023 was a complete debacle. AI select was nowhere near ready for release. A number of 'recommended' video cards weren't even tested with the program, resulting in crashes at startup.Many users are reporting running out of memory after editing 5- 10 photos, requiring a restart of the app. There were posts stating that people with inside knowledge encouraged the company to delay it's release due it's problems, but they didn't. This is not the way to win over users.
By not fixing the basic problems, the same requests are continually dumped onto their already overwhelmed support technicians. How is it that nobody inside the company get this????
Like you, I've learned to wait until the .1 version of PR ships and fixes the bulk of the problems with the new release. But the fact that we have learned to skip the first version of their software each year says a lot about their quality of their software and their motives for shipping it. I continue to encounter bugs and odd behaviors that I and others report to support , and they aren't fixed in a timely manor. Weird, vague export errors continue to happen from time to time, and are reported by more than few users in the forums. I find it difficult to recommend this product to others. This is no way to grow a company. I would gladly have passed up one of the new features and see them focus on fixing the root problems in the app. I think the fact that you have admitted you haven't bought the upgrade is proof that their quality problems ARE affecting sales. I've seen several other users mention that as well on the forums.
One way that On1 encourages users to upgrade is by cutting off updates to one version once the next version is released. At least a few years ago, Adobe would release updates to previous versions to fix major bugs, or add support for new cameras or lenses. ON1 doesn't seem to do that. I'm not criticizing that, as in theory it should allow them to focus more efforts on the newer version.
At some point users get fed up with the never ending problems and will switch to another company. Losing angry customers is certainly no way to survive.
I never plan to subscribe to any software that cripples itself when my subscription expires.0
Just a Note: In the past, ON1 has always had a final bug-fix version even after the new version was released. This is the first year that they didn't do that.0
Yes, that was a surprise (no final update for PR 22 since the June release of 2022.5), even more so in light of a conversation on their FB page in mid-November:
Q. When is the update for 2022.5 coming? .......
A. (On1 response): Still working on it.0
And they may still be. 😉0
Unfortunately not 😟. I did ask Support a couple of weeks ago and they confirmed that 2022.5 is the final update for Photo RAW 2022.0
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