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joshb
KVRist
 
42 posts since 13 Apr, 2016

Postby joshb; Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:57 am How do you release a product?

Sorry if this is a little off topic, but I can't think of a better place to ask.

I'm in the middle of beta testing my first plugin and it's starting to look like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I just realized, I'm not sure I know exactly how to release a product!

Besides the obvious testing and checking your code as much as possible, what do you guys do? Do you have some kind of checklist?

And then there's the non-coding stuff...like, marketing, press release(?), how to get reviews and by who? What else?

Even as I type this, I'm even sure what to ask.

Please...I'd love to hear your advice and experiences. Thanks again.
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nonnaci
KVRist
 
97 posts since 7 Feb, 2017

Postby nonnaci; Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:52 am Re: How do you release a product?

I'm also curious about this. My experience so far in this space has only been with free plugins which I cross-posted on my blog and KVR. I think the dynamic may be different with paid products as in my case, other music production/gear websites seemed happy to cross-link back to my page. Feedback gets posted on their sites, driving up traffic and ad-rev, and I use that feedback to iterate and make the product better.

That said, a more pro-active approach at my previous workplace was to use twitter and facebook to announce releases/updates, along with building up an email-list of people who had registered/downloaded the product. i.e. if you release a paid version, automate email and serial/key tracking along with managing contact info. Releasing a demo version, sound-samples of what your product does, a youtube demonstration, also helps as it saves the consumer's time.
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
20141 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:14 am Re: How do you release a product?

A beta test team is important if you want to avoid selling buggy software.
kmonkey
KVRAF
 
3507 posts since 17 Aug, 2004

Postby kmonkey; Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:22 am Re: How do you release a product?

thecontrolcentre wrote:A beta test team is important if you want to avoid selling buggy software.


+ marketing tactic and at least good website but marketing is what ATM will sell your product (sadly). I say sadly because even if you have shitty product or just casual product - good marketing will sell it like it is some batshit from outer dimension.
Deisss
KVRist
 
52 posts since 18 Jun, 2014

Postby Deisss; Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:32 am Re: How do you release a product?

Hint: never sold an audio plugin (despite developing some), but does know a lot about paid software in general.

For "regular" software (translated to Audio stuff):
- test on every major DAW, I would say: logic (if mac), Ableton, Reason (if reason), protools, ... Covering at least 95% of the market would be a good plus. Be honest about what you support and what is missing BEFORE the buying step. Would save you a lot of time.
- having a checklist of what to test, few examples:
=> during your plugin processing, automate the BPM (if it's tempo based plugin, it should sync correctly not keep the "old" BPM).
=> create/delete instance of the plugin, sometimes plugin "window" open, sometimes closed.
=> move plugin across track (I have found sometimes it may crash depending on the code).
=> the reset works correctly (if the guy stop the plugin, change the BPM/signature, the plugin should restart with new values correctly).

So beta testing isn't a easy task as of course, all the points above (and they are just few here, the list can be really long), has to be checked on every DAW.

To review it, simply start sending emails to companies like paper journal for example, in a cool way, you're new, and you're certainly not the first one on the market, they can help you a little before press release if they found a huge bottleneck.
I know as I've been working as a journalist long time before, that best companies usually goes along with good relationship with press in general. Afterall, they are your first true customer, if they are happy, if you care about their advice, then following "real" customers will benefits too.

Reflect correctly your pricing/business plan: actually, it is as important as the product you want to release. This is a huge bottleneck for early companies. You have to be either in the low curve or middle curve regarding competitors: you're knew, you can't overprice except if you really have a trully unique product.

In the same way, start to think about the update plan you want to provide (and be realistic about it, don't say for example "lifetime free update" while you know you can't for example), and the way you want to deliver updates (this is more something to think about rather than actually prepare something).

Start growing a community here, somehow it's a relatively small community were most of people just "look" without actively supporting of forums, but they all go back to some major forum like this one at some point...

Do all the "surrounds": a internet site, a security system for key/protections, a decent support.

The marketing is just too wide to explain anything but of course, some advertise can help quite a bit.

Last but not least, always bench the market to know your competitors and bench your user to know the satisfaction level overall...
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aciddose
KVRAF
 
10962 posts since 7 Dec, 2004, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby aciddose; Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:49 am Re: How do you release a product?

thecontrolcentre wrote:A beta test team is important if you want to avoid selling buggy software.


Be very careful about this. "Beta testers" rarely ever find problems that aren't the most obvious.

If unit testing isn't possible (it should be in most cases for most small components) you'll need to come up with a check-list of features and functions. You are the only person in the world who can tell the difference between what the software is intended to do and what it actually does. Any beta-tester can only guess and more often than you might expect they guess wrong. (>90%)

Beta testing is more useful to test against not only every configuration you can come up with but also some of the more shall we say "absolutely ludicrous" configurations out there that you'd never even think of testing against due to the assumption such a configuration is absolutely insane and useless to anyone.

In fact there are plenty of such users out there and these sorts of "bugs" that appear in extremely rare cases are actually rather common. The very best you can do is expand your beta testing to the point where you have a wide enough range of systems and configurations covered that you get "most" of the issues identified. It's simply a numbers game though and if the rarity of the condition is 1/1000 and you have 1000 beta testers (good luck...) you'll still likely end up not encountering the issue. For example which users are still running XP? OSX 10.5? Trying to run in an obscure virtual machine? Out-dated VMware?

Such issues are also only sometimes due to your own code. While your code may fail under those rare conditions and changed code may work, that same change may simply move the corner-cases to other configurations. There may in some cases be no way to actually "fix" a problem due to an external cause outside your control.

So these issues call the concept of beta-testing into question and this is much of the reason users often feel they are being treated like beta-testers... because they are. "Beta" just has another definition. Perhaps gamma-testers or delta-testers might be a more accurate description.

That's not to say that they aren't correct though. In many cases it seems as if the alpha-tester (the author) didn't bother to do their part.

That said once in a while you do find good testers who provide solid reports and describe issues or adjustments they'd like to see in concrete and complete terms. Those people are called angel-testers, or employees.
mystran
KVRAF
 
4461 posts since 11 Feb, 2006, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby mystran; Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:48 am Re: How do you release a product?

+1 on every single word that aciddose wrote above. :)
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tunca
KVRist
 
244 posts since 26 Mar, 2015

Postby tunca; Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:08 am Re: How do you release a product?

I'm new developer,too.I will release my plugins,soon.

I have big betatester group.All plugins tested with lots of DAW and different systems.This the best solution to see your plugins working with different systems.

After technical tests,send your plug-ins to famous productors if you have chance.I know some productors and sent plugins to them.This is the most important thing to get feedback about sound of plugins.

After all you need website.I've just opened mine.(Now waiting for payment systems to release plugins)Marketing is really important.Tell people who you are,what are you doing,how did you do plugins,your method etc.Cause now people want to know what they buy.Thing as hardware.People need to know which component used in gears...How hardwares built...

For example i'm using spice methode.And i told people how can i do that and what adventages.

You must introduce yourself and your works very well.
http://analogobsession.com/ VST,AU for WIN & MAC
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Codestation
KVRAF
 
1528 posts since 30 Dec, 2004, from betwixt

Postby Codestation; Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:27 am Re: How do you release a product?

It's very much like pooping.
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nonnaci
KVRist
 
97 posts since 7 Feb, 2017

Postby nonnaci; Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:59 pm Re: How do you release a product?

Any ideas on how to get beta testers? Do you offer them the final product for free or discounted?
xoxos
Mr Entertainment
 
11846 posts since 29 Apr, 2002, from i might peeramid

Postby xoxos; Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:20 pm Re: How do you release a product?

yup release a product har, beelzebub's your boy. gives you everything you need, has got bailey's.

go back in time to 2003. get it online by 2pm because some other bugger is going to get their version online by 2:45pm. don't sweat it, people will understand and appreciate your intent, if it's a good idea.

if otoh you want recognition or something else in this day and age, good bloody luck to you, swim with the rest of the sellfishes and do what they do, unless you have a better idea. agree with aciddose, unless you have preexisting relationships with informed users, your best beta tester is *you* as you are the most aware of what it is.

if for some reason you're able to be sensible, a good way to debug/refine is *time* - wait a couple of weeks until you've stopped thinking compulsively about your baby, and are able to approach the item without automatically picking up the same ideas. objectivity, people say. a few weeks probably won't affect "product viability".

emailing commuter music magazine probably a fair procedure, and there's always the secret nasty whore club you can join if you are alright with evil.
you come and go, you come and go. amitabha xoxos.net free vst. neither a follower nor a leader be
tagore "where roads are made i lose my way"
where there is certainty, consideration is absent.
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Codestation
KVRAF
 
1528 posts since 30 Dec, 2004, from betwixt

Postby Codestation; Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:25 pm Re: How do you release a product?

xoxos wrote:there's always the secret nasty whore club you can join if you are alright with evil.


Where's that then? My experience has been no matter what I do it's evil somehow to someone anyway, regardless. :phones:
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nonnaci
KVRist
 
97 posts since 7 Feb, 2017

Postby nonnaci; Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:39 pm Re: How do you release a product?

Codestation wrote:
xoxos wrote:there's always the secret nasty whore club you can join if you are alright with evil.


Where's that then? My experience has been no matter what I do it's evil somehow to someone anyway, regardless. :phones:


Wouldn't call it evil, just ego and entrenchment.
xoxos
Mr Entertainment
 
11846 posts since 29 Apr, 2002, from i might peeramid

Postby xoxos; Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:54 pm Re: How do you release a product?

i spent a year living in a tent on the other side of the planet trying to evade .. i don't have a polite word for it. it's definately evil. hunters kill their prey, not relish in its suffering. i won't get into the rest of it or some scotsman will start in. we've been here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b3qrbFKVug
you come and go, you come and go. amitabha xoxos.net free vst. neither a follower nor a leader be
tagore "where roads are made i lose my way"
where there is certainty, consideration is absent.
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Codestation
KVRAF
 
1528 posts since 30 Dec, 2004, from betwixt

Postby Codestation; Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:25 pm Re: How do you release a product?

xoxos wrote: it's definately evil. hunters kill their prey, not relish in its suffering.


The only objectively measurable standard of "evil" I've ever been able to comprehend is that which produces unnecessary suffering and harm. So yeah. Of what you speak "evil" = understood. I have no choice but to agree if I want to be reasonable! :hug:

This is my problem with the entirety of having to "produce" (product) anyway. It's all based on argumentum ad baculum, fallacy of relative privation, and naturalistic fallacy. Nothing reasonable about any of our societies. They all reduce to ape-brained monkey nonsense and "might makes right" tribalism. We've learned nothing.

That said, predation... (even economic) is currently unavoidable - unless you've got some magic you can whip up.

RE: releasing a product: how to do it (produce and release) without engaging in some form of predation, however polite?
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