Pathfinder users: would you support a subscription model?

stu.farnham's Avatar


02 Sep, 2017 04:30 PM

Anyone who has been watching the market for productivity apps, at least on the Mac, knows that is a very challenging market in which to succeed. The App Store has changed how users value software, driving prices down.This makes it difficult for companies like Cocoatech to be profitable. Its users see the effect of this in the overall decrease of responsiveness from Cocoatech. How long have we suffered with the PF7 screen focus bug? Why is there no High Sierra beta version and likely no High Sierra supported version. until PF8? My guess it is due the the financial squeeze.

I have been using Pathfinder for as long as I have been using a Mac, and hadn't given it any particular thought for several years until I switched to the High Sierra beta and had to work without it. Over time it has insinuated itself into my workflow to the point that it is indispensable. I tried a couple of its competitors (CommandOne and ForkLift) and they are feature poor by comparison.Pathfinder has become very valuable to me; Finder isn't even in the game.

Over the several years several long time essential apps have gravitated towards subscription models, largely to attempt to offset the market forces that are squeezing so many out of business. 1Password and TextExpander are two that come to mind. Microsoft and Adobe have also made the transition.

A couple of these transitions provide object lessons in how NOT to make the switch. Adobe faced tremendous backlash in the photography market until they created the $10/month photography bundle. TextExpander users felt they were being forced into a price increasin with a new version that did not add value for the; in fact many felt the removal of Dropbox sync removed value. Fortunately for its users the folks at Smile software listened to their customers and made adjustments.

Microsoft (a company I am generally slow to praise) did a great job with their subscription model for Office 365. Although there are only two of us in my household we have thee Macs and at usually a couple of Windows VMs for work purposes, plus a couple of iPhones and iPads. We can run office on all of these for $100/year. New fealties in 1Password were such that switching to the subscription version was a no brainer in a household with lots of computers, multiple operating systems, and shared passwords for a number of accounts.

There's a key lesson in the approaches and experiences of those companies who have made the switch. The successful changeovers occurred when users perceived added value as well as added cost. When they did not companies like Adobe and Smile software were compelled to make adjustments to create sufficient user value.

So, what's my point? I would like to see Cocoatech move to a subscription model if doing so will help them remain profitable and to maintain and extend their product in the manner they have traditionally done.I'd gladly pay something like the upgrade price of $20/year for the software, especially if there was some sort of multi license bundle available.

A question for all of you who follow this forum: would you support a switch to a subscription model? What would motivate you to do so or why would you not?


Showing page 3 out of 3. View the first page

  1. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 10 Oct, 2018 08:32 AM.

  2. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 10 Oct, 2018 08:32 AM

  3. 61 Posted by thebookbloke on 19 Nov, 2018 01:47 AM

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    No I would not. The trouble I, and many others, went through to elicit even an inadequate response from Cocoatech when PF7 stopped working with High Sierra almost put me off PF for life. We thought that Cocoatech had gone out of business because we couldn't get any response fo ages.
    Eventually, we did find out that PF8 was underway and now it's out and I've paid for the latest version.
    Verdict: Not a patch on PF7. Simple things have become fiddly; full of minor irritations. I thought I had found an alternative with TotalFinder but now that is buggered under Mojave as SIP has to be turned off permanently.
    So, given the quality of Cocoatech customer service over the past year or two, I won't pay a subscription unless things improve dramatically.

  4. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 19 Nov, 2018 09:22 AM.

  5. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 19 Nov, 2018 09:23 AM

  6. 62 Posted by a14th on 21 Nov, 2018 02:37 PM

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    No. Flat out, no subscription model. I know that's what the market is pushing everyone towards, but I will find alternatives before adopting a subscription model.

    This is not antipathy to Cocoatech; this is how I regard all software. I had to abandon Adobe Lightroom when they issued the last update to the standalone and basically forced everyone to go to the cloud.

  7. 63 Posted by Andreas on 22 Nov, 2018 12:30 PM

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    No way.
    I discontinue all apps trying to switch to subscription model.
    You‘d lose a PathFinder user for sure.
    Regards, Andreas

  8. 64 Posted by jb on 22 Nov, 2018 05:47 PM

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    No. Subscriptions are the death of software diversity, and only serve to kill boutique software to the benefit of large corporate monopolies. Think of how may programs the average power user purchases and employs, vs. how many $10-20/month substriptions that same person would be willing or even able to support.

    I would completely support almost any increase in software purchase price, as well as additional fees for every upgrade. I should be able to decide whether the cost is worth what I'm getting in advance. But an automatic deduction from my checking account with no real guarantee of development or usefulness, in fact just the feeling of pressure that I'm paying for some program even if I'm not currently using it, well, that's not something I will ever support. Every program that goes to subscription immediately also goes to my trash can. I fully support software development, but subscriptions are the death of choice. There's always a ton of free Unix utilities that can do much of the same job faster anyway.

  9. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 22 Nov, 2018 11:25 PM.

  10. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 22 Nov, 2018 11:26 PM

  11. 65 Posted by Jesper on 30 Dec, 2018 03:04 AM

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    I'm happy to pay for upgrades. I will never pay for a subscription model of software that is local to my computer and do not provide any external service. I actually do pay for a subscription of one single application, and I think it is worth it because I use their servers on a daily basis. But that's the only one so far, and I'm actively looking for a pay-once alternative to that software.

  12. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 31 Dec, 2018 10:02 AM.

  13. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 31 Dec, 2018 10:03 AM

  14. 66 Posted by painter on 02 Jan, 2019 06:46 PM

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    Would a subscription version come with a Pathfinder that actually works? If yes, then I would. I have an ordinary computer and am an ordinary user. I don't have time to deal with flaky apps and naively believe that they should work as advertised.
    I like the concept of Pathfinder, but just like with the previous versions of Pathfinder, #8 crashes and freezes my computer. After looking at the convoluted tech-heavy solutions in the forums, I have the same solution as with previous versions that I tried, including the ones I paid for - uninstall and revert to dumb-but-works Finder.

  15. 67 Posted by a14th on 03 Jan, 2019 04:03 PM

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    Is this actually a thing?

    Subscription models work for applications that have a large set of features; namely, MS Office 365, Adobe Photoshop/LightRoom, and so on. These applications can be expected to roll out new features every so often, and have these features available via the web. The features need to be tested carefully and throughly before release to the public, in the hopes they don't interfere with something else.

    I don't see PathFinder as fitting this group. PF, to me anyway, is a tool box with hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and the occasional drill bits necessary to navigate Mac OS. How much continuing development is necessary? How many new features need to be added?

    In the case of MacOS, there is a real need to keep up with OS development. Each iteration seems to bring a host of break/fixes due to Apple changing something in the APIs or elsewhere in the core of the OS. This is frustrating, believe me, but it does not bring the need to introduce new features. My PF gets me around folders nicely, summons applications where I need, browses external drives, copies and moves files, has an excellent group-rename feature, and supports the addition of filetype handlers.

    I don't really need any more than that, and would not welcome any continuing feature-creep that would end up causing PF to become bloated.

    Wayyyyyy back in the DOS world there was an excellent program called LIST. It was a super-slim and fast file browser that did exactly what it needed to do without adding complicated features. I was hoping PF would observe this design philosophy. (RIP Vernon Buerg)

    So to answer the question directly, no. I will stick with PF7 as long as I can.

  16. 68 Posted by startingtolookf... on 03 Jan, 2019 08:12 PM

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    You're kidding, right?

  17. 69 Posted by Alan Rogers on 03 Jan, 2019 09:03 PM

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    No, I wouldn't support a subscription model. I currently run an earlier version of Photoshop on a Mac with an earlier OS (long may it last) to avoid Adobe's subscription model. One good thing has come of it though, that Affinity has stepped into the ring with pay once products that meet and exceed Adobe's product features. Perhaps that's the future of software development—that bloatware prices itself out of the market, leaving the opportunity for feature rich, well written, fast software to take its place. I just hope PF stays in the feature rich, well written, fast software category. I don't need new features, I just need it to work how it's always worked despite Apple's 'advancements'. (In fact, perhaps there's a need for another lean OS that has the features that lured me from CP/M to OS7!)

  18. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 04 Jan, 2019 10:59 AM.

  19. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 04 Jan, 2019 10:59 AM

  20. 70 Posted by pdwalker on 03 Sep, 2019 07:44 AM

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    Also a no here.

    I should be able to decide whether the cost is worth what I'm getting in advance. But an automatic deduction from my checking account with no real guarantee of development or usefulness, in fact just the feeling of pressure that I'm paying for some program even if I'm not currently using it, well, that's not something I will ever support

    Well said. Agreed.

  21. 71 Posted by kev on 03 Sep, 2019 09:22 AM

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    Absolutely no way would I support a subscription model.

    I can't even register my license for version 8.6 - all I get is a blank screen. All your support have said is it will be passed to the developers. and locked the ticket so it can't be seen by others.

    I have been trying through this forum and via direct email to get a refund within your 60 day terms but I never get an answer to that request.

  22. 72 Posted by Mick Reed on 03 Sep, 2019 09:36 AM

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    Me neither. After the appalling service of the past few years I wouldn’t have PF on my machine again.

    I now use Forklift. It isn’t quite so powerful as PF was (when it worked) but it does all I want, and then some.

  23. 73 Posted by arizonanorse on 03 Sep, 2019 07:03 PM

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    I NEVER would support a subscription model. I have purchased some software that charges some thing reasonable for current users when they have a MAJOR update, which is rare and I an go for that, but not subscription.

    I have ditched more than one app because they decided that was they way they wanted to go.

  24. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 07 Sep, 2019 01:05 PM.

  25. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 07 Sep, 2019 01:05 PM

  26. 74 Posted by Nope on 15 Sep, 2019 08:36 PM

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    No, I discontinue using all software that changes to a subscription model. IMHO it disincentivizes companies from providing value to existing customers in favor of improving their marketing to gain new subscribers.

  27. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 21 Sep, 2019 01:13 PM.

  28. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 21 Sep, 2019 01:14 PM

  29. 75 Posted by byers.sf on 30 Sep, 2019 09:09 PM

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    No. I would abandon PathFinder, as I have done with other programs that switched to a subscription model. I want to be able to decide for myself whether the new bells and whistles are at all useful to me. It's a form of accountability for programmers.

  30. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 30 Sep, 2019 09:10 PM.

  31. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 30 Sep, 2019 09:11 PM

  32. 76 Posted by Christoph on 01 Oct, 2019 11:49 AM

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    No, I would not use Pathfinder on a subscrition based.

  33. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 02 Oct, 2019 05:37 PM.

  34. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 02 Oct, 2019 05:37 PM

  35. 77 Posted by stephan on 01 Nov, 2019 08:55 PM

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    People says NO !!!! to a subscription model and now you're starting an annual fee!! How stupid are you. I will never pay a cent for PF in the future

  36. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 01 Nov, 2019 08:58 PM.

  37. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 01 Nov, 2019 08:58 PM

  38. 78 Posted by Trev on 01 Nov, 2019 11:54 PM

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    You can earn my repeat purchases, you don't just get it no matter what. If it's worth the money I'll consider it, but for the fiasco with PF8 and now what appears to be a joke of an update to PF9? I'm not just going to hand over my money because it was asked for or expected monthly/yearly. I see almost no value in updating at this time, so I won't be, and wouldn't pay subscription for something so everyday as a file manager. Charge a reasonable price for a given version based on the costs and I can make an educated decision as to if it's worth it or not. Don't enjoy being squeezed. Previously devoted customer.

  39. 79 Posted by Phi on 02 Nov, 2019 09:50 AM

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    Yes, I have some subscriptions running and I'm fine with them.
    But a subscription model for a (still not working fine) Finder replacement?
    No way!
    A "major" update once a year (which have to be paid if you are not a subscriber?)?
    No way!
    Remember your license politics back then: How long have there been free updates for the great versions 5 and 6? For YEARS!
    The things you are introducing now a not worth discussing as long you are not able to provide well working software. Starting with PF8 you are not able or willing to do so - so I will not give you any more money. That's it.

  40. 80 Posted by Colin on 10 Nov, 2019 10:39 PM

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    No. I would switch to another product.

  41. 81 Posted by simonblock on 11 Nov, 2019 12:20 AM

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    No. I have abandoned Adobe because if this and I had a lot invested in Lightroom.

  42. 82 Posted by Kevin on 11 Nov, 2019 09:31 PM

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    In a word: No!

  43. 83 Posted by Thomas on 12 Nov, 2019 06:59 AM

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    No! Not again. I already dropped Ulysses for this and a few other apps. Did you guys think about that there is an natural limit on subscriptions (our salary). And 2nd... I am not satisfied with the quality of this software anymore. I cannot see what I get with pathfinder 9 for my money - which should have been a pathfinder 8 maintenance update.

  44. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 14 Nov, 2019 02:58 PM.

  45. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 14 Nov, 2019 02:58 PM

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