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Old 21-09-2020, 10:44 AM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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SG Pro - gone to subscription model

Hi all,

Not sure if this has been raised here yet - just got an email from sg pro saying they are moving to a subscription model...

I'm personally not a fan of subscription models for software, but yes understand developers need to make money.

Like most software in 2020, we have moved to a subscription-based model and will collect subscription fees annually. While there are several different subscription tiers available, the one that almost all of our users will fit into is for "Three simultaneous installs of SGPro" (you can upgrade all the way up to six if you need it). Software is expensive to maintain and support… especially with an application that is dedicated to the automation of complex tasks.

The SGPro subscription will carry an initial cost of $149 (USD) for the first year and then $59 (USD) per year afterward (Because you have purchased SGPro 2 in the past, you are entitled to a $100 (USD) discount toward the initial signup fee of $149 (USD) (good for life))

....

What if I don’t subscribe or my subscription expires?
Choosing not to subscribe or letting an existing subscription expire will not prevent you from using SGPro. When your subscription expires, you will be able to use the most recent version of SGPro at the time of expiry. You can use this version as long as you want… even install it on brand new machines.


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Old 21-09-2020, 10:48 AM
glend (Glen)
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Russell I just received the same email, see my post on this. I am pretty pissed about them going to a subscription based business model, after I paid for SGP years ago. Sure they say you can still use the app version your running but There is not going to be any backward compatibility, much like what Photoshop did to us when they went to CC.
I told them to get stuffed.

Last edited by glend; 21-09-2020 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 21-09-2020, 11:03 AM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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hi glen,

looks like we posted about the same time.

yes my big fear was not being able to install on new hardware - that has been somewhat alleviated but i think we can anticipate down the track new cameras/drivers etc, it may become a problem.

I'm not sure if this is will in-effect kill off the program in the longer run? I definitely wouldn't buy subscription if i didn't have to (other programs exist which provide a similar function).

Cheers
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Old 21-09-2020, 11:59 AM
sunslayr (David)
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Honestly with N.I.N.A getting better and better with every release, there is not going to be much point subscribing to SGP by the time my version is too out of date to use. Not a smart move in my opinion, especially with a $149 US up front fee. Now if it was just the $60 sub I reckon that could work.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:07 PM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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Well, I moved to Voyager, which is on a similar subscription based model, and in a similar way you can keep using it after it expires, just no updates and no tech support (Did SGP ever provide direct tech support from the devs all the way to a skype call?)

But if SGP is going subscription, I would expect the developer response to support requests and relatively simple feature requests to be a lot better than it has been. The request (Made by a number of people, not just me) to add a focuser move delay before an auto focus image is shot when trying to focus my SCT (To allow that couple of KG of mirror to physically stop moving, a characteristic of any scope moving the main mirror to focus) amounted to "No, make your telescope work properly"

And I think to keep people paying annually they are going to need to do something about basic things, like SGP snapping to the background so often when you click on a dialog (Making several people I have been helping over the phone think it has crashed out) or not stopping the guider properly if you abort a running sequence in the "Wrong" way, making it not work properly when you restart, and not having any option to plate solve back to your target if you pause and restart a sequence. Many of my gripes revolve around having to manually intervene within "Automation" software instead of having a "Push this button" workflow.


I have not got the email yet. I do still use it occasionally when I am doing setup stuff as currently Voyager does not support connecting to individual pieces of equipment on demand (Apart from planetarium software and a flat box) though this is in development I am told. It is useful doing setup to be able to disconnect only the camera so it can be physically disconnected and reconnected at will, though even SGP can get grumpy about doing that too often in a session.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:11 PM
glend (Glen)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunslayr View Post
Honestly with N.I.N.A getting better and better with every release, there is not going to be much point subscribing to SGP by the time my version is too out of date to use. Not a smart move in my opinion, especially with a $149 US up front fee. Now if it was just the $60 sub I reckon that could work.
Well for us retired folks, shelling out for subscription this and that, really adds up quickly. We were wacked with an increase for Astrobin early this year, right after he lost 200 of my images in a system crash. Then there are the endless increases applied to streaming services, which split off into various content owner services, each seeking their own increases. Adobe, etc, it is out of hand, or pocket. Time to review usefulness.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:16 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Just assess your needs. You need to guide, focus and capture subs. Period. I've used Neb 2,3 then 4 to capture subs. I still use PHD1 to guide. I focus with the client included with my sharpcap focuser (ASCOM) or my fingers which don't run on a monthly subscription. If you're happy with simple tools there are alternate choices. If you want a complete software suite that does it all then some and also makes coffee after a successful meridian flip then you don't complain about the subscription.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:32 PM
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Yes what Marc said. Your software you paid for don’t stop working if you don’t subscribe (but no updates - if it works honestly does it matter???) so don’t subscribe. I haven’t updated MaxIM 5 or 6 past my initial period and it keeps working flawlessly (like 10 years now for MaxIM 5!), haven’t renewed ANYTHING apart from SharpCap once as I like supporting him (@10 pounds a year who cares...)

Glen, Astrobin gave every subscriber free unlimited access after the crash. If you didn’t you should tell him. I sure got a free top level subscription.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:47 PM
Saturn488 (Chrys)
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That's a shame they are going down this route. Subscription based I understand and they need to make money but increasing the price from $99 USD to $149 then an additonal $59 USD a year?

Not sure I agree with the large initial cost.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:51 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn488 View Post
That's a shame they are going down this route. Subscription based I understand and they need to make money but increasing the price from $99 USD to $149 then an additonal $59 USD a year?

Not sure I agree with the large initial cost.
NINA was mentioned which is a great alternative.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:57 PM
Saturn488 (Chrys)
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NINA was mentioned which is a great alternative.
Yeah I downloaded it the other week and installed it. Looks alright and will only get better.

SGP might be in a bit of trouble down the track.

As long as I can keep using my SGP as it is now then that will be fine.
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Old 21-09-2020, 01:31 PM
glend (Glen)
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Yes what Marc said. Your software you paid for don’t stop working if you don’t subscribe .....

Glen, Astrobin gave every subscriber free unlimited access after the crash. If you didn’t you should tell him. I sure got a free top level subscription.
Good for you Lewis, but I had already paid for my premium subscription at the beginning of January, as usual. His response was just upload them again, right all 200. If I had known he was not backing up, I would not have trusted the service. It was more than just tracking down 200 files on my system, it was trying to match up the extensive commentary and notes, which he had, but for which there no way to match to my files, other than manual tracing. Fool me once...
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Old 21-09-2020, 02:33 PM
Xeteth (David)
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This is no doubt a difficult one, as we all know these days there's a subscription for just about everything. I have one for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Kayo, Spotify blah blah blah. The thing that is frustrating is that I think these major services overcharge by a big margin.

This means that when SGP or something similar that might need to move towards a subscription based model to survive - we're already bleeding off so much for all these different services that it becomes too much.

Personally, I am happy to pay for a reasonably priced subscription for something like SGP. Because let's be honest, astrophotography has such a niche and limited market they might need it. It's great that there are alternatives out there as well, creating competition and ensuring that they deliver a top product to remain competitive.
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Old 21-09-2020, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Good for you Lewis, but I had already paid for my premium subscription at the beginning of January, as usual. His response was just upload them again, right all 200. If I had known he was not backing up, I would not have trusted the service. It was more than just tracking down 200 files on my system, it was trying to match up the extensive commentary and notes, which he had, but for which there no way to match to my files, other than manual tracing. Fool me once...

I'm not sure why you are any different Glen, because I too had literally just renewed (for the premium plan) when it crashed - they gave me a free subscription (and told me to reupload everything - 3 images out of several dozen uploaded survived) and a full refund on what I had paid.
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Old 21-09-2020, 05:10 PM
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In my case, out of the AB crash, I lost maybe 25% of my images and got zip as far as any plan increment or extension.

Ignoring anything else, I can't see the value in the new pricing. I went to Voyager even as a subscription model and with a significantly greater up front cost than the then one off cost of SGP and felt it justified as IMO it is a more comprehensive suite and it does the aggregation and automation better (As I wrote above) Now SGP is pitched just a couple of USD below the price of Voyager for the initial license and the annual subscription to keep updates is more expensive! I just hope that does not become the catalyst for Voyager going up in price.
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Old 21-09-2020, 05:27 PM
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DavidTrap (David)
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I better get on and pay for a Voyager subscription

DT
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Old 21-09-2020, 07:00 PM
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I would have to say though, just beware. Nothing is insurmountable but the price of increased integration is a somewhat steeper learning curve than SGP. A few things require a mindset change to go with the different workflow.
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Old 21-09-2020, 07:10 PM
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h0ughy (David)
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Well I bought sgp with the aim to use but never really got around to using it as too many other manual things needed doing to make things work. At this stage I won't upgrade but I do see it as gouging.
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Old 21-09-2020, 07:21 PM
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Well I bought sgp with the aim to use but never really got around to using it ....
I bet a few have gone subscription since you've bought them houghy, better check.
Wouldn't want them gouging your cc.

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Old 21-09-2020, 07:43 PM
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I bet a few have gone subscription since you've bought them houghy, better check.
Wouldn't want them gouging your cc.


Heck, the grease will be putrefied and petrified in most of the stuff he bought before he uses them...
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