On Indie Software

I use a good number of apps from both large corporations and indie developers. I believe in buying and paying for software that you use and find value. After a couple of experiences with both types of companies, I believe in supporting indie development as the support they give is much better than from large corporations. I have some quick thoughts on software; indie software to be specific. Three quick stories.

I recently upgraded to a new M1 MacBook Air (my thoughts on it will come soon), so that meant reinstalling all my software and apps on the new machine. Rather than use Migration Assistant, I set it up as new and installed apps as I needed. Apps I got from the App Store were simple enough to install; just fire up the Mac App Store and download away. For others not on the App Store, I had to download and install from their respective websites. And since I installed the apps as I needed them, it took a couple weeks before I started running into these experiences. There are two indie apps that, after I installed them, I needed support from the developers to get up and running. The two apps were MarsEdit and Clicker for YouTube TV.

MarsEdit is an app that I use to post to my site. It’s great because I can work on a post that’s not on a web form within a browser. In my previous install of the app, I had old posts from other blogs that I wanted to bring over but did not see an export function. I reached out to Daniel Jalkut and he quickly responded and I was able to transfer over my previous install to my new computer.

dbk labs makes a number of apps that their sole purpose is to create a native viewing app in Mac OS for different streaming services. I bought apps to watch Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube TV on my Mac. When it came to install Clicker for YouTube TV, apparently I ran into the maximum limit of computers on which I could use my license. I emailed Drew Koch and explained how I ran into the limit and he sent me a new license code, no questions asked.

My son recently has become obsessed with Minecraft and I wanted to create a private server and play with him. I purchased Minecraft for our old iMac when my oldest one first became interested in Minecraft. That iMac has since been wiped and sold. I tried to download and reinstall and got a message saying that our license number was already used. I reached out to Microsoft explaining the situation and got an automated reply with a link to their support forum that was completely unhelpful. I’m still trying to figure out how to get a copy of Minecraft for the Mac and can’t find the proper channel for support.

I can’t speak enough about how much better my experience with independent developers has been. I reached out with a simple and probably common question and got the support I needed in no more than 48 hours. And I’m still frustrated with a piece of software from a multi-billion dollar corporation that does not need my money if I had to purchase another copy of Minecraft. I’m extremely grateful for the developers of MarsEdit and the Clicker family of apps, and all indie developers. They make super useful software and actually provide useful and timely support. Please support indie development and pay for software that you actually use.