A trap for beginners

Does it date me to say “What cheeses me off”? I had a try-on from a site the other day that cheesed me to tears.

A trap for beginners

Marcia Griffin

The other day I went to edit some audio files I had recorded on the new digital voice recorder. (It’s a sweet gadget but I will deal with that another day.) Basically I just wanted to chop the files up into the separate speeches.

Peter the office techo suggested his preferred beastie for the job is a product called Audacity – apparently he uses is for doing things with bird sounds.

First I go to my friend Google and type in Audacity. The very first response is a paid result, which tells me Audacity can be downloaded from http://download-audacity.org the second response tells me Audacity can be downloaded from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

The first response is a nice looking website that tells me Audacity is incredibly powerful software and that I can download it from there. I then have the option of signing up to the network for a low, low cost so that I can access the servers from their high-speed network and access their support files.

The second option is a less nice-looking website. It is less user-friendly but I can download Audacity for free.

So what’s going on?

Well, the second website is called source forge and is a repository for Open Source software, which generally means you can use the software for no charge, but there are some restrictions. One of those restrictions happens to be along the lines of, ‘Because we are giving you the software for free, you can’t resell it.’

In regards to the first website:

  1. It was in first position because it’s a paid link.
  2. It cannot sell me Audacity because that would be a breach of the licence to use it. It can, however, achieve the same outcome legally by forcing me to become a member of its network before downloading files from them.
  3. Its network and additional services appear to have absolutely no value.
  4. It appears that it is happy to take your money to download a product you can get for free.

I suppose the adage that applies is “don’t tell someone they’re stupid, borrow money from them”.

Cheeses me off though.

To read more Brendan Lewis blogs, click here.



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