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Gr€€dy $PX

Yes. A paid version of SPX is out. Now what?

The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... MASS HYSTERIA! Ghostbusters

Settle down, let me walk you through it.

The journey

SPX Graphics Controller has grown from a personal hobby project into a full-time job and a growing ecosystem of products, processes, tools, global users and customers, fans even! Some I even consider personal friends.

There are professional production teams in all time zones relying on SPX daily. The open nature of SPX allowing flexible and powerful HTML graphics workflows while using any graphic template has proven to be an appreciated architecture. This brings in new users every day.

SPX ecosystem is growing and will continue to grow at an ever-increasing speed. TV broadcasters and live production teams are transitioning from proprietary graphics tools and processes to open, lightweight, HTML-based ones. SPX as an open alternative is being recognized in this revolution and is actively working on standardizing HTML-based graphics workflows for wider adoption in the industry. We work actively with EBU - European Broadcasting Union and IBC Accelerator program in this field. Some of this work will be published in September at the IBC 2024 trade show.

The effort

Creating software is pretty hard on its own, but maintaining and supporting it is even harder.

Writing software is approximately 10% of the work. 90% of the work is supporting users, maintaining documentation and example materials, and tutorials, adding and maintaining Knowledge Base articles and Store content, creating back-office processes and tools, project management, CMS, doing customer projects and partner integrations, and documenting those again.

And the bigger the project grows, the slower it gets to get new features out the door. New and old features need to be tested, new documentation need to be created, and old ones updated. (Going from 1.2.1 to 1.3.0 took us ∼10 months)

As some parts of the project are turning more into a business, we will also need to treat some parts of it as such. Businesses need resources and resources cost money. Online services, servers and other tools cost money. Clients need support, support takes time and time is money.

You probably guess where this is going.

The money

After careful consideration, we chose to add a very affordable one-time purchase price to the latest, compiled, binary version of the SPX Graphics Controller. But only to its latest, the "current", version.

It is targeted at users who want a convenient way to install and run the software and use the very latest features and API functionalities - while also supporting the project. There is also an optional Pro Support Subscription available for professional teams producing commercial work and who need speedy response times, personal support and a ticketing platform to track the progress of any open support or feature requests.

As we still want to have SPX available for a wide range of users, all past versions will become 100% free when a new version is released. Anybody can use past versions for anything without any restrictions.

We trust our users will find this approach reasonable.

Fun little story: we accidentally left a test version of the product page in the store visible for visitors for a short while and one of our long-time users came across it and bought the product "so he could finally support the project"... Thanks, Morgan, our first customer! 😅

And since SPX-GC is MIT licensed, the constantly maintained source code of the app will still remain fully open and 100% free. Starting from now, developers and software enthusiasts are invited to join and contribute to the project and enjoy the journey with us.

Next steps

We have a lot to do. New products, system integrations, the SPX Marketplace, continuous development of SPX Graphics for Zoom app, setting up developer tooling, documenting, and bug-fixing. All of the above will keep us busy for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading!

You can contact us using the messenger widget at the bottom of this page, join our Discord community, or you can also contact me directly if you have any feedback or questions.

Tuomo Kulomaa

Founder of SPX

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