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Mixtikl 6's Insane In-app Purchases Explained

Yesterday's announcement ending development on Mixtikl 5 and the release of a separate Mixtikl 6 app came with some confusion over the new app's pricing model. Freemium has run amok, with a MIDI Tax and a surcharge to use Audiobus! Here I attempt to document what the IAPs are actually buying you, along with some good old fashion ranting about how disruptive this kind of thing is for the music app community.

Buy Mixtikl 6 - Generative Music Mixer on iTunes: Freemium

Reader Comments 31

Ack! I just realized a major mistake in this recording. I have seriously been listening to Limey's way too much. My two favorite podcasts are Sonic Talk and the Crate & Crowbar (ex-PC Gamer UK staff), which are bizarrely both based in Bath, UK. On top of this I'm re-listening to the entire Disc World series on audiobook, read by various Brits.

All of this has conspired towards me saying "controversial" in a cross between the American and British pronunciations! I'm mortified. I fear I'm on the path of speaking like Madonna; when, after living in London for a couple of weeks, she started affecting a seriously pretentious London accent.

Guess this is the end for Mixtickle...THERE IS NO END TO THE CHISELING (and NOT just in apps...or on computers). Certainly I have no EXTRA entertainment money to give to blatant chiselers - nor extra patience for the bullshit.

June 10, 2014  | person_outline trilobyte

Chin-up, Old Bean! Ps does Sebastian know they're chagrin for Audiobus?

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Owen

Mixtikl for me is like sunvox, very powerful and fully featured but with quite a steep learning curve, I'm usually not to fussed about iap's, for the reasons you mention at the beginning of your video, but was a bit pee'd off when I saw audio out and midi as iap's.

Would of been nice for users of mixtikl 5 full, to have some of those iap already unlocked, had a spreadsheet app called permanent 2 that went freemium but had the pro-upgrade free for version one users. Not saying intermorphic should have everything unlocked for v5 users, but a little gesture can go a long way.

Still don't know how to feel about the animoog midi iap, haven't got it yet but I've been tempted as I love the keyboard. I think intermorphic should of had a pro bundle of iap's at the same price as mixtikl 5, using the iap feature to bring new things and sounds to the table, so you could expand the app to your choosing. I do think mixtikl is one of the hidden gems on the app store, as it's a beast when you get into it, but some of the iap's have left me feeling a little cold.

June 10, 2014  | person_outline mister-rz

love it love it love it :) more please,... moar!!! :P
this app needs to be put out of its misery

June 10, 2014  | person_outline hoyas79

Good rant, thanks!

June 10, 2014  | person_outline yak nepper

I've contacted Intermorphic about this and have unlisted their app from our compatible apps listing. I hope they reconsider how they've implemented this.

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Sebastian Dittmann

I doubt having ads in a niche music app is going to generate much revenue for the developer. Also, part of the AudioBus license forbids an IAP for AudioBus support.

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Taylor Holliday

@Sebastian - thank you sir.

Takeaway quote from video: "The interface is kind of... balls."


Thinking about this more last night... seems like the type of thing an organization that's halfway sustainable and trying to be fully so would do - bring in the MBAs to go over the books and say "we can monetize this, this, and this" when they don't have a clue about the product or the user community.

FYI, there is an Intermorphic forum: http://forum.intermorphic.com

Interestingly enough I don't see any bellyachin' over there. Wonder if they're moderating out the criticisms?

June 10, 2014  | person_outline nonnymoose

Thank you for this video Tim!
Heck I don't mind paying €45-50 for an app (and I have with Lemur) but I can't support this kind of thing. Will be avoiding this app and the company from now on.

Thanks for the heads up!

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Mckenic

Good video and rant.

Intermorphic is being greedy in principle, but in practice I doubt there is that much money at stake. So, unable to integrate greed-in-principle with greed-in-practice, Intermorphic is being stupid and amateur and, as always, arrogant.

What would be a possible Best Practice in the app world? I suggest developers lock out Saving pre-sets. This is just my view. Generally: keep the IAP regimen simple.

Mixtikl is an important tool in my work, and, so I'd pay $10-15 to save my own patches. Most music-making app developers aren't spending any time planning out devious ways to twist their customer's arms, cause pain, inspire outrage.

However, Intermorphic here seems to have thought through all the different ways they could cripple their app so as to force the hand of THEIR MOST DEVOTED CUSTOMERS. Who do they think they are, TimeWarnerCable?!?

One Star reviews should be heaped on Mixtikl 6 until Intermorphic reforms its astonishingly icy merchandising philosophy.

June 10, 2014  | person_outline kamelmauz

I already put this in on a related post here, but in case they are reading: Thanks for the OS hose job! Thought I was getting the AU version, but the App store ad was misleading, I am not paying for it twice, and until this latest debacle is dealt with, it is off my iOS list of useable as well. Thank you Tim, and Sebastian for taking a stand on this horse shit!

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Chris Catalano

I can see why people get worked up about IAPs, but in this case I think it's fair enough as it's a Freemium app (which translates into trial app really). You download it, try it, and if it's for you you can then expand it to your requirements (although a dollar for just removing ads is taking the piss).

If this was a 10 dollar app then I think all of the rant Tim does in the video would be 100% valid, but in this case I don't see this app as anything other than a try before you buy.

I think as an iOS community we generally pay more for our apps, but get ripped off way less than the iOS gaming community where often purchases are consumables, and people pay a fortune just to keep playing - candy crush for example.

With regards to contoversial, Tim, you got it half right, mate ;)

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Slaphead

I think "unnecessary" sums it up. So many others do it right...

June 10, 2014  | person_outline mikefreq

Apart from the rant, just bought version 5 and I really like it. It's a fantastic app in itself. And I see no good reason to upgrade, but that is actually a different story. I had hoped that more people would find Mixtikl in the app store now, just because it is one of the most complex and deep sound apps available.

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Sander J Alkemade

One other thing:

I was kind of liking some of the sounds from Wotja and toying with buying their feature unlocking IAPs, but this whole deal makes me skittish now. Especially charging for Audiobus and the MIDI cripple.

June 10, 2014  | person_outline Nonnymoose

Who dares slander Sunvox by comparing it with this load of cocks slapping you in the face?!

June 11, 2014  | person_outline odoyle

BTW, it's crap like this that make me look for the lines to edit in your .plist files. Just saying.

Yarr har fiddle dee dee

June 11, 2014  | person_outline odoyle

...just so long as you do your cooking by the book, Tim—


June 11, 2014  | person_outline odoyle

Ah yes, our /b/tard flags are flying tonight!

Did you see my first attempt at HTML there? I'm just flying a tard flag.

June 11, 2014  | person_outline odoyle

App name takeaway quote from video mashup "The interface is kind of... Tistikls"

It's funny because it's true :)

My 2c

June 11, 2014  | person_outline hoyas79


Marketing decissions might be questionable and/or unethic, I don't want to add fuss, to some degree I understand (and agree with) all the complaints.

I just wanted to say that I love this app and also, Tim and Pete answer my questions and provide solutions in minutes or hours. By far they are the most kind of all the developers that I have contacted.


June 11, 2014  | person_outline Ottorhin

This just in: Ottorhin has never talked to Taylor Holliday. BTW, go buy Audulus.

June 11, 2014  | person_outline odoyle

It's nominally a trial app, but it actually is an extremely crippled trial app. Again, if you want to offer a trial of an app, offer the fullest trial and cripple the app in ways that don't interfere with actually giving the app a good thorough try.

As it is, Intermorphic has been upfront about the "new product cycle" and yet figured out a number of ways to make entering the new product cycle both costly and aggravating. They rolled out Freemium Crippleware!

I look forward to what is in store for Mixtikl 6, but I really hope the music-making app world isn't going to travel further down the road of deliberate obsolescence.

June 11, 2014  | person_outline kamelmauz

I'm sure the developers are nice guys. But, this is a serious mistep; along with not hiring a UI consultant.

June 11, 2014  | person_outline kerm

It was I, whilst working on my new tune 'cock slapping your face, from a warmplace' (punch you in the nuts in app mix)

June 11, 2014  | person_outline mister-rz

Intermorphic have form on this. Back in 2012 they announced Noatikl 2 on the Mac app store. The app store doesn't allow for paid for major release upgrades. Intermorphic said that they would be aiming for new major releases annually at which point, despite loving Noatikl 1, I just thought "screw that, I'm not paying full price every year to maintain a supported version". Subsequently they've gone two years continuing maintenance releases on Noatikl2 without the threat of Noatikl 3 puttting an end to Noatikl 2 support. I might have put up with that. Been playing with Max instead and they've lost me forever. Bright guys but commercial dunces.

June 11, 2014  | person_outline tonewheels

Is it too late to add my rant? Apple pushes IAPs as the way for developers to make money in their ecosystem. But developers don't have to, so you get a mix of stuff, and that's cool. I usually avoid apps with lots of IAPs, no matter how tempting. But sometimes I break down. My problem is, where I've broken down and dropped a lot of money on a couple apps with lots of IAPs, just having a bunch of IAPs is a source in itself of technical problems. In the last week, two developers (I won't name names - not music related) released broken updates. In one, some of my IAPs just vanished. Can't be restored and ... can't even be repurchased. So, there's an app that kind of works, except some of the stuff that was there before the last update isn't there any more. And the other app? In this one I paid in $$$ to get all the new IAPs on a subscription. Last update broke a couple of them - meaning they don't work unless you're always online to check back against their server, which didn't use to be the case. So in my sample set of two apps with lots of IAPs, it seems that having lots of IAPs is in and of itself always a possible source of problems. And that's the real problem I have with IAPs - you spend a lot of money and then you're playing update lotto. In one case people have been very vocal about the breakage on online forums and the developer has been absolutely silent. The other one - could be just me - who knows? I've written to both of them - no prizes for guessing whether I've heard back.

June 12, 2014  | person_outline DavidF

Good stuff Tim - although I'm late! I urge everyone to download the free version and make a review. I understand the market, and it is difficult - so is life - but their IAP model is atrocious.
By reviewing on the App Store, the unsuspecting will not patronise a model that might earn revenue for the developer, but seems morally bankrupt. I would not like this model to become more prevalent than it is - vote by withholding money, and shout why from the treetops. Play it like it is politics.
The tribe has spoken!

June 22, 2014  | person_outline Damian

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