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Author Topic: will X-Rite wake up and smell the coffee?  (Read 27224 times)
John MacLean
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« on: July 15, 2011, 01:53:21 PM »
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Here is a post I put on my facebook fan page notes about my recent experience: Where's the Beef? Or in this case, Where's the Loyalty

I recently sent this email to X-Rite to voice my opinion on their new software that is required with the upcoming Mac OS X Lion upgrade. The software I have works with Rosetta emulation, which is not supported in Lion.
 
Let me know your thoughts. And if you agree with me you can email Brenda Hipsher and let her know how you feel.
brenda@macgroupus.com
http://www.facebook.com/xritephoto
http://blog.xritephoto.com/?p=4360
 
Thanks,
John
 
PS - This email was sent last, after several exchanges, and previous entries on facebook and their blog. I'm still waiting for a reply.
 
----
 
Brenda,
 
I don't expect to be charged for what should be an OS compatibility upgrade. And if so, not anywhere near that amount. Since I'm a legacy hardware customer, you should be servicing your hardware with lower priced or free upgrades. I was completely happy with what Eye - One Match 3.6.3 offered, and I don't think I can even begin to understand the Assets explanation (3:20) in i1Profiler! It seems like a good opportunity for X-Rite to change the licensing model for your new customers, but it's a slap in my face for what I've already invested.
 
X-Rite i1Photo Pro Professional Color Management EOPHO B&H Photo - $1300
(to totally replace and update my current kit.)

 
X-Rite i1Beamer EOB B&H Photo Video - $945
(for just the Spectro and the old software.)
 
X-Rite i1Publish Software (Upgrade A) EOPROF-UPGA B&H Photo $422
 
$1300 - 945 = $355 - the difference is less than your software upgrade.
 
Eye-One - mostly hardware based
Full Version $1300
My Upgrade $ 422 (32.5%)
 
for reference:
 
Adobe CS5 - totally software based
Full Version $700
Upgrade $200 (28.5 %)
 
John

---

My friend Curt Peters is also in the same boat and here's his rant: http://www.facebook.com/DigitalDunesPhoto
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Raw shooter
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 05:09:07 PM »
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John, I feel your pain - and maybe/probably Xrite should find a better option for loyal customers.
On the other hand if Lion isn't as good as Tiger, then maybe sitting still is the right play.  Not all upgrades are up.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 07:59:06 PM »
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John,

You are raising a very fundamental issue, but I'm not sure I agree with your position. On the one hand, it would be nice that once having invested in a product, the developer makes a commitment to maintain its usability regardless of what technical challenges are thrown in their path by changes in systems completely beyond their control.

My main complaint with X-Rite is their habit of prematurely dropping support for perfectly good products they sold people on only a few years ago, when there was no compelling workability reasons for doing so. Much of that falls into the category of corporate jockeying and profit maximization for its own sake, but that isn't the context of this issue. This issue about how third party vendors respond to host system changes.

They never made a commitment to keep customers whole free of charge under all circumstances. Very few do or would. Because of some other work I'm involved with, I happen to know that re-writing code to make complex applications cohere with new operating systems can be an extremely costly proposition, even if all they do is maintain the pre-existing feature set; but typically, they would also build-in better technology and new features people have been asking for. All this requires conceptualizing, coding, testing, re-coding, re-testing, documentation, packaging marketing and all the management meetings and decisions that need to be made in the process of getting all this together. There's no manna from heaven to pay the salaries and overheads needed to do these things. So that leaves the customers. I regret, but that's real life.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Czornyj
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 09:04:08 AM »
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Personally I'm grateful, that X-Rite's "department of silly walks" effectively dicouraged me from upgrading to i1profiler, gave impulse to overcome my innate laziness and finally learn to use Argyll CMS. I had a good time, nice intellectual challange, and saved a lot of money.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 09:21:31 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Marcin Kałuża
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2011, 12:07:33 PM »
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So Apple drop a feature that you need to run your hardware and you moan about the hardware vendor ?

Seems a bit skewed to me.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 01:11:26 PM »
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So Apple drop a feature that you need to run your hardware and you moan about the hardware vendor ?

Seems a bit skewed to me.

I understand John’s frustration but I kind of agree with you. No one is forcing anyone to upgrade to Lion. Doing so will hose a lot of legacy software, much being far more accessed by users than a color management product (Quicken is dead as an example of a product some may use very regularly). I’m wasn’t happy when lots of software I ran under OS9 was DOA when OS X came out either. You deal with it. Expecting every company to come up with an upgrade for free, due to a newer OS seems a bit unreasonable although some companies provide more modest software upgrade fees than others. If you are running a set of applications without issue, you are asking for trouble whenever a major OS comes out and for many, upgrading that OS is a bad idea.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 01:16:44 PM »
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My main complaint with X-Rite is their habit of prematurely dropping support for perfectly good products they sold people on only a few years ago, when there was no compelling workability reasons for doing so. Much of that falls into the category of corporate jockeying and profit maximization for its own sake, but that isn't the context of this issue. This issue about how third party vendors respond to host system changes.

Might I suggest it has much to do with the cost of engineering. We can come up with conspiracy theories but there is a reality that can’t be dismissed: updating software can be expensive (ask a much bigger company like Adobe how going Mac 64-bit hurt the bottom line). Depending on the legacy code and what needs to be updated, starting with a clean slate, especially as some technologies evolve can be a better move for both the end user and the company. A small company like X-Rite (at least a small division like their CMS group) is kind of in a no win situation. If they spend the resources updating both ProfileMaker Pro and PROFILER, users complain they need a newer product. If the produce a newer product that runs in newer OS’s with newer capabilities, users complain they are not upgrading really old products. ProfileMaker Pro was released a very long time ago as was PROFILER. Which should X-Rite address assuming limited funds and resources?
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Andrew Rodney
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 08:01:52 PM »
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Might I suggest it has much to do with the cost of engineering. We can come up with conspiracy theories but there is a reality that can’t be dismissed: updating software can be expensive (ask a much bigger company like Adobe how going Mac 64-bit hurt the bottom line). Depending on the legacy code and what needs to be updated, starting with a clean slate, especially as some technologies evolve can be a better move for both the end user and the company. A small company like X-Rite (at least a small division like their CMS group) is kind of in a no win situation. If they spend the resources updating both ProfileMaker Pro and PROFILER, users complain they need a newer product. If the produce a newer product that runs in newer OS’s with newer capabilities, users complain they are not upgrading really old products. ProfileMaker Pro was released a very long time ago as was PROFILER. Which should X-Rite address assuming limited funds and resources?

Yes, I myself mentioned that the cost of re-engineering stuff can be very high, and that up-graded products can come with newer technologies and features that are helpful, so no disagreement there. The rest of the story in the case of that particular company, however, is not a conspiracy theory.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Curt Peters
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 12:31:06 AM »
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So Apple drop a feature that you need to run your hardware and you moan about the hardware vendor ?

Seems a bit skewed to me.

I was thinking more like Apple supplied Rossetta which allowed the eye one photo with i1 match software to work on OSX and that was five or six years ago. And the hardware vendor (X-Rite) has never supplied a natively run software program..... it only worked through Rosetta. Their current i1 Pro is not any different than what they offered only 4 years ago (The hardware is the same).... only the software has been upgraded and it works natively with OSX and will continue to work with the Lion up-grade. Now that X-Rite has a problem in that Rosetta is no longer a feature in Lion.... their product is rendered useless. Their answer is to charge 499.00 for their latest software and no new hardware is included in the up-grade for RGB management (899.00 if you need CMYK and RGB management).
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Curt Peters
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 01:17:58 AM »
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I understand John’s frustration but I kind of agree with you. No one is forcing anyone to upgrade to Lion. Doing so will hose a lot of legacy software, much being far more accessed by users than a color management product (Quicken is dead as an example of a product some may use very regularly). I’m wasn’t happy when lots of software I ran under OS9 was DOA when OS X came out either. You deal with it. Expecting every company to come up with an upgrade for free, due to a newer OS seems a bit unreasonable although some companies provide more modest software upgrade fees than others. If you are running a set of applications without issue, you are asking for trouble whenever a major OS comes out and for many, upgrading that OS is a bad idea.

I'm a friend of John's and I feel his pain too as I'm in the same boat as him. I've spoken with John recently and we both agree that a fee for upgrades is okay, but our beef is with the pricing. Apple supplied Rossetta which allowed the X-Rite's eye one photo with i1 match software to work on OSX and that was five or six years ago. And the hardware vendor (X-Rite) never supplied a natively run software program..... it only worked through Rosetta. Their current i1 Pro is not any different than what they offered only 4 years ago (The hardware is the same).... only the software has been upgraded and it works natively with OSX and will continue to work with the Lion up-grade. Now that X-Rite has a problem in that Rosetta is no longer a feature in Lion.... their product of from 4 short years ago is rendered useless. Their answer is to charge 499.00 for their latest software (which has already been developed and is in place). No new hardware is included in the up-grade for RGB management (899.00 if you need CMYK and RGB management). I am very willing to spend 150.00 to 200.00 for an upgrade to run my equipment but at 499.00 I really have to question it.  I believe John and myself are pissed at the exorbitant fee to be able to continue using a great product that we so willingly promote.

You also mentioned and asked the question, "A small company like X-Rite (at least a small division like their CMS group) is kind of in a no win situation. If they spend the resources updating both ProfileMaker Pro and PROFILER, users complain they need a newer product. If the produce a newer product that runs in newer OS’s with newer capabilities, users complain they are not upgrading really old products. ProfileMaker Pro was released a very long time ago as was PROFILER. Which should X-Rite address assuming limited funds and resources?"...

Didn't they choose the later and came out with a new product "i1 Pro" which is identical hardware, but much improved software that runs native in OSX and will already work with lion. That was only about 4 years ago. They never offered the up-grade until they found out Rosetta was being dropped in Lion and that many of their users would have their equipment rendered useless.

You are right that we don't need to move on to Lion, but in a few short months all MACS will be shipping with the all new Lion, so if you want to get the latest you will have to pay for it.... and X-Rite is trying to take too large of an advantage in this.... ex-specially since no new research and development and re-codeing would be needed.... they have already developed it in their new i1 Pro.

In X-rites defense.... they offered me this:  I could download free software that would allow me to continue profiling my monitor only with the Hardware I already own, but if I wanted to be able to profile my printer I would have to get the 499.00 upgrade, or use a Dual Boot feature in Lion that will allow me to re-boot into Snow Leopard use the i1 Match software to profile the printer and then re-boot back into Lion.  This is not a bad option and costs nothing but some extra time switching back and forth between the operating systems.  I just feel like I never got a Native software program, but paid full price for exactly what they offer now (less the newer software).
 
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2011, 08:17:18 AM »
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You all are targeting the wrong company.  Shouldn't you be complaining to Apple as they are not supporting legacy software that you deem to be important?  I don't know how X-Rite (or if it was one of the acquired companies) programmed the older products and maybe there was just two much OS dependent code in the base application (poor programming) that made it very difficult to update (and of course there is really no financial incentive to do this unless they are going to charge you for an upgrade).  If they did that from a programming perspective, it was poor design as the machine dependent code should always be separate and as much as possible should be in a standard language that is platform independent.  Look at the Argyll tools, they can be compiled to work on a variety of different platforms with not problems at all (and this is all the work of ONE individual).  There have been enough threads on LuLa over the past year about problems of one kind or another with Apple and it's business model (yes that is what it is, just a business model) of OS upgrades.  You either accept this and move on to new software that works on the new OS, keep your current hardware and OS and hope that you don't have to buy new hardware (since it is not backward compatible) or you move to Windows where you have backwards compatibility.  Three pretty simple choices as I see it.
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na goodman
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 09:34:54 AM »
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I'm in the camp that had a Pulse that worked perfectly fine until Snow Leopard. So, I upgraded according to Xrite to an i1Pro to work with my new Mac. This was only about 2 years ago. So, I supposedly had new hardware and software that would work with the new OS. I did call Xrite at the time and asked them about the installer and the software because I saw it was using Rosetta. They told me it would be fine with the OS and moving forward. Well, then the fiasco happened with the software and blue scum dot and V4 profiles. So now I had hardware that worked but not software. As some of you know I just couldn't take the interruption in workflow and set up a pc running Qimage as a print server to drive my printer's. All work is done on the Mac and then moved to the pc for print. It's fine, I've accepted the work around. Then all of the sudden with Mark D. saying his Pulse was working under SL, I tried that again on my Mac and indeed it does work. Alabeit it also needs Rosetta. So, my comment would be that Xrite had years to make a Universal or Intel installer and chose not to. I don't have other iOS devices that I need to sync. There seems to be nothing in Lion that I would absolutly need. Both my Mac's are current enough where I will not be purchasing a new one so for me all is well without an OS upgrade. I see what way Apple is going and it just is a sign of the times. After all they are a business. I still say Xrite had years to come up with a universal installer and chose not to until they rewrote the software. Really, you could have bought an i1Pro just last year and it would not run at this point under Lion unless you update the software.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2011, 09:58:20 AM »
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There's nothing I've heard about Lion that makes it a compelling up-grade. I'm skipping it. I repeat what I've said before: upgrade if necessary, don't necessarily upgrade. As for X-Rite - bewildering pile of confusion between all their offerings. If they manage the whole company the way they manage their marketing, ..........well, the less said the better.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2011, 10:54:15 AM »
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In X-rites defense.... they offered me this:  I could download free software that would allow me to continue profiling my monitor only with the Hardware I already own, but if I wanted to be able to profile my printer I would have to get the 499.00 upgrade, or use a Dual Boot feature in Lion that will allow me to re-boot into Snow Leopard use the i1 Match software to profile the printer and then re-boot back into Lion.  This is not a bad option and costs nothing but some extra time switching back and forth between the operating systems.  I just feel like I never got a Native software program, but paid full price for exactly what they offer now (less the newer software).

So what would people here feel is a reasonable upgrade fee for those that are unwilling to use the above solution? Keep in mind, reasonable has to take both parties into consideration. Free isn’t going to cut it for X-Rite (remember they have to pay for development which includes upgrades), users feel $499 is too much.

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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2011, 11:02:29 AM »
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So what would people here feel is a reasonable upgrade fee for those that are unwilling to use the above solution? Keep in mind, reasonable has to take both parties into consideration. Free isn’t going to cut it for X-Rite (remember they have to pay for development which includes upgrades), users feel $499 is too much.
I don't have a horse to ride in this race since I use Argyll to do profiling and the price of that product is clearly right.  If you look at what we routinely pay for LR/PS upgrades, it is less than $499 for the two and we get a lot of great new features.  In the case of profiling software, is X-Rite delivering a large amount of new features for $499?  Is their anticipated volume of upgrades as large as what Adobe gets for each new LR/PS upgrade?  I suspect the answers to these two questions are no which is why X-Rite has priced things the way they did (purely from a business perspective in response to question two) and why users of older software are outraged (in response to question one).  Tough issue on both sides but then the expectations of the digital age are that everything should be free (or almost free).
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digitaldog
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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2011, 11:18:19 AM »
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So it appears that i1Pro (not publish) is like $1399 but with hardware. If you provide a 70% off upgrade discount which is pretty decent, you get an upgrade fee of $420. So maybe the $499 is a tad high...

I know that Pixel Genius offers a 70% off upgrade fee (I mention this not to attract upgrades although that’s nice, I mention it because its the only personal and real experience I have providing software upgrades for customers). Now maybe 70% is not enough. Or maybe when you bundle hardware with your product, something that is part of this X-rite package, the discount should be different. I’m simply asking people here to consider what would be a reasonable upgrade fee for software only. So lets take the LR scenario. At least on Adobe’s site, LR is new, $299, upgrades are $99. 70% off would be $90 for the upgrade. We’re not too far off here math wise right? And yes, for your 30% fee, you do get some new, useful functionality in i1P, the most being superior quality profiles and of course the ability to run that software in Lion (which ain’t free either and will likely cost you money on other software upgrades).

Note too, X-Rite can’t give Mac users a better upgrade path than Windows users, just because Mac users are stuck with this new, optional OS that breaks their older software!

In the end, is $499 worth the newer features and newer OS compatibility to you? But looking at two other examples of upgrades (PG and Adobe), I don’t think X-Rite is over the top here. In hindsight, an upgrade fee of $399 or $419 might have attracted more upgrades but that’s pure speculation on my part.
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Andrew Rodney
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Curt Peters
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2011, 01:12:07 PM »
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So what would people here feel is a reasonable upgrade fee for those that are unwilling to use the above solution? Keep in mind, reasonable has to take both parties into consideration. Free isn’t going to cut it for X-Rite (remember they have to pay for development which includes upgrades), users feel $499 is too much.



yes, I have already agreed that we should have to pay for up-grades.  I have already got the i1 pro hardware that came with i1 match software... bought it 4.5 years ago for around 1500.00 from B&H.  For 4.5 years I've heard X-rite would come out with a native software solution..... in the meantime I have used it using Rosetta.... well they never held their promise to get us a native solution.... instead they worked out the bugs and released version 3.6.3 i1 match software which still ran under rosetta.  Okay, now for the math by your standards...... X-Rite i1Photo Pro Professional Color Management EOPHO B&H Photo - $1300
(to totally replace my hardware with exactly what I already have but would include the new software.). X-Rite i1Beamer EOB B&H Photo Video - $945 (for just the Spectro, hardware and the old software.)  1300.00 - 945.00 = 355.55.... so it appears that xrite deems the value of the new software at around 355.00.  355.00 x 70% =248.00.  I already said I would happily pay 150 to 200..... using your math.... 250.00 would please me and I would pay this to continue using my equipment. Even if they came down to earth and priced by this model, my only gripe would be that in reality i would have to spend 1500.00 (price 4.5 years ago) + 248.00 (for my first ever Native software) for a total of 1748.00 spent on color management...... of which a new user today can get it all for 1300.00.

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digitaldog
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2011, 01:21:10 PM »
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Okay, now for the math by your standards...... X-Rite i1Photo Pro Professional Color Management EOPHO B&H Photo - $1300
(to totally replace my hardware with exactly what I already have but would include the new software.). X-Rite i1Beamer EOB B&H Photo Video - $945 (for just the Spectro, hardware and the old software.)  1300.00 - 945.00 = 355.55.... so it appears that xrite deems the value of the new software at around 355.00.  355.00 x 70% =248.00.

I’m not clear on the above. We agree new, the product is $1300 from X-rite. Are you saying you got the product for $945? I’m not understanding the $355 value.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2011, 02:14:09 PM »
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I’m not clear on the above. We agree new, the product is $1300 from X-rite. Are you saying you got the product for $945? I’m not understanding the $355 value.

I agree that the pricing is confusing at xrite's site.  I did not get the product for 945.00.... I paid close to 1500.00 4.5 yrs ago.  the 945.00 price is for the i1 beamer which is basically what I have now... the spectrophotometer and the i1 match software.... all I need is the software... 1300-945=355.
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John MacLean
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2011, 02:33:17 PM »
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I agree that the pricing is confusing at xrite's site.  I did not get the product for 945.00.... I paid close to 1500.00 4.5 yrs ago.  the 945.00 price is for the i1 beamer which is basically what I have now... the spectrophotometer and the i1 match software.... all I need is the software... 1300-945=355.

Andrew, if you look at the B&H links in my OP, you'll see the Beamer for $945. It comes with Eye-One Match 3.6.3 and the spectro. Basically, the bulk of this is "me assuming here" probably the cost of the spectro, and not the software - yes/no? So the difference between buying the whole kit new for $1300 minus the spectro/3.6.3 for $945 = $355. If I already own the spectro, I don't think I should be charged more than $355 for some software that is in my eyes nothing more than an OS capable patch. Sure they have some geeky stuff that will give hard on's to some people, but will it really make better profiles? I haven't seen any suggestions from X-R that that's going to happen.
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