irrKlang 0.9 released, added options for professional users

Posted on:June 06 2007

There are some good and some bad news today. Good news first: I just released version 0.9 of irrKlang, the free audio library. It includes new features such as the possibility to make playback speed /frequency changes, doppler effects, sound effects such as reverb, distortion, echo and similar, support for DirectSound8, sound event callbacks, default volumes per source, and a lot more (see change log for details).

The problem is that irrKlang is now very popular already, and I am not able to handle all the requests and answer all the user mails and forum posts without sacrifying a lot of time which I would need for my job (doing freelancing) and for Irrlicht. To improve this situation so that I could get some money out of irrKlang to be able to invest more time into it, I decided to create an additional version of irrKlang, named irrKlang Pro. And here is the bad news: irrKlang Pro is only available for a small license fee. It has some few more sophisticated features than the free version, mainly some of the new features introduced in irrKlang 0.9 (details in the feature comparison). I tried to select features for irrKlang pro which I thought would be useful for professional developers, and tried not to limit the free version of irrKlang too much so that it still stays useful as it is. I hope I achieved this, and I hope that this step is comprehensible. Depending on users feedback, I may also adapt the selection of which feature is available in which version. So, if you want to support irrKlang or ever wanted to support my work financially, here is the first option to do this ;)
About upcoming next software releases: I originally planned to release irrEdit 0.7.1 before this one, but then I decided to include irrKlang 0.9 in irrEdit for the irrKlangSceneNode, so irrKlang had to get out first. But irrEdit will be the next thing to get an update out soon.


Keep up the good work!!! :)
The only thing that is coming into mind - what about Vista/DX support? will it "Pro" exclusive or not?
2007-06-06 10:18:00

well its understandable but 390$? :S

also i would like to see at least the callbacks in the non pro version...
i guess modification of the normal version isnt allowed now either?

2007-06-06 10:38:00

irrKlang Pro - this is good idea :) Good luck
2007-06-06 10:50:00

"License for an unlimited amount of shareware or non-profit products which are sold for a very low price."

What is your definition of a very low price? :p
2007-06-06 10:54:00

its cool... i am happy that you are now making money from your hard work.. you really deserve it (nobody works that hard for nothing). 390€ Oh well the pro version really has some nice features.. But I am starting to see a trend here... since irrEdit Pro (irrStudio Pro) also needs a small license fee. I am sure next on the list is IrrLicht Pro.. ;-). BTW the new irrKlang logo is really cool.
2007-06-06 11:03:00

no because niko isnt the only person developing irrlicht
2007-06-06 11:23:00

I think that a callback is a very common programming techniques which also makes the way one can use the library very different. Hence I'd vote for making this feature free in order to keep the implementation issues with free and pro version the same and only provide additional features to paying users. Maybe strip down the number of supported file formats down - open source games are free to use any format.
2007-06-06 11:39:00

Vista/DX support: It's in, works and also in the free version.

Shareware license: the 'very low price' depends on the type of program, but for normal games, I'd say something like 20euro, but it's negotiable.

callbacks: Yes, right, I thought about this for a longer time, maybe you're right. I'll think about it and change it again maybe. But notice: You can use all pro features in the free version as well, read on the website :)

irrEdit pro: I think that's not going to happen. It will stay totally free.

Irrlicht: Will stay completely free and open source. Of course.
2007-06-06 11:58:00

Well, looking at the other audio libraries, irrklang pro seems very cheap. In addition most others charge per platform, irrKlang pro seems to include all platforms. Thanks niko for all the work, maybe I'm going to buy a shareware license. Keep up the good work!
2007-06-06 12:08:00

Good for you Niko. Glad to see you are finally making some money. I think the pricing is fair especially the free version. I think for most people the free version is perfect. I think if someone is going to be making money from their software product which uses your work, it is foolish to get angry. They obiously aren't giving their software away for free so why should you.

Congrats and I hope you make a butt load of money! Hopefully the money will help as I have been wondering how you can afford to give away all of those gifts at the end of each year. :0)
2007-06-06 17:33:00

Out of curiosity, Niko,
What made you choose this approach versus, say a dual license (free non-commercial use, payware for commercial use)
2007-06-06 18:06:00

I thought about this too, but I wanted to let irrKlang stay free. The disadvantage of that model is that free projects cannot use all the features, so maybe I'll change this too, depending on user feedback.
2007-06-07 07:02:00

If anyone criticises you for making money from your work, ignore them. An unfortunate side effect of the Internet is that people get used to having everything for free and many seem to forget that nothing is free, be it time, bandwidth, hardware to develop on, food, rent :)

In terms of the detail of the license, when it comes down to it, you have to do what's best for you. Yes, you have to consider the user population too, but in the end they're not going to be helped by you not making enough money to carry on - quite the opposite. Thus if you have to upset a few people to make a living, so be it. That's actually the lesser of two evils.

Good luck!
2007-06-07 10:42:00

Just to repeat what niko already said.. the free version of irrKlang has all the features of irrKlang Pro.. the only thing is that if you use any pro features.. you will at some random times hear a sexy chic voice saying 'irrKlang pro'...

BTW thanks for adding .NET support.

Out of curiosity is it possible to compile a dll that works in both .NET and lets say win32.visualstudio or win32.gcc ...
2007-06-07 14:30:00

The only thing that keeps me away from using irrklang is the lack of OS X support... If it could run on os x I'd use\love it and probably buy a copy of irrklang pro...
I'm just wondering is it possible that a mac port will be made? if so would it be pro only?
2007-06-08 04:15:00

I agree with Steve. Using irrKlang pro without paying money is like killing a hen to get the egg. Dudes, we have to feed the hen to get the next egg.

Just curious, Niko, when will you release IrrEdit's source code for "a small amount of license fee"?
2007-06-08 07:01:00

thanks steve, you're right, as always :)

@leo: no, unfortunately this is not possible, at least not if you want object orientated interfaces. If irrKlang would be in C this would work, but you would have to use irrKlang from C# or VisualBasic.NET using PInvoke, which is not nice at all :)

@SkaCahToa: a Mac port is planned. I just don't have the hardware yet, but it's planned. And should be available in the free version too then, I think.

@nighthawk: Source code is already available, take a look at the website :)
2007-06-08 08:53:00

I am not in a position to buy irrKlang pro niko. But i will do my best to advertise it for you. ;-).. i don't want your carnivorous plant to turn on you because of lack of food...
2007-06-08 10:36:00

thanks, hehe :)
2007-06-08 18:37:00

Well, as an idea is it possible to include directly an mp3 license? Well i wont use it since mp3 is lame oO But it could make you audio engine more interresting for other teams out there oO
2007-06-12 17:25:00

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