Potion Factory Blog

Licensing Scheme Switch


With the release of Tangerine! we moved to a new licensing scheme across all of our applications. If you upgrade Podcast Maker or Voice Candy and all of a sudden find that it thinks that you are not registered and your trial has expired, it is because you need to put in your new license key. We emailed them out ahead of time, but you may not have gotten it for one reason or another. In that case, please go here to retrieve your license.

But... Why?

So why would we go through the eye-poking pain of updating every order in the database, not to mention having to write code that we don't enjoy writing? Well, there are several reasons why it's all justified.

With Podcast Maker we wrote code first and asked questions later. Thus, when we were done with the code, we looked to Kagi as the best solution to quickly take the product to market. We had to abandon them to our own custom store eventually, but it was... sufficient... at the time. The attractive thing about Kagi was that they provided us with a ready to go licensing code. We knew that it was a generic solution that is easier to reverse engineer, and we were proven right recently. A leaked license key can be blocked, but a new license key generated by the crackers is a different game altogether.

With the release of Voice Candy we moved to a license file based system while still accepting the old Kagi license keys in Podcast Maker. While it is cool and some people do prefer the convenience of just double clicking a file to register, it proved to be a burden on us support wise. Most of the times, it wasn't even the users' fault or ours. Some email servers classify email as spam more readily if it contains attachments of unknown extensions and others block it altogether. Some email clients such as Eudora do not even allow file extensions longer than 20 characters, rendering the license file useless for the user, and sometimes even turning the user into a mad and angry user.

So in the end, we are back to issuing license keys but generated with our own algorithm. I'm hoping that the crackers will leave us alone for now (uhm... because we are nice guys?), but I get a feeling that that's just wishful thinking.



Everybody who loves your software as much as I do will encourage you making this move and will buy your apps furthermore. Keep up doing such a good work as always.

Andy Kim

Hi Benjamin,

You have no idea how much comments like yours mean to us. Thanks for the support.

Andy Kim

Hi Kenneth,

There were a lot of reasons why we liked license files over license keys too, including the reasons you mentioned. I just sincerely hope that you still feel that you made the right choice after you start selling to real customers ;) Beta testers and customers can be entirely different groups of people depending on the kind of application you are writing.

Well, best of luck with your application!

Maybe our next one will be useful to you :)

kenneth Ballenegger


Thanks ;)

I really hope license files word out. I'll see what happens, and I'll know for the future.

I'm really looking forward to whatever you've got coming up. Especially so if it's of a use to me. You make geat apps and you know it.



I got Tangerine free from you guys cos I participated in the beta test and I blogged about it. Today I found out about your MacSanta promo and I bought Podcast Maker and VoiceCandy.

With the goodwill I have towards Potion Factory, and your reasonable prices, I can tell you that you've got a customer for life. As long as you guys make apps which I will use, I will pay for them.

Andy Kim

Wow, thank you! The world needs more people like you :)


I know nothing of e-commerce, application crafting, etc... but from a user's point of view, I think Potion Factory's apps have nailed it. "High Utility + Intuitive Simplicity + Beauty in Design = Appleworthy Apps". The most Apple-harmonius applications I've seen by a third party. They look and feel like the apple team designed them for an iMac bundle. :)

I loved the registration file innovation. I would guess that it encouraged more registrations than the old school process? (us average joe users are a lazy lot, lol) Too bad it became a burden and had to be abandoned. But it's the apps that count!

Can't wait to see what you guys do next!! kudos.


You're doing great job Andy.
Good luck!