October 22nd, 2013
It’s Cobalt Week! This week, for the first time in history, we’re going to release NINE cool new Cobalt versions of all Collectorz.com desktop editions, within ONE WEEK :-).
At the same time, we’re introducing a new way to pay for your software updates: UPDATE PLANS. Here’s the full story:
Up until now, we released a major upgrade of each program roughly every year, the upgrades costing US $25 and bringing many new features in one go.
However, from now on, we will start doing more frequent and smaller updates, throughout the year, for all 5 programs and for Windows and Mac, keeping all programs and editions more in sync with each other.
Of course, this requires a different payment system for updates, that we call “Update Plans”:
To update to this week’s Cobalt versions or any future versions, you need to have a valid Update Plan. An Update Plan gives you the right to download and use any versions that are released between the Plan’s Start and Expiry Dates.
There’s two ways to pay for your Update Plan:
- Subscription: US $2.50 per month, per program
Automatically recurring credit card payments of US $2.50 / month.
MasterCard, VISA or AMEX only. Cancel anytime.
- Pre-Paid: US $24.95 per year, per program
One-time, in-advance, non-recurring payment for a set period of updates.
All payment methods. No subscription, stops automatically.
- 3 months for US $6.95 (the cheapest way to go Cobalt now!)
- 6 months for US $12.95
- 1 year for US $24.95
- 2 years for US $44.95
- 3 years for US $64.95
- 4 years for US $79.95 (US $40 discount!)
Reminder: A CLZ Account is required
Update Plans are connected to CLZ Accounts, so to activate your Update Plan(s) you need a CLZ Account and it needs to be linked to your existing licence(s).
If you already have a CLZ Account (e.g. for the CLZ cloud, Connect or Core):
- Login at My.CLZ.com and check if it correctly lists your existing license(s).
- If so, activate your Update Plan(s). If not, contact us for help.
If you do not have a CLZ Account yet:
- Sign Up at My.CLZ.com .
- Click the “Yes, link my licenses” button on the top right.
- Check your inbox and click the link in the confirmation email.
- All okay? Then activate your Update Plan(s). Problems? Contact us for help.
Upcoming Cobalt versions
This week, we’re going to release the first of the new continuous stream of updates. To make it clear this is a fresh start, we’re releasing these updates for all programs and editions under a new version name called Cobalt.
Click the links below find out what’s new in the Cobalt.0.1 versions:
- Movie Collector : Windows / Mac OS X
- Book Collector : Windows / Mac OS X
- Music Collector : Windows / Mac OS X
- Comic Collector : Windows / Mac OS X
- Game Collector : Windows
You will receive a separate email as soon as the Cobalt version of your software is live.
Now go activate your Update Plan and be ready for Cobalt!
Questions and Answers
I know, a lot of changes and a lot to process in one go.
I can imagine you may have some questions, so let me try to answer as many of them as possible.
About Update Plans:
- Is this now “rental-only software” like Adobe?
Does this mean I *have to* have an Update Plan to keep using the software?
No and no. The Collectorz.com software for Windows and Mac is still “pay once and use forever” software. The Update Plans are just a way to pay for software updates (newer versions), a replacement for the old “paid major upgrades” system.
If you do not pay for an Update Plan, or if you Plan expires, your existing software will stay fully functional, you will still be able to access our central online databases in the Add Automatically screen, you will still be able to report missing entries and errors to Core and you will keep full access to your free CLZ Cloud storage.
The only thing you can not do if you don’t have a valid Update Plan is update your software to a newer version.
- What if I just purchased or upgraded to the previous pre-Cobalt version?
Do I still have to pay for the Cobalt version and/or the Update Plan?
If you purchased or upgraded to the pre-Cobalt version in the past 6 months, both will be free for you. A free license for the Cobalt version, plus a free Update Plan, has already been created automatically in your CLZ Account:
- Users who purchased a new license in the past 6 months, have received a free Cobalt license and a free Update Plan expiring 1 year after their purchase.
- Users who upgraded their license in the past 6 months, have received a free Cobalt license and a free Update Plan expiring 6 months after their purchase.
For both, just login to My.CLZ.com to find your free Cobalt License and Update Plan.
- I purchased/upgraded in the past 6 months (so I am entitled to the free License and Update Plan) but I don’t have a CLZ Account yet.
No problem at all. Just sign up for a CLZ Account at My.CLZ.com and link it to your existing licenses. The My.CLZ.com system will detect you are entitled and will then automatically generate your License and Update Plan 🙂
- What about new customers or existing customers buying a new license?
Everyone who buys a new Standard or Pro license will get one year of free updates. In other words, a 1-year free Update Plan will be automatically generated, starting on the purchase date and ending a year later.
- What happens if my Update Plan expires? Will my software stop working?
Update Plans only apply to your ability to update your software to a newer version.
Other than that, nothing happens. Your software will stay fully functional, you will still be able to access our central online databases in the Add Automatically screen, you will still be able to report missing entries and errors to Core and you will keep full access to your free CLZ Cloud storage.
You just won’t be able to download and use any future versions, that is, versions that are released after the Expiry Date of your Update Plan. You will however always be able to re-download the latest version that your Update Plan entitles you to.
- What if I don’t like paying in advance for features that I may not need want or need?
You don’t have to pay in advance. You can just wait and keep an eye on the updates we release, until you see one (or more) that you want to have. Then just get an Update Plan, a 3-month Pre-Paid one will suffice. As soon as you have a valid Update Plan, you can download the latest version, including all features that have been released in the past.
- If I activate my Update Plan, do I also need to buy a license for the Cobalt version?
No, you don’t need to. As soon as you activate your Update Plan, a Cobalt license will be generated automatically. No extra costs.
- Do I have to update to the Cobalt version(s)?
No you don’t have to, the update is completely optional. You’re welcome to keep using your old pre-Cobalt version, it will stay fully functional. But you will miss out big time!
About CLZ Accounts:
- What is a CLZ Account?
A CLZ Account is a generic Collectorz.com customer account, a login (a UserName and Password) for several different, and optional Collectorz.com services:
- Login to the My.CLZ.com site to access your licenses and download links, to activate the free CLZ CLoud, to active Update Plans, etc
- Syncing your database with the free CLZ Cloud.
- Reporting missing entries and data error through Core.
- Subscribing to the Connect online cataloging software.
- And now ALSO, starting with Cobalt: to unlock your software and get software updates.
- Why do I need a CLZ Account to upgrade to the Cobalt version?
In previous versions you always unlocked the download trial edition of your software into your licensed Standard or Pro edition by entering your License Name and Key. These were then checked online, with our server, to validate the license.
Now, starting with the Cobalt versions, your Licenses and your Update Plans are linked to your CLZ Account. So from now on, instead of entering a License Name and Key, unlocking the software is done by entering your CLZ Username and Password.
Just like before, these are checked by the server, after which the program will automatically download your License and the Expiry Date of your Update Plan.
- So does that mean I always need to be online to use the Cobalt versions?
No, you can still use the software without being online. The program only needs to be online once, to let it download your Cobalt License and the Expiry Date of your Update Plan.
After that, the program will try to get the latest License info, Expiry Date and Latest Version from our server, every time your start the program. This way it can automatically detect changes, e.g. if you upgraded your License from Standard to Pro, or if your Update Plan was renewed/extended. This is also used to notify you of a newer version being available.
If at startup, your computer is not online, the program will just stick to the License type, Expiry Date and Latest Version Number that was downloaded last. No errors, no problems, your program will behave as normal.
- When the program connects to the Collectorz.com server what data is being sent?
When the program connects to get the License type, Expiry Date and Latest Version Number, it only sends the information the server needs to return the correct data:
Product (which program you’re using), your CLZ Username and Password (both encrypted) and your current version number.
- Now that a CLZ Account is required, does that mean I have to use the CLZ Cloud?
No, using the CLZ Cloud is completely optional. Your data will only be stored in the cloud if you deliberately activate the free CLZ Cloud storage in My.CLZ.com and then manually choose to Up Sync data to the cloud from your program.
- What if I don’t want to create a CLZ Account?
First, a CLZ Account is free and creating one takes just a few clicks.
But if, for whatever reason, you really don’t want to create a CLZ Account, then you will still be able to use your old pre-Cobalt version without problems, without any changes. But you will not be able to update to the new Cobalt versions.