Sat, 18 Oct 2008

Foobar 2000 and the Rabbit.

Foobar 2000 (see also the Wikipedia entry) is a media player for a legacy operating system commonly known as Microsoft Windows. Secret Rabbit Code is an audio sample rate converter that I wrote, and released under the terms of the GNU GPL in 2002.

As the sole author and copyright owner of Secret Rabbit Code I have also made it available under a commercial use license (PDF) that is currently earning me a small income. However, developing Secret Rabbit Code was difficult, took a huge amount of research and the development of many prototypes which were thrown away. Now, after 6 years, that income is coming close to covering the cost of developing that initial version. It still has some way to go to cover the cost of the subsequent maintenance and the improvements I have made.

In 2005 I became aware that someone had released a binary only plugin for Foobar 2000 that used Secret Rabbit Code to do sample rate conversion. The fact that this was a binary only release was not the only problem. There was also the problem of Foobar being under a license that was not GPL compatible.

First off, I emailed the ISP in France where the binary was being hosted and asked for the download to be taken down. I also tried to track down the author of the plugin since authorship was not obvious from the download. Within a day or two I was able to track him down via the Hydrogen Audio forums.

The final result of the discussion on that forum was that I decided I would write and release a Secret Rabbit Code based plugin for Foobar. This of course involved development for windows on windows a platform I rarely if ever use and which I actually prefer not to work on. However after some 10 or 12 hours work I had a working plugin that I posted on my website. I also added a Paypal donation button on the page hoping to get paid for the time and effort I put into creating the plugin.

Unfortunately, the donations have been few and far between. Since 2005 when the plugin was released I have only had about 10 people pay the measly US$10 I am asking for. That is despite the fact that I have proven interest in this plugin. The page has had over 30000 hits since 2005, and I get an email every couple of weeks asking if there is a more recent version using later versions of Secret Rabbit Code or a version for other versions of Foobar 2000.

So here's how it stands:

Since most users of this plugin don't think I should be paid for my work creating it for use with Foobar on Windows, I currently have no intention of releasing a new version of this plugin. When and if I get a decent stream of payments for the work I have put in so far I will roll out a new version and maybe even an updated plugin for other versions of Foobar.

I will answer Foobar related emails from people who have donated or work for companies that paid for a commercial use license. The vast majority of other emails regarding the Foobar plugin will be directed to this blog post.

Posted at: 09:21 | Category: CodeHacking/SecretRabbitCode | Permalink