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Why I’m a Paytard

 

Last week I wrote a guest blog for Just Another iPhone Blog about the new Spotify app. There were a couple of comments, one of which recommended jailbreaking which apparently allows the app to run in the background, the lack of which is one of its major failings (Apple’s not Spotify’s fault). He says that otherwise the app is not worth paying for Spotify’s premium service, which costs £10.
 
I fully understand people being in the position where they can’t afford such niceties or aren’t willing to pay for them. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve had a bit of spare cash to enable me to do so. But I made a conscious decision a couple of years ago that I would stop illegally downloading and stop using cracked software. This coincided with my move over to using a macbook instead of my juddering, virus-riddled heap of a PC. I’m reluctant to jailbreak right now for the same reason – I prefer to know for certain that the thing is going to work right..
 
This may be over-cautious but I made this decision for another reason also: I want to get paid for being creative. Whether that be my writing, or some other outlet, I want, no – need to get into the position where I can support myself on my creative endeavours. And if I don’t support others financially for providing me with an excellent service or product, whether it be a great album, an ebook or an iPhone app, then I can’t expect to get money back in the future. This may seem a bit airy fairy but I do firmly believe that you get back what you put out.
 
Mac fanboys and girls are sometimes described as “Paytards” for being willing to shell out cash for programmes and apps that could be easily found for free on a PC. The opposite of a Paytard is of course a Freetard. The obvious argument against each position being:
  • Paytards are stupid for paying a premium price for something they could easily get for free and for signing up to locked-in systems which purposefully restrict users freedoms (e.g. most Apple products!)
  • Freetards are stupid for wasting a lot of valuable time messing around with illegal downloads and inferior products when they could just pay a reasonable price for a product which works well out of the box – and in the case of a locked-in system, works seamlessly as part of a larger whole.
Which one works for you depends on whether you have a lot of time or a lot of money. A lot of people have neither, and up until recently I was one of those. So I had to go for the freetard route but didn’t have enough time to fully take advantage of it. Now I have more available cash than I have available time (not a lot more but enough to afford the odd luxury), so it makes sense for me to pay for products and services which provide added convenience to my life.
 
The irony of this is that the way I currently earn my money is not rewarding or satisfying as it doesn’t involve any creativity. So I can have all the niceties I want, but until I change my working life to one that’s satisfying, those things are never going to make me happy.
 
I guess I need to cut down on some of my spending and start saving so I can change jobs/careers, which may lead to a substantial pay cut for a while at least. Perhaps I will need to stop being such a paytard… (now what iPhone app shall I buy today….)

By Milo

Freelance writer and content creator.

4 replies on “Why I’m a Paytard”

Interesting arguments! I suppose I am also a "paytard" – perhaps not so much for software (although I’ve always liked to pay for web hosting), but certainly for film and, particularly, music. While I like to download individual tracks from blogs etc, I’d rarely download a full album (unless it, er, wasn’t available yet, which is its own ethical argument). Of course, that was when I had a job so it will be interesting to see how/if that changes…!

It’s difficult to argue that everyone should pay for everything. The ‘free mp3’ revolution happened for a reason – because the industry was bloated out of all proportion and charging far too much for their products. Remember when a rubbish CD single backed up by a couple of lazy remixes was £3.99? No wonder people could justify getting it for free. Labels like Fence deal with it by limiting the availability of their stuff online, by creating a community and therefore a sense of customer loyalty oh and by releasing bloody good stuff of course! I could go on all day about this but I’ve got a few more posts in mind that are relevant to this subject so I’ll leave it at that for now!Lis, here’s hoping you start getting some good freelance gigs so you don’t have to return to a full-time job, or at least can get one you enjoy more..

I think it’s worth mentioning that the act of jailbreaking, or running jailbreak apps (those that are available in the Cydia store and would not be approved in the App Store) is not any sort of ‘gateway drug’ leading to the use of ‘cracked’ apps. The vast majority of jailbreakers that I know, including myself, are huge supporters of iPhone app developers, both those who write apps for the App Store and those who write apps for the jailbreak arena. I have never installed a cracked app, and will never install one. So I’m 100% in the ‘paytard’ corner – but I’m also very fond of running my iPhone jailbroken. I think the commenter’s suggestion regarding Spotify was all about the ability to run an app in the background, which you cannot do without jailbreak, not at all about not paying for an app.

Good point Patrick – I’m showing my ignorance now of the dark art of jailbreaking! To be honest it does make a lot of sense if it enables access to more apps that haven’t been victim to the clearly flawed official approval process, and running things in the background would also be sweet. Hmmm maybe I will have to try it…

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