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FAQ - Buying Transcribe!, License Keys, Upgrades, Reissuing lost license keys

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  1. "I've lost my license key, what do I do?"

    See this page. Note that it is your responsibility to look after your license key and I do not promise to reissue them if lost.

  2. "I bought Transcribe! online but haven't received my license key yet"

    Please see the "Tracking Your Order" section near the bottom of the "Buy" page.

  3. "What am I supposed to do with my License Key?"

    When you buy Transcribe! you receive a license key by email. You should copy the key into Transcribe! itself, so that Transcribe! knows it has been paid for.
    Your License Key for Transcribe! version 7 or 8 is about 20 four-character groups of cryptic text. The instructions for using it were in the email when you received the key. Here they are again, in case you have the key but have lost the email.
    First make sure you have downloaded Transcribe! from the download page and install it in accordance with the instructions on that page (you don't need a license key for this).
    Launch Transcribe! and in the 'License Information' dialog press the 'License Key Info' button, then the 'Enter new license key' button. Use copy and paste to copy the license key into the box. It doesn't matter if you copy any extra spaces or blank lines because they will be ignored.
    Don't try to re-type the key by hand - people often make mistakes. If you're not sure how to copy and paste, or if the key doesn't seem to be working, then see the queries just below.

  4. "My License Key doesn't work"

    The email you receive when you buy Transcribe! has your License Key (about 80 characters, in four-character groups) which is for Transcribe! version 7 or 8, all versions of Transcribe! from 2004 to the present day.
    If Transcribe! tells you that the license key is not valid for this OS then it means it - Licenses (and License Keys) are not transferrable between Windows / Mac / Linux. If Transcribe! simply tells you that the license key is not valid then probably you didn't enter it correctly. It is possible to re-type a license key by hand but you must be very careful. It's far far better to use copy&paste, from the email which was sent to you.
    If you have lost the email and don't have a backup to copy&paste from then see the "I've lost my license key" query above.
    If you really must retype it then check your typing carefully against the key you received. When you are checking it pay extra attention to whether the letters are lower-case or upper-case, and extra extra attention to the letters k/K which are easily confused.
    If you get a message box saying "This doesn't look like a Transcribe! license key at all" then this means that the key is not formatted correctly - i.e. it does not consist of four-character groups separated by spaces, or it contains illegal characters. It will show the key, up to the bad group - that is, the last group shown is the one with the error, so check and correct it.
    If you still have a problem: if you are really convinced you've entered it correctly and it doesn't work then please proceed as follows : after you have entered the key and pressed "Ok", you get a box titled "License Key Info" which shows the key, and a message saying whether it's valid or not. In this box there is also a button "Copy current key and message to clipboard". Press this button, then paste the result into an email for me and I will check it.

  5. "How do I copy&paste a License Key?"

    Copying license information by retyping it is difficult, and liable to contain mistakes. It's much better to "Copy" it from the email where you have it, and "Paste" it to the place where it has to go.
    To Copy it, first select the text to be copied by dragging the mouse across it, with the mouse button pressed.
    When the text is selected (highlighted) then press ctrl-C (command-C on Mac) to Copy it. That means hold down the ctrl (or command) key while you press C.
    The command key on a Mac is the one with an Apple or Cloverleaf on it.
    Then click on the place where you want to put the text, and Paste it by pressing ctrl-V (command-V on Mac).
    If the email containing the license key is not on the same computer as the one on which you want to install Transcribe!, then copy the email to CDROM, USB memory stick, or whatever, to transfer it.

  6. "How do I type a character in the license key which doesn't appear on my keyboard?"

    Don't type it! Use copy&paste. See the query above. However if you really want to type characters which don't appear on your keyboard then look in your computer's Help for "typing special characters".

  7. "I've replaced my computer, how do I install Transcribe! on the new one?"
    "My computer crashed, how do I re-install Transcribe! ?"

    Just download Transcribe! again from the download page (or use your backup copy of the download file if you have one) and use the license key you already have (or see the "I've lost my license key" query above).

  8. "How do I get the free 30 day trial?"

    Transcribe! automatically gives a free evaluation period of 30 days from when it is first installed. Simply download from the download page and install it. Each time you launch Transcribe! it will display a box showing how many days you have left.

  9. "My free evaluation period hasn't happened, or has expired early"

    Possibly you have installed Transcribe! in the past on the same computer? Or there may be some problem with your computer's clock. The evaluation period is counted from when you first installed Transcribe!, and irrespective of whether you use it or not. If you really think Transcribe! is making a mistake you could email us, but note that we do not guarantee you an evaluation period anyway. You could download on a friend's computer and try it there. Note that if you buy Transcribe! then it will not be a problem because when Transcribe! has a valid license key, it doesn't care about the date.

  10. "Is there any difference between the evaluation version and the paid-for version?"

    No, apart from the fact that the evaluation version displays the "License Information" dialog each time launched, and of course that it will expire and stop working. They are the same program. If you pay up and obtain a license key then you don't need to download again, just enter the license key.

  11. "What does Transcribe! cost?"

    You will find pricing information on the "Buy" page. Transcribe! is priced in US dollars but when you click the "Buy Now" button on that page, it will show you pricing information in your own currency, or you can choose what currency to display. The amount will depend on the current exchange rate. There may also be local taxes to add, for instance VAT if you are in the EU. You will see any such additions displayed before you commit to actually making a purchase.

  12. "I have bought Transcribe! and received a license key by email. Where do I download the software?"

    In fact this is explained in the email accompanying the license key.
    If you have been running the evaluation version of Transcribe! already then you don't need to download it again, you just need to enter the license key into it (follow the instructions in the email which contains the license key) to tell it you have paid up.
    If you have not yet downloaded Transcribe! at all then do so now, from the download page.

  13. "If I buy Transcribe!, does that entitle me to use it forever?"

    Yes it entitles you to use the version you have bought forever, but it is up to you to back up the downloaded file and the license key you are given, as you will need them again if you buy a new computer and want to install Transcribe! on it. As a courtesy, I frequently do re-issue lost license keys but I don't promise to. Minor upgrades have always been free, and do not require a new license key. And in fact the upgrade to the currrent version 8 is also free to all existing users.

  14. "Why are license keys so long (80 characters or so)?"

    To prevent "crackers" from being able to forge license keys. Click here for more information about Transcribe! cracks. Be aware that most cracked software contains viruses or other malware.
    Software companies often tell you that if you use software illegally (i.e. cracked copies or illegally shared license keys) then you harm the future development of the product. I can tell you that this is true. A major factor in motivating me to do further work is the number of sales I get. It isn't just the money : each sale made tells me that someone out there appreciates my work.

  15. "My License Key appears to be garbled"

    It's probably ok - try it. It's supposed to look weird. It should consist of about 20 four-character groups separated by spaces.

  16. "Why is one (or more) of the four-character groups in my License Key underlined?"

    One of the characters that sometimes appears in License Keys is "@" and some programs make the assumption that an "@" must be part of an email address and so they underline it or display it in a different colour. It doesn't matter.
    If you select the license key by sweeping the mouse over it in the usual way and copy it, you should find that it will paste into Transcribe! perfectly well. Just don't click directly on the underlined group, unless you want to send an email to xy@z (or whatever).

  17. "How do I buy Transcribe! for use on a computer which does not have internet access?"

    You will need to use a different computer, which does have internet access, to buy Transcribe! online and receive the email containing the license key.
    Then copy the email with the license key to CD or USB memory stick or whatever, and get it onto your computer that way, so you can copy&paste the license key into Transcribe!
    It doesn't matter what OS (Windows/Mac/Linux) is on the computer you use for buying Transcribe!, but make sure you buy the correct version of Transcribe! for the computer you want to run it on.

  18. "I have installed Transcribe! on my desktop computer. Can I also install it on my laptop?"
    "How do I install Transcribe! on more than one computer?"

    The license agreement permits you to install on two computers running the same OS (Windows/Mac/Linux) as long as Transcribe! is for your exclusive use on both of them. You simply download Transcribe! separately onto both computers and use the same license key on both. This won't work, though, if they are different operating systems (Windows/Mac/Linux) - see below.

  19. "How do I install Transcribe! for multiple users on a single computer?"

    The Transcribe! license is "per computer", so a single license allows multiple people to use it on that computer. You will only need to install Transcribe! once, as long as you install it in a location which all users have access to. Use the same license key for all users on that computer - it will need to be entered separately for each user.

  20. "You state that a single license can be used on two computers. What if they are running different OS's (Windows / Mac / Linux) ?"

    Transcribe! is three different products for Windows/Mac/Linux and licenses (and License Keys) are not transferable between these different products.
    If you want to run Transcribe! on two different OS's then you must buy two licenses. However you do get a discount if you buy two or more licenses in a single order.
    See below for a general explanation of my policy on these matters.

  21. "Can I get volume discount in order to buy two copies of Transcribe! to run on two OS's (Windows/Mac/Linux)?"

    Yes you can, as long as one person or organisation will be in control of all the copies. If licenses are required for multiple separate individuals, then each must make their own order. The two copies must both be ordered at the same time in a single order.
    For details please visit this page.

  22. "I bought a Transcribe! license a while ago. Can I get volume discount if I buy another license now?"

    No, the volume discount applies to buying multiple copies in a single order.
    See below for a general explanation of my policy on these matters.

  23. "Can I get volume discount in order to buy multiple copies of Transcribe! to be used by multiple individuals?"

    No, the discount for multiple purchases is for situations where the licenses are to be used under the control of one person or organisation (such as a computer laboratory in a university or music college). Otherwise there would be no way for me to know who was using it, and so who was entitled to upgrades or whatever.
    Putting it another way, it is the person or organisation who buys the licenses, who then has the right to use them. That makes perfect sense for a music college equipping a computer lab, but doesn't work for multiple individuals because licenses are not transferrable from one person to another (see the license agreement, it's in the Help).

  24. "Is there an educational discount?"

    No. There is a substantial discount for multiple orders, which may well be useful for educational institutions, but no specifically educational discount. See this page for volume pricing information.
    See below for a general explanation of my policy on these matters.

  25. "What payment methods are possible?"

    Please visit www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/buy.html and click the "Buy Now" button for info. You will find that you are offered a choice of different payment methods. If you have further questions then please talk to Avangate (our distributor) for all issues about orders and payment. You will find contact information for Avangate in the "Tracking Your Order" section near the bottom of the "Buy" page already mentioned.

  26. "How to I update to the current version? Do I need to pay again?"
    "How much do updates cost?"

    You don't need to pay again, upgrade to the current version is at present free for all existing users. The license key you already have will work with the current version. All you need to do is download the software itself from the download page. It will recognise your existing key and you should not need to re-enter it.
    Minor upgrades have always been free, and do not require a new license key. And in fact the upgrade to the currrent version is also free to all existing users.
    By the way please note that this is not a promise that all upgrades will always be free.

  27. "How can I give Transcribe! to someone else as a gift?"

    During the ordering process you will see an option "I would like to purchase this product as a gift for someone else". This will result in the email containing the license key being sent to them. They will also need to download the software from our website, but the email they receive will mention this. Remember that when you make the order, you will need to know whether they want the Windows, Mac or Linux version.

General note about Transcribe! licensing policy

People sometimes ask me to explain Transcribe! licensing policy. For instance, Why allow a single license to be used on two computers, but not if they are running different OS's (Windows/Mac/Linux)? Why no educational discount?
Here are some general notes about it.

Of course, policies for pricing and licensing are a free decision of Seventh String's when we offer licenses for sale, just as the user makes a free decision about whether the terms are acceptable when they decide to buy or not.

Clearly we have to set limits to what a single license buys you. If a single license entitled you and anyone you choose to "share" it with to run unlimited copies of Transcribe! without restriction then we would only ever sell one license and then Seventh String would be out of business. Like most of us, I need to earn a living and if Transcribe! wasn't earning money I would have stopped work on it a long time ago.

The particular limits we have chosen are that a single license entitles you to run Transcribe! on a maximum of two computers and a maximum of one OS. This is somewhat arbitrary but doesn't seem so unreasonable to me, especially considering that this is more generous than most software licenses, which typically only allow use on a single computer.

We keep the price low by minimising the amount of administrative work that's needed, in order to minimise the cost of running Seventh String and leave more time to continue developing the product. Various Seventh String policies can be explained this way. Some of them benefit the user, some don't. But overall I think we all benefit by the fact that this enables us to keep the price low. For instance:

- No telephone support, email only.

- We do not normally charge for upgrades. From my point of view, the license key system is simpler if upgraded versions recognise previously-issued keys as valid - it avoids the administrative effort of determining who's eligible for upgrades, and the need for a two-tier pricing system.

- We don't allow transfer of licenses from one OS to another. Again, this avoids the administrative effort of determining who's eligible. Maybe you think this is insignificant but just ask anyone who runs a business about the real cost of having an intelligent person deal with emails and update databases. This kind of thing never works automatically because people change their email addresses or have multiple addresses and use different ones, and lose their license information, and so on.
There is a particular issue with Linux here : I think that most people who run desktop (as opposed to server) applications on Linux probably have a Windows or Mac computer as well. That could easily mean that if we gave a free Linux license to anyone who has a Windows or Mac license then we might never sell a single Linux license at all. Linux users might like that, but if they think it through a little further, they would realise that we will not continue to support Linux if it earns nothing.

- We don't offer an educational discount. This avoids the dificulty of defining exactly what constitutes a bona-fide educational institution, and also avoids the difficulty of verifying whether a given order is coming from such an institution. Also, an education institution wanting to install Transcribe! in their computer music lab would need multiple copies, and we do give a substantial discount for multiple-copy orders.

About the re-issuing of lost license keys

Transcribe! continues to sell, which is wonderful, but this also means that the total number of existing Transcribe! users continues to increase. Potentially this could cause an ever-increasing burden of providing support to those users.
In fact this burden is not too bad because once a person has been using Transcribe! for a while, they are less and less likely to need to email me for help.

The exception to this principle is the matter of people losing their license keys (due to a hard disk crash or whatever). We receive an ever-increasing stream of requests for the re-issuing of lost license keys. Naturally we arrange to handle these automatically where possible, but this frequently isn't possible because people change their email addresses etc quite often, so we have to search the database manually to find them.

Remember that we do not promise to re-issue lost license keys at all - it's your responsibility to look after it. It amazes me how many people don't back things up. If you haven't bothered to look after your license key, what makes you think that we should do it for you? As we say in the email containing the license key:
"Back it up on disk to some location not on your computer, wherever you normally back up your work. You do back up your work don't you? Every hard disk dies (or is stolen) one day, so I can promise you with absolute certainty that anything you don't back up, will one day be lost. You should also print it out on paper and keep it safe. It would be a bit tedious to type in the 80 characters or so, but not impossible - in fact it takes about two minutes."

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