I just receieved GPO and am only now getting started with it. Seems to be great so far. Regarding the manual: PDF is excellent, but I also like having the printed version. I\'d prefer it were only larger. Would make it easier to read. I guess I\'m just old, but man the type in this manual is small!
I\'m personally a fan of well made printed manuals. It\'s just nice to have something to read when I finally get away from the computer, i.e. skimming to the features while lying in bed or so... it also greatly impacting the feeling that I actually get something for my money, because in this way I can \"experience\" the product even when I\'m not working with it. I mean I\'m still pissed about AO, five CDs (in ugly shells), no box, no manual (you cannot really call that small booklett a manual)... and I paid 500 Euro for that and cannot resell them. Talk about a mood-breaker...
Online manuals however are nice when I\'m working and just want to look something up (especially since GPO is advertised with the idea of laptops in the mind... you don\'t have to carry the manual besides laptop, headphones, power-cable...). My Cubase Vst 5 came with a manual for all the basic stuff (which is a few hundred pages anyway [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ) and all in-depth topics are in pdfs...
Haven\'t seen the GPO manual yet, but I would say keep it unless it REALLY effects the pricing. If it is 20$ more or less, most people will experience 250$ for DVDs+Manual as much more value for their money than 230$ with just a DVD-box.
(...who at the moment is arguing with himself if he should order GPO right away or spent the money on that violin he wants to buy for some months now... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] )
why not give both ?
I think we are not so deeply into computers that pdf just overcame good old books that you can read in bed, in the subway, whereever...
But pdf is a very good complement, just one click away when you need it. And more, I suppose it costs nothing more to you, as a developer/publisher, if you put on the dvd !
So please, give us a good printed manual, AND the pdf !
I love the hardcopy version of the manual for GPO. But, I also like having the ability to do a quick lookup on all references on a feature - like I have with Cubase and Nuendo. Considering that the manual for GPO is relatively small, I think that it\'s feasible to publish the PDF version and deliver it with the release DVD, and let those that wish to have a hard copy to print their own. I did this for Cubase SX 1, and produced my own three-ring binder of pages printed front and back. Users would have the option to print their own way - perhaps with two pages facing or at a larger size to suit their own tastes. That\'s what I did, and turned 1000+ pages into around 260 in two binders. Nice!
In an ideal world Sir B. Ellog is right and both a pdf and a printed manual would be great. I must confess that I like to curl up with the manual away from the PC as someone else said but that can always be done by printing off the pdf file. Scott’s points are also quite correct and make a lot of sense.
The manual is a great professional touch but the downside with this one is that it’s too wee and I had to blow it up 120% and stick it (two pages in landscape) into a ring binder. Therefore in my case I would have been better off printing of a pdf file as the quality would have better. I’m not totally convinced of its value other than being a ‘nice little touch’.
I must admit that I was expecting GPO to come in a normal software box with a bigger manual. In the totally ideal world we would have a large cardboard box, which includes the disks and a large more detailed manual,…but this isn’t realistic. Oh yes I forgot to mention that we would be sent an updated manual every year too!!! ¦:^)
I think the advantages of a printed manual for you are that:
1 It adds a professional ‘sheen’ to the product and may give you a marketing edge as long as it’s not adding $20 to the price! (include your maintenance costs too)
2 It may encourage people to buy rather than pirate because if you include a pdf manual that helps users of pirate software. However the professional pirate will get around that too I suspect….maybe tiffing or OCR’ing it for example.
The disadvantages of a printed manual to you are:
1 The cost of production; including updating, organising batches following updates ie maintaining it.
You have judged the market point, quality and price of GPO so well that I don’t think that there is anything else that you can do which would discourage piracy. Accepting that, then it would be best to have the easily maintainable pdf file…I mean how else are you going to manage all your upgrades and changes in Kontakt? New manuals?
Only keep the manual if you think it gives you a marketing edge but don’t update it often. Maybe reduce its scope to an explanation of how an orchestra works rather than programme specific instrument articulation lists and explanations of how it (the controls) work. This way it can remain un maintained. Like Cubase for example, there is a small ‘get you going’ manual but the bulk of the info is in pdf form. This prints out so professionally that you could hardly ask for more. You can take the pdf file down to a bureau to have it printed at a reasonable price and have it bound too if ring binding isn’t your cup of tea.
Finally, I believe that GPO is going to be so popular (something of a standard) that it won’t be long before you or some of your people (or totally 3rd party competition) produce a book or CDROM (hopefully for around $20) which will get into the nitty, gritty. I mean Yourself, Tom, Jim, Duncan and others are adding paragraphs of wisdom and experience almost daily….and this is what should end up in a book.
That’s what happened with Cubase and only you know whether the sales figures would justify a more in depth book. Let’s hope so. As you know Cubase used to have a ring binder manual as this could be updated but their decision at some point was to drop it....although a lot of folk were rattled at the time, life goes on! The difference, I think, is that everyone can print at high quality now.
\"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.\" Edgar Alan Poe