A post on a tech board brought to my attention a program which does something I dislike a great deal. Someone was looking to convert their old audio tapes into MP3s. He said that Magix Audio Cleaning Lab 2004 works great, but you have to pay extra to encode MP3s.
-> Fast audio CD burning and autoplay-capable MP3* CDs (burn-proof support, disc-at-once)
-> Export as WAV, OGG Vorbis, Internet Streaming Format (WMA) or MP3* files
* 20 demo runs
I am very much in favor of supporting programs that do what I want for a reasonable cost. I equally support the idea of boycotting programs that charge for the same thing a free program does, or for doing something I don’t want. If this program does the audio cleanup part well, buy that part of it. Then completely ignore their request for more of your money, and use a different MP3 encoder on the exported WAVs. If enough people refuse to buy their MP3 encoder addon, they’ll get the hint that people don’t see it as being worth the extra cost. They’ll either lower the price (include it for free?) or stop pushing it at you. It’s up to you if it’s worth the extra cost to not have to do another step in a separate program.
Getting analog audio is a bit more complicated than just ripping a CD to MP3s, but Exact Audio Copy works great for converting your CDs to MP3s and is free. As I said, use MACL2004 to convert the tapes to digital music files if it does a good job, then use a cheaper and/or better program do the MP3 conversion. Eventually we will teach these companies that their success depends on us, the consumers.