Buying software while it’s in beta – good idea?
By its very nature, beta software isn’t finished. The beta period refers to the final development phase before a finalised release, which means that, although it might be pretty much there, it hasn’t been signed off. Typically, the beta will be given to a select group of users, who’ll test it and provide the developer with feedback, or opened up to the public so that a wider group of people can try it.
In most cases, music software doesn’t go on sale until the beta testing is concluded, but there are times when you’re given the opportunity to pay for the full version prior to it being released, usually with the incentive of a hefty discount. This might sound risky, but as long as you’ve been able to download and test the beta and are pretty much satisfied with it, it’s not too much of a gamble. The software almost certainly isn’t going to get worse by the time it’s finished, so you might see it as a no-brainer.
Of course, the opposite is also true: if you test some software and discover show-stopping problems, it doesn’t make sense to shell out until you’ve had the chance to find out if they’re going to be resolved. The developer might assure you that any issues will be fixed, but we’d advise waiting to try the demo of the finished product before handing over any cash.