Avant-no -- Avantgo puts limit on "free" channels.
February 26, 2002 9:48 PM   Subscribe

Avant-no -- Avantgo puts limit on "free" channels. If you currently offer a "custom channel" through Avantgo (in other words, one you're not paying for), there is now a limit of eight subscribers to that channel before you have to pay. Starting price: $1,000. (More inside...)
posted by metrocake (11 comments total)
I'm not saying this is a bad thing -- they need to make money, after all -- but I'm rather surprised that they've put the limit at "eight." Seems rather an odd number -- I would have gone for, say, twenty; enough to allow some usage for small-time content people (like me) but not enough to really overtax anything.

Palm TipSheet discusses workarounds, for the curious.

And for the record, I'd pay for my overall Avantgo subscription if it came to that -- it's a great service -- but I don't have $1,000 laying around just to have a channel... <:(
posted by metrocake at 9:52 PM on February 26, 2002

I was going to say the same thing. What an odd number to choose.
posted by holycola at 10:45 PM on February 26, 2002

Perhaps AvantGo should introduce a tiered model for users. Free users can access all the official channels like CNN, MSN and all that jazz, but custom channels are restricted (maybe one custom channel per account or something). For a small monthly fee (no more than say $10) users can add as many custom channels as they like, with no charge to the content provider. That seems like a good compromise to me. I'd be willing to pay for custom channels.

FWIW, my current custom channels for sites like Slashdot and Pocket PC Thoughts seem to be still working. When do these new restrictions kick in?
posted by helloboys at 11:10 PM on February 26, 2002

Take a look at Plucker. Any content that will work with AvantGo also works with Plucker, plus the Palm viewer is faster. It's not as slick to set up, but if you're comfortable with the basics of HTML you shouldn't have a problem. The indexer is slower than AvantGo's, but it doesn't automatically run every time you HotSync (my pet peeve with AvantGo). I've set up a scheduled task to index all the content each night; in the morning it's a quick sync to download the information to the Palm. It also handles multiple content databases -- I've got the Perl and Python manual on there, as well as a few books.

Windows and Unix only (I'd imagine a MacOS X port shouldn't be too hard).
posted by kaefer at 11:17 PM on February 26, 2002

For those who don't use AvantGo, you might want to read my AvantGoingsOn article. I explain what AvantGo does, how it works, where the money is, and a little about the economic tradeoff webmasters face.
posted by evanwolf at 1:33 AM on February 27, 2002

These guys are trying to step in as a free alternative
posted by owillis at 2:05 AM on February 27, 2002

OWillis: thanks, but unless it's too pre-coffee, not good for Palm OS.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:58 AM on February 27, 2002

I read Metatalk on my Visor sometimes, as well as a nerdy bulletin board about New York radio; both still work.

They should have a separate policy for non-profit Web sites. Or charge a reasonable amount.

Actually, upon reflection, there may be some legal explanation for the high tariff (initial policy), but I can't think of it.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:22 AM on February 27, 2002

Is there another Mac-compatible alternative to AG?
posted by ParisParamus at 4:25 AM on February 27, 2002

Windows and Unix only (I'd imagine a MacOS X port shouldn't be too hard).

On the desktop, Plucker is just a set of Python scripts. Get a build of Python for Mac OS X (with the Python Image Library if you want images) and you'll be able to install and run Plucker. I've been doing it for a while now. You'll have to be really comfortable with the Terminal though.

Too bad it wasn't written in Java, or they could have a GUI for it by now.
posted by teradome at 3:19 PM on February 27, 2002

as well as a nerdy bulletin board about New York radio;

This one? Or is there another I'm unaware of?
posted by aaron at 10:19 PM on February 27, 2002

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