The True Story of Audion
November 12, 2004 6:25 AM   Subscribe

The True Story of Audion This was surprisingly interesting and funny.
posted by chunking express (21 comments total)
"The feeling of being beat to market by days is an interesting one — imagine being punched in the face by a drunk kangaroo then finding five dollars while lying on the floor, a simultaneously crushing but ultimately inspiring experience."

That's the same feeling I get from going to work to get a paycheck!
posted by ba at 6:59 AM on November 12, 2004

Quite a story. I don't quite get why they are so happy that Apple has put them out of business by a) offering a similar app for free and b) by using closed proprietary systems, AAC and crypto. If these guys developed Microsoft software I'm sure the story wouldn't be about how awesome it was to say hi to Billy G at an MS expo and then to be crushed by him.
posted by zeoslap at 7:10 AM on November 12, 2004

Remember that last day of school, when the yearbooks arrived, and you'd invariably end up spilling your guts to your secret crush(es) via hastily worded, heart-dumping notes tucked into the corner of the back page

Uh, "heart-dumping"? That sounds rather nasty. I've heard of "getting things off your chest" but that sounds rather like a poop from the heart.

Like A Poop From The Heart-- could be the next big hit single.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:34 AM on November 12, 2004

wow, great link, c.e.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2004

When Tiger and Dashboard is officially released, will we be also reading The True Story of Stattoo?
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2004

The best part of that link:

The secret lives of The Chipmunks!
posted by neustile at 8:12 AM on November 12, 2004

It says a lot about Apple and the Reality Distortion Field that these guys aren't even remotely bitter. Unlike, say, the guy behind Konfabulator.
posted by tommasz at 8:21 AM on November 12, 2004

Great story.... I love Panic. They make great stuff. Especially Transmit.

For the folks wondering why they weren't bitter about iTunes, you have to remember that Apple offered them the opportunity to come aboard, and they declined. They made their own decision, and they're comfortable with it.
posted by spilon at 8:33 AM on November 12, 2004

If they weren't such poor businessmen they would've been the one being bought out by Apple to work on iTunes instead of the SoundJam guys.
posted by gyc at 8:44 AM on November 12, 2004

I like Panic's attitude. I really do. Transmit and Unison are great applications.
posted by tomharpel at 9:21 AM on November 12, 2004

**sniff** ... but ... **sniff** I love Audion!

I wonder what the special offer to registered users is? I already registered Transmit. Free Candy Bar?

...but Audion is instead competing with a product that, you know, we actually use ourselves. When you double click the competition in the morning, that's a pretty good sign that it's time to hang up your hat!

I can see how that might be disheartening.
posted by milovoo at 9:25 AM on November 12, 2004

Much gratitude for the link to this tale.

We have such fond memories of the early Napster/Audion/SoundJam days, days spent at half-productivity whilst taking advantage of our company's high-speed pipe.
posted by tenseone at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2004

Perhaps if they used the time they had to write this story for answering tech support email they might not have to discontinue the product.

I tried Audion after someone recommended it on the Green. I was baffled by some of the basic functionality and sent 3 emails to their support asking for help. I'm a registered Transmit customer and was shocked that they didn't answer a single one of my emails. I gave up on Audion immediately and seriously doubt I will check out any of Panic's future s/w releases as a result. That said, Transmit does rock.
posted by dobbs at 10:02 AM on November 12, 2004

That was a great story. I laughed. I cried. I 'switched' over to Mac when those bastards* came out with iTMS. I downloaded Audion but didn't buy it or use it because I found the iTunes did everything I needed an app to do. I would have bought it in a second if iTunes wasn't insanely great.

And dobbs, I've had the complete opposite of experience with Panic's support with Unison and Transmit. Due to financial difficulties last year I decided to drop my easynews account and not buy Unison. Now I'm a little better off [barely] and I actauly re-bought Transmit and CandyBar after I erased and re-installed everything on my PBook [sure, if the license codes were handier, I probably wouldn't have, but I enjoy the Panic's personality and products so munch I threw them a few more bucks.

I might just go buy Unison tonight in support. **

* I lovingly refer to Apple as bastards since buying my iPod. They got me to switch to Mac, buy two macs and an AirportExpress. And I've spent lots more on music because of them.

** I might not.
posted by birdherder at 10:31 AM on November 12, 2004

Wow, I think some of you don't get it. Here are two guys sharing an apartment and coding on the living room couch, and they almost get bought by AOL and Apple, but pass on it to follow their dream. (at this point many say they screwed up).


They continued plugging away and made enough money to hire a team of folks, get an office space and refinish it into a dream space.

So you can look at two guys on a couch that turned down buyout offers from two major players and call them dumb or say they have bad business sense, or you can look at them, still kicking ass years later, in their native city they love, still working on products that can support a team and that they control completely.

All the original nullsoft guys have left and winamp could die. I don't know what happened to the soundjam guys at Apple, but they had to pack up and move to Cupertino, which isn't that hot of a place.

My hat's off to the Panic guys. They folllowed their dreams and they're living it. They're not millionaires, but do they have to be? IIRC, one of them got married and bought a house recently, so they're doing just fine. Also, they make amazing software. I've used Transmit since the day I got my first mac.
posted by mathowie at 10:36 AM on November 12, 2004

a dream space.

That is a beautiful bench.
posted by sudama at 12:23 PM on November 12, 2004

tommasz: "Unlike, say, the guy behind Konfabulator."

Or Watson, once a true "killer app" for OS X, now poised to die a very ignominious death.

This was a very well-written (and often funny) piece. Great use of linked asides in the essay, too. I respect those Panic guys, both for their great work, but also for having such a healthy perspective on things. I'd probably spend my days wondering why we had to miss that first meeting with Apple. "To include AOL in the discussion?" WTF? I mean, if only they had attended that meeting... iTunes as we know it could be looking very, very different today. It's likely the author would be a much wealthier man, yet also employed by Apple, and Panic would be no more.

Yet these guys apparently have the self-awareness and confidence to put these events properly in their place. Perhaps they would have turned down the offer then too.

Their independence is a paramount priority... and I respect that. In the end, it's happiness that counts.

That said, it's remarkable to read yet another account, in transcripted retrospect, of how much of a colossal asshole Steve Jobs is. I mean... that first "in person" encounter on the Expo floor! Jobs just publicly demo'ed a product that could crush the guy's livelihood, and he practically spits in the Cabel's face about it. And then proceeds to steal ideas from him. With relish. Indeed, the man is a brilliant visionary, but still... what a prick.

Unison does indeed rock and I wonder why he linked to Transmit instead when discussing their future. Transmit's getting a bit long in the tooth and could use some updating. Still, both are in my dock.
posted by Fofer at 1:57 PM on November 12, 2004

I'm reading that that the crew at Panic still loves Apple and its products, even when Steve Jobs personally handed their asses to them on a platter when iTunes was released. (And he is the brains behind the operation, asshole or not.)

Cheers for the Panic team. While the brilliant Audion was too far ahead of its time, Transmit and Unison are unmatched in their ease of use and their functionality.
posted by Down10 at 11:06 PM on November 12, 2004

I heart Audion.
posted by dabitch at 7:04 AM on November 13, 2004

The crew at Panic seem to have a good, positive outlook on life. It's nice to see that when they look back they aren't unhappy with any of the choices they made. It's obviously been a good experience for them, and makes for a hilarious little story. I don't see why they would deserve any flack.
posted by chunking express at 7:25 AM on November 13, 2004

Jobs just publicly demo'ed a product that could crush the guy's livelihood, and he practically spits in the Cabel's face about it. And then proceeds to steal ideas from him. With relish. Indeed, the man is a brilliant visionary, but still... what a prick.

Not that I doubt that he is a prick, but... The aforementioned episode seems to show what a shrewd businessman the man is: he's about to meet this guy in a few days to offer him a job. At this point he is softening him up, methinks.
posted by Finder at 2:52 PM on November 14, 2004

« Older Profanity Adventures   |   Green and Libertarian Presidential Candidates to... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments