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If you've used our support, how would you compare results to other software products in the same price range?

Much worse
Not as good
About the same
A little better
Much better

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Author Topic: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?  (Read 22896 times)

JimH

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POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« on: October 26, 2007, 09:43:24 am »

A couple of days ago, someone complained about our support and it turned into a little bit of a food fight.  The thread was eventually locked, then removed.

I'd like to ask you to suggest a better way if you can.

We have some boundaries that we have to live within:

1.  We sell a product for $50 that took around 120 man years to build.  Some think it should be free.
2.  JRiver pays a decent wage, so when we bill our time, we bill it at about $2/minute.
3.  MC gets used in an amazingly complex eco-system of OS's, devices, and add-ons.
4.  Many of you know a lot more than many of us.  We build the hammer -- we don't build the house.

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ThoBar

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2007, 10:30:21 am »

Kudos for even asking the question, irrespective of my reply (which shall remain ambiguous).
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JustinChase

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2007, 10:44:57 am »

Well, I've been using Media Center since before it was Media Center; Jukebox 6 or 7 I think when I started.  Therefore it's a bit difficult to remember my initial experiences with your support system.

However, I do remember that it took me a bit to figure out how to even use the support, as I kept looking for a number to call to speak to someone.  once I finally figured out to register and use the forum to ask my questions I seem to remember feeling a bit overwhelmed at the whole process.  Lots of information, search results were not particularly helpful, and I wasn't sure how the "experts" would react to my question (dumb question?)

so, I wasn't too happy about the system I had to use for support.  I honestly don't remember if I got a good answer to my issue right away, or if I had to keep bringing it up to finally get it answered.  I have had both scenarios in my tenured experience here.  There was a time when I was much more active in the forums, and during that time I think I learned how to pose the questions/suggestions to get a better chance of a response, and that has made the whole system a positive experience for me.

I voted that it was better than others, and feel like that is true.  i only bring up the initial experience (as best I can remember) because I imagine the complaints you get will be from newbies that don't understand the system, or even the reasons you choose to use the forums as the only support vehicle.

I'm not able to give any suggestions as to how you could improve that initial experience other than maybe help walk the newbies into the process a bit.  Maybe a help button takes them to an explanation as to why it's done this way, and some comforting language about how friendly everyone is and not to be intimidated.  I'm quite computer savvy (as are most MC users I imagine), but not everyone is comfortable in internet forums, especially when they may be frustrated with a "problem" with their software.

Hope this helps, and keep up the good work!
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jgreen

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2007, 10:57:56 am »

Using my own yardstick, I ask myself, how does JRiver's support and responsiveness compare with, say, the industry leader, Microsoft?  Er, JRiver rocks, of course.  And how many 100's or 1,000's of times bigger is MSFT's support staff alone than JRiver's ENTIRE COMPANY?

I saw the discussion that JimH refers to, as well as the feature request discussion he cited as an example of JRiver's responsiveness--I took part in it.  Based on this I can only conclude that the customer in question will NEVER be satisfied, although at the time he seemed satisfied.  And I would hope that JRiver, and especially the many new customers who are migrating to MC from other (free) programs, do not let this sort of criticism trip them up.

JimH will post these polls from time to time, and I can tell you that after the initial, predictable flame session from individuals who feel that JRiver owes them something more than just the most category-dominating software on the planet, a consensus emerges from people with direct experience in software development:  that the MC Forum is both a strength and a liability.  While you (hopefully) get valuable input and testing, you also get on the hook for a raft of PR issues, and periodic massaging of egos.  To those who are new to MC, IMO, you are seeing that now. 

No company can possibly provide a flawless customer support experience--there isn't enough time or money and some people just won't be satisfied.  Yet JRiver is tasked with conducting their customer support in a public forum.  It is my impression that customer satisfaction with MC is far higher than comparable software.  If it wasn't, you would see a FLOOD of bug and flame posts, instead of the trickle that you see now, many of which come from the same IP address.

To JRiver:  You are right and the industry is wrong.  Look what MSFT did with all the time and money in the world:  Vista.  Now look at MC 12 (which I believe should have rolled over to v.13 with the introduction of tabs, 14 with theater view, and now 15 with you-know-what).  There are too many new features packed in there to list--in fact the "What's New" list is way out of date.  Yet the customer-requested features outnumber this list by a factor of 100X.  And those who are disappointed will inevitably view these discussions as "payback time".
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gappie

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 11:12:14 am »

i answered the question: 'If you've used our support, how would you compare results to other software products in the same price range?'
with a little better. there are other products in this price range with a good customer support.

i agree with jgreen though that the version we are using now should be version 14.
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KingSparta

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2007, 11:13:32 am »

I am still waiting on a reply from real networks (about 2 years and waiting), Yahoo normally will send a auto response but has of yet answered one of my questions. i waited over a month from Music match and then never heard from them again, etc...

I have also had some good experiences from other vendors.

Many will not or can not reply within 48 - 72 hours

In the forum, if JRiver does not answer Most of the time someone will step up to the plate and help the user. So i think there is some redundancy in the forum help system.

Some vendors have forum, and e-mail, and voice help, but some of them will charge about $30 to like $40 per incident.

If JRiver Added E-Mail Support It Would Take Little More Effort To Maybe Link Them To The Problem URL Of Fix Link Or Forum Thread.

Also Some E-mail Support System Will Offer Up Some Support Links That May Fix The Users Problem, And Then Suggest If None Of The Following Links Help Resolve The Issue Please Reply To This Message. At That Point A Support Tech Is Added To The Mix To Help.

Some companies allow remote assistance, and this would allow the company to see the problem for there self and find the problem and fix it, and or help ID a bug in the program and then the bug could be fixed.

If more help is needed you can always charge

Some companies hire out sourced help, but I cringe on that idea.

So it could be more than just help for the user it could also be good for JRiver To Work Out Bugs, that are documented from J. Rivers Support Staff.


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thurston

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2007, 11:19:40 am »

I think that the forum is a smart customer support resource for such a program.  Too many times customer support consists of an auto-reply email, a phone conversation with someone reading a step-by-step list ("..click the start button...now click on shut down...now click on..."), or recordings with an endless chain of menus.  With a forum you're able to get advice from a large pool of users and programmers and in this case, from members who are highly knowledgable and thankfully willing to share their knowledge.

I was skeptical about paying for the program at first, especially when I had trouble getting videos to run with the trial version.  The forum is part of the reason I decided to buy it.  $40 is relatively high when compared to something like iTunes (which is free), but the more I use JR Media Center, the more features become apparent.

It's not perfect; there are some areas that are neglected that in my opinion need some attention, but to others would probably be insignificant.  And there have been times where my posts weren't resolved, but not everyone's issues can be immediately addressed.

In all, I think the program itself would be overpriced without the support, but with the frequent upgrades and access to so many people willing to help with problems and enhancements it's value has far exceeded my initial expectations.
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mlefebvre

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2007, 11:27:51 am »

I voted a little better.

Overall, the support experience is good. But I have had a nagging feeling over the years that some issues are forgotten or ignored. I always felt that if there was some sort of logging of issues that are still outstanding, I'd feel better. Now maybe such a system is already in place at JRiver, but I haven't seen it.

Now having been in the software industry for 25 plus years, I totally understand the needs to prioritize things in order to achieve business goals. I have had to make these types of decisions several thousand times.

Now, don't get me wrong, the industry is far from perfect. I've in the last few months had support issues logged in with Microsoft and HP. Both were worked on for a short while but they have forgotten about me. That has leaved a sour taste in my mouth about both companies. Now I may not have much of a choice about the OS I need to use, but I will surely never buy another HP computer again. Even if it is overall an excellent machine.

So to conclude, I would have voted that JRiver's support to be Excellent but did not because a very few times over the last 8-9 years I have been using the product, there have been issues that were very important to me that were left unanswered. And again, I understand that this is only a $40.00 product, so I don't ask or expect perfect support.

I remember a recent issue that I had (and still have actually) where MC crashes when I paste info in a tag in the AW. It drives me crazy. I had great support from Matt and others but never got this resolved. The difference in my perception is the fact that Matt actually took the time to tell me that they were stumped and could not figure it out. Even though I didn't get this resolved, I understood that I was probably the only one that was experiencing this problem and it would not make sense for JRiver to push any more. But what made the difference is I had a definite feeling that I was not forgotten. It's when the problem reports ends up in Never-Never Land that I have been frustrated a few times over the last few years. And then again, that has only happened maybe 8-10 times during that period of time...   
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glynor

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2007, 12:31:01 pm »

Best support I've ever experienced for a similarly priced application.  Of course, that's more of a statement on:

(1) how extremely crappy the support is for most other similar applications once you get past the "how do you do this?" stage
(2) the type and level of support that I typically need

Sure... iTunes, Music Match, and WiMP might have slightly more easy to use "hand-holding" support.  Where you need help understanding the basic use of the application.  However, I very rarely need that type of support (especially for an application at this "level").  If you try logging an actual bug or feature request with any of "them" and then waiting for responses the picture completely changes, and this is where I think JRiver shines.  They actually listen, and don't always blame issues on PEBKAC.

I've issued support requests to many similarly priced (and upwards) applications, such as Snapstream Media and Real's apps, and the first two or three email replies (after waiting 2-3 days between each one) are almost always things that (a) don't apply at all, or (b) I certainly would have already tried before asking the question.  Often, it is plainly apparent that they didn't even read my initial inquiry (because I always describe the steps I've already taken in detail), and usually the responses are obviously cut-and-pasted from a stock question list.

That all said.... Is it perfect?  No, not really.  It works quite well for me, and for other self-motivated, self-driven users.  For people like my mom, it wouldn't be ideal.  Of course, my mom probably would just call me anyway so...
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rjm

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 12:57:12 pm »

I voted much better.

$40 is an incredible bargain for the functionality that MC delivers. My expectations for support are low at this price, yet with patience and the right attitude on the forum, most problems are resolved. I particularly value the fact that MC listens to my suggestions.
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JimH

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2007, 01:03:40 pm »

RJM
I've removed this from your post above.  Please copy and paste it to this thread.  I'll remove this post later today:

Quote
If I had a criticism it would be that the moderators are overly sensitive to negative comments and sometimes lock or delete threads that they should not. Most of us on the forum love the product. In my case, MC is my favorite software. I would give up Microsoft Office before I gave up MC. So when I am critical it is coming from a very good place. I acknowledge JRiver's right to censor the forum, and the fact that they do does not jeopardize my future support of the product; it just means that while I love the product I do not have a warm feeling for the moderators.


Moderation is always subject to the disgression (or indisgression) of the moderator.  I can assure you that changing the moderator won't change the quality of the support.
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prod

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2007, 01:06:56 pm »

I don't use support of software much, and prefer to just jump in and use the software without any help. I do remember a rather sarcastic reply to my first post, but it didn't put me off, and I've prob paid it back over the years. Perhaps people nowadays are too sensitive, or maybe I'm insensitive.

Anyway, I love the concept of the support on this forum. It works really well for me, and I imagine plenty of others as well. Most of the time support will come from other users, and no intervention is even needed by J River staff. I enjoy coming on here even when I don't need support.

For me, J River could be ** for all I care - their software speaks for itself. Don't know how I'd get along without it.

Digressing a bit, I've had pretty good support from Microsoft - I find their web resources incredibly useful. I'm currently working for a corporate whose IT dept is testing Vista. By all accounts they love it, except for the weird IT contractor running XP on his overpriced & overprized MAC notebook. I don't get it.
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JimH

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2007, 01:08:59 pm »

I've moved a couple of posts to a new thread on the quality of moderation.
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glynor

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2007, 01:15:18 pm »

I also thought I'd mention...

Relating to my view of the lack of phone support: I worked on "the phones" for 5 years in a call center, and feel that during that time I spent more time on the phone than the average person does in 4 lifetimes.  So, for me, calling is always the last resort method of support.  If you force me to call, I'm as likely to just not use your application than to actually call.  I hate the phone.  My voice mail message on my office phone actually says: "The best and most effective way to reach me is via email, so I strongly suggest that you consider emailing me at <bleh> instead.  If, for some reason you prefer to leave a message, be aware that I only check my voice mail at most once or twice per week and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.  Thank you very much for calling!"

On this though...

My main complaint about the support is how the Forum is moderated.  I think people are too quick to delete threads on this forum.  Sure if someone is down right trolling and just not providing any service, delete the thread.  However I have had what I think to be legitimate postings deleted and not even given a notice as to why they where deleted.  If you do delete/lock a thread you should also provide a reason so that the OP can know what to avoid next time.  In the end this is Jrivers forum and they can moderate as they want, however it is a public accessed forum and excessive moderation tends to look bad.

I've stated my feelings on this before.  I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand I agree.  I'm a free speech "true believer" and I feel quite strongly that MC can stand so well on it's merits that heavily moderating negative topics is just unnecessary.  Also, sometimes the opportunity to rant and rave for a little while just makes people feel better and can be beneficial in it's own right.  I do agree that when topics are locked and or removed, that Jim should always (spam excepted) add a note or post saying why or at least that it was done.  I can understand why he doesn't (this isn't all he does after all), but in an ideal world this would be the goal.  However...

As a active and long-time member of this forum I have to say that I really appreciate Jim's efforts (and the others, but mostly Jim) to keep the tone of Interact positive.  This has been consistently a very nice place full of very nice people.  Flame wars and "middle-school-antics" are few and far between here.  And that is exceedingly rare on Internet forums and is the primary reason that I continue to frequent this forum and make the contributions that I do.  While, at first, when I was "slapped down by Jim" (locked and/or deleted) it hurt my feelings and upset me... In retrospect, I think I'd rather have him slightly "jumpy" on the "moderation gun" than for it to look like so many other forums out there.

As far as requests and postings going unanswered... I think sometimes people are too sensitive to this.  I look at other forums and I see a huge number of postings all with 0 or 1 replies, and certainly no responses from the developers.  If something I want gets ignored, I simply ask again, investigate myself, post back with further details, and ask again.  Eventually I either get a response or I figure it out myself.  Quite often, when I see a post on here that goes unanswered it is either: (a) a very odd use-case where the person is asking for something quite unusual and would probably be required to figure it out themselves, or (b) they just didn't explain themselves well or provide enough details.  I typically only take the time to help those who are willing to help themselves.  Saying "it doesn't work right and it sucks" isn't really enough.
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horse

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2007, 01:48:05 pm »

My experience.

Denon - Paid $3500 for the product. Had a problem, emailed and called. Only two repsonses and apart from acknowledging the issue - NOTHING (14 months)

MusicMatch / Yahoo Jukebox - Paid for license ($25) and after Yahoo purchased them they broke the tagging. Response - low on the list of things to fix as it was cosmetic. The tag they broke by the way was the track number :-)

OPPO - paid $150 for product - emailed back and forth regarding an upgrade of there firmware. After upgrade, HDCP caused audio to stop. Down grade it worked. They kept telling me it was my problem, finally after I did more and more testing I got it down to the HDCP issue. They denied touching that code between versions. Finally a developer responded that they have a timing issue and they need to fix it - 9 months later I'm still waiting :-)

MC12 - Before even paying for license, did some traces and sent them to John. He found the issue and put a fix in within days even though it was caused by the Denon implemetation of the uPnP spec.

My own experience is based only on the use of this forum for support, I've never needed anything beyond that. I think I've said before, this forum with JRiver employees and also users supporting it, is what has cemented my use of MC. So many times I've searched and found other people that have found solutions to any problems or configuration examples. If not already covered, answers are very fast in comming as the forum participation is high.
I posted to other product forums and it takes weeks for a response.

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prod

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2007, 01:56:45 pm »

For me, J River could be ** for all I care - their software speaks for itself.

I'm sure they weren't my *exact* words! Must have been them ** moderators again, by ** ...  ;D
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vine-au

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2007, 01:58:32 pm »

Ive used the support of jriver very very rarely, why? because it's such a well built, solid program. so little goes wrong with it, and if there is an issue, 5 minutes searching the forums reveal the answer. Having direct contact with the developers has made me love MC, and Im an advocate, converting people from WMP and WinAMP whenever I can. Keep up the great work
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JimH

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2007, 02:05:03 pm »

Here's a snapshot of the results so far:

Not as good 12%
About the same 12%
Better or much better 76%

I want to record these because I think the approval rating will go down as more infrequent visitors vote.
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prod

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2007, 02:18:41 pm »

It appears I'm starting to sound like Father Jack! Probably starting to look like him as well.

MC evolves faster than most apps I've used. That causes all sorts of problems with support, documentation, priorities with old bugs/features and newly introduced bugs. I think the forum is the most dynamic and efficient way of supporting it, and it works really well because it's visited by a supportive bunch of people who really love and care for the product.

So stick that in your ** and smoke it.
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glynor

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2007, 02:26:59 pm »

I think you have a weird obsession with Jim's **.   ;)
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prod

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2007, 02:38:09 pm »

I think you have a weird obsession with Jim's **.   ;)

:) Oh, that's mostly him... my posts have been changed to protect the innocent.
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KenReeder

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2007, 02:48:55 pm »

I expect that this response will be deleted and/or get me banned, but ........

I have used the forum very little because of the responses I've received here to the questions I've posted. If I remember right, the last time I posted a question, the responses I got were irrelevant and sarcastic. At best they were not helpful. Thankfully, some users sent me private emails that answered my question. I'm not surprised they were unwilling to post them in this forum.

Ken
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JimH

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2007, 02:51:24 pm »

I have used the forum very little because of the responses I've received here to the questions I've posted. If I remember right, the last time I posted a question, the responses I got were irrelevant and sarcastic. At best they were not helpful. Thankfully, some users sent me private emails that answered my question. I'm not surprised they were unwilling to post them in this forum.
I just took a quick look at your posts and I don't see anything unusual:

http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?action=profile;u=14743;sa=showPosts

Complaints or criticism that are even barely civil will never be deleted.  It's the ones that start out with WTF?? ?? ? that get axed occasionally.
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jmone

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2007, 03:49:46 pm »

For me I find that JR is unique in the commercial support model and I think it works extremly well and is what is keeping me.  Others I find are:
1) MS:  So cumbersum it is not funny - You can chuck a Q into the forum for peers to answer but the vol is so big you don't often get a response let alone a discussion.  Interaction (no pun intended) with MS staff is very low
2) nero:  The reason I endedup up here as the my dealings with Nero supporting trying to get Bugs fixed in their Theater View almost sent me "postal".  Support is a series of E-Mails back and forth with frontline staff that don't have deep technical knowledge.
3) Ulead:  At least they now have a Forum but is is a user community only, Ulead staff may lurk but they provide no interaction.  Support is via e-mail and you get a lot of generic form responses like "while we can not be certain we may look at it in a later release"
4) dVico - Web based, its not a forum but you ask a Q and they Answer it (no peer support).  Service has been good, fast and reliable.

The other HTPC vendors in the market take a similar approach to JR but the best of these would be MediaPortal with a good community and participation by the developers which result in changes to their builds, however for me it always felt a bit unstructured  :D
Thanks
Nathan
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scthom

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2007, 03:51:49 pm »

At this point, better or much better is actually up to 79%.

But I'm not sure that's a reflection of JRiver's good customer service as much as everybody else's bad service.

For me, it works great.  I ask my question, get a response, usually from another user and not a developer.  I knew what to expect going into it.  For others who may need more hand-holding or a voice to talk to, the forum-as-support will not work well.

It's the same reason I chose a Squeezebox for a networked player.  Active forum support, lots of frequent versions.  I have a better chance of being the sqeaky wheel who gets the grease.

The lack of flames in the forums is pretty amazing, actually, considering how these things can very easily get out of hand.
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KenReeder

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2007, 04:59:50 pm »

I just took a quick look at your posts and I don't see anything unusual:

http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?action=profile;u=14743;sa=showPosts

Complaints or criticism that are even barely civil will never be deleted.  It's the ones that start out with WTF?? ?? ? that get axed occasionally.

Neither do I see anything wrong with the posts as they were quoted. As you will see from the titles, however, you have integrated two separate posts and left out some posts, at least from the "List only files present" thread. That was the last request for assistance I recall making.

I stopped using the forum because I was disturbed by numerous derogatory and sarcastic comments made to people that I saw posted in it. I have also read similar complaints from others about this forum posted on other websites.

Ken
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gappie

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2007, 05:05:16 pm »

Neither do I see anything wrong with the posts as they were quoted. As you will see from the titles, however, you have integrated two separate posts and left out some posts, at least from the "List only files present" thread. That was the last request for assistance I recall making.
Ken
click on your name. go to 'show last posts of this person'. that is it. click on the titles and you get the whole post. nothing integrated or so.  :)
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JimH

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2007, 05:18:32 pm »

I stopped using the forum because I was disturbed by numerous derogatory and sarcastic comments made to people that I saw posted in it.
Why don't you give it another try?  We'll try to be nice, I promise.
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KenReeder

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2007, 05:43:34 pm »

Why don't you give it another try?  We'll try to be nice, I promise.

HA HA HA HA HA Thanks JimH, I got a good laugh out of that! Incidentally, my feelings about the forum are different than my feelings about Media Center (MC). From any sort of realistic perspective, MC is the best around (at least the best I know of) and I have looked at many programs and everything I have heard about.

Ken
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glynor

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2007, 06:30:20 pm »

HA HA HA HA HA Thanks JimH, I got a good laugh out of that!

I am a little confused too...

I remember posting on the main thread that is shown on your post history and was plenty nice (you even appeared to say thanks).  Any rude postings in there were obviously deleted by a moderator, so I'm unclear... Exactly who was rude to you (JRiver staff or random user troll guy), and what should the moderators of the forum have done, other than remove the inappropriate postings, in order to make you happy?
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Matt

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2007, 07:21:25 pm »

JRiver responses on this forum come from Jim (the owner) and developers.

This has some downsides since programmers (myself included) are introverted and rough around the edges.  We're also wearing more than one hat, so don't have time to respond to every thread.

The big advantage is that the people doing support have the authority and knowledge to get things done.  It also helps us because we hear what users like and don't like every day.

My experience with other companies is that it's easy to talk to someone but nearly impossible to get results.  Which, judging by my blood pressure during my last calls to Discover, FedEx, and Vonage, is not a better system.

And lucky for us, we have a lot of amazing users that help make Interact really shine.
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center

leezer3

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2007, 07:48:49 pm »

To be quite frank, its amazing that the devs (As opposed to tech support monkeys, or anyone at all for that matter) bother to respond to things at all, thats an extremely unusual trait for a commercial company :)
The problem isn't the support, its the users- The impossible is quite regularly asked/ demanded of you, as well as those of us with more legitimate problems & requests. As you've chosen to use the forum format, its inevitable that there will be instances where one is highlighted and times when the other is and that is simply the way the world works.

Also, some people need to grow thicker skins; This is a user forum, and sometimes you will get a sarcastic comment when you ask a question that is percieved to be stupid. If you hang around though, you'll soon be the one making those comments  ;D

-Leezer-
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Ken Brookings

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2007, 08:41:08 pm »

I've used MC in some version another for many, many years.  I love it, promote it - absolutely the best.  The best software product value I know of!

However, the method of support suffers from major failure: its hit or miss.  When support is needed, particularly a critical need, there may be a response to a question, there may not.  If there is a response it may come quickly - or it may take days.  If there was always a response, say within 24 hours (but even an assured 48 or 72 would be okay) it would be great.  But when a week goes by and there is no response on Interact, then what? - it seems most users then post an appropriately cranky "anybody home?" type response.

Perhaps Interact for free support and a pay for support option that was more reliable and direct?

Keep up the fine work.
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KenReeder

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2007, 09:42:25 pm »

I am a little confused too...

I remember posting on the main thread that is shown on your post history and was plenty nice (you even appeared to say thanks).  Any rude postings in there were obviously deleted by a moderator, so I'm unclear... Exactly who was rude to you (JRiver staff or random user troll guy), and what should the moderators of the forum have done, other than remove the inappropriate postings, in order to make you happy?

Glynor (and all others),

Thank you VERY MUCH for making the above quoted post. It made me realize that in my first post in this thread, I made the mistake of ONLY talking about the bothersome comments I've seen and received. I sincerely apologize for that oversight. The truth is quite the opposite: several people provided information that was potentially useful about the topic I raised and I tried to generously thank them. To be clear, I believe the vast majority of comments to all threads on this forum are made to be helpful rather than offensive.

The comments I found bothersome in the thread to which I referred earlier came from a/the moderator, not a random user troll guy. Also, while I have read and contributed to numerous other forums, I have never seen similar comments in any of those forums - whether THOSE FEW posts are deleted by the moderator(s) or not made by the members. That is, of course, why I found the ones I saw here so striking.

Ken
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Qythyx

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2007, 09:42:58 pm »

I'm not a statistician, but I would guess this the results of this poll will be skewed in your favor. Why? Because, the people responding are already people who 1) found this forum at all and 2) think this forum is useful enough to keep coming back to. Likely, those people are to some degree or another already positive about MC and/or JRiver.

Having said that, I think it's great that you're trying to evaluate yourselves on this issue.

My personal feeling is that users can get above average support response from JRiver, but it takes a reasonable amount of effort on their part. My personal preference for support is that when I have a problem I can call/email a contact who will work with me until the problem is resolved. But, I recognize that that type of dedicated support is very expensive and, generally, only benefits the single individual. This fourum type of support can benefit many with a single resolution.
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KenReeder

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2007, 10:12:12 pm »

I'm not a statistician, but I would guess this the results of this poll will me skewed in your favor. Why? Because, the people responding are already people who 1) found this forum at all and 2) think this forum is useful enough to keep coming back to....

I agree that the results will be skewed because of the above self-selection bias as well as the fact that it is much easier for people to say neutral to positive things than it is for them to criticize, especially when the negative comments can be traced back to them. They often fear that they will experience some sort of negative repercussions, for example. That's why surveys are often conducted anonymously.

Ken
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the-order

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2007, 10:40:57 pm »

I must say the support for J River is very good, however, forum support, not that great.  I based this off of one post which isn't enough to state bad support.  I made a post quite some time ago about midi playback not working half of the time and never got a response. I've searched forums and nothing shows like the problem I'm having.
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Couch

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2007, 12:37:51 am »

I can't tell you how many apps I tried before JRiver Media Center - I was determined to find the perfect program to rip, catalog, and organize my music. Enter Media Center. I've used MC for sometime now I started with Version 8 of Jukebox and quickly jumped over to MC.

Initially I too found the forums confusing, somewhat chaotic, a free-for-all. I'd search.... and search....

I began asking questions and yes - if someone didn't respond right away - a moderator would eventually get back to me. That right there is better than most support for software I've eve experienced. Responses might be Intolerant of shizzle (that ones for you Jim) but I can understand - I was recently part of a major app release - one of the 'gripes' produced the now hilarious tag-line, "This is PURE CRAP!" It's funny now. You gotta laugh sometimes. Anyway that's part of the other thread - Your doin fine y'all.


If something 'breaks' I do my part to share my discovery - sometimes I wonder, "Was this even tested?"
My perception is that MC is in a 'rolling' deployment - Fixes and releases come regularly. Perhaps not as timely as some would prefer. But I've come to trust the JRiver team and ultimately am grateful for bringing me into a community of developers and users who all love media in some way shape or form. I don't recall a release where there wasn't a bug of some sort - but hey - I also don't have to wait until next year or so for a  new version.


Simply put - JRiver Media Center is a Unique and wonderful media application. I truly feel like my input is considered and that my participation in the forums or lack thereof has an impact on future development. I continue to be impressed at the relationship that MC users and the JRiver Developers have, and love it. I'll take the good with the bad because I perceive a relationship. I hate forums - I have better things to do with my time, like listen to music... But I'll use this one because it works.

That may not be the most 'technical' response - forums  ::) - Thanks for the good times. Really.
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modelmaker

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2007, 02:11:01 am »

When I started with MJ 8, I was a computer novice, everything was still pretty new to me. I didn't know much about computers, the internet, forums, etc. My use of support up to MC had been phone and email, with mixed results. My problem with getting support for MC was finding it. It took me a couple of days of frustration of not finding an email or phone contact and everytime I clicked on the support tab it brought me to this chat site, but I couldn't seem to ask a question (I didn't even know about registering!). Once I did figure it out the support was great and was better than any I had experience thus far.

So my comment would be to make it easier for novices to find the forum with an upfront explanation of how it works.
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JimH

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2007, 07:32:23 am »

So my comment would be to make it easier for novices to find the forum with an upfront explanation of how it works.
That's a good suggestion.  I noticed at least one other person -JusinChase- said something almost the same thing.  We'll try to do something about it.  One problem we have is that people are sometimes not patient enough to read. 
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jack wallstreet

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2007, 08:41:06 am »

I am a pretty competent computer person.  I build my own pcs from scratch and have used various video and audio editing software for years.  My comments on J River support are as follows:

1.   There have been other software vendors that have provided good support.  Many do not, especially when they get big and canít respond.  I have found some smaller firms responsive and some not.  Some of the smaller firms have been particularly responsive and while J River is the best at addressing user issues, I have had other situations where developers of small commercial programs have directly responded to my emails and made program fixes.  We have all had companies that donít respond at all or answer questions, but no fixes.

2.   J Riverís formal help system,  as far as I know, is non-existent.  You must use the forum.  For some people this is going to be problematic because they are not used to a forum and its quirks (not speaking of MCís forum necessarily, just all forums in general.

3.   That being said, I personally am very pleased with the MC forum and the level of support and the incredible responsiveness of the MC development staff.  I have never seen anything like this responsiveness.

4.           Other comments

           MC 12 is a complex product with an incredible varierty of usage styles and a large variance in user abilities and understanding.

           Yes, the forum has quirks.  You do have to pay attention to how you write stuff in order to get a response.   Yes, you can get stuff deleted and yes, you can get snippy replies.  I have had all of these happen to me.  All of these issues are par for the course and I think this forum is truly excellent and I attribute all of the less than perfect happenings to things I said.  I donít blame anyone and donít think that is a problem with the forum.

   The moderation and the attention to we users by J River is beyond exceptional.  I didnít know JimH was the owner.  I am even more impressed.

   One of the things that makes the forum so excellent is that things happen as a result of the forum.  Not only can we get answers and suggestions from users, we here from the developers AND improvements get made (often very quickly) as a result of the user activity on the forum

5.   Potential suggestions.  I have these because Jim asked, not because they are a problem.

           For users that want a simple way to get their questions answered and just want MC12 to work in a simple way (not many complex demands), the system seems a bit deficient.  This could cost sales.  You could have a newbie forum or even an email system where simple questions could get handled.  You may not want to do that do to staffing resources, but I still think that the participation in the forum is very intimidating for some types of users.

                     The forum could be divided into sections, more than it is.  For example the Ipod/Handheld breakout is excellent, but potentially breaking into several operational categories MAY help: iinstallation issues/questions, video issues, audio issues, input/output issues, display issues, etc.  I am not even sure how I feel about that, but other forums do this that I use and it can be helpful.  The search function would have to be able to stay within a group or cut across all.


                     An updated help file should be considered if the resources can be spared.There is tremendous information out there on the wiki, but I assume for many it is difficult to find and, again, MC is so powerful and flexible that it is sometime difficult to get the message across.  If the resources could be made available, I would look at two types of help: one for the person who more or less wants to use MC for simple needs and another for those that push it.  This is more of a marketing comment than anything else.  I know people don't read.  I may be one of the few who loves manuals, and even I don't look at the manual much anymore, but I still think that is something to consider. 

                   Another marketing tool may be to have MC have an initial setup that is consistent and idiot proof (to extent practical) so people don't get intimidated and confused  - and then abandon the product (e.g., Itunes).  There might then be a "switch"  to turn on the flexibility for we more powerful users.  I have to admit, I am not sure what that setup would be.  I am just talking concept.


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TimAlexander

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2007, 12:47:28 pm »

One of the things that surprised me when I first went looking for help of an sort was that the forums were the only place to go.  It wasn't immediately obvious that developers were on the forums - it looked like a community site.  My initial reaction was to wonder why I had just paid for a product only to be subject to community-based support.  I've since learned that I was quite wrong, and I've found that most of my queries and/or bug reports are addressed by a member of the development team.  Usually quite quickly.

So what would I change?  I'd add a knowledge base.  It could be something as simple as a collection of posts addressing various issues/problems, etc.  I think that might be more straightforward to many users, particularly the new ones, than going to the forums.  Can't find what you need in the KB?  Try the forums.

I'm one of those users out on the fringe, I believe.  I don't use MC for anything beyond organizing music and managing podcasts, then transferring things to my iPod.  I could care less about the server capabilities or Tivo or any post mentioning Theater View.  Based on the posts I see in this forum, I'm in the minority.  I do, however, have a decent sized library (~15K items), so any talk of a two-tiered system for MC based on library size sounds quite bad to me.  :)

What else would I change?  I'd dedicate a developer to nothing but podcast support.  And he'd call me every day to see if I was happy.   ;D
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Magic_Randy

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2007, 12:50:03 pm »

I voted that the support is "Much better".  Why?

1) Because it is
2) Most other consumer product offerings have a firewall of sorts - you cannot even reach them, much less get a reply to a support question (unless you are paying a lot for a support call)
3) Building on point 2), there is no way to provide feedback that will improve the product - they do not listen.

But why is my point 2 & 3 true, even when dealing with major companies? - they cannot afford to provide one on one high quality support for products that are priced so low. That is a fact.

So what makes JRiver better?
1) They try. What other company has their president and top development managers & staff on the forum every day - including coverage on Saturday, Sunday & holidays.
2) They tell the truth - if they are not going to do it - they tell you
3) They are using the right model - the only way, IMO, that you can provide quality support for a low priced offering is by leveraging a community. That is what this forum is about.  The community of users, with active passionate moderators, works with the JRiver team to help each other.  This is the winning model for OSS as well as low cost commercial software.
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BartMan01

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2007, 02:21:44 pm »

I voted 'not as good' for one simple reason:
There is no 100% reliable way to contact JRiver and get an answer to a question/problem (sometimes a bad answer is better than none).  This forum is the ONLY means of support, and there are many posts that never get a response.  This usually progresses in to one of the following:

1)  User reposts with more information and gets help (best scenario).
2)  User gets frustrated and goes away (sometimes even lose a customer).
3)  Already frustrated user posts a complaint (word choice reflects level of frustration) about lack of response to what they felt was a legitimate question/issue.  Some forum regulars try to help user, others attack user and post spirals down in to mud slinging mess.

Given that this forum is the ONLY method of support:  JRiver should answer every post with an issue/question that has not been addressed by the other forum members.  Even if that response is 'we don't know/can't help with this/will never implement this/etc.' at least the user knows there post has been seen and considered.
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skylarplane

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2007, 03:22:20 pm »

I can't say enough on how exceptional your support is especially
John Gateley who has been so patient in helping me resolve my
problem with my database being tied up.  He's stuck with for
several days in trying to resolve my problem, this is truly a
rarity in software support.

Thanks to all

Skylar
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edbro

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2007, 03:36:53 pm »

I can't say enough on how exceptional your support is especially
John Gateley who has been so patient in helping me resolve my
problem with my database being tied up.  He's stuck with for
several days in trying to resolve my problem, this is truly a
rarity in software support.

Thanks to all

Skylar
Yes, I followed that one loosely and I was extremely impressed with the amount of support given. I think most other vendors would have politely asked you to just go away.
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John Gateley

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2007, 05:24:46 pm »

It wasn't immediately obvious that developers were on the forums - it looked like a community site.

Thanks Tim - I've updated my profile to better reflect that I work at JRiver

j

benn600

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2007, 05:25:29 pm »

Quote
If I remember right, the last time I posted a question, the responses I got were irrelevant and sarcastic.

I'd really like to say something.  I get annoyed when I don't catch a topic (like this one) until it's beyond my patience level...not gonna read it all.

But I really like that the devs do respond from time but again, it's good that they spend their time developing!  I'd rather them add DVD saved tagging support, for example, than joke about everything under the sun.

I especially like the *essentially* daily updates (internal or public) but am often confused/surprised/delighted to see what J River has actually been working on the past few weeks or so.  Who knew Radio mode was on the way?  I just wonder how or who actually decides what to work on.  Does Jim go, "Hmmm, what should we do next?"  "What do our customers want?"  I have some ideas if you're looking for things to do next!!
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JimH

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2007, 06:32:55 pm »

Here's another snapshot of the results so far:

Not as good or much worse 13%
About the same 11%
Better or much better 76%

The last one was 12/12/76.  Not much change.  I still think the better/much better will decline over time, but I'd be happy with anything over 60%.

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Matt

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Re: POLL: How would you rate JRiver's support for MC?
« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2007, 06:44:32 pm »

I just wonder how or who actually decides what to work on.

We use a Magic Eight Ball.
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center
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