June DVD "free prog" may not be free ?

  dave the cave 14:00 08 May 2008

I recently bought PC Advisor (issue: June 2008) in the hope of being able to install Radiotracker 4.0 SE. This is stated as being FREE software and a FULL PROGRAM that is on the DVD supplied with the issue. The magazine states that Online Registration is required.

The problem is that during installation of the product, there was no option to register.
After running the product, it locks you out of all features unless you pay for the full product!

Forgive me, but if the program is not free then is this not fraudulent advertising, or is it me? Have I missed some secret place where I need to register, for I can find nothing in the application.

Can anyone suggest if it’s me or the magazine?
There must be thousands of similar people who cannot access this program.

Thanks, Dave

  Taff™ 14:10 08 May 2008

Co-incidentally I loaded the program this morning and although I have`nt spent too much time on it I can`t get it to do anything worthwhile. I must read the help files. Like you every time I try something I get the message that the feature is only available in the Platinum Version. I even downloaded the free update.

Anyone got it to do anything?

  Totally-braindead 15:02 08 May 2008

I tend not to install any of the freebies as lots of them are not as advertised, in my opinion at least. Either its a full version for a few days and then unless you buy it it cuts out any of the features you wanted anyway, and this in my opinion makes it a trial not a full version or its a Lite version which is probably what the SE is and is completely useless as any of the parts you would actually want are disabled, and that to me at least is a demo really.

What annoys me about the "full versions" is the price sometimes mentioned as the price advertised is for the full version but if the program either doesn't work fully from the start or cuts off after a certain period of time then they are not "full versions" and the subsequent advertisement of worth £50 or whatever it is is untrue as its worth nothing.

I would not pay for a trial and I certainly wouldn't pay for a demo.

Don't get me wrong sometimes the full version is exactly what it says, sometimes its older software, and that to me if fine I'm happy with that but I got fed up installing so called full programs only to be extremely dissappointed when I discovered they were not full programs and in my opinion were worth nothing. Can't point any recent programs out as an example as I just don't even try them anymore. Maybe things have changed?

  dave the cave 15:28 08 May 2008

I agree totally. If the prog is time-limited or disabled in any way IT IS NOT A FULL PROGRAM.

Although these are offered without charge on a cover DVD or CD, the law still insists that descriptions should be accurate.
The legal issue here being that PC Advisor sell their magazines on a promise of free full programs and therefore customers DO spend a fiver. The Trade Descriptions Act should therefore come into play. Or am I wrong?

It would be interesting to hear what the magazine have to say.........


  pj123 16:31 08 May 2008

I get the PCA Magazine on Subscription.

I have never installed anything off the cover DVDs.

Most of it is a load of rubbish.

  Totally-braindead 16:39 08 May 2008

The trouble is the program you mention is the SE version. And SE normally denotes that its a cheaper cut down version anyway - which lets face it appears to be what you have - and as such is quite possibly the full program IE the full version of the SE edition if you take my meaning.
We have had this arguement/discussion before in Speakers Corner.
I don't install coverdisks for the reasons I have already given.

  RickyC :-) 17:31 08 May 2008

dave the cave - RadioTracker 4 SE does indeed require online registration - Marg7 correctly states that there's a link from the initial screen within the software installation program to allow you to register.

As Totally-braindead points out - the version on the disc is an SE edition, it is a fully-working application. There are additional features in the Platinum edition, click here for more details or to buy direct from the Avanquest site.

The debate concerning full programs on the cover discs has been rumbling since I started - my 7 year anniversary at PC Advisor will be next week (I'll be expecting a card from my good friends Totally-braindead and pj123 ;-) - and the situation hasn't changed in that time.

When we offer a program on the disc as a fully-working application, this is precisely what it will be. Sometimes this will be a version that is still available in retail stores, some will be 'SE' or 'Lite' editions, where features that may not be present in the version that is on the disc, are available in an 'extended' version of the software.

Usually when this is the case, the software developer will be offering PC Advisor readers a special discount on a purchase of other software - the reason software developers participate in cover disc promotions is so that they can get their products seen and encourage our readers to purchase their other applications.

The claim that most of the cover disc contain rubbish is laughable.


P.S. Look out for the July issue's DVD, which will contain a 6-month licence for Kaspersky AntiVirus 7 - which users can upgrade to the soon-to-be-released Kaspersky AntiVirus 2009 edition from July 1st free of charge!

  Totally-braindead 19:38 08 May 2008

Another 6 month free licence for an anti virus program just what I need.

No offence Richard I'm sure its a differcult thing to get enough stuff each month to fill a coverdisk, especially the DVD version and the Kaspersky is a great product but do we really need to see an AV every other month? Lets face it its limited in its use, its great for those that are about to change their anti virus software but its no use for the rest of us. Unless you advocate deleting present anti virus products and installing a new one every other month.

I'm not advocating what pj123 is saying exactly. I wouldn't say the cover disk contains rubbish but perhaps you would accept my point that the coverdisk contains loads of programs that are useless to me. Unless I want to spend a great deal of time adding/removing programs for no good reason.
Last mag I bought was the May one. Full programs are a photostudio which is basic and in my opinion is outshone with the 2 free programs Picassa and Faststone Image Viewer(did actually try it out of curiousity). Another Internet Security suite no use as theres no way I am deleting my old AV and trying a new one every other month, Roxio CD creator, meant to be the full version but haven't tried it as its labelled Basic which means to me that it probably won't do what I want it to do so its a waste of time trying it. A firewall program, same as my AV point, why would I want to delete my old one and then spend time learning about and setting up a new one. And a data backup program, might be useful but I doubt it.

Sorry CD Editor but theres nothing on the coverdisks I find in any way useful. They are fine for someone just getting a new computer or for someone whos anti virus is just coming up for renewal but otherwise they are not much use.

PS I'll send you a card. Happy Anniversary.

  laurie53 20:31 08 May 2008

"Sorry CD Editor but theres nothing on the coverdisks I find in any way useful."

Surprised that someone can not find such things as CC Cleaner, Spybot, ZoneAlarm or Firefox in any way useful, to say nothing of Adobe Reader.

On a personal level I have been using Replay Radio and Digiguide, to mention but two, through several upgrades over the years having first used a coverdisc trial version.

  dave the cave 20:44 08 May 2008

Dear Software Ed,

I appreciate what you say. I have often installed free progs from Magazine DVDs and mostly found them to be FULL products where stated and to be very useful indeed. In fact many of the progs on my pooter have been provided gratis in this manner.

You mention that Radio Tracker 4.0 has "a link from the initial screen within the software installation program to allow you to register".

Where do you mean exactly: after installing the program then running it?
If so, I have seen the window which only asks you to pay for two paid versions OR insert your registration number......, Which I do not have. There was no option to register at any stage. Hence my frustration.


  dave the cave 05:38 09 May 2008


Many thanks for your two replies. Very helpful indeed. I have now uninstalled the programme and will try again as you suggested initially.... although I am normally very careful to follow all instructions and don't remember seeing what you describe.... but that must be down to me being a dozy sod!

Thanks again, Dave

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