What Sonic Foundry Owes to CD Architect Users

RixWare wrote on 3/11/2001, 3:10 PM
Dear Sonic Foundry,

Having just installed a new 12x CD-RW drive, I discovered
that CD Architect is no more. That's a real shame, and
greatly frustrating, because it is truly the only program
of its type out there (I've been searching now for about 48
hours for something comparable -- or even close -- with no

Numerous professionals rely upon your program because it is
powerful and very easy and quick to use (like your other
software). I am one such professional who has used CD
Architect to create masters on about a dozen projects for
paying clients over the last two years.

But since you have decided to abandon this wonderful
product, please do not leave us hanging. You owe your loyal
users a couple of things:

1) Create one last legacy upgrade which will ensure
detection of and compatibility with MMC-compliant drives.
This will allow many newly-introduced drives to be
recognized and used without further development on your

2) Create an interface and/or publish specifications so
that third parties (or manufacturers) may begin writing
drivers for other new non-MMC writers as they become

3) Publish a detailed description of the CDP and/or CD
Image file formats so that conversion utilities may be
properly written by third parties to allow other burning
software to utilize project files created by CD Architect.

4) In lieu of the above, provide detailed help in the FAQ
on using CD Architect to create projects which can then be
burned by other commercially-available burning software.

Finally, if you are going to replace CD Architect in your
product line with a new CD-creation tool (as hinted at in
one message), announce it now and let us help beta-test it.
You may save some customers that way.

As you can tell from reading messages on this board, there
is a devoted group of users who want to continue to use
this product, and will do so by any means. And the number
of those who become angry and frustrated with Sonic Foundry
is only going to grow as more people replace 1x and 2x
drives with 12x and 16x drives. It is in your best interest
to satisfy the users you have orphaned.

Thank you for your consideration.

Rick Prescott


andernk wrote on 3/12/2001, 6:28 PM
I feel cheated. I bought the Soundforge 5.0 update as soon
as it was available and imagine my surprise. Not a word
that CD architect was not compatible! This is incredibly
bogus, and the only way I confirmed that I was not doing
something wrong was on this forum. I want CD architect back.
wbe wrote on 3/31/2001, 10:37 AM
I agree with you.
MollyF wrote on 4/3/2001, 2:31 PM

I'm not a Sonic Foundry employee, but I'll respond anyway.

1) CD Architect does support all new MMC compliant drives.
However, not all manufacturers are truly MMC compliant.
Even though they may say so.

2) A driver API or SDK? How will they pay for this? CD
Architect was losing money (otherwise they wouldn't have
dropped it). Sonic Foundry is losing money!! Doesn't anyone
know this?? They are desperately trying to turn this around
and putting scarce resources into unprofitable products
won't help. I truly believe the people at Sonic Foundry
love CD Architect. But their jobs are on the line.

3) The CDP is Sonic Foundry's intellectual property. Would
someone be willing to pay for this? What if they decide to
come out with a new CD Architect type program, or add all
of CD Architects functionality to a future product?
Publishing the CDP would only support a competitor? What if
they decide to sell CD Architect to someone like Adaptec?
Wouldn't releasing the CDP format lower the value of CD
Architect to potential buyers?
RixWare wrote on 4/10/2001, 11:40 AM

Good points all. In fact, I have since gotten my drive to
work with CD-A by implementing the work-around I found on
this board. (Luckily, my new drive did turn out to be fully
MMC compliant as promised, and the CD-A generic drivers
worked. To see how, go to: www.rixware.com/cdarchitect)

But I think the original points stand, with perhaps one
clarification drawn from your post.

CD-Architect is an amazing product which was, perhaps,
poorly marketed. Selling it to another manufacturer would
solve Sonic Foundry's problem (making money) and ours
(burning CDs). If this is their intent, or if they plan to
roll CD-A's feature set into another product, great! That
solves our problem without releasing any proprietary
information or going through any further development. In
fact, publish the beta and I'll gladly help test it.

But if they are NOT going to do this, and are planning to
simply shelve the product (as they have indicated
repeatedly), then they have nothing to lose and much to
gain by making it possible for current users to keep using
it. That's really the point of my original post.

It becomes a question of customer relations. Just look on
this board to see how many people are frustrated and
confused by this decision and are punishing Sonic Foundry
by not buying the new products. And for every one that
actually posts their dissatisfaction, there are probably a
bunch more that make the same decision and say nothing.

Sonic Foundry is a great company with great products (I
also use Acid and Vegas). They shouldn't abandon the folks
who have already paid for CD-A. And they definitely
shouldn't orphan a product that so many people like and
use, and would certainly pay money to upgrade.

sasha wrote on 4/11/2001, 3:55 PM
Hi there.
Although it may sound (and probably is ;) an ugly solution,
After installation of SF5 and quick realization that CD-A
isn't going to work, I've created another win installation
on the same machine and installed 4.5+CD-A on it...(CD-R
driver, too) && (Different directories, of course). So, I
can make my edit/create -> save -> reboot to new win
installation -> use your CD-A.

Ugly, I know -- but I like it too much, and, as many of you
are pointing out, money are already spent...

MollyF wrote on 4/13/2001, 11:25 AM
I appreciate where you're coming from. I agree, Sonic
Foundry shouldn't just let this program die.

However, just a few points -

You say CD Architect was poorly marketed. Hmmm.. I remember
seeing ads for CD Architect in all the major MI magazines,
it was promoted and sold to the same distribution channel
as Sound Forge, ACID and now Vegas. What more could they do?

Especially when you see the sales numbers. CD Architect
simply did not sell very well. Maybe it was priced too
high, but it had a lot more functionality for mastering
audio CDs than generic CD burning apps like Easy CD Creator
or Nero. So I think it was worth more.

I'm sort of bummed because I know how many of my fellow
musicians are using warez copies of their software. It is a
problem with musicians and artists -- a lot of people using
free copies of Photoshop, Sound Forge, Cakewalk, etc., etc.
I know a lot of people use free copies of general office
applications, but their market is so large that it doesn't
have as much impact on them. But for companies like Sonic
Foundry it's a big problem. They can't expand their market
as easily -- there are only so many musicians that are
willing to PAY for their software. So they have to expand
into consumer markets or services for the masses (there
media services efforts).
Doug_Marshall wrote on 4/13/2001, 11:45 PM
Excellent points, Molly. Sonic Foundry certainly did
promote CDA right up until last summer. I'm guessing it's
exotic feature set was just too sophisticated for the
general public (like me) to appreciate. When I first
started burning disks I used the free software bundled with
my burner and made perfectly respectable disks. Being
curious I bought CDA when it came out, installed it, stared
at it, and closed it. I had bought it but it was beyond
what I needed. About a year later, when I decided to learn
how to do my own editing instead of paying someone else
$100 an hour to do it, I finally began to appreciate--and
need--CDA's features.

CDA is/was a professional tool, the best of the best. I
hope against hope that someone will rescue it and update it
at some price.

dougsha wrote on 4/14/2001, 1:12 AM
Frankly, I feel cheated by Sonic Foundry. I jumped to
upgrade to SF 5.0 and was appalled at the pathetic support
for burning CD's. Then when I got a new TDK CD-burner
standalone CD Architect, which I paid for and upgraded,
stopped working.

Are there any companies offering competitive upgrades for
sound editing and cd burning tools?

Has Sonic Foundry ever issued a statement about CD
Architect and current (burned) users?

Doug Sharp
Caruso wrote on 4/20/2001, 4:16 AM
So, if I'm not using SF5.0, will CDA work for me, where can
I purchase it, and, would someone tell me all about this
exotic feature set?

My mind (yes, my mind) is salivating to know what features,
other than simply burning the plastic, are included in this
program that you are all so dedicated to it.

Then, again, I drooled over the web pages describing
VegasVideo, and finally purchased it. So, I would expect
that SF would be consistent in making a CD burning program
that is more appealing than other programs available.

Thanks in advance for the info.

Doug_Marshall wrote on 4/20/2001, 12:18 PM
Caruso, CDA's interface is very much like a single track
version of Vegas in terms of editing. You can have multiple
files on the time line (or a single file), and do volume
envelopes, fades, crossfades, etc. all similar to Vegas.
And you have complete control of the position of track and
index markers, unlike other software. Like Vegas, you can
preview the results of your edits in real time and all the
edits are non-destructive. The beauty of this is that it's
super fast and all in one piece of software from edits to
final burn. Without CDA it would take more steps and more
software applications to achieve the same results -- and a
lot more time. That is why CDA users are so upset that CDA
is gone. - Doug
faderboy wrote on 4/20/2001, 2:38 PM
Gee thanks...

I've been a loyal user of SF products since 1996, with a
bundled version of XP, and have been using CDA since 1998,
and have charted numerous times with it, including A #1 for
harpist Lisa Lynne... After waiting, IMHO, too many years
for you to upgrade Sound Forge to 24-bit, you dispose of
the the best CD authoring program ever, without any notice
of it, and replace it with a joke... Perhaps Sonic Foundry
has no concern for those of us who make our living as audio
engineers, since you obviously make your money selling ACID
to DJs...

The least you could have done is allow those of us who have
PAID for it to continue to use it as a plugin... I agree
completely with Rixware, if you're not going to continue
the product, at least TELL US about it, and release the
file spec so that those of use who use it can continue to
do so...

Without Regards,


celloplayer wrote on 4/21/2001, 9:53 AM
Can anyone give a definitive answer to this?
Will the update to SF5 install itself along beside SF4
allowing both of these (and as a result CDA) to be used?

Doug_Marshall wrote on 4/21/2001, 4:20 PM
Yes, according to Sonic Foundry, SF4 and SF5 can coexist on
the same machine. Others have reported success at this but
there have also been reports that once SF5 is on the
machine SF4 cannot be easily reinstalled because a "newer
version" message halts the install process.
JOJOKIDMUSIC wrote on 4/24/2001, 3:40 PM
I am also a CDA user since day one and a Logic Platinum
user on PC. ( I have SF 5.0 and ACID pro 2.0)I am extremely
disappointed that SF did not continue this, it just leaves
the door open to go look at other venders. Steinberg has
something which will do great CD burning (I am told) but
they have a competive product to Sound Forge. I'm tempted
to look at the whole bundle. I think that it would be wise
for SF to offer the suite of products that will assist with
our editing, mastering and finish the job with CD burning.
I will begin to bug the higher ups at SF.
I will look at wave burner also, but it was nice that CDA
launched right from SF.
By the way, did you really hear that SF may be offereing
some upgrade in the near future? Thanks
JOJOKIDMUSIC wrote on 4/24/2001, 3:48 PM
WOW. Thanks for the information. I use Sound Forge, and
ACID and rely on these tools for final products. I have a
number of releases to show. BUT BUT BUT, I can't invest
more time and money on this company if they are fighting a
losing battle. This may be time to jump ship to another
editor and integrated CD burner. I believe Steinberg has
one and it has good reviews. Or hopefully CDA will come
back. Thanks, Paul
MollyF wrote on 4/25/2001, 12:24 AM
You sure are clever. How many posts do you think it will
take? Drop a few more hints about Steinberg's product, but
be careful. Spread them out over time and nobody else will
notice that you work for them. SLEAZE!!!
ritualdevice wrote on 7/5/2001, 2:26 PM
Actually Molly, if there's anyone who's behavior has been suspect, it's you.

Why so defensive? Worried about your stock price?

Sonic Foundry screwed their users bigtime when they dropped CD Architect support from SF5. They could just as easily have allowed the current version of CDA to run in SF5, but they chose to do us dry instead.

The product that I'm going to use from now on, and that I recommend to all CDA users is Steinberg's GetItOnCD 2.0. Read about it at Steinberg.net.

Just because I recommend other products doesn't mean I work for Steinberg. I'm just pissed at the latest of Sonic Foundry's bad moves. (Going public is always the beginning of the end for a good company) And since it was a huge problem for me to figure out how to replace CDA, I figured I'd help some of my comrades by passing on the info.
Proteinbar wrote on 7/5/2001, 6:23 PM
Just installed my 20x Yamaha CRW2200EZ and got it to burn a 650MB cd in about 5 minutes using the ATAPI MMC instructions. THANKS REXWARE!!!!!!

I got Sound Forge XP and CDA free with my last burner. I was amazed at the great software functionality and quality. It led me to buy Acid DJ and many loops. I really wish SonicFoundry would continue CDA...it is a great product.
MollyF wrote on 7/11/2001, 9:56 AM
I'm not a stock holder. You have an interesting bias, though.

Many speak about how Sonic Foundry has screwed them. That they have an obligation to support them, etc. Where does this come from? Like any business, Sonic Foundry has to make money to survive. This means, they have to generate more revenue than they spend. If the costs of a product are higher than the revenue it generates, there is a problem. These costs include development costs for new updates (drivers, etc.), technical support, etc.

I'm just speculating, but maybe, CD Architect falls into that category. It just doesn't generate very much revenue. Would you be willing to pay a lot more for it, so that it would at least break even?

I really wish they would continue support for CD Architect. I would prefer to see a version that is not tied to Sound Forge. A stand-alone version that could work with any editor would be great.
Geoff_Wood wrote on 7/14/2001, 6:33 AM
CD Arch was loosing money. SF drop it just as CD burning becomes a mass-market activity. Doh.

Unlike others I am not confused, and know I can use CDA now and in the future with it's MMC-compatible drive support, SF5 or not.

However the are a few updates and tweaks that could improve this excellent product, and SF seem to be tripping on too much acid not to have noticed that things have changed since they made their dubious decsion.
Geoff_Wood wrote on 7/14/2001, 6:35 AM
Caruso, if you are so disinterested, why are you here ?
DataCowboy wrote on 7/16/2001, 3:54 PM
Your bias is at least as interesting as his.

You are correct that a company is not obligated in any way towards its customers beyond any contractual obligations created by the initial purchase of the software.

By this same token, we are not obligated to continue to purchase their products nor recommend them to others.

So does Sonic Foundry deserve the flack their getting? Maybe, maybe not. Doesn't matter and here's why:

The discontinuation of product that we use will force us to invest additional time and money in another product. Most people dislike learning new software, and it takes time. And to use the most business-like phrase around, "time is money". So the discontinuation is literally costing us money.

So if a company is going to abruptly discontinue a product for financial reasons and force its users to likely incur a finincial loss because of it, the customers would have to be idiots not to take that into account in their future dealings with that company, and not let the company know of their displeasure, lest they do it again.

And most companies count on customer loyalty to move their products. Upgrades, new products, etc. rely on sales forecasts that include "loyal customers" desiring to upgrade or buy new products based on a previous relationship with the company. Don't expect customers to be loyal if you're not going to show them the same.

And it's likely we could count on one hand the number of small companies that succeed without customer loyalty.

And yes, I would be willing to pay more for a product that continued to surpass what was available elsewhere, like CD Architect did, and didn't force me to waste time learning new software.

But I wasn't given that option.


"Deserves ain't got nothing to do with it"
-Clint Eastwood in _Unforgiven_
CharlesGarrett wrote on 7/21/2001, 9:03 AM
Actually, I just tried to install CD-A and was unaware of these problems. After visiting this board, I'm thinking, why not install it as XP/Stand-alone, which is an instalation option instead of the plug-in install?
Dylan_W wrote on 7/26/2001, 3:29 PM
I guess what confuses me about dropping CD Architect is that right after Sonic Foundry did this they started supporting TAO recording with ACID and now with Sound Forge 5. So if Sonic Foundry can support newer CDR drives with these apps, then why not with CD Architect? If Sonic Foundry didn't make enough money with CD Architect, then maybe dropping the price down (to $99 for example) would help sell it. I certainly would assume that they would sell a billion copies of it if it were in the same price range as Easy CD Creator Pro. Up until now, I have never been able to fork out enough money for CD Architect, but I recently picked up a Microboards bundle with a burner, SCSI card, and CD Architect for $90 on e-Bay, so I'll finally be able to use it on my own machine. But I can guarantee you that had Sonic Foundry sold CD Architect for less than $300 that just about every musician would have bought it by now. Not that I agree with people using cracked copies because they can't afford to buy the software, but unfortunately, most people expect to pay very little money for software these days. IMO, Sonic Foundry did a great thing when they sold Sound Forge 5 for only $100. Selling large quantities of software for less is unfortunately the only way that most software companies can stay in business these days.