Should I, again, feel bamboozled by JRiver?

It’s that time of year again, when JRiver send out a time-limited discount offer on a new version of their Media Center software.

I’ve used it as my music player and file library for years, since MC17 infact.

MC26 will be available around the end of the year, and a pre-order before the end of the month secures a 30% discount. Nice.

The problem is that once again no information is provided that gives me a compelling, or any, reason to buy the upgrade. There’s no detail of additional features or performance enhancements. Indeed, all I’ve received is an offer of an early purchase incentive.

I wonder how many music fans who want a great easy-to-use file player will not buy Media Center because they don’t know what is in prospect.

On the face of it, the single license price of around US$30 seems a bargain, but add in an annual ‘repurchase’ when the inevitable new version is released, and it seems like a subscription.

I have to say, again, I love this product, but I find the JRiver business model to be a little uncomfortable. Why not just tell me what is being offered, so that I can assess the potential value-for-money of upgrading?

So, before the discount deadline, do I purchase and hope that the new version is worthwhile for my interests, or do I wait and see then pay 30% more if I like what is then offered? I’m wary again of being bamboozled.

I feel uncertain whether or not the purchase would be good value, because I don’t know what I would be paying for. I’m sure there is no intention to cheat or fool, but I simply don’t understand why JRiver operate this way. They must have something planned for the new version. Just tell me, please.

I enquired and was directed to this by Founder/CEO Jim Hillegass:,63.0.html

There’s a section headed JRiver’s Business Model which is helpful in understanding their development process.

But I don’t see within the posts any value proposition that justifies paying another upgrade fee as an essentially audio-only user. I would like a more explicit offer of planned new features and performance enhancements included with the invitation to upgrade. Then I know what I’ll get if I buy the new version.

So, here’s the offer: pay in advance for a new version of the software that may be better in some unspecified ways. It’s an offer I can’t accept!

In the meantime, MC25 works just fine as a player and file manager.

3 thoughts on “Should I, again, feel bamboozled by JRiver?

  1. I too only use JRiver to play music.

    I sent this to JRiver:

    “Well I feel like that’s all is do is pay for upgrades. 😊
    I purchase V24 in 2018, upgraded to V25 in Jan and now you want me to upgrade for the 2nd time this year to V26”

    Jim Hillegass response:

    “You don’t need to upgrade. Thanks for your past business.”


  2. Yes, I have upgraded for several years now but decided to give up on V26. There is no compelling reason, from what I can decipher from their confused emails. Their website, marketing, licensing system etc is a dog’s breakfast. Not to mention the that fact that navigating and finding music is, in my opinion a painful experience. I hope that they will thank me for my past business too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s