Why you should never consider buying StuffIt

I’ve seen a few reviews of StuffIt Deluxe online, but they never seem to mention the truth about StuffIt, which is that you should never, ever consider buying it. Here’s why it will be a major waste of money:

  • StuffIt Deluxe 7 included minor bug fixes up to version 7.0.3.
  • StuffIt Deluxe 8 ($30 upgrade) included minor bug fixes up to version 8.0.2.
  • StuffIt Deluxe 9 ($30 upgrade) included minor bug fixes up to version 9.0.2.
  • Stuffit Deluxe 10 ($30 upgrade) included minor bug fixes up to version 10.0.2.
  • StuffIt Deluxe 11 ($30 upgrade) included minor bug fixes up to version 11.0.2.
  • StuffIt Deluxe 12 ($30 upgrade) is currently at version 12.0.1.

My personal story is that I bought it back at version 8. They released version 9 about a month afterward (and I had to pay the upgrade fee). I didn’t mind upgrading, though, because the .sitx format’s JPEG compression looked awesome.

Of course, it didn’t actually compress JPEGs like they claimed, so StuffIt was virtually useless. I figured that they’d release an update to fix the problem, though, and they did.

It was called StuffIt Deluxe 10. And it was still buggy and not fulfilling their promises.

According to my records, I also bought the update to version 11. I’m not really sure why. I must have been taking stupid pills. Apparently, I’ve given whoever the hell owned or owns StuffIt (it seems to change every other year) almost $180 for software that doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.

Now we’re up to version 12 (which I have not purchased an upgrade for; gee, go figure), and I will bet you money (how’s $30 sound?) that we’ll see version 13 before we see 12.0.4.

StuffIt Deluxe will not help you. Smith Micro will take your money and laugh all the way to the bank, then turn around and sincerely ask for an upgrade fee.

Admittedly, .sitx files are pretty cool and a helluva lot more effective than zips (as long as the rest of the world doesn’t need to see your compressed files). Of course, you could always just buy PathFinder 4 ($35, or $18 upgrade from version 3; currently at version 4.8.3), which includes .sitx compression and decompression.

Why this completely out-of-the-blue rant? I had to compress an image file way, way down and found myself at the StuffIt website wondering if I should upgrade. Fortunately I neglected my stupid pills this morning, and I remembered that PathFinder had added .sitx compression. After that close call I decided to remind myself (and others) once and for all why you should never even remotely consider buying StuffIt Deluxe. I’m actually a little perplexed how the software has persisted this way for so long without someone with actual clout calling it to the carpet.

4 responses to “Why you should never consider buying StuffIt”

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  1. chezfugu says:

    Yeah, I agree. Totally. I’m an avid PathFinder fan. The last time I used StuffIt was with OS9 (the free StuffIt Expander).

  2. Bruce says:

    JPGs are already compressed as much as they can be. Witness the loss of quality when you edit them and save multiple times. ANY external compression algorithm will not be able to compress them much more. You might save a percent or two, hardly worth worrying about.

    BTW, you can nearly always find a free software solution to any problem – some better than others, some of course not as good as the best commercial solution in their space – but for utilities like file compression, there are many free implementations to choose from.

    Thanks for the tip on Excel carriage returns, that’s why I came here…

  3. Ian Beck says:

    I have no idea how they managed it, but StuffIt’s JPEG compression is actually surprisingly effective in most situations that I tested it. I had my doubts initially, too, but they indeed figured out an algorithm to compress a file format that was already compressed.

    Still not worth purchasing, though. It’s pretty shitty in every other respect.

  4. Mack says:

    I started with Version 8.52m then got 9, 9.5 (I think somewhere I actually got a free upgrade), then 11 and now 12. I like the jpg compression, but what’s really gnawing my bacon is that this version keeps tripping up over itself and crashing. No more stuffit for me, shall be looking at Pathfinder and of course the several free options available..

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