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The trouble with free?

January 19th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Technology · No Comments · Technology

I fired up the PC this evening and, as usual, the first thing I kicked off was Spotify.  As it started I kept getting dialog boxes from my anti-virus software (AVG) warning me of a virus in Program Files\Spotify\Spotify.exe which it described as “Runtime packed themida” whatever the hell that means.  I ticked the box telling the AV software to ignore it, but the message kept coming back every time a new song started playing.A quick search revealed that a lot of other people have been getting the same message, which I am certain is a false positive, and that the best way to stop the messages is to go into AVG’s control panel and add Spotify.exe to the list of files to exclude from scans.  Not sure whether this is the result of a change to AVG or to Spotify but, despite the annoyance, I won’t be complaining: both products are free after all, and it didn’t take a lot to make it go away.

For what its worth, I suspect a change in the AVG signature files triggered the event

So is this all my fault for being a cheapskate?  I don’t think so.  Even the most expensive products can have bugs or incompatibilities and I would not expect free software to be any different.  It is how problems are dealt with that matters and in my experience most producers of freeware and shareware are as quick to produce fixes as more conventional companies – and open source software can be even better.

As a small consolation, after I stopped the false positives from appearing I saw on Spotify’s ‘News’ screen that Angelique Kidjo’s new album is available.  That should keep me occupied for a while.  It sounds OK so far and one that I will probably buy sooner or later, even if Robin Denselow did give it a bit of a lukewarm review in the Guardian.

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