Mariner Software acquires Narrator

Big news: my first Mac OS X application, Narrator, an app to read out stories and interviews in multiple voices, has been acquired by Minneapolis-based Mariner Software, Inc..

Mariner Software produces several Mac apps, including MacJournal, Mariner Write, Mariner Calc, StoryMill, and many more, plus apps for Windows, iPad, and iPhone. They're a great fit for Narrator, since they already have a focus on writing-related products.

So why did I decide to sell Narrator? It comes down to a lack of time. I'm basically a one-man shop: I do development, support, marketing, administration, and more, all myself. I sometimes use contractor assistance for development projects or graphic design, but the vast majority of the work I do myself. I also do contract work. So I have to prioritize my time: I can only devote so much time to each product.

Narrator was originally written back in 2002 as a fun exercise to learn the Cocoa frameworks. Then version 2 was a complete rewrite in 2008 as a way to learn Core Data and other modern technologies. But while speech technologies have always been a bit of a hobby interest with me, I haven't had enough time to enhance Narrator further. Which is a pity, as I and Narrator users have had lots of great ideas for enhancements to the app.

I finally came to the conclusion that since I couldn't give Narrator the attention it deserved, I had a choice: I could discontinue it, or let some other company take over its development.

I didn't want to discontinue Narrator, since it has such great potential, and is relied on by lots of customers, including schools and writers. So to better serve the app and its users, selling Narrator was the best option. Fortunately, Mariner Software came along at the right time, and seemed a perfect fit, since they have the resources to support multiple products, and already have apps that focus on the writing and educational markets where Narrator is most popular.

This is great news for Narrator users.

We'll make the transition as easy as possible for existing customers. Until the official switchover, you can continue to buy and get support for Narrator via the Dejal site. And once it is moved to the Mariner site, licensed users will be able to upgrade to the Mariner-branded edition of Narrator for free.

Stay tuned for news of when the changeover will occur, and further details.