It’s been some time since I posted updates on XRay. Quite recently MacUser UK published a mini round-up on Finder utilities where, somewhat to my surprise, XRay scored 5 out of 5 against 4 competitors – and also was “Editor’s Choice”. (If anyone has that specific issue – 4/2007 I’d be grateful for a scan of the printed page.) Not bad for an utility which hasn’t been updated for quite some time!

This prompted me to review my sales graph which I had somewhat neglected lately. Here’s the current curve, with annotations:

The initial spike for the 1.0 release is no doubt due to several months of public beta. I wouldn’t necessarily say this would be applicable for all cases; XRay is targeted towards developers and more proficient users. During the public beta period I released new versions every month or so and took great care in replying to any comments and suggestions. So there was a pent-up demand and a ready-made userbase waiting to register their copy in the very first week.

After that, of course, sales decayed exponentially with a slight recovery when the reasonably significant 1.0.5 release came out, with subsequent releases nearly or completely vanishing in the noise – I suppose most people who needed it had already registered. Some other blips are due to the software being included in CDROMs. Still, for the last 3 years sales have stayed reasonably flat with a slight upwards trend detectable since the Intel Macs came out; no doubt this just reflects the expanding market. There are a few peaks (marked with “??”) which I have no ready explanation for…

Still, XRay 1.1 (the current release) isn’t an universal app, though it still runs fine under Rosetta. The downside is that the XRay Contextual Menu doesn’t work, as it’s called by the Finder, which (on Intel Macs) works only with universal plug-ins. However, it’s still possible (and even faster) to select an item in the Finder and XRay it by pressing shift-command-X.

Of course, as I’ve said here now and then, XRay II (2.0) is in the works. Unfortunately the universe has lately conspired to keep me from making any significant progress; still, I’m seriously determined to have a public beta out before the year is over. Hopefully sooner. Maybe much sooner. Stay tuned.