It’s maddening when free software tricks you into installing unwanted junk. It’s even worse when the culprit is a program you’ve paid good money for. So I’m grateful to reader Billy Jenkins, who drew my attention to a particularly brazen offender.
The program is Magix Music Maker, an audio-production tool aimed at budding composers. It comes bundled with a selection of digital instruments and plug-ins, which is all well and good. However, the installer also includes a tool called Simpliclean, which promises to clean up your registry, clear out junk files and so forth. That might sound useful, but it has nothing to do with making music (unless it plays a little tune as it obliterates rubbish).
To be fair, the presentation isn’t exactly sneaky. If you’re paying attention during the installation process you can easily untick the Simpliclean box before clicking Next. Or, you might even decide to give the software a whirl.
Unfortunately, what the installer doesn’t tell you is that Simpliclean isn’t a fully functional, standalone program. It’s loaded with non-working buttons that, when clicked, merely invite you to shell out for the full Simplitec Power Suite (see screenshot). Make no mistake, this isn’t just an unwanted add-on – it’s adware.
As if that weren’t aggravating enough, Magix also silently installs a tool for burning media on to CDs and DVDs. Because my PC doesn’t have an optical drive, this is entirely useless to me – yet there’s no way to opt out of installing it, even if you choose a custom installation. So that’s another bit of unwanted software being dumped on to my hard drive without my consent.
It’s a shame, because Magix Music Maker itself is a pretty decent program: the price is reasonable and it has some impressively advanced features. But if the publisher is going to pull tricks like this – foisting unwanted adware on me, and thoughtlessly loading up my system with useless accessories – I’m taking my business elsewhere.
Magix Music Maker Beat Box 2023
- Full control over your sound: MIDI Grid Launchpad
- Easy to play and record: with MUSIC MAKER 2023 Premium, the ultimate software for song and beatmaking
- VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS BY MIDI: VST Bridge for supporting 32 bit plugins
- More power: 64-bit program and multi-core audio engine