For years now I have professed my love for Kyno as an integral part of a post-production workflow. It doesn’t matter which NLE you use, Kyno can make the whole post-production process easier as it’s a workflow tool that can do too many things to list here. I first used (and covered Kyno) back in a 2016 Useful Tools for Editors and liked it so much I prompted PVC to do a Q and A with the developers. An update in 2019 put Kyno into another Useful Tools for Editors article and made me type this statement:
I don’t think there are any other Useful Tools quite as useful as Kyno outside of the NLE itself.
I stand by that quote today as here we are some 6 + years after I first discovered Kyno and there still isn’t anything like it. These top 5 features are still top in my book.
That’s why I was disheartened to hear about the purchase of Lesspain Software by Signiant. For end-users, these kinds of acquisitions often don’t go well. Signiant is a large B2B company focused mainly on broadcast and large media and entertainment companies. Media Shuttle is the product that most people have probably heard of but when you go to the Media Shuttle pricing page you’re greeted with a Request Pricing contact form so that certainly doesn’t make one think the products are for the same userbase that Kyno was targeting. Lesspain’s Kyno
was is a small software product that was equally at home with a single editor all the way to a multi-editing-seat post-production company.
Kyno wasn’t the only company that Signiant has acquired recently. I wonder what has become of the other one?
— Michael Kammes (@michaelkammes) November 5, 2021
Once the acquisition happened fears were elevated as it seemed sales of Kyno were halted. New licenses resumed not long after that as the legal aspects of the acquisition were worked out. You can still buy a new license of Kyno today. But over the last year or so there seems to have been radio silence on what the future of Kyno really holds. The Kyno support forums are still active but customers there are wondering the same thing.
I had reached out to some of my contacts about the status of Kyno without any answer. I even tried pestering folks from Signiant.
Just tweeting this again… what’s going on here @Signiant … I had someone who today wanted to buy a copy of @lesspainsoft Kyno but can’t since the acquisition. I sure hope Signiant doesn’t screw up one of the single best video and post-production tools out there. I’m worried. https://t.co/GvveduvxwL
— Scott Simmons (@editblog) March 25, 2021
And I’m not the only one.
@Signiant did you guys kill Kyno?
— dog the bounty licker (@MikeColosseum) August 16, 2021
I’m happy to report I finally got an answer though probably not what Kyno fans like myself wanted to hear.
What is going on with Kyno?
Lesspain Software was a very small team with a very advanced product in Kyno to keep alive and updated. Signiant also has an advanced SaaS platform (among other things) that, from what I understand, could use help as far as interface and interaction from customers. They probably also had other plans in the works and saw this tool that Lesspain Software had built as an asset to where they wanted to go.
wasn’t isn’t just the software interface we all know and love and work with but there is also an underlying media engine that powers Kyno as well. That kind of technology can often be the secret sauce that a large company might be looking for when acquiring a smaller developer.
The Lesspain Software team has spent their time since the acquisition working on integrating their technology into Signiant products and, perhaps, developing new ones. That doesn’t leave the Lesspain folks much time to develop Kyno as we know it. There is only so much time in the day and their talents have been directed toward Signiant products. This should not come as a shock since that is why Signant purchased the company.
It’s not like Kyno hasn’t gotten any updates since the acquisition as the application did get updated to 1.8.5. That was released at the end of 2021 so that’s something.
Back to others wonder what has become of Kyno…
— D.L. Watson (@avideomakr) June 19, 2021
Wondering what will become of KYNO. Nothing heard from after it has been sold to. Signiant. No updates, no news. Is something new coming? @lesspainsoft
— Gert Kracht 📷🎬📚🖊🎙️#cameras&tools (@GertKracht) September 2, 2021
Where does Kyno go from here?
Exactly where Kyno goes from here is the question everyone is asking. I asked the same thing myself back in August right here on PVC. I think for the end-user, at this point, that is a bit unknown. Signiant hasn’t commented publicly, that I’ve seen, on the future of Kyno in any way other than standard corporate-speak when the acquisition happened (and believe me, I’ve asked). My chat with Signiant marketing told me what I expected in that the Lesspain team has been focused on Signiant platform products and technology. Signiant also told me that Media Shuttle along has over 1 million users from companies of all sizes and there should be news coming soon from of product updates that will bear the fruits of the labor from the Lesspain team.
The interview Larry Jordon posted this week with Signiant’s CEO seemed very non-committal to me as far as Kyno’s future is concerned.
— Rob McGreevy (@rm_edit) March 26, 2021
In a subsequent chat with Kyno’s creator Robert Krüger he confirmed just that. All Lesspain Software assets are now part of Signiant and his team is hard at work for their new employers. He apologized for the lack of communication on Lesspain’s part after the acquisition but company transitions can be lengthy and people are often bound by new duties and obligations. They have been working hard for Signiant and there are only so many hours in the day.
There is a version 1.9 of Kyno that was mentioned for a potential release about a year ago. That didn’t happen but updates take time and resources and I don’t think Signiant cares about lil old Kyno when they have their sights set on bigger Signiant things. While Kyno is running fine under Rosetta on new M1 Macs I asked if we would see an Apple Silicon native version of Kyno at some point in the future. There has been discussion of that amongst the team but the answer, at this point, is unknown.
Robert and his team invested a lot of time and money into Kyno. They had personal relationships with many of their customers. While I’m sad about the uncertain future of Kyno, I don’t begrudge the decision one bit and I wish him and his team well.
Although we haven’t heard from @lesspainsoft in quite a while, I still have hope that @Signiant wouldn’t just kill such an amazing software like Kyno. I’ve needed to do massive organizations for series and features and it has been a must have tool!
— Felipe Baez 👨🏻💻 (@baezfelipe) August 12, 2021
I do hope Signiant will look at what a unique product they have in Kyno and what a rabid fanbase this little piece of software has. I do hope they will allow time for the Lesspain, not Signiant, team to develop it. I’m not holding my breath but stranger things have happened.