User Guides

Understanding Cantabile's Licensing System

Cantabile's licensing system has been designed to be simple to use while at the same time providing the protection from piracy that any modern software business requires to survive.

For more on the background rationale behind Cantabile subscription model, see this page.

About Activation

Cantabile uses a product activation scheme where each installation requires registration with the Cantabile Software website.

Unlike other product activation schemes, Cantabile's licensing is not designed to restrict properly licensed users from installing on multiple machines. Rather it's intended as a mechanism to stop the runaway piracy that occurs when a stolen serial number or license key is public posted to hacker forums.

Activated installations don't need to be de-activated - so long as you're within the terms of the license agreement (which is very liberal) you should never encounter issues with extra installations.

For information on what the license agreement entitles you to, see Installation on Multiple Machines

Online Activation

Online activation is the easiest way to activate Cantabile and is almost trivial to use:

  • Start Cantabile
  • You'll be prompted to enter you email address and license key
  • Enter the license key you received via email
  • Choose which license to use

Offline Activation

Offline activation should be used when the machine you're installing Cantabile on doesn't have internet access:

  • Start Cantabile
  • Press the "Offline Activation" button
  • You'll be shown a code. Copy it down.
  • Visit this page:
  • Login if necessary
  • Enter the code you copied down above
  • Choose which license(s) you'd like to activate
  • Download the generated license file and transfer it to the target machine
  • Double click the file to install it
  • Back in Cantabile click the Continue button and choose the license to use

Switching Between Licenses

Often you'll have multiple licenses installed. For example you'll often have a license for the free Cantabile Lite, Trial licenses for Solo and Performer as well as any purchased licenses.

You can switch licenses by choosing the "Change License" command from Cantabile's Help menu.

Cantabile User Portal

The Cantabile User Portal let you view your licenses, view receipts for purchases, purchase upgrades and to facilitate offline activatation.

You can access the portal in any of the following ways:

  • By visiting this page:
  • By clicking the "Account" link in the top right corner of any page on the website
  • By choosing "Cantabile User Portal" from Cantabile's Help menu

To access the portal you'll need to set a password. If you haven't yet set a password and need to access the portal you can do one of the following:

  • Use the portal link in the original email you received when registering to use Cantabile
  • Use the Cantabile User Portal from Cantabile's Help menu with a valid license installed. Cantabile will automatically log you in using your license key for credentials.
  • Use the Forgot Password link on the login page.

Backing Up Licenses

If you're concerned about needing to reinstall Cantabile when internet access is not available you can back up either the download license files used during offline activation, or the file where Cantabile stores the installed licenses:

C:\Users\<<yourusername>>\AppData\Local\Topten Software\Cantabile3.licenses

Note that license activations are tied to the product key of the Window installation - so to use the same licence activations on a different machine you'll need to use the same Windows product key.

(To be clear: we don't have access to your Windows product key - we create a one-way hash based on it)

About Upgrades

Licensed Cantabile Solo users can purchase an upgrade to Cantabile Performer for the difference in price between the two editions. See below for how to purchase an upgrade.

Purchasing Upgrades and Subscription Renewals

Upgrades and subscription renewals can be purchased through the User Portal:

  • Login to the Cantabile User Portal. See above.
  • Click to expand the license you want to purchase the upgrade or subscription renewal for.
  • Links will be shown for any available upgrades - click the link and follow the instructions.