December 26, 2013

Sandbolloxed...

by Chris Randall
 



As you no doubt know, especially if you are a Logic user, there are Big Changes coming down the pike, in the form of a sandboxed version of Logic, most likely before the middle of 2014. Developers have been given a preview copy of Logic X Sandboxed, so we can test our products to see if they will work when the update occurs, and make necessary changes. The current Garageband X is already sandboxed, so you can do a quick test to have a gander at how many of your current AUs will work in Logic X Sandboxed.

The short answer is "hardly any."

There are some very big problems with sandboxing something like Logic, from a developer's perspective, and almost no benefit to the end user. (In actual fact, it harms the end user, because products he was able to use previously, and may have come to rely on, will suddenly cease to work.) We could talk in circles all day long about that sort of nonsense, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.

While this stands a very real chance of having a consumer backlash something on the order of what occurred when Final Cut X was released, that's neither here nor there in the scheme of things. Our concern at Audio Damage is to maintain a seamless transition, so our customers aren't affected. And, let's be honest, there is nothing we like more than dropping everything and spending a couple months re-building our entire product line every time Apple has a fit of the Shinies.

In that light, we had a difficult decision to make. The only thing preventing our products from working in Logic X Sandboxed (and Garageband X, for that matter) is the erstwhile copy protection. For a decade now, we've had the simplest, least intrusive copy protection that we could have and still call it that. It has done very little to prevent piracy, and is the number one (and two and three and four and five and six and seven) source of support problems. It is, in short, a gigantic fucking pain in the ass that doesn't do what it's supposed to. And now it prevents our products from working in the Apple hosts.

So, we're taking it out.

We'll begin rolling out updates next week that will eventually encompass our entire product line, removing the DRM and updating the installers and UIs (and doing some bug fixing along the way), in order of popularity. The license control mechanism in the store will continue as-is, but the current reg codes will basically become serial numbers, and will not be required during the installation process. We'll also be able to deliver the bundles as one-click installs instead of 22 separate packages, which will no doubt please our bundle customers immensely.

This is obviously a pretty big risk for us, but we think it will be a good solution in the long run. We have long been of the opinion that there are people that care about supporting a company and its endeavors, and people that only care about themselves. Both Adam and I make a living on the former sort, and we hope that will continue to be the case. I can't speak for Adam, but I'm really shitty at blanching fries.

Anyhow, my Twitter feed and the Audio Damage RSS feed are the places to watch for updates as they're rolled. If you have a specific bug report that you think we might not know about, email it to [email protected] and I'll put it in the list. We'll be doing the products in order of popularity (with shiny new digitally signed installers, natch!) so expect Dubstation, Eos, Replicant, and Discord3 to be the earliest recipients of this treatment, and so on down to the perpetual tail-end Charlie, Ronin.
 
 
 

64 comments:

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Dec.26.2013 @ 10:02 PM
boobs
fucking hell. fucking logic. fucking apple. it is what it is. i hope the sky isn't falling. best of luck on the rebuilds.. pain the ass as it is.

i don't think the world would stop turning if you charged an AU update fee... and i say that as a logicX user. but i'll probably stall my version of logic at the current version until this sandboxing shit shakes out.

where did i put that copy of DP? (your favorite DAW)
 
 

 
Dec.26.2013 @ 10:23 PM
mitchell
I'm with boobs.
 
 

 
Dec.26.2013 @ 11:19 PM
analogcre8or
I'm with boobs.
 
 

 
Dec.27.2013 @ 1:59 AM
atlastop
Apple sucks.... But I can't help be a little happy with the one click bundles installs.

Also thank fuck I left Logic for Ableton years ago!
 
 

 
Dec.27.2013 @ 2:00 AM
atlastop
Also, I'm saying this as a guy who has owned way too many Apple products
 
 

 
Dec.27.2013 @ 4:12 AM
syikom
I think this is a wise and brave step.Well done.People are buying the right to your intellectual property and more importantly your support.People who pirate get no support ,nor do they assist a developer to further software development ,a spiral downward to no new software if everyone used pirated copies .
Cheers
 
 

 
Dec.27.2013 @ 8:41 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah, this Logic change is really gonna burn some people. We had a circular conversation with several other devs, and some of the other companies are _really_ boned by the sandboxing. When the concerns were voiced to Apple, their reply was simple, and I directly quote: "security is non-negotiable."

Some of the more sophisticated plugs, especially those that have shared preferences among several formats and those that have big sample libraries, are really screwed. It'll be interesting to see how (or whether) they deal with it. Apple generally gives us between 8 months and a year warning when these big changes come, so the first we're likely to see a Logic X Sandboxed version to retail is around June. I doubt it'll happen before that.

But like I said, we have a solution, and like the 64-bit Debacle, we're implementing it before it becomes a problem. Not our first choice of solutions, but it solves some other problems as well (and most likely creates new ones that we haven't foreseen yet.) But it will ensure even our 9- and 10-year-old plug-ins will work well in to the next decade. Until Apple decides 128 Bit or ARM is the New Black, anyhow.

-CR
 
 

 
Dec.27.2013 @ 9:47 AM
MikeF
@CR: Did you consider having your store create a new DLL per user (by updating a section of the file) so it displays "Registered to John Smith" in the GUI? It would make users less likely to "share with friends" without running afoul of sandbox limitations.
 
 

 
Dec.27.2013 @ 9:56 AM
Chris Randall
That's semi-easy to do on the OS X side (since an OS X "plug-in" is just a folder that has been "touched" in a certain way. True story.) But on the Windows side, it gets fairly hairy. Best to be avoided.

-CR
 
 

 
Dec.27.2013 @ 10:29 AM
MikeF
I understand it would be a little complicated but I think it could work. You could include a generic string when compiling your Windows DLL such as "*USER_INFO*USER_INFO*USER_INFO*USER_INFO*USER_INFO*USER_INFO*". When the user buys a Windows plugin, you use grep to do a search for the generic string in the DLL and replace it with user specific info. For example, this grep utility supports search and replace on binary files: link [www.powergrep.co...]
 
 

 
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