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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Jan.12.2014 @ 9:45 PM
D' MacKinnon
What a cluster. I don't pity the pain you and Adam go through every OS X and Logic release. I can see a lot of musicians throwing a shit-fit and ditching Logic if their favorite plugins no longer work in Logic X. Most of my hardcore video edit friends are still running Final Cut 7 instead of FCPX.
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 8:16 AM
Chris Randall
An update to this:

As anyone that follows me on Twitter or the AD page on Facebook (or the AD RSS feed, like you _should_) then you'll know that we've updated Dubstation, Eos, and Replicant so far. Discord3 is next in the pipe, and it'll be out later this week. With these updates, we're also doing some bug fixing and general tidying up, adding .aupreset files to the Presets folder, and modernizing the graphics to get them all in line with the current AD "look."

HOWEVER!!!

A couple days ago, I heard through the grapevine that Apple has chosen to put off sandboxing Logic for the foreseeable future. This is not necessarily due to the extreme pushback that started with Dave Gamble and I, and which we organized so that most of the mid-sized (and one very large) plug-in companies were all on the same page with a unified response to Apple. But I'm certain it played a factor.

In any case, we haven't had "official" word from Apple yet that Logic sandboxed is dead, or even postponed. But that's the rumor. We'll see how it plays out.

-CR
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 9:50 AM
beauty pill
FIGHT THE POWER!

- c
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 11:51 AM
boobs
fingers crossed.
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 12:27 PM
zazen
You should flatter yourself more.

Perhaps they were swayed by your wit and great insight on the subject, having a funny humble half hour.

Perhaps they were even listening to _you_.

Maybe they were just thinking 'wait a minute'.

Maybe you nudged them in the right direction.


To me, this seems indicative of a wider problem with the whole industry, which seems to be in disarray. To my little walnut sized mind, this half-brained idea always seemed totally unworkable from the start. But then again, that's no reason why it should stop them doing it.

Maybe they thought it might hit sales, or something salient to them.


Btw, I sent a link to this post to the good fellas at iZotope, who still don't know their admin from their elbow. I was sympathizing with them in advance, sarcastically of course. How the hell they and their ilk will cope with this kind of change is beyond my ken. They might make the best goddamn audio software on the planet. But they still can't make an installer that works for someone who runs anything other than an admin account in windows 7.

This change would bring them to their knees.

And copy protection is only part of it. Patch management is most of the other half.


Still, Chris and Adam, I applaud your decision re: the protection. I actually bought a couple more plugins from you just to show my support. And I'll keep buying more until I got the lot. Funny thing is, a lot of the ones I bought were already cracked. Doh! And the ones I don't have, that I really really want, aren't cracked. So I guess I'll have to buy them. There is a lesson in there some where. For some one. For all of us maybe. If we choose to take it.

Apple?

Shmapple my Gnapples!

:-)
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 4:30 PM
analogcre8or
I'm with boobs.
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 4:31 PM
analogcre8or
... and thanks for your efforts CR!!
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 11:08 PM
Milagro
I've got a strong feeling that a new touchscreen iPad/Macbook combo is coming our way, and it will only run sandboxed App Store apps.
 
 

 
Jan.13.2014 @ 11:27 PM
boobs
@Milagro, why this feeling? hunch or a whisper?

i think the iPad basically already is a macbook for many many people. it more or less replaced the laptop entirely for lot's of people. you can do all the same stuff most people want to do. us audio people... we're a niche.

iPad/laptop would be an iPad w/USB ports and keyboard?

if they add a touch screen to the mac air.. well.. there ya go. as for OS and sandboxing... most people don't know how to turn off gatekeeper in security settings and for them it's already sandboxed.
 
 

 
Jan.14.2014 @ 2:00 PM
ashtarbrian
first, "i'm with boobs"

second: a touch screen on a laptop "might" be ok, lord knows, after using the iPad for a couple of hours I reach up and touch the screen on mine in confusion:)

but i don't think in any big way apple will approach the touch screen thing with pro apps that much, my arms get tired moving from keyboard to midi controller etc, let alone wanting to adjust an eq on one of 3 screens etc... seems like a good idea, but in practice, kinda sucks. a larger iPad with connectivity to apps on screen would be fine for me on the same plane as my mouse/trackball whatever, because i would like multitouch to alter multiple parameters at a time, but i personally, again, don't want to be reaching all over the place to adjust a filter cutoff on my monitor... but that could just be me and my extreme laziness (despite the fact i stay "fit":))... I do map controllers on my master keyboard for certain plugs, but it still is not as sexy and fast as they want you to believe imho, and i have found solutions like novations "automap" to be disastrous on a system level...., but that was years ago, ..but i was burnt hard enough that I am not going back right now...

i;m glad to hear of the progress on the Logic OSX "sandboxing" front CR, and yeah, give yourself a little more credit for bringing about that change... sounds like it would have been a disaster on so many different levels I don't want to think about it.
 
 

 
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