Cubase In-Progress Reporting Recommendation

Greetings to all and a Happy New Year to you.

A thought came to mind, which in my opinion is beneficial both to the Steinberg customer base and to Steinberg. In fact, this applies to any company, but I will focus on Steinberg here and the Cubase product specifically, given this forum.

I do not know what percentage of Cubase forum posts/threads entail bug reporting and/or feature requests, but I suspect the number is significant. Over time I noticed that most responses to such types of posts are from the community at large and, therefore, are not authoritative. That is not to say the responses are not helpful or accurate, but, for the most part, these types of posts remain unanswered by the product owner - namely, Steinberg. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, and in good faith I imagine the top reason is that Steinberg has limited resources to address this aspect of its operations. Personally, I think this is a mistake, since a large majority of product owners in any space value customer service almost on par with the utility of a given product itself, but I digress.

There are many examples that illustrate the lack of authoritative responses, but I will present one here (see: Mix Console Snapshot Is Not Retained). I originated this thread June 2019, which is one and one-half years ago. Granted, as far as I can tell, it only received 358 views. However, the post addresses a feature that Steinberg hawked for its Cubase 10.5 Pro release. It was one of a handful of new features introduced in that release, and one would think Steinberg would ensure a feature that it marketed for Cubase 10.5 Pro sales would function as flawlessly as possible. As of this post, the latest reply to the thread occurred 17 hours ago, and the author states the same problem exists in Cubase Pro 11.0.0 Build 300, Win 10 x64, which is to say that Steinberg has not resolved this problem since the Cubase 10.5 Pro release at least one and one-half years ago.

Again, I am not here to criticize Steinberg, especially since it has an outstanding product line that is quite incredible in its capabilities and a real joy to use. Rather, I would like to recommend that Steinberg improve its reporting system to the customer base. To the degree that Steinberg is comfortable doing so, I recommend the following:

  • Present a timeline for bug fixes and feature updates
  • Categorize the bug fixes and feature updates
  • Express how the work is prioritized

For example:

  • Improve render-in-place performance [category(ies): CPU Optimization]; Estimated Time To Market: Aug 2021; Priority Level (on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the highest priority): 1
  • Fix mix snapshot feature [category(ies): Bug Fix; Estimated Time To Market: Dec 2021; Priority Level (on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the highest priority): 3
  • Add ‘xxx’ video export type [category(ies): Export]; Estimated Time To Market: Jul 2021; Priority Level (on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the highest priority): 4

Clearly, target dates may shift for a variety of reasons, and this is okay. By becoming more transparent to the community in its product development efforts, Steinberg solves a few problems:

  • Reduces customer base frustration by keeping it informed. A large majority of the customer base will appreciate this level of transparency and, consequently, will be more forgiving and understanding.
  • By having this knowledge at hand, the customer base will be able to make intelligent workflow decisions for current and future projects. For instance, knowing that the mixing snapshot feature problem will not be resolved until late summer of 2021 means a workaround is necessary in the workflow (e.g., saving multiple versions of a project, representing alternate mixes). The customer base wants to accomplish things in a timely manner and, generally, is willing to take alternative measures. Having the feature in working order some time in the future is a bonus and presents the customer with a good vibe as something that will improve the current workflow.
  • Potentially reducing repeated requests from Steinberg for the same bug fixes and/or feature requests, which thins network traffic, allows Steinberg forum moderators to utilize their time more efficiently and reduces redundant posts.

I can continue to list additional benefits, but I think you get the point. To be clear, I am neither asking Steinberg to commit to hard dates for bug fixes and feature updates, nor I am asking Steinberg to present such a timeline beyond a level of specificity with which it is comfortable. However, as a general good will gesture in the interest of transparency and in garnering a more robust customer loyalty, the preceding customer base reporting recommendation sounds like a no-brainer and is a win-win.

I for one appreciate your strongly considering this approach. Thank you.

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