eLicenser Cloud in the Future

Will there be USB elicenser CLOUD ? in the future, will steinberg eLicenser Cloud (No USB Dongle) consider running ? ( just like pro tools ilok cloud)

Of course will be! When others will have a license system with tattoos or over the air.

I love my dongle…
(and hate the ‘always connected’ trendy paradigm) :nerd_face:

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I’m on a desktop, so I don’t have an issue with the dongle - I just leave it plugged in. But I can understand the hassle that laptop users go through.

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Thank you! A few desktop people understand that. Usually they argue about how the dongle is a wonder and without it Steinberg will remain without money.

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I think to buy a new macbook pro M1 Silicon over time and I wanted to ask this because I don’t want to use usb when I’m out

Presonus Sphere only asks for a live connection every 30 days - so the ‘always connected’ thing doesn’t always need to apply. No doubt that will be abused, though.

Piracy, of course, is the real problem here. :frowning:

And +1 to a cloud solution for Artist/Pro - i would love that.

I own a backup license of Elements which uses the existing cloud system, but you have to unactivate and activate a machine if you’re moving between multiple machines. i.e. desktop and laptop.

Which is a real pain if you’re moving projects across. :frowning:

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Fair enough…
An internet connection is still needed, though, monthly. What happens if, for a reason, the server isn’t available or, worse, the company goes belly up / is sold to another one which doesn’t give a f*** about users concerns (Camel Audio —> Apple comes to mind, here…) ?

I changed the eLicenser dongle only once, since 2003, and the previous one was still perfectly working. Just saw in several places that the new ones were increasing Cubase responsiveness and I thought that it was worth a try, given that after 15 years, the one I had might fail one day or another. Cost : 25 € / 15 years.

If you’re not using different machines and therefore the dongle is sat in a desktop machine 24/7 of it’s daily life then there’s absolutely no complaints i’d have with the dongle.

The problem comes when you want to load a Cubase project up on a Laptop and the dongle is in another location. Even plugins require it in other audio software. So, if you’re in that situation you need to unplug the dongle and carry it with your laptop ‘just in case’. I’ve opened Reaper projects for example and they fail to load unless i have the dongle as there’s a Steinberg plugin trying to load.

That’s what bugs me most about it, the constant carrying it around and risk of it being lost, damaged or stolen. It also puts me off from even using Steinberg products within other software.

Also, i very much doubt anyone would be without the internet for more than 30 days, and with most of these systems there will be some other kind of activation as a backup. If the company goes belly up then really, you’d be looking at using a different DAW long-term anyway.

If they had users at the mercy of a cloud licensing system and the product was killed off, the final update would of course, be to separate from that cloud requirement - because there would be absolute uproar and legal cases raised. Besides that, someone would find a way around it, as staff finding themselves jobless would help leak a way around it.

Also, you mention Camel > Apple - that occurred under a perpetual/non-cloud based license system anyway, so would still happen to you and the dongle if Steinberg closed the doors overnight - if the software was no longer updated you would very quickly be unable to use it with future hardware, operating system updates, and third party plugins - things move quickly now.

There’s also a very large counter-argument that the dongle puts a lot of users off from trying Cubase, the increased sales with a modern, more flexible licensing system could signal a boost and revenue and thus a better, more stable product too.

Just my thoughts, anyway.


Sometimes I definitely am in locations where a continuous Internet connection is not available or feasible. In principle if you had a 30 day license between sampling the network, that would be acceptable.

But as @skijumptoes eloquently discusses, if Steinberg went out of business, would the licensed users be able to continue?

FWIW, I have the Tascam Studio sampler. They are gone of course, with nothing turned over to public domain. I have one of the 3rd party players so if I needed to use the samples, I could. I no longer use any of the samples, but if I did, there are a lot of tools to be able to use them. Wouldn’t work for Cubase.

I should add, I go back to Cubase Audio Falcon. The early Windows versions of Cubase had the ability to import projects from CAF. Some converted well, but others didn’t. So the only copies of some of my scores exists on paper ( and a PDF scanned copy.)

That’s my case, I admit…

I still have a problem with this argument : it’s the same thing for any USB key on which you have needed data… :thinking:

And what would I be supposed to do about projects done on Cubase, that could need to be used again ? I have a rather meaningful experience about it : I stopped updating Cubase from 7.0.6 to 10.0.20, which means more than 5 years, disppointed by Cubase 7 and its constant unstability, to the point I uninstalled it, keeping only 6.5.5.

I wasted all this time trying to make Reaper more or less useful : to no avail… During all these years I was also working with Cubase 6.5.5 without a single update of eLicenser : IOW, it has been working just with the already more than 10 years old dongle, at its 2013 state. No added ‘cloud’ or ‘connected activation’ of any kind…

Could be… or not. :neutral_face:

As an old fart, I don’t really care about whether things are moving quickly or not : Alchemy is for me a musical instrument and there is no equivalent of it, AFAICS, at least for Windows based setups. Having seen its evolution stopped brutaly at its 1.55 version has been rather an eyes opener : happily, I made a complete backup of the software/contents and licence, back in the days. Guess what ? I continue to use it regularly and again, without any ‘cloud’ involved…

All depends about what could be a definition of a flexible licensing system. For me, all of them have their own constraints and I keep on thinking, from my own experience, that Cubase one is not as bad as usually claimed.

But yes, YMMV, to each his own, and so on… :slightly_smiling_face:

Don’t want to be rude, but just because you are an old fart (as you said) you probably didn’t experience new OSs and plugins since windows XP. Since than, many many things have changed and many many of us have moved forward. As a musician, I use software from many companies. I have plugins from much smaller companies that are surviving piracy without any problem and they offer a more flexible way for licenses. On the second hand worrying for companies money is the most idiot thing I ever seen since internet. Although I love Coca Cola I never make worries fort the company. If everything where perfect with the dongle nobody would complain. But is not, an you can see that as soon as you will install another software or DAw on your machine. Many of the songs that we are listening on radio today are made in a car or maybe in a hotel room. So is a must to have the possibility to use the software that I paid for on my machines… all of them. For the MacBook users, although that since 2017 it doesn’t have USB ports anymore, Steinberg could at least make a USB-C version because in this moment the pain of dongle comes with another pain, finding a good dongle so the usb dongle could be hooked up to the computer. See Arturia, see Native Instruments, see FabFilter, see Ableton, see FL, see and see, I can write here all day to show that the majority is having a different approach to license, more favorable for the end user.

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These are terrible arguments

Music making with what where and how has changed quite a lot.
Steinberg still caters to big studios and media composers but there is a huge community that uses laptops in small environments and they rule the mainstream charts.

We’re for a heated debate, it seems…

FWIW, and contrarily to myself, my setup is rather recent, maybe even more than yours : a Ryzen 7 3700 X with 2 SSD and 32 Gb of RAM, working under Windows 10 Pro 20H1. And I have the last Cubase Pro version installed, as well as other recent things such as Arturia VCollection 8. This, with all my essential drivers up to date. So please, spare me the ‘Windows XP’ innuendo… :roll_eyes:

Beside this, I never said that the dongle was perfect (even if I love it… :grin:): I was just suggesting that it’s not that much worse than other licence/protection system, and it is surely better than a ‘cloud’ one - I already explained why. If you had accurately read my previous posts, you would have find that I never denied that other companies could have a more convenient approach of the problem.

But, and as a reminder (and in case you have reading problems), the topic is about a cloud eLicenser… :face_with_monocle:

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Ok, so if you want to apply that as an argument and equate a USB data device to the dongle.

That means that the USB key with data is the ONLY source for that data which you are constantly carrying around with you - because you’re unable put it on two devices at once . Think about how dangerous and inflexible that is if you truly equate them

Furthermore, you must be totally out of touch with how people work today or never work on the move - EVERYTHING is in the cloud. why? Because it’s available wherever you are, it can be synced and local copies held so you don’t need a constant internet connection, but most importantly it’s backed up remotely which totally eradicates majority of risk for the average user.

You can’t see any benefits in that?

If that’s a legit concern of yours, You should already have contingency in place and archiving projects down to audio stems so they can be recalled in any DAW as a backup. So that’s what you would do. If you’re not doing already then you need to assess how valuable your music is to you ask why there’s no contingency plan in place.

Cloud or no cloud, the same end result will occur if a company shuts it’s doors, or gives up a project. Unless you’re pirating software, there’s a vast amount of software that requires some kind of online authorisation to validate - and the backup is a telephone service - both are the same licensing system under the hood.

Camel Audio wasn’t protected by a dongle so you had the freedom to copy the software and license to back it up - this is my entire point. Effectively you’re using that backup you made as your own personal cloud.

If Steinberg went down and you lost your dongle, it broke/malfunctioned or the e-licenser software failed to load on your machine, that’s it… No backup, gone. Unlike Alchemy which you could archive.

You say you don’t care that computing is moving fast, it’s not about caring - it’s just a truth of the environment we find ourselves in. Even the e-licenser is dependant on an active internet connection to run it’s maintenance and update tasks. A win 10 update has the potential to break it - just see the forums as examples.

I’ve had to update my e-licenser as it failed to authenticate in the past year, and it needed an internet connection to do so.

A flexible licensing system would be like what other companies offer. In that there is a dongle (existing) method or a cloud method that you could use - whatever suits you.

As i said before, if it wasn’t for me having to work on the move, i have no issues whatsoever. But that’s very individually subjective for us all - and this discussion should really be what’s best for us all…

This past year with lockdowns and remote working - it has been a pain to constantly carry around with me. I was unable to even get to my dongle when a building it left in overnight was locked for several weeks during the first UK lockdown.

Honest question - If Cubase offered a cloud based solution, how would it actually affect you? Your dongle would still work, nothing would change for you.

But if we widen out from your narrow view - It’s clear that a re-worked licensing system would open the doors for a wider range of users to jump onboard who want a cloud option, because their current DAW allows it and being able to easily move between desktop and laptop is a pre-requisite.

It would also really help people who are already having a tough year moving between locations which is prone to change based on a single infection being reported…

And lastly, search the forum here for e-licenser or dongle issues - and it’s something that really shouldn’t be debated as much as it should - that demonstrates that there is a general issue with the current system. That’s well intentioned people failing to be able to use software they purchased.

Oh, I seen this discussion a million times.

One user complaints that the dongle is really annoying when using a laptop and the loads of desktop users comes to defend the dongle, saying stuff “I just stuck it into my computer once, how is that a hassle?”

Maybe you should try then to go on the road with a laptop a see if you still find a dongle to a brilliant solution for 2021.

By the way, I am also using Adobe Creative Cloud and yes, you can use PhotoShop offline. It just need to check in once in a while. Frankly I have more downtime with Steinberg’s dongle on my desktop pc, because the eLicensing software breaks, than with Adobe Creative Cloud on the same machine.

I take my USB on the road all the time, and have a couple spares. Not that much of a hassle.

Some people don’t want to attach their mission critical desktops to the internet once a month. And who the F wants to check in, in the middle of a recording session.

Every Adobe CC version has been cracked

Cubase pro hasn’t been cracked since version 5.

I have nothing against an online software license, but I long ago learned to carry my USB key with me, how to buy a second USB key, how to use Steinberg zero downtime if I need it.

I suppose there will be cloud licensing, and I’ll probably use it. But a physical dongle is a solid way to ensure zero hassle at the moment you least expect it.

It’s not an either/or proposition.

Cloud licensing doesn’t have to signal the end of the dongle. Steinberg already manage cloud and hardware solutions.

Other software which has moved to the cloud from a dongle have also kept the dongle option in place. (Slate etc.)

All some existing users want is an option that suits their requirements.

Potential users will vote with their wallet, and that’s what concerns me most. It feels that Cubase struggles to bring new users to the platform.

You still have to buy a dongle to trial Cubase if you want to try it’s key features such as Variaudio, comping and control room. It’s a barrier to entry.

On the flip of that you could get a month of the entire range of Presonus products coupled with a selection of tutorial videos and live support.

That initial welcoming step is how you get customers through the door.

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