How long has this been going on, or: to dongle or not to dongle

(german below…)

Hello dear Steinbergers,

will there be versions of GA, Halion, of the effects (->UR series…) and all sounds and contents (wich I bought for lots of money) without dongle? So they will work with Steinberg Activation Manager?
Despite the new licensing system, which has its advantages, it is quite annoying to be dependent on the dongle, because otherwise only the “naked” application (Cubase, Dorico) and no content runs.

When will this be the case? Is there a period in which one can expect it?

Thank you very much,

Hallo liebe Steinbergers,

wird es Versionen von GA, Halion, den Effekten (->UR Serie…) und allen Sounds und Inhalten (die ich für viel Geld gekauft habe) ohne Dongle geben? Also werden sie mit dem Steinberg Activation Manager funktionieren?
Trotz des neuen Lizenzsystems, das durchaus seine Vorteile hat, ist es ziemlich ärgerlich, auf den Dongle angewiesen zu sein, weil sonst nur die “nackte” Anwendung (Cubase, Dorico) und kein Content läuft.

Wann wird dies der Fall sein? Gibt es einen Zeitraum, in dem man es erwarten kann?

Vielen Dank schon mal,

Hi Hartmut,
this topic is mentioned in the licensing FAQ, specifically the section “Can I migrate all my licenses to the new system”.

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Thank you very much, Jendrik!
If I understand this correctly, then I have to wait until new versions of Groove Agent, Halion, Halion Symphonic Orchestra and all the Virtual Instruments I own are released (which I would then have to buy?).
What is not clear to me is what happens to all the soundsets (e.g. for Groove Agent: Jazz Essentials, Blues Essentials, Songwriters, Funk Essentials, Pop Essentials, Dubstep, Indi Rock Urban, Simon Phillips Jazz, Modern Jazz, or for Halion… ) happens. Can I only use them without a dongle if I buy the corresponding higher version of Groove Agent or Halion? That would also mean that after the transitional period provided by you, the eLicense servers will probably be switched off and I would be free-floating with the dongle…
…I would find that not quite so reassuring…

or do I see this wrong…?

Unfortunately there is no information release yet when and in which context the other products will be released. As for your second question, this topic is also answered in the FAQ section " Can I continue using my eLicensers?"

Hi @Jendrik_Seiler,

while re-reading the new Steinberg Licensing FAQ in German and English, I may have detected two typos - or older text portion versions, regarding only two license activations on different computers, per single user license.

I suppose this FAQ text portion had been written a while before the more recent “maximum three activations per single user license” rule had been decided upon. (however, I did not check the remaining FAQ language versions)

Best Regards,

Hi Jendrik.

I’m not sure who to direct this to, but I have a suggestion. Like many (all?) users, I greatly appreciate the move to soft licensing. However, it would be great if Steinberg could be a little more generous and helpful now in helping current licensees migrate to a dongle-less environment while Steinberg updates its products.

For example, why not provide a “dongle-free evaluation period” for all existing licensees today? Maybe provide 1 or 2 years of dongle-free use to existing licensees of a given product? The evaluation could end at a pre-determined date in the future or whenever the licensing has been updated for that specific product, whichever comes first.

Maybe that sounds preposterous to Steinberg. I respect the need to protect the product licensing and the work of the company, but I also want to be able to use multiple products with fewer restrictions.

In my case, I’m using Cubase Artist 12, which thankfully no longer requires the dongle. However, my old Absolute 4 license that I of course use with Cubase still needs the USB license. So even though Cubase doesn’t need a dongle, I still need to carry the dongle everywhere. And Steinberg doesn’t provide the option to change the licensing for Absolute since I chose to license it on the USB licenser, back when Cubase also required the USB license, which to me made sense at the time. It’s a bit of a Catch-22. And I recently learned that even if I upgrade to Absolute 5, the original license for Absolute 4 still has to be on a dongle, since the product I’d be upgrading from was originally licensed that way. Another Catch-22.

Anyway, yes, there would be a risk of unauthorized use by giving existing users an evaluation period, but that could be mitigated with an expiration date when the “evaluation period” expires. And, again, I’m only suggesting providing such a solution to people who already paid for a particular product license.

So that’s just one idea. My main point is that Steinberg should look for a creative way to balance its needs with those of its customers. As much as I like Steinberg and Cubase, any time (months? years?) that Steinberg spends updating licenses across the product line is also time that I can spend evaluating other DAWs and plugins that are easier to work with today.

Thank you for listening! : )