The most obvious solution is to give people multiple licenses. I gave up on Cubase this year for several reasons. I bought a DAW that I felt was better for my film scoring needs. It came with 5 soft licenses. It’s brilliant.
If Steinberg simply did the same thing, but with the e-Licenser, then you’d at least have less complaints. I still wouldn’t like having things tethered to a USB stick. But the UX would still be far far better.
I’m keeping a close eye on Dorico. I flipped out when Daniel said early on that the focus was engraving and midi playback wouldn’t get attention until later. However, a video of our English friend surfaced on Youtube showed me otherwise. While I understand the desire to keep things hush hush, it actually hurt my view of Dorico in a large way up until the point where I saw the video. All I’m saying is that Dorico has already seen a rocky start… and it didn’t need to.
If you want this software to succeed, look at what other companies are doing right. Then do better. Every time I’ve ever argued UX with people who don’t get it, I often feel like I’m arguing with 5 year olds having a tantrum. The fact is, people buy what they enjoy using and if it serves their needs well. It really isn’t complicated. The only thing complicating it is when people feel so insecure about sales that they start chaining up their loyal users.
Who here enjoys dongles? Anyone?
Now, there are defenders who don’t mind, and some might even make a preposterous claim that they enjoy the dongle somehow or it gives them a sense of security. But just ask yourselves if anyone… anyone at all ENJOYS a ball and chain. Soon enough we’ll look back at the companies that tried to impose restraints on their users and we’ll say “yeah, that didn’t work for long did it?” Steinberg isn’t just making a decision that affects it in this moment. It’s making decisions which I believe affect its reputation. While I’m a Spitfire user I still own VSL products because their legato is always worth coming back to and dry samples are sometimes very useful. But if someone made an equally good product without the dongle, I’d switch just out of convenience alone. I respect the VSL folks a great deal. But it has to serve my purpose first, otherwise why buy it?
In short, my biggest factor in UX is whether I can use Dorico at all. A test drive will help me know that. But after that, the dongle is very relevant to that same factor. And for all those disagreeing, I’m sorry but you are absolutely wrong. There isn’t even a debate here. It may work for you… fine. But it’s obviously causing poor UX for many others. So whether you like it or not, our views are just as valid. And that fact alone is enough to say that the dongle was a bad move. Even then, I knew a couple guys in college using Cubase without a dongle on their laptops, which I assume meant that they hacked it. Where there’s a will, there is a way. So what’s the point in protecting a vault that has a backdoor?
On every account, this is such a worn issue. It’s time to break the shackles! If not, then I won’t promise this will deter me. I’ll at least give Dorico a fair chance based on what it does. But it does affect me. It does leave a taste in my mouth. And even if I jumped on board, the moment someone else fills enough of the same needs without a dongle, I’d jump on their train.
I hope this post is seen as respectful. I tend to not hold back, but not to offend as much as to make it very clear what my positions are.