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Apple terminates world-wide Emagic distributors

post #1 of 31
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Opting to sell its music production software exclusively through its own channels, Apple recently issued walking papers to several international distributors.

Apple Computer this month began sending letters to its world-wide Emagic software distributors, informing them that their services would no longer be required.

Emagic--creator of the Logic music production software suite--was purchased by Apple for a rumored $30 million in 2001, and has since operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the computer company.

Frustrated by the most recent move, some former international Emagic distributors are crying foul play. They claim that the Xskey--once used to protect Logic applications from piracy--is now being abused by Apple to solicit customer information to the exclusion of the ex-distributors and dealers; the same people who previously made their living selling and supporting the software.

"If this were to reach customers ears that their information can now be used [by Apple] to dominate and control the music industry, I say there should be a Law protecting [this] flow of information," one former distributor said.

Dealers also fear that Apple may exploit some of the customer information once provided innocently to Emagic through it's Germany-based website. Armed with this data and the power to require additional customer info through future releases of Logic, dealers claim that Apple will soon be capable of dominating the software side of the global music production industry.

According to Apple, Logic is used by over 200,000 musicians worldwide and is the industry-leading audio production software for professional musicians, audio engineers, producers and film composers.

Around the same time that Apple began dismissing world-wide Emagic distributors, the company also registered for a trademark on the word "ProBand." Some insiders have speculated that the company will eventually re-brand the Logic product line under this new name.
post #2 of 31
Talk about paranoia. Got issues?

It looks to me like these distributers were abusing this XKey, and keeping it a secret. Now that they have been cut off they are trying to turn the table on Apple by accusing them of foul play.
If anything Apple might, and should just give the XKey the A.X.E.
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post #3 of 31
Hmmm. Shouldn't the current distributors have seen the handwriting on the wall once Apple acquired Emagic?

Also, ProBand is a horrible name to replace Logic. I would bet that a considerable amount of people who have used Logic over the years (self-included) are solo producers/artists. It's a great brand name already. Leave it be.
post #4 of 31
Apple's going to use the XKey to take over the world! They're going to implant a mind-control device in every iPod so when they send the "instructions" out their minions will spring into action! The sky is falling!

LOL.




("ProBand"? Please be joking.)
post #5 of 31
ProBand and GarageBand. They say consistency is king, after all.
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post #6 of 31
We had to expect that previous Emagic distributors would be cut from the loop. It makes no sense for Apple to continue to support a redundant, inferior distribution network.

The XSKey by its very nature obsoletes the concept of on-the-shelf shrinkwapped software. It is possibly the ultimate copy-protection device, as it is unobtrusive and, to my knowledge, not cracked (?) Emagic did not use it as such however, and continued to frustrate software buyers with no stock and long wait times for new products. In Canada the wait for Logic 5 and Logic 6 was absurd.

Let's face it: software packages worth hundreds of dollars don't belong in stores. They should be downloads. The XSKey makes it possible to authorize downloads to only run on systems with that key connected.

I anticipate Apple's other pro apps will be moved to the XSKey for copy protection.

I also highly doubt Apple will rename Logic "ProBand". It's a horrid name, industry professionals know Logic, and it would be unprecedented -- it did not rename "Shake"! (Well ClarisWorks got renamed AppleWorks, but that doesn't really count).
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by nebula
I also highly doubt Apple will rename Logic "ProBand". It's a horrid name, industry professionals know Logic, and it would be unprecedented -- it did not rename "Shake"! (Well ClarisWorks got renamed AppleWorks, but that doesn't really count).

Perhaps... that Pros know Logic is the best reason to keep the name... but "Logic" doesn't seem like a very logical name for a music related app...
post #8 of 31
Apparently this Xskey is more badass than a whole tank full of sharks with frikkin' laser beams.
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post #9 of 31
In the original article, some errors are to be noted:

Although Emagic Audio is well-spread, a lot of the professional studios are using ProTools in conjunction with DigiDesign hardware.

Another large market contender is Steinberg, who parallels Emagic with their Cubase suite.

And then, there is Digital Performer. So much for the argument of total dominance.

I cannot believe that Apple is for dominating the music producers, though they might want to be the best in providing software tools for this group of professionals.

With all the sums of money I have spent to upgrade my original Atari ST version of Cubase towards a Mac VST version and now the SX 2 version, I cannot say that the overall performance of Cubase has increased proportionally, and I have been living through a lot of bugs and frequent crashes. Though, I must clearly admit: surely it has improved.

I remember the times where both Emagic and Steinberg were still working on their empire with dongle protections and highly priced upgrades, which solved some, but added plenty of other bugs. In fact, the recent upgrade from Cubase SX II towards Cubase SX III is such an example: a heavy price tag for a seamingly small step of development, in particular since a lot of the work has been done by external companies (i.e. Yamaha and others).

And then there is the distribution channels for Steinberg products, which can easily be abbreviated by the word "horrible", in particular here in The Netherlands. The upgrade policy is very obscure and time consuming. Why can't the usual music retailers simply sell their boxes, without the hassle and overhead that the distributors put on them?

A few large music retailers in the west of the Netherlands have in fact even refused to continue to sell Steinberg products for this reason. So, with Emagic gone from the PC platform, and Steinberg not up to the expectation, the only valid choice to offer is DigiDesign ProTools.

On all of this, there is a lot to improve, and I rather walk to the closest Apple Store (or the one-click on-line counterpart) to be sure to get my copy or upgrade, than to continue in an obscure policy via retailers. Even at modest level, Apple will put a ring around their fingers on customer experience: clear and well documented.

Resuming: I wish Apple a strong hand in their Emagic suite, but also wish that competitors keep the pressure up, because the competition will drive the progress.
post #10 of 31
Logic 7 is coming soon, after all they only previewed some of it's technology 8 months ago, I suspect they are finally taking emagic inhouse, no more third party distirbution deals. No more SoundTech (UK ) ?

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post #11 of 31
"Logic" is a pretty stupid name for music sequencing software if you think about it. But not as stupid as "ProBand."

If there really is a "ProBand" product I'd expect it to be a version of Garage Band with some pro features (whatever that means)...not a replacement for Logic.
post #12 of 31
can't teach an old dog new tricks, once again, steve has picked up the gun and shot his own damn foot...someone get our fearless leader some shooting lessons!
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post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by radiospace
"Logic" is a pretty stupid name for music sequencing software if you think about it. But not as stupid as "ProBand."

If there really is a "ProBand" product I'd expect it to be a version of Garage Band with some pro features (whatever that means)...not a replacement for Logic.

Why not something like audio bench? or soundlab, or to fit the pro line better, audio master pro
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post #14 of 31
Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Express
iMovie
QT (tools)

Logic Pro
Logic Express?
SoundTrack
GarageBand

Consistent naming isn't so important outside of the consumer realm.

How about "QuickestwaytogetoneveryiPodonearth"?

"ProBand" sounds too much like "Voban."
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post #15 of 31
Back to the thread about distributors...

Why can't managment work WITH employees to design the best customer service?!?!?!? (It's like invading a country without developing an exit strategy with people on the ground before hand.)

Yes, customer service and marketing are advancing big time now and at some point maybe there will be an Apple Store 30 minutes from everyone in Europe/Japan/Australia at some point. But I hope Apple had done some market research or surveys before firing their representatives to customers.
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post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by MacGregor
I hope Apple had done some market research or surveys before firing their representatives to customers.

Since when were the distibutors Logic's "representatives to customers"? I had a problem with the XKey when I bought Logic Platinum several years ago and I couldn't get a response from *anybody* at eMagic or their distributors. It was only by working through my local music store (where I bought the product) that I was able to get any attention to my problem.
post #17 of 31
Wow you people JUST DON'T GET IT DO YOU?

Apple has been dicking over VARs like this for YEARS, but noooooooo...

See, this is why Mac users are talked about in such derogatory ways; apple can polish a turd and folks just flock to "their side" on this.

YES, Apple has, is, does, and probably will CONTINUE to exploit VARs this way, to in effect steal customers for their direct-sales business.

Here's a clue, for those who don't know:

Did you know Apple, Our Apple, Precious Apple *punishes* VARs and Specialists that *refuse* to provide specific info about each and every customer?

They charge these people *more* for services, repair parts and make them pay more for wholesale.

Wonder why an apple Store, desparately needed in your town, ain't there yet?

Apple Store is NOT a market-building exercise; they ONLY go into markets where there is already on or two large VARs. They Lie, and folks in that business know it.

Apple uses the customer relationships built by VARs to *then* direct sell to them.

Its wrong wrong wrong...BUT

"because its Apple" folks on these boards attack the people that Apple is bending over.

WHY? Why is this 'good' when Apple puts the squeeze on, but bad, if say Microsoft does/ What kind of hypocrites are we here?!?!

Ugh.
post #18 of 31
Actually, I love my Apple-branded polished turds. Best polished turds going.
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post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by RnSK
Wow you people JUST DON'T GET IT DO YOU?

Nice rant, but the bottom line in this case is eMagic's previous distribution arrangements were made redundant the moment Apple purchased the company. Apple's not under any obligation to continue using a distribution network that they don't find is providing them a benefit over directly distributing the products.

I noticed Guitar Center has started selling Apple computers. If Apple is already distributing computers, Garageband and Soundtrack to Guitar Center, why *wouldn't* they provide direct distribution of Logic while they're at it?
post #20 of 31
Can this in any way be related to the upcoming settlement between Apple Corps and Apple Computer?
(Just as the - in my opinion - stupid decision of not licensing Fairplay to others could be related to Apples license agreement with the record companies - that to allow Apples fairly loose DRM it should not be available to other vendors?)
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by radiospace
If there really is a "ProBand" product I'd expect it to be a version of Garage Band with some pro features (whatever that means)...not a replacement for Logic. [/B]

I have to agree that the "ProBand" moniker suggests an intermediate step on the ladder to Logic rather than a renaming.

There are many of us who are enamored with the "loss leader" GarageBand software but are unlikely to ever make the large leap to purchase Logic.

I would hope that "Proband" would expand mixing/mastering features missing in GB.

Also guessing that the PB feature package will require a G5 or G5 iMac to properly operate.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
I would hope that "Proband" would expand mixing/mastering features missing in GB.

Wouldn't that then be Logic Express. Apple surely must figure that Garageband users needing many more features should be looking at Logic 7 Express(hopefully due Oct 31st)

I have a hard time thinking Apple is adding yet another audio app. The lineup is as follows.

Garageband
Soundtrack
Logic Express
Logic Pro

Each meets a definite need and occupies a specific cost range. I have a hard time seeing ProBand as a new app thus I must conclude that it is not an app but a set of plugins that can be purchased optionally. Nothing else makes much sense unless Apple gets silly and renames Logic to ProBand.
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post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Wouldn't that then be Logic Express. Apple surely must figure that Garageband users needing many more features should be looking at Logic 7 Express(hopefully due Oct 31st)

Maybe I misunderstand what GarageBand is. My impression is that it's more like Reason than Logic... i.e., it is focussed on having built-in sampled instruments (piano, drums, etc.) that you can choose and play from a MIDI keyboard and build sequences from. In this context a "Pro" version of GarageBand would be something you might run as an AU or VST plug-in under logic in order to access the sounds. (Why a "pro" would want the sounds found in GarageBand escapes me, however...).

Frankly I don't really understand the appeal of Garageband to anyone except tinkerers or those just learning about computer recording for the first time. But maybe I'm missing something.

I suppose the most likely scenario is that Apple is just trademarking "ProBand" in the unlikely event they ever come up with a product that would use that name.
post #24 of 31
radiospace.

The only problem with that is we already know that Apple is going to have Apple Loop support in the upcoming Logic 7, thus the next step up to Logic Express may give users AU and Apple Loop support for $299.

Quote:
I suppose the most likely scenario is that Apple is just trademarking "ProBand" in the unlikely event they ever come up with a product that would use that name.

Could be very true. Apple trademarks many names that never see the light of day. However I'm going to officially stick with

ProBand= the bundling of the 3 new Emagic plugins "Sculpture" "Guitar Amp" and "Ultra Beat" those together would comprise the basis of a band hence Apple marketing them as "ProBand" as a Logic add on similar to Garageband Jam Pack. Apple previewed the plugins at winter NAMM and they look extensive in scope. I doubt they will "toss" these in with Logic Pro 7 as that is a rather agressive anti-competitive move. Apple still has to keep Steinberg and MOTU happy enough to remain on the platform.
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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by deepkid
Also, ProBand is a horrible name to replace Logic.

Yes indeed, but it is slighltly better than Garageband Pro, isn't it?

Quote:
I would bet that a considerable amount of people who have used Logic over the years (self-included) are solo producers/artists. It's a great brand name already. Leave it be.

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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by radiospace

Frankly I don't really understand the appeal of Garageband to anyone except tinkerers or those just learning about computer recording for the first time. But maybe I'm missing something.

[/B]

I would never try to argue that GB is anything but an entry level program but over the last couple of months I've found it to be an invaluable tool for quickly recording song ideas in a reasonably polished form.

In the past I did my "hum and strum" sessions into a Sony minidisc recorder which yielded long recorded passages I'd have to sift through later for the kernals of good stuff.

With GB I lay down a quick drum track via loops or USB keyboard , play rhythm parts, get what I might have of a lyric recorded or scat over the track until something interesting arrives.

I find it a very inspiring way to work and I've doubled my output of tunes, finished or in progress, since I've started using it. The songs don't "get away" as easily and my collaborators seem enthusiastic about the Mp3's I've recently sent them.

Yes, this certainly can be considered a kind of tinkering, a truly finished recording will always require Pro equipment, expert mastering and a trained set of ears but , if i might use an artistic analogy, I find GB to be a great "sketchpad" for my potential Sistine Chapels.

In addition, as a nearly free software package, it is a brilliant enticement to have people start making music on Apple computers.
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Wouldn't that then be Logic Express. Apple surely must figure that Garageband users needing many more features should be looking at Logic 7 Express(hopefully due Oct 31st)
.

You're right. I completely overlooked Express as part of the equation but Apple might intend to treat their "Band" and "Logic" products as never-the-twain-shall-meet suites aimed at different ends of the market.
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by skeletonpete
With GB I lay down a quick drum track via loops or USB keyboard , play rhythm parts, get what I might have of a lyric recorded or scat over the track until something interesting arrives.

See, I actually didn't know you could record audio into GarageBand. That makes it a little more interesting, for exactly the purpose you've described. I use Reason Re-Wired to Cubase SX to do the same sort of work but having 2 programs creating files that must be archived together certainly complicates the process.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by radiospace
See, I actually didn't know you could record audio into GarageBand. That makes it a little more interesting, for exactly the purpose you've described. I use Reason Re-Wired to Cubase SX to do the same sort of work but having 2 programs creating files that must be archived together certainly complicates the process.

That is what's particularly cool about GB, it will do audio recording, MIDI virtual instruments and allow you to choose loops all in the same project/file.

Most of my demos are straight audio - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals. I'm not crazy about loops, but I WILL crib the drums, especially to save processor power if I'm using other virtual instruments.

Interestly enough, GB also works in the manner you mentioned - as a host program via ReWire. I've only dabbled at ReWire with a friend who prefers to create drum tracks with Reason 2.0 but it works seamlessly.

Also, as a Cubase user, you can convert your VST plugin library to Audio Units via a program called "VST-AU Adapter" from FXpansion.com. I haven't tried this yet.
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by nebula
The XSKey by its very nature obsoletes the concept of on-the-shelf shrinkwapped software. It is possibly the ultimate copy-protection device, as it is unobtrusive and, to my knowledge, not cracked (?) Emagic did not use it as such however, and continued to frustrate software buyers with no stock and long wait times for new products. In Canada the wait for Logic 5 and Logic 6 was absurd.

Let's face it: software packages worth hundreds of dollars don't belong in stores. They should be downloads. The XSKey makes it possible to authorize downloads to only run on systems with that key connected.

I anticipate Apple's other pro apps will be moved to the XSKey for copy protection.

You don't own a powerbook, do you? The xskey needs to go. Of course, if they moved it in the box it would be even worse. Say "bye, bye" to the information revolution.
post #31 of 31
Hi

For us, from abroad, this is a good new. At long last we will pay the same price.
Buying Emagic product from Germany was much cheaper than in France, now we will pay the same price
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