Apple terminates world-wide Emagic distributors

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    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.)
  • Reply 4 of 30
    ProBand and GarageBand. They say consistency is king, after all.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    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).
  • Reply 6 of 30
    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...
  • Reply 7 of 30
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Apparently this Xskey is more badass than a whole tank full of sharks with frikkin' laser beams.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    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 ) ?
  • Reply 10 of 30
    "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.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    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!
  • Reply 12 of 30
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    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
  • Reply 13 of 30
    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."
  • Reply 14 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Actually, I love my Apple-branded polished turds. Best polished turds going.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 30
    trydtryd Posts: 135member
    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?)
  • Reply 20 of 30
    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.
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