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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Freyja Grimaude-Valens said:

To be fair, Bandlab could use a lot of improvement when it comes to how it previews, downloads and manages loops from the cloud. I'd like to be able to preview loops without having to download them, be able to choose lossless formats when I do decide to download, be able to batch download an entire pack, and decide where it downloads instead of it being hardcoded to download to the documents folder in the C : Drive.

Try LOOPCLOUD ( Free month )  .. compare and contrast :D

 

Edited by aidan o driscoll
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On 8/8/2020 at 7:44 PM, Keni said:

Also note that most manufacturers require you to setup an account and include access to their' forums. Thanks ou need not use the forums.

As to installs? Bandlab Assistant is their' download manager. Tiny with little if any time/attention to install. It offers many tools other than that should you ever chose to use them.

 

II'm afraid I'm going to disagree until I understand what you mean by "manufacturers." Very few software houses FORCE you to register on their social media platform before you're even allowed to download their installer.

Bandlab assistant my well be their download manager, but Google Chrome is MY download manager and it's really jolly good and does not require assistance.

No-one has yet been able to explain to me why I require Bandlab. Cakewalk used to (and still appears to) function perfectly well without it.

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23 hours ago, aidan o driscoll said:

SO tbh Ken ... your issues noted, its still back to your choice whether to use CW in its present form or not, it was either that OR cakewalk NO MORE. As for many others having an issue with the Bandlab Assistant Utility in general, I would very much doubt that ( people might have functionality issues ok, but Bandlab seem to respond to these ) .. as I said its the new way of doing things and again, personally I have no issue with it, in fact for me it simplifies things .. but hey thats just me!!

PS - Not alone did Bandlab rescue Cakewalk out of the fire, they pretty much also kept most of the original crew of developers in work right up to this day. Some of them have responded to your thread if you look at the sigs of the replies

Again, massively appreciative of your tone and the time taken to ... absorb my concerns.

Make no mistake, it is the same wonderfully functional, rapid piece of software I recall and I will certainly be using it (although, it seems I may struggle with community support due to my honesty).

 My concern remains, though, with the folks who will see unexplained items, which look like additional installers (yes, I  now understand they're just harmless plugins, but i reiterate that this is in no way evident at install time) and cop out. My concern remains wit the people who do not have my pedigree, who will see "ANOTHER username and password?" and cop out.

I now have 4 plugins and don't know what they're for, and a login to another website, and I don't know why. All it required to fix this anguish was a simple pop-up or help button explaining why I was obliged to create a sign-in and what the purpose of the optional plugins was.

Again, I appreciate your time.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/9/2020 at 4:39 PM, Ken McMullan said:

Again, do you often Google the meaning of the popup boxes you get during a software install? I should think not. Most folk just click "Next" to get it over with. Bandlab Marketeers KNOW this.

This has all the hallmarks of a covert software deployment. I now know hat it isn't, but as you say, I'm not the only person who's been frustrated by it.

I didn´t say "frustrated", so don´t go misquoting what I said, that´s not only disrespectful (again) but also false, as in a lie.

And then you spread this notion about "covert software deployment", questioning the company owner of the software, but without any proof or fact... just your paranoid ideas. Without proof, that statement is again false. You are just spreading misinformation.

If you are so concerned about what you install, then it seems common sense to google what it is you are installing before installing it. Other people do, that´s  why you can find the answers given to them if you would take the time to do the leg work. The fact that you don´t should matter to you and you only.

 

 
Edited by kc23
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1 hour ago, Ken McMullan said:

II'm afraid I'm going to disagree until I understand what you mean by "manufacturers." Very few software houses FORCE you to register on their social media platform before you're even allowed to download their installer.

Bandlab assistant my well be their download manager, but Google Chrome is MY download manager and it's really jolly good and does not require assistance.

No-one has yet been able to explain to me why I require Bandlab. Cakewalk used to (and still appears to) function perfectly well without it.

 

No one is forcing you to do anything. The software owner has established certain conditions for you to use their software (free by the way). So, if you don´t like the conditions, then don´t use it.

 

1 hour ago, Ken McMullan said:

Make no mistake, it is the same wonderfully functional, rapid piece of software I recall and I will certainly be using it (although, it seems I may struggle with community support due to my honesty).

That is not "honesty". You are just making a tantrum because you don´t like and don´t want the conditions in which this free software is being offered to you, and want to impose your own.

So again: owners and developers have established their conditions on how to use their software. They don´t owe you any explanation about it. If you want to use it, you abide by said conditions. If you don´t like them, you can´t use it.

Couldn´t be easier to understand.

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2 hours ago, Ken McMullan said:

No-one has yet been able to explain to me why I require Bandlab. Cakewalk used to (and still appears to) function perfectly well without it.

Bandlab Assistant is there as a way to manage downloads and deliver updates, as well as activating Cakewalk.

Like a lot of people have mentioned, it's almost the defacto way a lot of companies are providing their products now, rather than just sending you to a website to get an .exe file.

Why?

First, it allows Bandlab to know how many people are using the product. This is a no-brainer thing for any business, and similar to what would happen if you had to buy a product from a web store. You would have to sign up to buy it, the company would know there's another person using their software. This also gives them the option of contacting customers directly to let them know about future news or products. It's just fundamental business sense to know who your customers are and how many.

Secondly, it allows Cakewalk to receive frequent updates. The pace of updates and fixes since the pre-SONAR days is just staggering. There's no yearly wait between versions, major release style features are added several times a year, bug fixes happen every other month... it's just amazing. MANY long-standing bugs from years ago are being addressed constantly - just a quick scan around the forums will show you that. But seeing as the program is being updated so frequently, and the dev team is a smaller more focussed team now, it doesn't make sense to have people on outdated versions of the program when it comes to troubleshooting. That "annoying bug where X things happens when I try to do Y" in a version from 8 months ago may have already been fixed in a more recent update. No need to send tech support on a wild goose chase or fill the forum with angry "IT DOESN'T WORK!!" messages if you have the latest version that's already been fixed.

Thirdly, it's used for Activation. There's really nothing stopping anyone from being "clever" and uploading the Cakewalk installer to their own software site. If there was no activation, you're at the mercy of using outdated software, or possibly software that is indeed bundled with unwanted add-ons from that site, or even malware. Plus, you (and Bandlab) lose the benefits of the first couple of points. Activation requires you get this software from the official site, and it's tied to your free account. To make sure you're using a current version, every 6 months or so, it'll check to see if your activation is current and prompt you to sign in and get an update if need be. It's not required to run Cakewalk day to day, but it's necessary to make sure it's all working well.

Plus, you also have an entirely optional network to transfer audio to other users, upload to to a service similar to SoundCloud and have a fairly big loop library if you choose to use Bandlab's other online services. Any or all of those things can be entirely ignored but they do add value to the service if you want them (much like the add ons that you don't need to download to use Cakewalk - why get them if you don't need them? But if you do, it's nice to have the option.)

You've heard from a lot of users now,  plus 2 of the developers (including the CTO) and I think it's pretty clear by now there's no ulterior motive for anything you might be concerned about. The forum would be full of people freaking out if so. There's not really a lot else anyone can say at this point. It's a full-featured professional DAW that used to cost hundreds of dollars for each new version, but is now offered for free, with constant updates and fixes, and in return Bandlab just want to know who is using it and that it's current to save chasing ghosts. You basically have the option of choosing to accept all of this and using a great program for free, or not, and finding that it's not so different to other paid products out there.

Good luck!

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On 8/9/2020 at 4:28 PM, Ken McMullan said:

In fairness to myself, in my day, if I wanted a piece of software, I had to write it myself. Usually with a soldering iron. 

I sympathize, it's been so hard to write software since the EU mandated removing the lead from solder.

I could get into real trouble for saying this, but there is an underground network of people on the dark web who have obtained the last remaining stockpiles of 60/40 rosin-core solder that is not lead-free. It's used only by the very wealthiest programmers at Apple and Microsoft to write their software. They do have issues sometimes, though, with jamming the tips of the Weller soldering stations into their LCD monitors. This never happened with CRTs.

But enough levity :) Yes, installing software used to be easier. You had a CD, a serial number, done. If your computer crashed, you got out the CD, hoped you saved the serial number, and re-installed.

Most computers these days do not come with CD drives, and supplying/shipping/warehousing/handling returns of software on USB thumb drives is cost-prohibitive. So, now it's all about downloading and installing.

I'm trying to think of a company that doesn't require you to download the software via an account. There's Native Access, iZotope Product Portal, Waves Central, Arturia...for PreSonus and other companies, you need to have an account. Basically, no company is just going to let you download stuff. They want to know who's using their software...and why your activation code or serial number is the same as 279 users in Estonia.

You're right to be suspicious, but in this case, a quick search of the forums indicates this issue was settled a long time ago. Descriptions of all the add-ons are the top hit on google searches of "[add-on name] Cakewalk." The installer even includes instructions about how to uninstall add-ons if you decide you don't want them after all.

Can any installation process be improved? Of course it can. But BandLab is part of a company with multiple successful businesses to run. I'm sure they're not getting a lot of return from Cakewalk. BandLab even pays licensing fees in order to include some features that are given away in a free program! Go figure.

Download, learn, enjoy. I'm pretty cynical too, but at least this is one place where you're not going to get screwed over. 

 

 

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BTW Ken yes I know you were probably referring to creating code for EPROMs that needed to be soldered into circuit board...but that didn't seem as funny as the idea of writing code with a soldering iron :)

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9 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

I sympathize, it's been so hard to write software since the EU mandated removing the lead from solder.

We only write premium highest quality unleaded code. Its child and pet safe.

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Or you can pay hundreds of dollars for another capable DAW.  It is easy to skip the social media.

Ive got Bandlab and cakewalk on an old w7 machine that connects to the internet every 6 months to update bandlab and whatever else needs upgrading.  It is my main mixing rig.  Otherwise, I ignore bandlab and it seems to leave me alone except for updating.

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At this point I doubt there's anyone under the age of 50 who hasn't been on the other end of a phone call with a frustrated computer-using parent that sounded like the OP.

"Now the damn thing is asking me if I want to install some kind of Drum Replacer! How the hell do I know if I want to install a Drum Replacer? It's probably something I'll have to pay for or some of that spyware crap I heard about on the news. Theme Editor? Is that like that AOL Toolbar that kept taking over my computer and you had to come over and get rid of it? Why can't they make it so I can just install the program and use the program? And now I have to be on this BandLab thing. Aren't our lives complicated enough with all of this electronic noise? Next I'll have to give 'em my email address to take a dump! Oh look, Jerry just sent a picture of the kids, hang on and I'll forward it."

I'll explain a few things.

Cakewalk (along with other BandLab services) is licensed via free subscription, like a trade magazine. The user gives them an email address and in exchange, BandLab grants access to Cakewalk and a variety of really cool other music-related services, which they may utilize or not as they choose.  In order to access Cakewalk and some of the other features, they must first download and install a small program, BandLab Assistant. BandLab Assistant takes care of downloading and installing Cakewalk and some of its add-ons, and provides a connection to BandLab's servers for the purpose of license validation/renewal and transfer of files when using Cakewalk's Export to BandLab feature. BandLab Assistant may be kept running or shut down as the user chooses, but must be run briefly at least once every 6 months to renew the user's Cakewalk subscription license. Most choose to run it more often than that, as the Cakewalk developers usually update the program with nice surprises about every couple of months.

There's nothing the least bit unusual about any of this in 2020. The free license, the download manager, the email registration, none of it.

If any part of the experience is just too confusing to handle, there are plenty of other DAW options available. I can't think of a single one that won't require registration, and most will have some kind of download manager, and their license will not be free, though.

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17 hours ago, Ken McMullan said:

I now have 4 plugins and don't know what they're for

This is so confusing, isn't it? I don't know why they don't put it in the FAQ:

SI-Bass Guitar is a virtual bass guitar instrument. It is for when you want to use the sound of a bass guitar in your music.

SI-Drum Kit is a virtual drum kit instrument. It is for when you want to use the sound of a drum kit in your music.

SI-Electric Piano is a virtual electric piano instrument. It is for when you want to use the sound of an electric piano in your music.

SI-String Section is a virtual string section instrument. It is for when you want to use the sound of a string section in your music.

And the other two optional items:

Drum Replacer is a tool for replacing the drum tracks in your project with well-recorded and in time drums.

Theme Editor is a tool for editing Cakewalk visual themes.

(where do they come up with these names??)

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18 hours ago, Ken McMullan said:

Very few software houses FORCE you to register on their social media platform before you're even allowed to download their installer.

Oh there is a way to install just Cakewalk without Bandlab Assistant and logging in. You would have to visit a coffee shop with internet, install Bandlab Assistant and login there, after downloading anything you like just copy it to your flash drive and bring home. After you finished installing Cakewalk you'd need to go back to coffee shop for an offline activation file. Oh and I wouldn't call all of this a save way unless you're armed with the best antivirus packages on the marked. I simply choose to stay healthy within my own laptop boundaries. And I hate adware too but thankfully Bandlab Assistand is adware free.

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16 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

and I think it's pretty clear by now there's no ulterior motive for anything you might be concerned about.

Agreed. But it was at install time I needed to know this.

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Thanks everyone for your time. The tantrum is looong gone. The piece of work I wanted to do with it was done the very day I installed it. I went searching for Cakewalk because I knew it could do the one thing I wanted it to do. I didn't need to read reams of documentation to find out about all the other stuff I didn't want it to do.

I've done a good thing here. I hope simplified versions of your helpful explanations can be stored within the installer at some point in the future and, in doing so, I hope you will increase the size of your user base and your excellent community.

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7 hours ago, Noel Borthwick said:

We only write premium highest quality unleaded code. Its child and pet safe.

I'm glad to hear that, especially after the salmonella scare involving [competing software whose name I won't mention].

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Seriously and sincerely, snark and sarcasm aside, to the OP, you seem to be of a cautious nature about what you install on your computer, and rightly so, and so am I.

Rather than going through what was obviously an upsetting experience and then ranting about how BandLab should have protected you from all that uncertainty, how about doing some research ahead of time? That's what I do. It seems like you actually did, at least enough to know that Cakewalk was now freeware. It didn't have to stop there.

Whenever I'm looking for a program to do whatever task, a small utility, preferably freeware, I check out reviews to see if they have offers in their installers, adware, etc. Makes for peace of mind. You could have paused your installation at any point that you were concerned, opened a browser, and Googled "does Cakewalk by BandLab install adware?" and gotten your questions answered right away. Same with any questions about the add-ons. Google "do I have to use BandLab if I want to use Cakewalk?" if you want to know about that. These questions have been answered endlessly, over and over. You're upset about not knowing all this ahead of time, well, the solution is to find out. Look before you leap. It only takes a minute, if that.

No need for the angst and confusion. The information is readily available.

Since you seem upset about having to create an account on a website that offers other services besides the specific one you wanted to access, I also suggest having an email address that you use just for the purpose of getting free offers. I have three Yahoo addresses for different purposes. That way I need not be concerned about junk mail clogging my main account, nor the company's user list being stolen, misused, etc.

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Hilariously, Googling "does Cakewalk by BandLab install adware?" brings up this thread, so it's very meta! 😛 

But on a serious side, I think we've gotten to the bottom of some really important questions here. We now know Cakewalk uses unleaded code. Finally! (Also, this is actually a really good thread for people with similar questions about the addons, registration, Bandlab Assistant, etc. so I think it's a really positive thing we all had this discussion. :)

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