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Haden

Why Isn't Cakewalk Open Source?

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It's too good to be true that Cakewalk is free. The fact that Cakewalk isn't open source leads me to believe that Bandlab must be hiding something.

What would be lost if it were open source? Instead of a negative, Bandlab would probably get attention and support, especially from those in the Linux community.

It is also strange to note that according to their privacy policy, they "will not rent or sell your Information to Third Parties without your consent". The ability to revoke this consent is not in the settings. Instead, you have to email them.

 

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"It's not good enough that you're giving it away for free. Give it away for free the way I demand it be done!"

I say this as someone who wrote a (free) thing forever ago that remains pointedly not Open Source. There's lots of things that are free that aren't Open Source, and only some of them are overtly evil and up to no good.  *

Use it or don't.

 

* As with all human endeavors, there's no shortage of evil among the Open Source community, as well.

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Cakewalk is pretty tightly bound to Windows. it has been for ages. They tried to get it running on Mac but that stumbled. I'm guessing getting it running on Linux is also a distant dream.

For Linux, Mixbus is pretty great and you can use Windows plugs with it using Wine. Also Ubuntu Studio is a nice Linux Build.

I love all things open source and it's an interesting question to ask why not Cake?

I have some guesses but don't really know the answer.

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1 hour ago, Haden said:

It's too good to be true that Cakewalk is free. The fact that Cakewalk isn't open source leads me to believe that Bandlab must be hiding something.

What would be lost if it were open source? Instead of a negative, Bandlab would probably get attention and support, especially from those in the Linux community.

It is also strange to note that according to their privacy policy, they "will not rent or sell your Information to Third Parties without your consent". The ability to revoke this consent is not in the settings. Instead, you have to email them.

 

We're not hiding anything. BandLab acquired the intellectual rights for Cakewalk properties, and chooses to provide it free to users. It's the same core application that was being sold as SONAR Platinum previously, no nefarious changes, just continued active development. Just because an application is free does not mean it has to be open source. We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the application, and that has value, whether the app is being sold or not. 

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, Jonathan Sasor said:

We're not hiding anything. BandLab acquired the intellectual rights for Cakewalk properties, and chooses to provide it free to users. It's the same core application that was being sold as SONAR Platinum previously, no nefarious changes, just continued active development. Just because an application is free does not mean it has to be open source. We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the application, and that has value, whether the app is being sold or not. 

I don't see how making it open source decreases it's value; it just makes the company and application more transparent. Anyways thanks for the response.

Edited by Haden

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Haden said:

 

I don't see how making it open source decreases it's value; it just makes the company and application more transparent. Anyways thanks for the response.

Millions of dollars of development have gone into creating this applcation that has evolved over decades now.  This isn't some fly by night program.

How many professional applicaitons of this level have you seen just suddenly give away the source code, which other current competitors could then copy and use without recourse for their own financial gain?

Cakewalk is a huge value add to the Bandlab brand.     Look at the other open source creative/technical applciations on the market...there isn't a single one I can think of that has the capabilites and refirenment that Cakewalk has.   Other programs typically will have some nice technical qualities with a horrible GUI, or limited feature set, or lack integrations.   Cakewalk (Sonar) had many "firsts" in the industry over its history.  

 

The fact you even bring Linix into the conversation here, on a program deeply ingrained with Windows, simply suggests you have no idea what you are talking about.  You are aware that Cakewalk was a professional paid for (and every expensive program) for ~20 years, correct?

Edited by Brian Walton
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Brian Walton said:

Millions of dollars of development have gone into creating this applcation that has evolved over decades now.  This isn't some fly by night program.

How many professional applicaitons of this level have you seen just suddenly give away the source code, which other current competitors could then copy and use without recourse for their own financial gain?

Cakewalk is a huge value add to the Bandlab brand.     Look at the other open source creative/technical applciations on the market...there isn't a single one I can think of that has the capabilites and refirenment that Cakewalk has.   Other programs typically will have some nice technical qualities with a horrible GUI, or limited feature set, or lack integrations.   Cakewalk (Sonar) had many "firsts" in the industry over its history.  

 

The fact you even bring Linix into the conversation here, on a program deeply ingrained with Windows, simply suggests you have no idea what you are talking about.  You are aware that Cakewalk was a professional paid for (and every expensive program) for ~20 years, correct?

Yeah, I know very little about Cakewalk's history. Now I'm starting to understand a little more. I was just curious and suspicious as lots of freeware that are too good to be true ends up being a disaster for the user's privacy.

Edited by Haden
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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Haden said:

Yeah, I know very little about Cakewalk's history. Now I'm starting to understand a little more. I was just curious as lots of freeware that are too good to be true ends up being a disaster for the user's privacy.

I'm with you, Haden. It made me a bit nervous too when the company first stopped charging. I try to limit who I have to trust.

It's not certain that they can be trusted, but it's also not certaion that someone you are paying can be trusted. 🙂 You just have reason to believe they wouldn't want to lose that revenue stream (software you pay for). If the revenue stream could be padded by selling your privacy... well we know some are game to sell it.

I can't see any real danger. A lot of people I have interacted with for a very long time (Noel for example) says it's trustworthy.

I'm not exactly sure the economic model is reasonable, but it's also possible a rich individual just likes music and has this as a side line for fun. I really can't say. There are people that rich. Paul Allen has hobbies like this.

If there is something nefarious, what are they getting? Uploading my hard drive one byte at a time? stealing terrible guitar riffs? I think the stuff volunteered by me on social networks or data from my phone is a much much bigger invasion of privacy and we know that gets sold.

If this stuff is getting sold, I can't imagine to whom. If you figure it out, please tell me and I'll sell myself to them for whatever pennies they'll cough up.

Edited by Gswitz
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1 hour ago, Gswitz said:

I'm with you, Haden. It made me a bit nervous too. I try to limit who I have to trust and this is one of the ones I choose to trust.

It's not obvious that they can be trusted, but it's also not obvious that someone you are paying can be trusted. 🙂 You just have reason to believe they wouldn't want to lose that revenue stream (software you pay for). If the revenue stream could be padded by selling your privacy... well we know some are game to sell it.

I can't see any real danger. A lot of people I have interacted with for a very long time (Noel for example) says it's trust worthy.

I'm not exactly sure the economic model is reasonable, but it's also possible a rich individual just likes music and has this as a side line for fun. I really can't say. There are people that rich.

And if there is something nefarious, what are they getting? Uploading my hard drive one byte at a time? stealing terrible guitar riffs? I think the stuff volunteered by me on social networks or data from my phone is a much much bigger invasion of privacy and we know that gets sold.

If this stuff is getting sold, I can't imagine to whom.

Applications can see other applications you run, your OS fingerprint, etc that can be used to personally identify you for targeted advertising (to sell or to use). But as long as Cakewalk's connection is restricted through a firewall like Simplewall or even installed in a VM, I think it's fine.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Haden said:

Applications can see other applications you run, your OS fingerprint, etc that can be used to personally identify you for targeted advertising (to sell or to use). But as long as Cakewalk's connection is restricted through a firewall like Simplewall or even installed in a VM, I think it's fine.

My skills aren't equal to lock down any software that requires admin privs at install. I just wouldn't notice tiny infractions of trust. For me, it's a matter of do I trust them. I choose to.

I feel that in general there is a lot of trusting in life.

Edited by Gswitz

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Haden said:

Yeah, I know very little about Cakewalk's history. Now I'm starting to understand a little more. I was just curious and suspicious as lots of freeware that are too good to be true ends up being a disaster for the user's privacy.

Give then a throw away email address and use off-line activation and keep your machine offline if you are worried about it.

I understand the concern, but I'd do some actual research before jumping to conclusions on this one.   You might reach the same conclusion or you might not...but you owe it to yourself to actually do the research.

Cakewalk kept a lot of the same team over the years with a long track record of treating the customer better than most of the competition.

One of the reasons I favored them in the first place years ago is the authorization methods they used that didn't treat the paying customer like a criminal, unlike others in the same market place.

Edited by Brian Walton
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Open source is for volonteer work, people collaborating.
If paying employees it's obviously an investment that serves a purpose now or later.

Is that difficult to understand?

Personally I prefer to pay for things that are importance to me, as Cakewalk is.
It would mean also putting some demand on it.
When it's free you cannot possibly demand this or that.
But that's me.

I would not go away for $100 annual fee to be up to date. Subscription does not feel right though, I am not using it every day.

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Just my personal take on this.... but I think its also worth noting that BandLab is a Singapore based company.

It's very common for US companies (and a lot of UK/EU companies, although to a lesser extent) to insist that every product or project team is financially sustainable.

My previous gig ( a US company) insisted that every product had to make at least $1M per developer working on it... so if it made less than that, either the team would be cut or the product canned.

The main problem with this approach, is that some products are actually worth having even if they lose money as they act as advertisement, industry prestige, or an entry point to other more profitable products. 

In a similar vein, I'm sure many of us have worked for companies who have clients that use up so much of the company's resources, you wonder how they can make any money from them... but the point is, having that client attracts other more profitable ones.

Those high profile but unprofitable products or clients may not make you money, but they do add value to the brand... which in turn makes money.

BandLab has a family of brands comprising of software (offline & online), audio interfaces, guitar pedals, guitars, a huge music retail chain and some big names in publishing. The brands that make money pay for the ones that don't.

Having a fully featured professional DAW such as Cakewalk as part of its portfolio not only adds value to the BandLab brand, it also provides a stepping stone for BandLab's online DAW users to move on to the next step.

Personally I see it as no different from what a lot of us hobbyists or semi-pros do... I mean we may do paid music work, but I'll bet a lot of us spend more on gear than we earn from it. So how can we continue? Well, the day job subsidises it.

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55 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

My previous gig ( a US company) insisted that every product had to make at least $1M per developer working on it

That is quite a lot of Scotch on your end to be held up to Mark 😉

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A good parallel to what Mark is saying here is how I release my music. My main act LORD is a commercial band. We sell product that brings in money to help us make more music and create more merch, etc. We also run our own independent record label and we have a half a dozen acts on it, but LORD is the flagship artist that subsidises some of the smaller artists that don't pull in a lot of money, but ultimately they're still out there getting publicity, which directs more traffic back to our label.

Additionally, I've occasionally released personal project songs for a "whatever you want to pay, even nothing" payment model. If I get a coffee out of that stuff every other week, I'm more than happy. The point is just to do it because I want to, not because of any commercial reason. But that said, just because I'm allowing this to be free, it doesn't mean that I'm giving up the copyright for the writing or replication / duplication / distribution rights at all, in fact I'm happy to go after anyone who violates those terms, even though I'm absolutely fine for them to have as many personal copies of those songs as they like.

From a business point of view, giving stuff away makes no sense, but we've had people discover our label through this stuff that have gone on to discover our commercial acts, become big fans and bought the entire back-catalogue, so even free stuff has value.

I'm all for open source stuff (or collaboration / free to distribute music for that matter) but it doesn't automatically mean free isn't still very valuable as your intellectual property.

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By retaining control they are retaining a quality standard that is set internally. It's probably hard enough to do what they are doing as it is.

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I'm one who does not believe that open source is just all that and a bag of chips.

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1 hour ago, msmcleod said:

BandLab has a family of brands comprising of software (offline & online), audio interfaces, guitar pedals, guitars, a huge music retail chain and some big names in publishing. The brands that make money pay for the ones that don't.

Having a fully featured professional DAW such as Cakewalk as part of its portfolio not only adds value to the BandLab brand, it also provides a stepping stone for BandLab's online DAW users to move on to the next step.

Bingo.

Ever hear of someone named Bob Dylan? He hardly made any money for Columbia, but I bet you've heard of him. He brought serious cachet to the label.

I've met the guy who owns BandLab. He knows not just the price of things, but the value of things :) And bear in mind that since BandLab took over Cakewalk, the company has had nothing to do with me, other than telling me they have some new guitars (which frankly are pretty awesome). They don't support my Cakewalk books, and they didn't offer me a gig to write a column after Sound on Sound dropped it. I don't owe them anything, and they don't owe me anything. So when I say that I believe their motives are real, there's nothing in it for me.

Who wouldn't want to spread the ability to make music to a wider number of people? Some of us still believe in the power of music. Maybe BandLab is just as naive as I am :)

 

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Open source means the potential for hundreds of different versions no thanks.

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I have sympathy for BandLab that they do not want to make it OpenSource!

On the other hand there would be the possibility that a lot of coders could find potential bugs and report them exactly to the project leader (with code). Also most "professional" OpenSource projects have only 1 official version (tree) like products with "hidden" source! Thus this is no problem IMO. New ideas and features come only into the official version by approval of the project leader or core team!

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