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Steinberg to go dongle-free - Not a Deal

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I never understood the dongle hate. It's nice to just plug in to one of your machines and have the software just work...and if your machine dies and you build a new one just install and go! No internet checks, no license refreshing, no annoying popups while recording, etc. Simple serial is my favorite form of authorization but after that I'll take a dongle any day over activation, deactivation, reactivation...

I'm 100% Cubase Pro now...actually running v11 in Windows 7 Ultimate. I have Samplitude Pro X Suite 3 but as powerful as it is I find it awkward to use. Cubase isn't that hard to use after years of Sonar and Cakewalk usage :)

Bill

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14 minutes ago, Cookie Jarvis said:

I never understood the dongle hate. It's nice to just plug in to one of your machines and have the software just work...and if your machine dies and you build a new one just install and go! No internet checks, no license refreshing, no annoying popups while recording, etc. Simple serial is my favorite form of authorization but after that I'll take a dongle any day over activation, deactivation, reactivation...

Personally my take on it is if I buy some software, I shouldn't need to buy an additional piece of hardware too. I shouldn't need to install low-level drivers that might impact my PC's performance, or potentially give it additional reasons to blue screen. If the dongle stops functioning one day, I shouldn't need the inconvenience and cost of sending it off somewhere to recover the licenses and buying a new dongle. I shouldn't need to upgrade the dongle (e.g. there are three generations of iLok dongle). I shouldn't need a different dongle for different software, e.g. iLok/e-licencer. I shouldn't need the have USB ports taken up by this. If I lose the dongle, I shouldn't lose my software licenses.

I understand the advantages of a dongle, e.g. transferring to a new machine is simple. They're just not something I want to deal with at the moment. Not trying to convince anyone else of anything; just explaining my take on the dongle thing.

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2 hours ago, Cookie Jarvis said:

I never understood the dongle hate.

No hate, just couldn't be bothered to BUY one to test the Cubase Pro demo. Their loss.

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VSL is moving from eLicenser to iLok (cloud or key)  so I'm guessing Steiny could be too.

I'm still using my original eLicenser I bought to use VSL's OPUS around 2005.

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17 hours ago, Cookie Jarvis said:

I never understood the dongle hate. It's nice to just plug in to one of your machines and have the software just work...and if your machine dies and you build a new one just install and go! No internet checks, no license refreshing, no annoying popups while recording, etc. Simple serial is my favorite form of authorization but after that I'll take a dongle any day over activation, deactivation, reactivation...

What happens when the dongle dies though? That's the biggest problem right there and one of the primary complaints of iLok when they started. You don't know the quality of these dongles, how much can they withstand user error, if they damage your ports and so on. There's also the issue that the dongle might not work for you because of physical size constraints, maybe it draws too much power, it doesn't fit in the only port you have available and that was also a problem with non-USB dongles back when they were widely used. Software based licensing has none of that.

Plus you have the largest elephant in the room at the moment. A big portion, if not the vast majority, of musicians use Macbooks. How many USB ports they have now? Zero. How are you gonna use your dongle with them?

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2 hours ago, Bruno de Souza Lino said:

Macbooks. How many USB ports they have now? Zero. How are you gonna use your dongle with them?

Whose fault is that then?

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3 hours ago, Bruno de Souza Lino said:

What happens when the dongle dies though? That's the biggest problem right there and one of the primary complaints of iLok when they started. You don't know the quality of these dongles, how much can they withstand user error, if they damage your ports and so on. There's also the issue that the dongle might not work for you because of physical size constraints, maybe it draws too much power, it doesn't fit in the only port you have available and that was also a problem with non-USB dongles back when they were widely used. Software based licensing has none of that.

Plus you have the largest elephant in the room at the moment. A big portion, if not the vast majority, of musicians use Macbooks. How many USB ports they have now? Zero. How are you gonna use your dongle with them?

Sorry but I'm not sure much of that is accurate ?

I've three elicencers - oldest is about 15 years old - still works fine.  I did break one once (my fault) and Steinberg gave me replacement licences same day - wasn't too painful.   ......you say 'draw to much power' - again a non-issue - they hardly draw any current well below most usb devices and well below spec.

And if you have licensing based on a random hardware ID then what happens if/when this changes - HD breaks etc....just a likely as a failed dongle IMO.  What happens if the company goes bust - can't get a licence for an upgraded machine ? etc etc.  For example, if you have any PA plugins then try turning hyperthreading off - you loose all your authorisations.

Also I'm typing this on a Macbook......it definitely has USB ports :) and the dongle works just fine - no elephant in the room !

I 100% understand that many people don't like a dongle  - and I 100 % understand why....but I have to say that it has worked fine for me since Steinberg started (including the atari days) - I actually prefer it  - I like ilok too - gives much more portability if I need it.      The grass isn't always greener.

Also cubase hasn't been cracked since v5 so it works !

Just wanted to give my opinion :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Bruno de Souza Lino said:

.A big portion, if not the vast majority, of musicians use Macbooks. How many USB ports they have now? Zero. How are you gonna use your dongle with them?

not sure why you think they have zero usb ports - the ports aren't USB A, but an adapter or hub than costs  a few dollars solves that.

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I'm still running an iLok1 along with the e-Licenser...I've never had any trouble at all. I've had trouble with machine activations and various server problems but nothing with the dongles. Sure they can break if you treat your stuff like a 2 year old ;)

Bill

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I really hate that when I buy a door, I have to also buy a lock. Why should it cost me money just because some people are thieves? And that lock seriously slows me down going in and out of my house. If I lose my key, then what? I'm locked out!

(I'll see myself out now)

Edited by artturner
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Posted (edited)

Been running C/b since the big fold of plat ... Great  bit of kit ( even with the dongle ) had no trouble ...ever ..really!  as indeed I didn't years ago with Atari /CB.   Platinum was ( IMHO) the best software for the bucks, but things move on .. and they overstretched ...then sank, Bandlab gave those of us that paid the cost of that DAW a way out .. Many thanks for that, but a little late for a few of us to try the fruits of DAW's elsewhere that wouldn't go bust . We run C/b 11 dot thingy and it's a far cry from those old days but although it's been a steep curve, to know that Yammy doesn't look like going the same way the time investment has been worth it. That said we still use Pro tools and plat for the plugs. So I got to agree with Bill  .. and the Eagles .. Get over it !

Edited by SupaReels

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On 3/5/2021 at 6:01 PM, antler said:

Personally my take on it is if I buy some software, I shouldn't need to buy an additional piece of hardware too. I shouldn't need to install low-level drivers that might impact my PC's performance, or potentially give it additional reasons to blue screen. If the dongle stops functioning one day, I shouldn't need the inconvenience and cost of sending it off somewhere to recover the licenses and buying a new dongle. I shouldn't need to upgrade the dongle (e.g. there are three generations of iLok dongle). I shouldn't need a different dongle for different software, e.g. iLok/e-licencer. I shouldn't need the have USB ports taken up by this. If I lose the dongle, I shouldn't lose my software licenses.

I understand the advantages of a dongle, e.g. transferring to a new machine is simple. They're just not something I want to deal with at the moment. Not trying to convince anyone else of anything; just explaining my take on the dongle thing.

Personally, you buy an entire PC to use your DAW, so I'm not seeing the point.  The dongle isn't really that big of a deal, and I don't think that rationale is totally appropriate considering we buy hardware to use software fully ALL the time - including things that plug into our USB ports - Audio Interfaces, MIDI Controllers, etc.

There is nothing with the eLCC software that interferes with PC performance or gives it additional reasons to BSOD.  It has existed over a decade.  We have enough data to say this - definitively.

Steinberg has a Zero Downtime Policy.  That is a "solved problem."  Dongles are sold at Guitar Center.  Many people can just drive to the store and get one.

I understand why people don't like the dongle.  It has clear disadvantages, on a practical level.  However, I think a lot of what you write is an exaggeration of cautiousness.

Even when they get rid of the dongle, I wouldn't be surprised if it remains optional and a TON of people continue to use it.  I think I will likely keep my licenses on the dongle because having to manage machine licenses is a PITA - particularly when replacing machines.

Frankly, the biggest issue with Steinberg licenses is that they only give you one per purchase.  If they did like iLok and gave 2 licenses that you could split across two dongles (i.e. Desktop + Laptop), the dongle would have been less of an issue.

A $20 dongle is simply not a consideration when buying a DAW.  That is a rounding error when balancing my books.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/7/2021 at 10:08 AM, Cookie Jarvis said:

I'm still running an iLok1 along with the e-Licenser...I've never had any trouble at all. I've had trouble with machine activations and various server problems but nothing with the dongles. Sure they can break if you treat your stuff like a 2 year old ;)

Bill

 

 

They break because Steinberg only gives one license, which means people have to take their only dongle on the road with them, or constantly unplug to movoe between machines.

If they gave two activates for the software, people would keep one dongle in their desktop at all times and use the other one to move between their laptop or whatever.  If one Dongle breaks, the other is still pristine in the desktop, so it's less disruptive - and owning the dongle is less risky overall.

I think the policy behind how many activations you get for the software exacerbated the "complaints" about the dongle.  A lot of software that uses iLok gave 2-3 activations; even when they were dongle-only.

Edited by Maestro

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I'd just like to chime in to agree this is not a deal, specifically because I only just bought Cubase 11 and an eLicenser a few weeks ago!!! Lol. But I don't mind the dongles. I like the certainty of knowing my software isn't going to go down with the Titanic. My PC is nearly 7 year old but it's still fast enough and works a treat. The true "not a deal" would be upgrading it unnecessarily, out of fear it was getting old and I'd lose machine-locked licenses when it died. As I acquired more and more iLok plugins that fear grew day by day. Now I have these dongles I'm footloose and fancy free. 

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Posted (edited)

Don't have a problem with dongles but I have NO interest in the the iLok cloud.
I'd rather depend on a dongle than on my WiFi & ISP provider.

Worried about wear on your dongle?  If we're talking about your USB dongle (instead of a groupie problem) then break down and spend $2 on a USB Extension cable and just leave it permanently connected to the dongle.
Breakage worries?  My iLok3 is a small profile metal beastie.
image.png.01c8c0e77e73bc94229a68cbe5f64627.png
If I accidentally slam it while it's plugged in (another good reason to use a USB extension cable) it's more likely to damage the USB port than the dongle.
My eLicenser is made of plastic but it is also low profile.
 

Edited by TheSteven

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6 hours ago, Maestro said:

Even when they get rid of the dongle, I wouldn't be surprised if it remains optional and a TON of people continue to use it.  I think I will likely keep my licenses on the dongle because having to manage machine licenses is a PITA - particularly when replacing machines.

that's me :D

 

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