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Why so much hate against USB security dongles (like iLok and Steinberg key)

babylonwaves

Senior Member
No worries! Ones I identified - spaces/ play, adaptiverb, blackhole, soundtoys panman/ decapitator. That was just trial and error disabling plugins until the project loaded again. That's pretty much every ilok based dev I have plugins from. Not an exhaustive list either, those are just the ones that were identified in the months until Steinberg pointed to it being an ilok issue. Since stopping use of ilok plugins, I've not had a repeat of the issue - that's coming up on 2 years since I first experienced it.
David, I don't get that. You've bought all those plug-ins from different manufacturers and you've just stopped using them all because you believe that the common nominator, PACE, is just not working. I don't know if you were in contact with eventide, soundtoys, EW, zynaptiq etc. but if you were, they surely didn't tell you in unison that this is just a PACE issue they can't do anything about. An issue you can google and you don't really find a screaming crowed of angry windows/cubase/soundtoys users. I don't want to sidetrack this discussion further but I believe you can solve your issue. if you like, send me a PM and I'll try to help you with that.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
This was a while ago, but when I worked at this one place, we used ACL, a database program that could manipulate huge databases, but it required a dongle to use. It was easy to use, a really great program. The dongle cost something like $10k, at least that was what I was told. It plugged into the serial port, which tells how long ago this was. (Late 90's early 2000's) I'm guessing it still requires a dongle or something because my current job uses something that is not as good but doesn't require any other equipment to run. We asked for ACL, but they said it was too expensive. I'm thinking they couldn't figure out how to move the dongles around to the various offices since we are located across the country. The current program can be run from a central server.

So, not just music software.
 

MatFluor

Senior Member
Same with a great piece of software my wife sometimes has to work with in Restauration/Conservation to map damages, structure of buildings and whatnot.
Really expensive piece of software, industry-standard - with Dongle.

I personally don't like dongles as well. At home I don't care, I have my two VEP slaves and am done. But when I work mobile, I want to keep it lean and not use my valuable USB ports. One of the reasons I didn't switch to Dorico fully yet, because at time I take my laptop with me to do some work, but then I would have to take a dongle with me. The risk of damage is far higher when mobile. If I stay at one Computer, Dorico doesn't need a Dongle. I haven't tried a cumbersome "Waves" approach, deactivating on my main, then reactivating on my laptop etc
If I would just change location from "home studio" to "studio across town", not a big problem. I'm all in for different but secure solutions. I mean - dongles have been cracked ages ago already (I remember a music producer 15 years ago with a cracked Cubase version), so it's not that Dongles would eliminate that ...

Plus of course, as mentioned Everytime that topic comes up, the various policies, some more some less consumer friendly. Ok, I buy new dongles every two years for my VEP and I'm covered for standard stuff. I don't take it anywhere, so the risk is minimal.
 

FrontierSoundFX

Dan Warneke: Sound Designer & Audio Engineer
Honestly, I just resent a company demanding a USB slot all to itself. Between MIDI controllers, interfaces, external drives, synths that plug in, etc., open slots are in short supply on a musician's desk. Just strikes me as rude -- especially when they charge for the dongle.
Thankfully ProTools can now work without the ilok as long as you are connected to the internet. I never liked needing to run anything important to my session through a usb hub, but the ilok forced me to for a long while
 

Arise

Member
Just a note, Steinberg are working on a system to replace the dongle, it seems. It will apparently require an internet connection to periodically keep checking for the license and to confirm it.
At least this is what I saw a Steinberg Dev/employee mention on the forums last year. Don't know how far that has come, or if it's been cancelled or whatnot.
 

Lcas

New Member
If I had to choose between usb and phoning home I definitely prefer usb because at least you can work offline. The whole idea is so ridiculous though.

Look at eastwest and vsl. So many more people would be all over their stuff if they got rid of ilok/elicenser. It's not like they are getting business from people who pirate kontakt stuff while buying from eastwest and vsl. They are throwing away money to aquire the services of ilok and friends, just so they can throw away a lot more money driving away customers.

I get cutting out the NI middleman, but why replace them with another one that narrows your market? Play and vipro would work fine with a less retarded drm scheme
 

I like music

Senior Member
Hah, how timely this thread is. My dongle for Cubase made a clicking noise, I checked it, and it feels really flimsy (as if the plastic shell is about to come apart). I checked it, and it certainly looks this way.

What does one do in this situation? Is there any way to send it back before it breaks and get a new one? Also, wish they came in a slightly sturdier casing.

Any help or experience here would be very much appreciated!
 

Lcas

New Member
Hah, how timely this thread is. My dongle for Cubase made a clicking noise, I checked it, and it feels really flimsy (as if the plastic shell is about to come apart). I checked it, and it certainly looks this way.

What does one do in this situation? Is there any way to send it back before it breaks and get a new one? Also, wish they came in a slightly sturdier casing.

Any help or experience here would be very much appreciated!
Pretty sure they are better than vsl but I would get it figured quick. VSL stance was if your elicenser dies your keys die with it. So they would offer you the wonderful opportunity to buy a yearly protection plan on your elicenser. I almost did it so I could tell people I took out insurance on my dongle. Maybe they've come to their senses since then? I never had any issues but I hated giving someone with that policy my money, still regret it even though it was like $100
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
Just a note, Steinberg are working on a system to replace the dongle, it seems. It will apparently require an internet connection to periodically keep checking for the license and to confirm it.
At least this is what I saw a Steinberg Dev/employee mention on the forums last year. Don't know how far that has come, or if it's been cancelled or whatnot.
So they want to make sure the "high chance of your software eventually stopping to work after they go out of business" turns into a "100% guarantuee your software is stopping to work soon after they go out of business"...
 

Daryl

Senior Member
Hah, how timely this thread is. My dongle for Cubase made a clicking noise, I checked it, and it feels really flimsy (as if the plastic shell is about to come apart). I checked it, and it certainly looks this way.

What does one do in this situation? Is there any way to send it back before it breaks and get a new one? Also, wish they came in a slightly sturdier casing.

Any help or experience here would be very much appreciated!
Get a new one. Transfer the licence. Done.
 
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