PACE Anti-Piracy announced today that InterLok 5.4 for Mac will support both Intel-native and Universal binaries. What did I just say? Let’s translate that to English: if you’ve been waiting for music software to go Intel-native on Mac, one major hurdle was just cleared. PACE provides the copy protection in a broad range of Mac music software, including the iLok key used, among other places, in Digidesign’s software. No PACE, no software. Got Intel-ready PACE? Now you’re closer to getting your copy-protected Intel-ready Mac music software. (Notice that the music software that has shipped already, like Ableton Live and Apple’s Logic Pro, don’t rely on iLok.)

I think it’s fair to say musicians have a hate-hate relationship with copy protection in general, but iLok at least seems to work pretty reliably, particularly when it comes to loading multiple licenses on a single dongle. And whereas waiting on PACE once caused delays when upgrading to new operating systems (early versions of Mac OS X, this means you), now PACE has been staying up-to-date with Apple. Official info wasn’t up at press time on the PACE Anti-Piracy site, but is promised by the end of the day.

Okay, now what am I doing writing about copy protection on a Sunday afternoon? I’m going to go try to do something fun now. Kirn out.

After the jump, some further notes on PACE copy protection and the Mac from PACE’s Andrew Kirk:

In the past our releases have always been in step with Apple. Obviously this shift was non-trivial. We extended the beta period with our customers who have worked hard to update their own code to support Intel-Based Macs natively.

The iLok is clearly more popular than any other dongle. Users routinely choose iLok over software based challenge/response and, in
some cases, buy their own blank dongle to use for activation.

The iLok affords portability, the convenience of multiple products/vendors activations on one dongle, and the use of features
for license management and support. This includes Zero Downtime, a very popular service with professionals who want fully automated
support when something goes wrong. PACE has worked hard to continually add features that both end users and vendors are asking for.

I’ve had good luck with the iLok, myself. The challenge is some vendors (like Apple) have their own dongle, and others use the Synchrosoft dongle, with which some readers here have had difficulty loading multiple licenses (a problem I haven’t seen with the iLok). In any event, developers continue to push hard to get Intel Mac software done, and while the choices are relatively slim at the moment, I think you’ll see most music software on Intel Macs within the next few months. Now, we just need Apple to give us some more Intel-based Mac models beyond the mini and MacBook Pro. (I’m sure they’re close.)

  • marianco

    Apple has given us the following Intel-Mac models thus far:

    1. iMac 17"

    2. iMac 20"

    3. MacBook Pro 15"

    4. MacBook Pro 17"

    5. Mac Mini


    6. MacBook 13"

    7. MacBook 15"

    8. Mac Pro Desktop (single, dual and quad processor)

    These are due soon.

  • sweetseater

    Don't forget:

    9. MacBook Pro 13"

    Apple is waiting on the MacBook 13" release first.

  • I'll be surprised if Apple *adds* a model, as they're generally not in the habit of doing that. But otherwise, that's right; the people waiting are the pro desktop and consumer laptop people. I think the wait may be okay, as I'd like to see a next-gen Intel desktop chip first. Right now, the Core Duo is the latest and greatest mobile chip, but to really beat the dual and quad G5s, I'd love to see the new Intel architecture rather than the current stuff.

  • Xac

    brosef:// just wanna make sure that you realize that an intel-ready mac app, is the same thing as being universal. just to clear up any confusion. ; ] …and i'm gonna go take my nerd glasses off now.

  • Xac

    dammit… and by intel-ready, i meant to say intel-native.

  • It is possible to build an Intel-only app that's not Universal; as I understand this, PACE will let you do either. Why on earth would you want to go Intel-only rather than Universal? Well, at least one developer (Propellerhead) did in order to keep compiling their PowerPC apps with the now-semi-defunct and unsupported IDE CodeWarrior, in the belief that Reason would run faster in its PowerPC iteration using CW.

  • Z

    Peter, that is not true about Propellerheads any longer–check their website. They are going to deliver Reason as a Universal application and they are not having performance issues any longer.

  • Adrian

    Dongles for the most part put a tremendous burden on musicians, especially on the PC. Many users have a serious hate-on for iLok, as it has been known to cause system instability in the past. Just type "dongle", "PACE", or "iLok" into KVR forum search, and you can see how much folks are sick of using dongles. iZotope and EMU do it (sort of) right by either 1) in the former making their dongles not f-up the user's system, or 2) in the latter making the dongle a useful piece of kit rather than just an eyesore.

    C/R sucks too, but at least then you don't have some fugly-ass USB key sticking out of your laptop waiting to get whacked.

    It's proven time and time again that hackers can and will crack almost any protection system, including iLok. So it's not even worth it to try and use convoluted protections that only hurt the legitimate users. That's why I almost always support companies that use serial protection, and only if I really want it do I buy a product that uses some form of C/R.

    I do not buy dongled software period. It's a shame as I would love to use stuff like Arturia Prophet V and GRM Tools Classic, but I'm not going to potentially fuck up my system to do it.

    Sad really, as Arturia and GRM Tool's protection policies lost them a legitimate customer.


  • I haven't seen any recent instances of instability due to iLok, unless you can point me to some.

    That said, I certainly sympathize with the annoyance of a dongle . . . though on the Mac, there are very few apps that don't require at least some sort of challenge/response, unlike the serial-only scheme used by Cakewalk.

  • Oh, and Z, if Props have gotten their fully Universal app working, then, yes, we can safely use "Universal" and "Intel-native" interchangeably, because I don't know of anyone else compiling only for Intel Macs.

  • kokorozashi

    It's just a matter of time before that happens, though. Eventually, PowerPC machines will be so old that the assumption will be that no one who buys new products has one. Nobody is presently expecting to sell products for a G3 Mac, for example. (My parents are still on G3 machines and Mac OS 9.2.2, bless their hearts.)

  • Right, but how long is "a matter of time" given the enormous installed base of PowerPC machines? I mean, unless there's a significant disadvantage to compiling Universal, I hope developers plan on doing it a *long* time rather than abandon old users.