Blame Apple, Not Your Driver Maker, But Leopard Fix May Be Close

Sometimes the kernel pops, sometimes it doesn’t. We’re waiting for a Leopard fix, and have reason to believe we may not have to wait much longer. Photo CC EastBayAnt. Updated: As expected, the Mac OS X 10.5.3 update has been released, and it promises to address USB audio playback issues. That may or may not fully resolve issues users have been encountering; I expect we’ll know more soon. Let’s get one thing straight: if you’re having audio problems under Mac OS X 10.5.2 and you’re looking for someone to blame, it’s reasonably safe to blame Apple, in case that wasn’t …

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Leopard Audio Woes and Digidesign; 10.5.2 is a Lemon for Music?

The more we learn about Leopard, specifically 10.5.2, the worse it gets. I don’t think there are any larger lessons to be drawn here, or meaningful platform discussions to be had. I think you should find a workaround and keep making music. Hey, I’ve been running Mac, Windows, and other operating systems (cough, yes, DOS) for a long time. Some releases are beloved keepers, rock-solid models of compatibility and stability. Others, you move on, and try to erase the version number from your mind. Both seem to come in cycles. Digidesign has joined its M-Audio unit in responding to our …

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Digidesign Talks Latest Windows, Mac Releases, Compatibility, Drivers

Having already heard from M-Audio, we now have a response from Digidesign regarding concerns about driver support and Pro Tools software compatibility for the latest Windows and Mac operating systems. Bob Langlie, VP of Customer Support and Service, and via Digi’s forums, Digidesign’s product marketing and general operations representatives all weigh in with some clarification and answers. There’s even a response to me complaining about the lack of explicit Vista Home Premium support. (The short answer on that is, if you’ve got Home Premium, give it a shot and see what happens; a lack of explicit support doesn’t mean that …

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M-Audio Responds: Update on Driver Situation, New Drivers

M-Audio has actually gotten in touch in response to frustrations about incompatibilities with OS updates — updates which, admittedly, have recently been frequent and sometimes troublesome on both the Windows and Mac sides. Niels Larsen, General Manger at M-Audio, responds in comments with some specifics on where drivers are, some new drivers that were released literally today, and some comments on the OS situation in general.  (I’ve copied it here just in case you missed it in comments.) I’ve also heard from Digidesign/M-Audio public relations; I hope to have additional updates soon. This is well worth reading whether or not …

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PreSonus Goes to Open Beta for Drivers

Speaking of drivers, PreSonus announced today that they’re allowing users to register for open beta drivers. They’re hardly the first to do this — M-Audio has done the same historically, even if I’m not thrilled with their pace at the moment. But this raises an interesting question: could opening a beta help improve driver quality and get updates in users’ hands faster? Do audio users really want to "beta-test" drivers in the first place? (I guess that depends on how mature the "beta" release is.) We’ll have to see how PreSonus fares. How is PreSonus doing with released drivers? Reasonably …

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Digidesign and M-Audio Drivers Fail to Keep Pace with Vista, Leopard, and XP SP3

There aren’t many positive ways to spin this: if you’re a user of Digidesign and M-Audio products and looking to use current operating systems, very often you’re out of luck. In some cases, this isn’t so surprising — given issues with Leopard, I actually suggest running Mac OS X Tiger if you can until some issues are resolved. And while I have one machine here running Vista happily, suffice to say Windows XP remains the choice for many, as drivers from a variety of vendors mature. Still, I think it’s bad to see drivers missing altogether this late in the …

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Fix for Mac Audio Dropouts: Roll Back Tiger AirPort Support

Background: Many laptop-based Mac OS X users are experiencing significant audio issues on Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard. On Tiger, the culprit appears to be the AirPort Extreme Update 2008-001 released earlier this spring. One workaround on Tiger is to simply turn off AirPort. On Leopard, the problem appears to be slightly more complex, but generally linked to 10.5.2; several software vendors are recommending music users avoid that update for now. (10.5 / 10.5.1 appear unaffected.) The issue is not universal on Leopard (some laptop Mac users report no problems), but if you are experiencing issues, the only current …

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Mac OS X 10.5.2: Music and Audio Problems on Apple Laptops? (Or Blame AirPort?)

Mac users can get passionate about running the latest and greatest. But it’s worth tempering that enthusiasm, as on any OS, with some healthy caution about your critical machines. Photo by Mark Pang. (Beautiful office, mate!) Apple’s "point" releases — those seemingly-harmless updates you get automatically in Software Update — do sometimes break stuff. I tend to ignore the updates until I’ve had a chance to confirm they’re okay. Case in point: it looks like 10.5.2 can result in glitchy audio on laptops. Native Instruments has an official statement out on the problem, but according to them, this issue can …

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Vista Bug Squash: Fix Driver Installation Problems with Class-Compliant Devices

Welcome to our Bug Motel. Bugs check in, but they don’t check out. Much of the OS discussion tends to devolve into generalities, philosophical debates, and religious wars. We’re going to try something different: wherever possible, squash the bugs. Here’s a tip for Windows Vista that finally allowed many of my USB devices to work properly. Many music devices, including simple audio interfaces and (in particular) USB MIDI keyboards, don’t require drivers. These are sometimes called class-compliant devices, as they’re covered by standardized classes that describe what they do. There actually are drivers for them, but they’re provided by the …

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