Live 5 has hit beta, but not quite public beta as expected: a limited pool of 500 registered users were able to register over the weekend. The full public beta for all registered and unregistered users is on its way. See our previous Live coverage:

Live 5’s New Features: Real-Time DAW Vastly Expanded

3 Reasons Live 5 Could Revolutionize Remixes and Mash-ups

Ableton on Apple-Intel: ‘Bout Friggin’ Time!

Think instant file browsing/searching, massively powerful clips that can be frozen and include preset data and can be dragged between projects, MP3 support, automatic warping, new effects, and lots of other features. This will clearly be a must-have upgrade, though I’m not sure yet whether my whole wish list gets covered.

Buying Live? There’s no need to wait: if you unlock Live 4 starting June 1, Live 5’s serial is free. Ableton’s webshop also has new bundles with hardware like the Trigger Finger and various keyboards; check their site to see if it’s worth it for you. And they’ll throw in a t-shirt.

Learning Live? I’m always hearing people asking “is there a class I can take in Live?” Well, you could spend US$795 for an online class in Live 4 ($1095 for-credit, maybe worth it if you’re short credits). See Berklee’s online course. That seems absurd to me, though, given that Live has some of the best documentation in the business, including an excellent set of tutorials that load when you start the program. Work through them. Trust me. It’ll help. And beyond that, since the way everyone uses Live is so idiosyncratic, what I’d most like to see is Live user groups. Any takers? (Think I even saw an ad hoc group meeting in NYC?)