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.)