There’s nothing worse than owning a shiny, new MacBook and discovering you can’t run music software you want to run. “All I want for Christmas” (or Hannukah, too, as these are just in time) “is a Universal Binary.” Good news: my inbox continues to report incoming Intel-native plug-ins and instruments.

XO Wave, pictured at right, is actually a new mixing / recording / editing multichannel audio package with video scoring features. The basic version is free; you can upgrade to a pro release for US$75. It’s a new application, so I don’t want to comment too soon, but it’s worth checking out. Let us know if you’ve tried it. As it’s not a port, it doesn’t exactly fit here. But this illustrates that as time goes on, the Intel/PowerPC split will be forgotten just as the PowerPC/68k divide once was, for those of you who … erm, remember.

Native Instruments has brought its Akoustik Piano sample piano instrument to Intel Macs. Along with Reaktor and Traktor (the latter bringing some new features, as well), most of the NI line is now on Intel. As they plug the last holes (port the last plugs?), we’ll keep you posted.

IK Multimedia has released its massive Miroslav Philharmonik sampled orchestral library as a Universal Binary, and, even better, has eliminated the dongle for all platforms. Yes, you can now safely lose your iLok plug, and it’ll still run. Thanks, IK, though we won’t rest until every dongle has vanished forever. This follows the recent release of the bass amp simulation plug-in Ampeg SVX, AmpliTube guitar software, SampleTank, and T-RackS; the remaining instruments will show up early next year. (See their Intel release calendar.) Download all of them from the user area.

MOTU Instruments: MOTU has updated their MX4 synth, Ethno Instrument, and Symphonic Instrument with new Intel-ready versions. See the story at Create Film Scores.

Virtual Katy, the conforming system for post production (if you have to ask, you don’t need it) is now Intel-native. [PDF press release]

The general trend seems to be that everyone is wrapping up this month, with a small handful of stragglers shipping early next year. Of course, that doesn’t cover the many, many smaller plug-ins out there, which brings me to the next question:

Got Your Ports?

If you’re an independent music developer who has recently ported your music software to Intel native and want to make sure the world knows about it, do let us know about it.

And if you’re a plug-in lover who’s recently found an Intel-native port or new instrument, let us know about that, too. Can’t promise I’ll keep up, but I’ll try to post round-ups, particularly with Macworld Expo on its way. (If you’re going, say hi!)

And yes, Windows fans, I know you don’t have to deal with this. Fortunately, I have nearly every conceivable current platform on test here, which means I can experience the upgrade misery of every OS! Soon, Vista compatibility, which hopefully will be a smoother ride. Strangely, my Commodore 64 hasn’t needed any upgrades at all lately.