Fast Track Pro

Music hardware giant M-Audio has been one of the big obstacles to Vista compatibility for many users. (We certainly heard from many of you that you didn’t want to upgrade until M-Audio support was ready.) They’re announcing driver support today. Note that “announcing” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re available right this instant, but it does sound like most hardware should be available soon. Here’s how they put it:

M-Audio currently expects to release 32-bit Vista drivers for all of the following models during the second quarter of 2007: all FireWire products; all currently selling USB MIDI keyboards; Fast Track USB, Fast Track Pro, JamLab, MobilePre USB, Black Box and Transit USB interfaces; Conectiv and Xponent DJ interfaces; and the Revolution 5.1 PCI card.

So what’s available right now? So far, Session 1.5 software, the Fast Track USB, and the Micro are “fully qualified.” That sounds like other drivers may be upcoming but waiting on qualification. Your best bet is to keep checking the drivers page. Note that some of M-Audio’s USB devices are class-compliant and therefore don’t need drivers.

Vista support update [M-Audio]

I still strongly recommend exercising caution when you do decide to upgrade to Vista or a machine with Vista. Right now, in fact, I would suggest postponing upgrading any machines that are currently primary work machines, just because if things are working under XP, there are probably better uses of your time, money, and effort. That could change as driver support fills out in the coming months and (presumably) Microsoft ships some kind of SP1 update, which is the kind of update most likely to matter to music users.

Mileage will vary, though, both in positive and negative directions, so do let us know how this stuff works out for you if you try it.