Updated: PreSonus burned the midnight oil to get ready. See bottom.

Word from developers confirms what I had suspected: developers were as surprised as we were to learn Apple was shipping a new operating system on August 30.

If you have to ask yourself whether you want to upgrade, then the simple answer is – don’t, not yet. And via Christopher Wimbrow on Twitter, here’s the first tool that we can confirm will outright break if you jump too soon – PreSonus hardware. From their forum, earlier today, PreSonus’ Nick RICK Naqvi tells a user (unofficially):

Right now, we are planning to have support for Snow Leopard by the end of October. We had originally heard they were going to release it in September, so our plan was to test it thoroughly and then release a new driver about 30 days later. They moved up the date to August 28 so it looks like we will be a little more than a week later than we expected.

Please note, if you update your OS, your PreSonus hardware will not work.

If you have to install it to play with, I’d recommend doing a partition. But leave Leopard on it so that you can continue to record.

Ouch. I’ll let you know if this gets fixed sooner. And remember, this is an operating system that is being tested under a Non-Disclosure Agreement; more incompatibilities are likely to appear next week.

This illustrates a problem, too. Shipping an application early is great news. Shipping an operating system early – with countless hardware and software vendors pulling time from other work (like new features) to keep their stuff working – not so great news.

Fortunately, you have power over your computer. Ignore that Apple email that appeared on Monday saying Snow Leopard is “In store or at your door Friday,” and consider it a bleeding-edge operating system. Assume that for most users, the current build of 10.5 represents the best compromise of Mac stability, compatibility, and features – at least for the time being.

UPDATE – PreSonus WILL have beta drivers. And like the vast majority of vendors, real stable versions are expected in a few weeks.

Earlier in the week, I was told that we weren’t going to have Snow Leopard driver until October, but our engineers worked overtime the last week or so to release a beta driver that is fully functional. We have tested it internally and it is working well and allows for daisychaining of interfaces and full feature functionality. This driver will work with all of our Firestudio Family Interfaces including:

Firestudio 2626
Firestudio Project
Firestudio Lightpipe
Firestudio Tube
Firestudio Mobile

Our other interfaces are class compliant and are going to be immediately supported on Snow Leopard:

FP10 / Firepod

Lastly, our new recording software, StudioOne is also ready for Snow Leopard. Here’s a link to the StudioOne page: http://www.presonus.com/products/SoftwareDetail.aspx?SoftwareId=11

If you are an early adopter, let us know your experiences.