M-Audio has actually gotten in touch in response to frustrations about incompatibilities with OS updates — updates which, admittedly, have recently been frequent and sometimes troublesome on both the Windows and Mac sides. Niels Larsen, General Manger at M-Audio, responds in comments with some specifics on where drivers are, some new drivers that were released literally today, and some comments on the OS situation in general. (I’ve copied it here just in case you missed it in comments.)
I’ve also heard from Digidesign/M-Audio public relations; I hope to have additional updates soon.
This is well worth reading whether or not you own M-Audio hardware.
I’m Niels Larsen, General Manager of M-Audio. I am posting here not to throw things at Peter:-) for writing this article but to recognize to you all that we are aware that we are disappointing many of our users. With OS updates not being entirely voluntary anymore it gets increasingly frustrating for users to suddenly find that their systems don’t work from one day to the next.
I am sorry that we are prolonging this frustration by being late in delivering compatible drivers. It affects many of our loyal users and it therefore also affects our business.
So what’s the current status? I have tried to outline for you below where we are as of today:
Today we posted release drivers for our Firewire Solo/Audiophile/410/1814/Ozonic and NRV-10. We still have work to do on Profire Lightbridge and Projectmix but outside of these two products our Leopard development is complete. I hope users who have experienced problems with the beta drivers will find the new drivers trouble-free.
The statement from http://www.m-audio.com that Peter referenced in his article above was correctly quoted. We actually did ourselves a disservice by not providing more information and have corrected that today in the following link:
Of course we also have to fix the installers that don’t work under SP3. It’s not only frustrating for our users, its also a burden on our tech support team. We will provide more information about that during next week as we get a better overview of the timeline.
Projectmix and Vista 32
We posted the 32 bit release driver for Projectmix about a week ago and that leaves Transit, Mobile Pre and Ozone still in beta.
Vista SP-1 & Vista 64
We have been recruiting for beta testers on our website for a little while but the truth is that we are still some way off with both of these two projects. We have to finish our other Windows projects completely before we can fully engage but I hope you are getting a sense from the above that things are looking up on that front. Before long, our development should be focused entirely on these two issues and as we are in beta already we hope that development will go relatively smooth.
We are fully aware that Vista 64 is a big deal particularly because of the RAM constraints within Vista 32, so we take this seriously. We plan to give a timeline update on our website once we have put Vista 32 and XP SP3 behind us.
Going forward, I hope you will see an improvement in our support as our driver team is growing with new hires and an increased commitment to support OS updates in a timely fashion. I appreciate that we are not perfect until the day that we are able to launch driver update within minutes of a new OS revision. Recently we have been far off that mark and need to at least get closer to perfect.
Thanks for listening.
Thanks, Niels, for being so open. It may not make people any less frustrated with various updates being out of sync, but I think we do appreciate knowing more about what’s happening behind the scenes. (And based on feedback we’ve gotten, M-Audio/Digidesign are far from alone with difficulties with some of these recent OS updates.)
We have some more stories on 64-bit Windows and other operating system changes forthcoming; if anyone has more they’d like to know, do say so. I will follow up more on M-Audio specifically next week once I’ve had a chance to talk to them.
And this also illustrates why, when you are having trouble, don’t be quiet about it. Let the folks you bought your gear from know specifically what’s happening. We’ll continue to track how responsive they are to your needs.