Tuesday, August 5, 2008

To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade

A G5-based Mac is the center of my home studio. I've got some quite expensive software (Waves, NI Bundle, etc.) which costs a lot to upgrade each time Apple releases a new, incompatible technology (this happened when going from OS9 to OSX, and again when Core Audio reared its pointless head). Intel Macs have been around for a while now, so I have to decide whether or not I should spend the money to upgrade everything, or just keep it running on the old Mac as long as possible.

The other alternative is to switch to Windows, running Steinberg Nuendo, and cross-grade Waves, etc. onto that platform. This would also move me to Avid or Premiere and away from Final Cut Pro (not that big of a deal), and while initially expensive it would mean the end of spurious incompatible hardware and OS revisions cropping up. Microsoft, to their credit, understands that their users run other software on their OSes and that incompatible OS upgrades mean cash outlays to upgrade/replace these apps. I've been delaying this decision for quite a while. I'd like to just get my studio stabilized and focus on using it rather than maintaining it, so I'm inclined towards just running the G5 until flames shoot out the side and it melts into a pool -- but that means that eventually I can no longer get new upgrades and plug-ins for Logic and other packages.

This flurry of incompatible upgrades that Apple released over the last few years was a big part of my turning from being platform agnostic and running all 3 major OSes, to really regretting ever having bought a Mac at all. Apple has always been antagonistic towards many of their developers and corporate users, but in the last several years their attitude towards customers has also become "either you're with us, or you're against us." Buy into the Apple hype wholesale (and be rich enough to do it), or forget it. My current plan is to get a trial version of Nuendo and see what I think.