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Any word on the release of 2.0.3?

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 5:49 pm
by jer_mcclain
I emailed support about getting 2.0.1 to fix the midi sync issues but have heard no reply. Anyone have an idea when 2.0.3 is coming? I have some shows coming up and need sync working. Anyone still have the 2.0.1 installer for os x they would be willing to send me?

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 12:02 am
by geargasm
Not even a courtesy reply from Ableton? What a shocker.

I'm going to cut the bullshit.

Someone at Ableton needs to learn management skills. A small company should act like one -- their number one offense is their lack of communication with us, their customers.

When communication DOES come, it's usually in an unorganized manner, such as posts in their forum from the founders or a developer. Once, after being upset, I even noticed Robert himself offer a user a refund. Quite unprofessional, although I understand his frustration.

There is a yin and a yang so to speak with every problem that Ableton (or any company for that matter) has. If the development team is having a hard time reaching a goal, it's the job of management to get PR or support to get the word out that you, as a user, are being cared for -- with a message that is clear, concise, and puts the issue to rest for the customer.

While I'm sure that there is an OVERWHELMING amount of incoming traffic to the Abletons, there has to be an effective solution to answer the questions, address the comments and concerns, and put out as many fires with as few buckets of water as possible.

In order to put things in a better perspective, I'll offer a personal experience I had recently with a doctor. I scheduled an appointment with said doctor, and on the day that I showed up to the office, all the signs were taken off the door, and the offices were empty. I called their number, and was told that they had moved. The receptionist also told me that I would have to pay for the appointment I had missed. I had checked the doctors website the night before, listened to their voicemail, and there was no indication that they were at a new address. A bit unfair.

Now, the doctor in question is no doubt one of the finest doctors in her field, but her business practices reflect directly on her as a physician. My health goes down the tubes because someone couldn't leave a message on the voicemail or update the website with the new address.

To relate, the Abletons have good ideas, they've done a lot so far, but the genius inside is lost on bad business practices. I, as a customer, feel as though we, as customers, are suffering creatively because someone hasn't made the decision to setup an email auto-responder.

This situation is something that gets uglier everyday, something that is like a snowball rolling down a hill -- it just picks up more and more bad stuff and gets bigger and bigger.

Now, this may not be the appropriate place for me to being saying these things, and it will be for the most part ignored because of the length of my post. However, the reasons I don't say these things in an email to you personally Gerhard, is that past experience with your company has taught me that without making a fuss I will be ignored.

If you like my attitude, you have my email address. If you don't like my attitude, best of luck to you.

- Mike

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 2:07 am
by Alex
Hi folks,

Sorry if you get no feedback from us. Our support is working hard and tries to answer as much as possible. But because we're all humans making mistakes from time to time, if you don't get an answer within some days please ask again.

Concerning the midi clock issue... I know the problem you described in the forum about Live and the Korg ER-1. Live 2.0.2 introduced an embrassing bug so that MIDI clock (with Live as master) starts to drift. But this was not the case in Live 2.0.1 (that's why it's embrassing :)).

The question for us is now if you had this behaviour with Live 2.0.1 too or just with Live 2.0.2?

Concerning the release date of Live 2.0.3 I can't and won't tell an explicit date. At 99% it's in the next days (which of course could mean everything)

I read you posting several times and tried to understand what we could better for you from your opinion but I failed somehow. You're not contented with our communication so please tell me what and how we should do it better.

But I know from other threads that you asked for a list of known bugs in Live 2.0.2. We hade some discussions about this point and decided not to do it for now. The main reason was that it seems to risky that users read the list and say "Ok, my bug is inside. I don't have to send a bug report".

The other thing you requested also in another thread was if we had such a list we should publish it on the website itself and not in the forum. Basically we have planned to change all bug report / bug status related thing within the next major update (outside the forum).

Please tell us if you still have other "communication requests". It's better to hear what you want instead of saying something like "there's a lack of communication" :).

There are still some general things I want to say.
From my (of course very subjective) side I just can say that I get a lot of emails we're user are pleased about thet fact that they get an answer from us. Of course the forum is a bit "unorganized". But that's why it's an open forum . It's like a market place.

I also cannot understand that feedback from a developer itself should be somehow negative. In my opinion it's the best you can get as user.
But what should be the alternative to postings directly from the founder or developers? We have really good marketing people but it's not their job to post in the forum. The postings are to 99% technical so that it would make no sense for them to post.

Beside that I'm happy about the fact that we have no strictly "Ableton posting guide - what you allowed to say". Concerning the refund offered from Robert I agreed with him. At a certain point (or under a certain niveau) it makes no sense to discuss.

Probably my english is still to bad to understand your sentence concerning automated email response. By the way, for me, automated email response is evil. But that's another issue...:)


P.S. As a company you have absolutely no alternative as to answer if someone "makes a fuss". But you prefer to accept advices if they come without a fuss.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 3:01 am
by geargasm

First off, I appreciate the quality of your response.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that you folks shouldn't have email addresses if everything that gets sent to them is mysteriously sucked into a black hole.

Out of several legitimate license holding friends of mine, I am the only one to EVER receive a response from anyone at Ableton or Midiman, and that one email was a courtesy reply I received weeks after sending the original email in. From looking around the forums here, I see that there are others too.

There are no evils in with an automated response system. In fact, even though they can seem "cold", if worded correctly, just knowing that someone even looked at an email I sent in is enough to make someone happy.

In fact, by not having a canned response, if any response to a customer request (problem, concern, etc), you have told your customer that you do not care. This is not personal as much as it is something that you need to do to tell your customers you do care.

Having access to people like yourself is great! There's no problem with that! However, if I was the said disgruntled person from the post Robert responded to -- just frustrated out of his mind because his email got overlooked, his english or german isn't that great, and he's just trying to learn, I'd say F*CK YOU too, give me my $300 back. Granted, this wasn't the case looking back at that post, but that's why you have support people -- those good a massaging a customer while providing support.

People are delicate, and as an engineer myself, I can vouch that most of us aren't.

The message I'm trying to give you all is that a technical question about a product isn't just that. For a product as radical in thought as yours, even with the simple interface it can be confusing to people who are experts with computers and music. I've been a user for a while now, and there are still parts that I don't understand. There is a great deal of pride that must be swallowed for some people to ask a question, and a great deal of dissatisfaction goes to that customer who slipped through the cracks. That person has made the effort to buy your program, attempt to learn it, and you can't even send a canned response out to that person to acknowledge they exist?

You have to understand, that all your customers (no offense to the thousands I'll piss off with this comment) aren't as bright as you and I. They may have bought their first computer to use your product! That's exciting to me! It should be THRILLING to you!

Now, you CANNOT let this customer slip through the cracks, and yet from posts I see in the forums, you do.

I'm not asking you folks to bend over backwards to serve your customers, although it should be your goal.

Make each and every one of your customers feel like a rock star. Man, that's all anyone wants in life anyway. You could do no more feature enhancements and double your sales.

That's it. There's so much more you all are capable of, I know it, and it bothers me to see that people are this frustrated.

Next revision

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 9:49 am
by Guest
Alex, thankyou for the reply, and everyone else I understand your feelings.

Alex, here are some suggestions from me:

-Please put double emphasis on making sure that the software works as advertised, and works stable. No matter how users scream for new features, this software will NEVER make it in the live-performance venue if not 100% reliable, and works as stated.

-Current bugs for me include midi clock sync not working on OSX, default default 'tone' pitch-shifting mode forget' bug in OSX, and various other bugs which I have emailed accurately about a month ago.

-Perhaps you could have a feedback form for bugs, allowing fields for computer make, OS, hardware etc...some sort of stuctured input.

-I know that everybody is human. There WILL be bugs. Please let's list them, have user and programmer comments on them. I don't mind if Ableton admits a flaw in the program, as long as I know what it is.

I used to send a lot of detailed emails, with bugs and suggestions. (Sorry Alex for making you wade through those)

I now send simple, clear bug reports when I can. A reliable app is 1000% more useful than another feature.

Yours truly


Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 4:20 am
by Stubby
F*ck all that other stuff (just kidding) whats going to be in 2.03, thats's what I want to know. :P

Agree with geargasm, others.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 4:25 pm
by ZeroAltitude

I am a happy, contented user of Live who is looking forward to more performance. As such, I have had no negative experiences with Live or the Live crew. But I wanted to throw in my agreement on a few points here, so that you know that others have thought the same things:

1) You *never* on a public forum have someone from your company say, "You know what? Screw you, take the refund." (I know I'm exaggerating, but that was how it read at first, in English, honestly.) This is something you say privately to the individual. Or if you cannot contact the individual privately, you post to the forum a number to call to discuss a possible arrangement. Having a lone developer tell someone to shove off in public is not professional. Or at minimum, as a company with customers in many countries, you must recognize that this is not *regarded as professional in many countries*, the United States being one, and I would imagine one where you have a lot of customers.

2) Posting bug lists in designated locations is good, not bad. I understand you are suspicious that people might mistakenly think their bug is on the list even when it's not (people can't tell which bugs are 'the same' the way developers can), and not post theirs. But this is a rare case (the case where such a naive user both knows the real bug list that well, *and* is not a savvy enough user to also know that Ableton wants their reports anyway). So post the list, since it is an effective strategy in the 90/10 satisfaction matrix for an engineer (do quick work that will make 90% of the people happy, even if it introduces 10% risk). IMHO.

3) Auto-responders, worded correctly, are good. Much of the time, I don't want to know that person X is actually working on my bug report -- I'm not quite arrogant enough to assume that my issues are code red issues at Ableton! However, I do like to know the *right person received and has the email.* Auto-responder == good.

4) Updates. I learned about the 2.0.2 update by going to the forum. You require your users to register, and with an email address, too, I believe. You should send out a news email once a quarter or so, and you should send out an email to all the email addresses you know of announcing updates. That would be cool!

5) Strategy forum. This is higher risk stuff, so consider it an open-ended suggestion for you to think about. I would be *so happy* if I knew the Ableton release schedule. But, since that is not a realistic goal, what *would be* really cool, is to know in general what issues you were going to prioritize in the next release. For example, if there was a place I could go, like a developers' forum or a developers' blog, that said, 'Yeah, in 2.0.3 we are going to focus on MIDI and bugs in 2.0.2' that would *rock*. I would know a lot more than I do now, and I would know the right sorts of things to organize my Live projects so that things I want to do coincide with things I *can do* in Live. See what I mean? I don't need dates, I need your general Strategy for a release.

Anyway, I love Live. Sorry if you disagree with some of this. As a developer myself, I know that it's so easy to make suggestions, and so hard to implement them.


Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 7:56 pm
by Guest
i speak english, i'm from los angeles. I think this is a matter of culture, therefore simantics

don't let it get you down ableton, just keep doing your thing.


Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:14 pm
by E-Doo
Before I purchased Live (at verison 1.5) I did some research on the Internet, mainly the Ableton website, and also got feedback from several other places. One of the phrases used quite a bit was "Music software written by musicians".

After purchasing Live, and now using 2.0.2, I love the software and use it in every project now. It has changed the way I create music. If I was unhappy with the software, and it didn't specifically do what I wanted, I would be ECSTATIC if an official from Ableton offered me a refund (in the forums or not.) As counterintuitive as it seems, I admire the "You can't make everyone happy all the time" attitude and offered the refund. This is a statement I would expect from musicians making music software. I prefer my software makers being better MUSICIANS than BUSINESS ANALYSTS.

An automated e-mail responder is, in my opinion, the greatest insult ever. Yes, it might be the right BUSINESS choice, it is not the right choice overall. Ableton should strive to answer all e-mails with at least a cursory response. But realize that A LOT of questions are answered right here in the forums and some people are either too lazy or impatient to dig for it.

The software (version 2) hasn't been out that long and there are already two patch releases and a third on it's way. I run the PC version and it is ROCK solid, MIDI timing and all.

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 12:22 am
by beaker
problems with software mentioned make sense to mention
here! let us raise issue with all things related to that process
(resources devoted to support, etc)

why however do you advise about the management/PR of that
company? you suggest ableton act more like an american company:
e.g. standards you suggested (email auto reply, infinite
politeness) are most relevant to u.s. business culture,
not international. that is, part of how i read this is as a
biased and in that respect arrogant perspective to
recommend to a small europ. company, i.e. ableton
should not become m$, starbucks, or apple? - individualism,
craftsmanship, not corporatism. just a thought ;)


Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:22 am
by E-Doo
While our messages are both in the spirit of agreement, I believe it arrogant that you would stereotype all American companies in this way. I own an American business and I don't believe I have any of the traits you mentioned.

beaker wrote: why however do you advise about the management/PR of that
company? you suggest ableton act more like an american company:
e.g. standards you suggested (email auto reply, infinite
politeness) are most relevant to u.s. business culture,
not international. that is, part of how i read this is as a
biased and in that respect arrogant perspective to
recommend to a small europ. company, i.e. ableton
should not become m$, starbucks, or apple? - individualism,
craftsmanship, not corporatism. just a thought ;)


Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 3:18 am
by Guest
you suggest ableton act more like an american company:
e.g. standards you suggested (email auto reply, infinite
politeness) are most relevant to u.s. business culture,
not international.
I wish that were a true description of US business pratice! In the US it just depends on the individual your dealing with and some people have serious attitude problems, while others put the dignity of the company first. I would imagine that the politeness factor is similar globally, although here in Japan there appears to be greater politeness than in the US, except when returning things!

That said, please don't try to convince the abletons to become robotic humanoids. Let them do it there way and if you don't like then maybe it's you who are in need of education, although about people and not business.

oh well....

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 2:18 pm
by monolake
I am dissapointed.
I am very dissapointed by the fact that obviously some of our customers do not appreciate the fact that we are putting all availbale energy in our product.
If you go thru the forum you will figure out that
- Bernd Roggendorf, Gerhard Behles and myself, all founders and main developpers of Live are regulary posting replies on the forum.
- Alex, Yon, Frank, Ede and other developpers at Ableton frequently reply to forum requests.

Hey folks, we are 12 developpers seven of them are posting here. Please show me any other company wo is doing this kind of support ? Do you know how often i go thru the forum in my spare time ? ( now for instance and i would whish i have not been doing this till monday ...)

oh well...

robert / ableton

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 2:44 pm
by monolake
Dear Folks,

a last ( ? ) statement to "professionlism" in communication.

They guy who brought me into a mental state where i did decide to offer him to give Live back ( and i did mean this serious ! ) really behaved in a way which i personally found offending and which i prefer not to have in our forum. We are a small company and we are still visible as human persons believing in an idea. What is wrong with beeing honest and open ?
We may make mistakes, we may sometimes be incompetent or overworked but we love what we do and we are willing to listen to our custumers.

I do enjoy our Forum because it is a pretty personal space where people share their ideas and sometimes their frustrations. If beeing a professional company means that this kind of communication is not allowed then i would prefer not to be too professional.

Have a nice day !
Robert / Ableton

I do not believe that going to war is a good idea. I think George Bush is a pretty dangerous person.
robert/ monolake

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 4:36 pm
by Alex
Hi folks,

to get back to the subject of this thread. We just released Live 2.0.3 bugfix update. It's availabe from the download section of our website.
See this thread for more information