"locking" m4l devices

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
synnack
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"locking" m4l devices

Post by synnack » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:22 pm

Looks like these guys have done some sort of hack to prevent editing of their devices they sell.

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2010/07/2 ... more-12430

It appears to allow you to open the device in max, it quickly closes the max window. Seems they are using some max logic to do that inside the patch itself.

Seems silly to me though. Since there is no DRM or encryption it doesn't present people from sharing the device itself with anyone who didn't buy it. All this really does is piss people off because they're not able to see how the device was made or customize it.

Anyone else curious how they did this? I'd like to understand it so that I can make a policy for maxforlive.com that either allows but notes a patch is not editable or forbids any "locked" devices.
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Myralfur
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by Myralfur » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:59 pm

i'm guessing they used a pcontrol object or something similar. using it you can open and close patcher windows. probably set up a delay to cause the window to close a second after it's opened.

i remember reading somewhere that ableton are planning to release locked content for max4live. i'm guessing something along the lines of DRM so you can purchase a device and not be able to share it.

this i can understand. not particularly happy about it from an open software perspective, but then if you were really into open software you'd be using PD or SuperCollider not Ableton and Max.

this method from puremagnetik does seem a bit pointless though. as you say it doesn't stop anyone from getting your work without paying, just annoys people who have paid, stops them from customizing, one of the main points of max 4 live, and stops you being able to learn from their work.

if they did have DRM'd M4L devices and they decided they wanted to just sell the product not the ability to open and learn from it i could also understand that. maybe then we'd be closer to a system where non-programmers could pay a bit less and just get the device, and programmers could pay a bit more get an editable device, with all of the source code and maybe some good comments or tutorials on how it was programmed, how to edit it and how to create something similar of your own.

Martyn
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by Martyn » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:59 pm

I'm getting very close to selling M4L, this is another nail in the coffin for me, sad news.

The Northern Contingent
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by The Northern Contingent » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:41 pm

Yes - me too. I can't believe this has been allowed actually. The whole point of Max is to encourage free sharing of devices. Does this mean that a runtime of M4L is in the pipeline now?

Martyn
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by Martyn » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:01 pm

The Northern Contingent wrote:Does this mean that a runtime of M4L is in the pipeline now?
I wouldn't be surprised.

I really don't want to throw any negativity into the M4L pot because I truly think it's the most exciting development in electronic music for quite a while. I really thought I'd be off the starting blocks with it properly by now though and it's becoming clear that all I'm using it for is as a runtime, a very expensive one.

I've been through the (supposedly fantastic) tutorials until I got so bored and frustrated that I just wanted to never re-open it. As it stands I don't think I have much hope of creating devices that really work as well as some of the talented people at Puremagnetik can create, even if I were to spend a couple of years trying, so the only hope I have of getting good use of my £300 puchase is hacking on existing things, if people start locking devices that won't be possible and i won't stand a chance. Either that or I'll have to spend even more money than I already have on yet MORE 'products' from the Ableton camp.

There already has been some real sharing spirit from some talented people who I'd guess come more from the Max side of things, I'd like to say thanks to those people (esp. tempus3r for creating M4l.com) for their hard work and attitude. I'm going to keep M4L for at least as long as this winter, hopefully the dark evenings will inspire more study and I might get something out of this but at the moment that Komplete 7 deal and the fact that my Reaktor update from NI was free are making me really wish I'd saved my money.

m

The Northern Contingent
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by The Northern Contingent » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:19 pm

Ha! You sound like me with the tutorials - I'm really trying at them but I can't get my head round programming! How do you remember all the commands?? That's my own stupid brain of course. I'd love to see a structured set of videos that teach you max, or even some local classes.

Martyn
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by Martyn » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:28 pm

:lol: Yeah, I've never paid so much for something that's made me feel so dumb.

+1 on some icebraker tutorials, they could call it Max 4 Live 4 the terminally stupid.

amounra93
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by amounra93 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:09 pm

Ableton has had nothing to do with "locking" this device. The coders just found a clever way to prevent you from opening it and editing it. The way they have used is not the only way to accomplish such a thing, I'm sure. And I'd also mention, you will probably see these same patches unlocked somewhere in no time if you look hard enough (if anyone finds it worth the trouble to mess with, that is).

I think that the majority of m4l users have a truly communal spirit, and will continue to share their work and encourage the new user to learn how things work for themselves. If people want to make money from plugins, an environment like m4l is NOT the place to be. I thought that Pluggo kind of proved that.

As far as learning...yeah, its not easy, especially at first. I just kept ripping apart peoples patches, and googling what I didn't know. And and ripping apart peoples patches.... and ripping apart peoples patches....

Cheers
http://www.aumhaa.com for Monomod and other m4l goodies.

The Northern Contingent
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by The Northern Contingent » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:54 pm

Cheers amounra93 - I'll keep going with max via other people's patches and see if this helps at all. I don't mean to sound as though like I'm having a go at Max itself for my own stupid thick head. I actually think the tutorials and overall structure of the program is outstanding - being able to click on any object and bring up a comprehensive information window (with usable patches!) is genius. I'm just struggling to get going with the basics. Last night, for example, I went back to the beginning and started with the basics. By the end of the night I was feeling pretty pleased with myself again. Today, my head's blank. I can't remember a bloody thing. STUPID BRAIN!

amounra93
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by amounra93 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:21 pm

Ok...not the right place to post this, but it applies. I reread the posts further up, and realized I had something (possibly) useful to add.

I never (ever) read any of the tutorials front to back. Or even at all, except for as I've needed them to do something in the context of one of my patches. I'm sure I tried to read them when I first started using them and got numb and bored and stopped before it all sunk in.

I think to get anything out of M4L, and Max in general, its more important to understand the process of creating a piece of software. Sketch out a logical flow-chart of what you want to accomplish in your patch, and then start looking through the reference material (and other peoples' patches that do similar things), and replace the elements of your flow-chart with blocks of max objects that duplicate the required functionality.

I may be completely redundant by saying the above, but I just thought I'd mention it, since I realized after posting earlier that I've never spent much time "properly" learning Max. Instead, I just started writing patches, and then rewriting them in a better way when I saw somewhere how someone else had done something similar in a more efficient or elegant manner (or when I ran across a Max object I hadn't known about that did something in a better way).

Still, the key to everything for me was playing with other peoples' code (especially the complicated stuff) and figuring out what it did. There's almost always a better, more efficient way to do things in Max, as with any programming environment. I didn't have much programming background when I started using Max, and it didn't really stop me. It is just another language, you become fluent by using it more in context.

I will say that there is nothing that I've tried to accomplish with MaxMSP that I haven't been able to make happen, even if it didn't work exactly as I had envisioned when I conceived the idea. This is a very cool thing :) Some things just take longer than others to figure out.
http://www.aumhaa.com for Monomod and other m4l goodies.

glamourboy
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by glamourboy » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:59 am

What he said.

I went through the first few tutorials (the max ones, not abes) and it was just too much info. Better to just visualize a simple(!) device, preferably something useful, and go to war. The phrase "google is your friend" has never been more true for me. I am holding back on the API stuff for now, and if i need something like a preset saver or some stuff, it's easy enough to rip it from other patches (tutorials are patches too). And it seems every time I rip something, some of it sticks to my brain. my brain is not very sticky.

I am sold. Max fucking rocks.

And about these devices for sale, is it just me or do they look kinda boring?

stringtapper
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by stringtapper » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:08 am

Back to the OP's question, when Puremagnetik released a teaser device for this bundle a few months back I tried to unlock it and found it had the kind scheme you're talking about, namely code made to close windows automatically. I got a lot of it unlocked through trial and error but I put it away soon thereafter. Lots of objects turned transparent and stacked on top of each other if I recall. It would have had to be a pretty tedious process to use that locking scheme.

I for one am not in favor of doing this kind of locking stuff, but that's because I don't see M4L as simply a bay for new devices but as a way to customize my music making experience. But these guys obviously aren't targeting the coders but rather the users.
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pepezabala
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by pepezabala » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:14 am

to me this locking up seems to be totally stupid. It doesn't help anything against illegal sharing of the devices - you can put them on a sharing website and everyone can just download and use them.

but it creates some kind of secret knowledge in an environment that was created for sharing knowledge. Just totally uncool.

S4racen
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by S4racen » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:49 am

I've been selling my device for a couple of months now and have been happy to help anyone who wanted to make changes to it, i thought that was the point...

I only decided to charge when it became apparent that people would pay for a rack effect made in ableton, when i considered the man hours i put into mine i thought it only fair and it seems many people have agreed...

That said i haven't stopped developing it and will be in a position to release the 6th point update of it shortly that gives 8 tracks of control that follow the APC40's redbox...


Cheers
D

cmcpress
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Re: "locking" m4l devices

Post by cmcpress » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:55 am

i've gotta be honest i don't own M4L, i'm really not bothered about learning to code - i'd rather spend my time making music. However i would quite like access to some of the M4L devices - maybe if Ableton could do a cheaper Bundled "player" version of M4L - maybe just a runtime to install then i'd be happy using locked devices - assuming those devices add more to Live than anything i could get from VST's...

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