I allready have 3 sodding dongles (iLok, eLicenser, Ignition Key). Another one wouldnt really be noticedPasha wrote:^^
Don't ever think of an hardware protection!!!
Live protection is ok as it is.
Ableton is generally absolutely fine except for the unlucky situation where you run out of relocks towards the end of the week when your having to unexpectedly setup a new machine *and* something goes wrong meaning you have to start over again (or an Live update goes wrong and it asks for the key again which has happened several times) - ie you need two unlocks in less time than the normal response. When that happens, you are doomed, especially if its on a thursday/friday.
Steinberg - I actually dont mind the principle of a dongle *if* it is always backed up online. Steinberg however are completely paranoid shits (or perhaps its actually eLicener's design - still - steinberg and others chose to use it and they didnt have to) - your only license copy is on about the cheapest and nastiest most delicate dongle I have ever come across. If anything goes wrong with it, your are screwed either permenantly, or until the existing one can be examined, recovered and replaced. Basically steinbergs view is the dongle *is* the software - ie the dongle is worth 500 quid or whatever depending on how many license are on it. There is no online recovery - loose it and you are doomed.
iLok - another nasty horrible cheap bit of plastic that is so easily broken - nuff said above.
Ignition key - this actually seems civilised - good solid metal key with protective cap etc. Alternative web authorisation also available. Disruption to the application when dongle not plugged in also reasonable.
I am quite happy with the concept of a dongle if:
- The phsyical device is sturdy (ie no horrible delicate plasic things). Ideally it doesnt stick out of your laptop as much either, and therefore less likely to be damaged. Also if made of metal, and includes a suitably sturdy loop, then theft can be reduced simnply by attaching it to the locking cable protecting you laptop if reuquired.
- There is online backup (ideally in a central place), so after loss, you are able to online recover all of your keys (or perhaps be granted new ones while the old ones are writen off such that can never be used for activation again) once you have obtained a new dongle.
- There is provision for a temporary uncontested online only authorisation, say for a couple of days unless refreshed authomatically, and maybe refreshed for saw a couple of weeks - ie long enough to get a replacement dongle (and accepting that your previous dongle and the licenses it contains will be writen off if you use the online dongless auth) - this is specifically to help with stolen laptop+dongle scenario, where you buy a new laptop and set it up for a weekend gig.
- The usual provision of install on as many computers as you like - ie plug the dongle in when you need to use that particular computer.
- If dongle is removed from the computer, then certains function can be quite reasonably disabled (in the case of the DAW - saving, in the case of plugins, no sound output perhaps, or reduced quality or whatever), and you probably cant start the app again until it is plugged in - ie the damn thin doesnt immediately crash all of you plugins and DAW and ditch your work as some of them do. (Sometimes you need to move the laptop between computers to check stuff without havign to shut down the apps, for eg checking a migrated set).
- If dongles makers are simply too mean to make a quality key, then make cheap keys and also make high quality keys - stop being stingey cheap gits!