Wrong, it's just a standard USB cable. I simply re-used the one which I used for my APC40, there's nothing exclusive about it.
That's something you configured in Live, it has nothing to do with the Push. I suggest you check the 'Look feel' tab of the settings. I say this because on my end Push 2 shows random clip colors as expected.
I'm not sure what this is suppose to mean but you have full control over a tracks IO section. Press the 'Mix' button twice and you'll see what I mean; the second bank provides all the IO settings.
That's not entirely true either, but I think I have something else in mind than you. If you're talking about turning the feature off entirely then you're right. But it is possible to arm tracks other than the one currently selected, which will also override the 'semi-arm'. Of course this feature isn't very practical because you can't arm multiple tracks from behind the Push.
Sure, but you could still do that no matter if it had one or not. And I seriously doubt that it would matter much with regards to product pricing, audio interfaces don't have to be that expensive anymore. I base myself on my experiences with the Maschine MkIII; it comes with its own audio interface but is still cheaper than the Push (even though it has 2 displays which are the most expensive parts as far as I know). And it also doesn't interfere at all with my regular audio setup.
In fact... you never know how it might end up being useful. It could be the perfect solution for people who take their equipment with them, and even in my home studio I sometimes have practical uses for the "Maschine audio"; my gf loves playing Taiko on Maschine but sometimes I have stuff to do. In which case I place the Maschine software on my 2nd monitor, tell it to use the Maschine ASIO, she plugs in the headphones into the Maschine and done...
Add Asio4All into the mix and you have benefit from the extra flexibility as well (= using multiple audio interfaces at once).
I'm happy to read that I'm not the only one who discovered this feat
There's a good reason why Push sits right next to my keyboard; whenever I'm experimenting with other standalone environments (Reason, Max and/or Reaktor, Kontakt, FM8) then this is the ideal MIDI controller for me. It's a lot easier than turning towards my regular keyboard, or trying to play the keyboard with one hand and do other stuff with the other.
And seriously: this is also a feature I heavily favor on my Maschine. My preferred way of playing reasons Kong is using the Maschine in MIDI mode with Reason rewired into Live.
N.I. even takes this concept one step further by providing a "Controller Editor" which lets you assign MIDI values to pretty much every button and knob on the controller (any N.I. controller) and to save those presets as templates which you can select for usage. This makes external mapping software completely obsolete for me.
For me.... I do consider both Push(2) & Maschine (MkIII) to be instruments even though I'm well aware that it's also a bit of a marketing phrase. It's simply that it makes (some) sense to me; the main difference between this and a "regular" electronic instrument is that the latter has its firmware embedded onboard so it always knows what to do. These two depend on "remote" firmware.