Perhaps Flavio should take a different approach?

build stability problems

Ok…so I resorted to re-downloading version 3.3 last night due to mixdown problems I’ve been having repeatedly with 4.0.4. and 4.0.3, version 4 in general. I love this man’s work more than anyone else, but I agree with the many others who have posted that perhaps he may be a little quick to release every tiny little build that seems to be created once every couple weeks or so. Maybe just a bulk update every year would do? I guess this is the reason Ntrack is laughed at by ProTools users so frequently…the stability of our program is not tops at this point in time and I have always taken pride in Ntrack, and would like to feel confident that the program is everything it could and should be. I don’t want to turn this into a huge complaint posting, but I’m just wondering if anyone else has the same view that bulk updates might be a little better for us hardcore users. Any replies are welcome. :)

I really like n-Track also and that comes from someone who has used Cubase for many years. The list of features in n-Track is truly amazing.

However, I take my music projects seriously and tools that are unreliable are unacceptable. I have recorded some “once in a lifetime” inspired compositions that n-Tracks later refused to open. As a musician, that is devistating.

Yes, I think Flavio has a potentially GREAT product here but he needs to spend more time bulletproofing the interface. He needs to really understand that what works on his PC may NOT work on everyone else’s. I know it’s impossible to design code for any possible hardware configuration but it IS possible to check for data errors, handling faults, etc.

I would, personally, trade off new features for more reliability.

Well here’s how I approach it:

Never “chase the revisions”. If you jump on here every day and download the latest build, you’re asking for trouble. Wait until it shakes out and read comments of others who will comment when a build appears bullet-proof.

Whenever you’re doing a serious project, use ONLY a known good build. Version 3.3 build 1516 is one example; it was the last 3.3 build and was solid.

NEVER download a build clearly marked BETA and expect it to be solid. Note that 4.0.3 is only a few days/builds out of BETA stage so don’t expect it to not have any bugs.

>>>THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT ALL SOFTWARE: .Zero releases of ANY software packages are usually dodgy. EXPECT them to be so.<<<

Most of the users that have been here the past couple of years know how these build cycles go and know to keep and use solid releases until things shake out. We try things out and report to the rest of the group and Flavio, who does an incredible job at making things better.

But you gotta use some judgement about using any kind of .Zero release of any software for serious projects, IMHO…

again, remember…you are the “test engineers” for Fasoft. And you get to pay to do it!

So, test until you find a build that works for ya!

again, are the "test engineers" for Fasoft. And you get to pay to do it

Good point, Clark.

There is definately a tradeoff when you've got a guy like Flavio selling this incredible software for $75.00. Instead of having a room full of testers at his office, he's got us. I've been in a project since version 4 was released so I haven't upgraded. I can't afford the risk. When I'm done with this CD, I'll take the plunge but I'm going to put version 4 on a different hard drive and I'm going to keep version 3.3 on its own hard drive. I'm going to start out on version 4 with stuff that isn't critical until I'm satisfied that it's stable.

The one suggestion that I would make to Flavio and our user community is to post some known stable DAW configurations. The reason I bought an M-Audio card, for example, is because so many people on this board used it and had good results. When I built my DAW I went with the most common, high quality, proven motherboard that I had heard of. Sure enough, I have never lost anything. Ever. I've never had the program crash in the middle of a take. I have had the program crash during mixing occassionally but I'm pretty sure all of those instances were plugin related. My experience has been that this program is rock solid.

I don't know if this board has the capability for "stickies" but a couple threads dealing with computer configurations would be an excellent thinig to have available to new and old users alike. We could have two threads, known stable configurations, and known problem configurations.

Just a thought....

Exactly right, Mr. Note.

Flavio is one guy. He’s limited to whatever hardware he can get his hands one, or he must rely on the rest of us. He can’t always fix what he can’t reproduce, but he can make efforts and send out test builds to folks that have hardware that seem to be causing problems. Without knowing who those folks are or what hardware they have there’s no way he can do that. Even at that, he may not be able` make guesses about what the problems might be because, in spit of what the symptoms might seem, the problem might not be with n-tracks. That means Flavio must try to make specific workarounds in code that is otherwise fine for specific hardware that he doesn’t have access to.

When Flavio is bought up by a large company with tens to hundreds of testers with access to large test labs then he’ll be able to do what those large companies can do. We’ll also play the price or we’ll find a new cheaper alternative.

Quote (clark_griswold @ Feb. 19 2005,10:54)
again, are the "test engineers" for Fasoft. And you get to pay to do it!

N-track is shareware, so by definition you should only have paid for what you tested as working on your system. Future builds are either icing on the cake, or s**t on the cake, depending on how it works out for you. As for my testing 4.04 and reporting bugs, I didn't pay to do that; I paid for 3.3 because it worked. I choose to report bugs for the same reasons I choose to answer questions in this forum, i.e., to help out, to cure boredom, to get involved, etc., but probably the biggest reason is that they usually get fixed in a day or two (two more reported last night and fixed today in 1772).

Granted, I don't use N-track professionally, but any professional should know better than to go outside a tested, working setup for production purposes. And with shareware, you should be guaranteed to have at least one such setup: the one you initially tested and paid for.



True enough. But since you can’t test mixdown with the unregistered version, there is always a chance you could have a problem there…or effects on multiple tracks…or whatever…

I am sure you get my point…

Yes, you’re right Clark–with any limited demo version there is an added risk that the missing features won’t work. But that’s understood with the limited demo concept, and as long as the limitations are out in the open, Flavio is still playing by the rules, and any reasonably intelligent person can decide if the purchase is too risky or not. For me, $69 wasn’t a huge risk (I’ve risked much more on lesser things), but there was a time where it would have been more significant.

But of course, even after knowing all the limitations and figuring the risks, one can still make a reasonable case that he/she didn’t get his/her money’s worth, basically losing the bet. Fortunately for me, 3.3 wasn’t a loss. But for those who find they’re having mixdown problems after just registering 4.03/4.04, it might be another story. But at least with the quick bug fixes I’ve seen lately, it still may not be a total loss.