Ableton Live Development Halted By Live 8 Bugs

ableton-live-8Ableton today made a surprising announcement, saying that it has ceased development on Ableton Live 8 so that it can focus on bug fixes:

Dear Ableton users,

Some of you have experienced and reported problems with Live 8 several months ago that we have still failed to fix. This is both painful and necessary for us to discuss. We owe you sincere apologies, as well as an explanation and outlook for the future.

Ableton values quality over innovation. Our engineers will stop whatever they are doing to fix a bug when they become aware of it. They must, however, rely on a process that prepares the incoming information and funnels it to them appropriately. Establishing and maintaining this process is the responsibility of management — particularly us, Bernd and Gerhard — and this is where things have gone wrong while we let our attention divert to ambitious new projects.

Our apologies also extend to both the Ableton developers and tech support colleagues because they want to be proud of software and service that users love.

We have now decided to:

  • suspend all development towards new features while the whole team joins forces to address the current issues. This effort is open ended and will result in a free Live 8 update;
  • make process changes to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

We hope this plan finds your understanding and agreement. We’d like to wish you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful 2010!

Gerhard Behles, CEO
Bernd Roggendorf, CTO

This is a hard announcement for a company to make, which means that Live 8 stability is enough of a concern that they had to address it publicly and promptly.

What do you make of the announcement? Is Ableton Live 8 too buggy? And is this good news or bad news for Live users?

via cdm, Bjorn Vayner

61 thoughts on “Ableton Live Development Halted By Live 8 Bugs

  1. im a proud ableton 8 owner and cant say that every now and than i get a crash or glitch but the end result is there which is a very powerful intuitive software daw and whenever it crashes it usually recovers the work i can that im not worried at all that they will fix this i still wouldn't think of using any other program this doesn't phase me at all

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  2. Great news, especially for someone who is looking forward anxiously to buying Live 8 (currently have only the APC limited version) and running it on a new iMac which I have also yet to purchase. I don't need every single feature, but stability is a must.

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  3. I don't agree with your comment that the stability is of much concern; the real issue here is strategy and /preventing/ Live from becoming too unstable. Apparently there are many confirmed bugs which haven't been addressed yet. And bug fixing is a process which (in the short term sight anyway) only costs money. And so many companies keep this a little low level.

    Usually resulting in a program which gets patched and patched again. In the extreme this can (and most often does) result in a program where one bugfix is very likely to cause a new bug. Simply because the whole structure has become too complex; old bugs get fixed, but many won't be able to tell what that might do with (here it comes:) *current developments*.

    No, this is a brilliant move; making sure that there aren't too many loose ends hanging about before starting to work on new developments. Because if you do you might eventually be faced with a situation where a complete code rehaul (total software rewrite) is cheaper than having to dissect (and somehow fix) all the open bugs. Instead Ableton does this when they're still (slightly) ahead.

    For the record.. I'm an Ableton Suite user (well; Suite & Max for Live), I really love the software and although I still have a lot to learn I have done some really crazy things already. Even managed to crash the program 2 times (by removing & re-adding Return tracks in a rather complex Live set). Still, its my personal opinion that instability isn't the issue here, though I will be the first to admit that my opinion could be a little biased in favor of Ableton, though in this case I don't think it is.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  4. I don't agree with your comment that the stability is of much concern; the real issue here is strategy and /preventing/ Live from becoming too unstable. Apparently there are many confirmed bugs which haven't been addressed yet. And bug fixing is a process which (in the short term sight anyway) only costs money. And so many companies keep this a little low level.

    Usually resulting in a program which gets patched and patched again. In the extreme this can (and most often does) result in a program where one bugfix is very likely to cause a new bug. Simply because the whole structure has become too complex; old bugs get fixed, but many won't be able to tell what that might do with (here it comes:) *current developments*.

    No, this is a brilliant move; making sure that there aren't too many loose ends hanging about before starting to work on new developments. Because if you do you might eventually be faced with a situation where a complete code rehaul (total software rewrite) is cheaper than having to dissect (and somehow fix) all the open bugs. Instead Ableton does this when they're still (slightly) ahead.

    For the record.. I'm an Ableton Suite user (well; Suite & Max for Live), I really love the software and although I still have a lot to learn I have done some really crazy things already. Even managed to crash the program 2 times (by removing & re-adding Return tracks in a rather complex Live set). Still, its my personal opinion that instability isn't the issue here, though I will be the first to admit that my opinion could be a little biased in favor of Ableton, though in this case I don't think it is.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  5. im a proud ableton 8 owner and cant say that every now and than i get a crash or glitch but the end result is there which is a very powerful intuitive software daw and whenever it crashes it usually recovers the work i can that im not worried at all that they will fix this i still wouldn't think of using any other program this doesn't phase me at all

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  6. im a proud ableton 8 owner and cant say that every now and than i get a crash or glitch but the end result is there which is a very powerful intuitive software daw and whenever it crashes it usually recovers the work i can that im not worried at all that they will fix this i still wouldn't think of using any other program this doesn't phase me at all

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  7. I have 8.1 with Max for Live and experience zero bugs as far as I can tell even when taxing the processor with a great many tracks all using heavy effects. Using OS X or 7 I have no issues whatsoever so maybe these bugs are behind the scenes at least as far as me running it but it is good to see these guys giving so much support for any problems there may be.

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  8. Great news, especially for someone who is looking forward anxiously to buying Live 8 (currently have only the APC limited version) and running it on a new iMac which I have also yet to purchase. I don't need every single feature, but stability is a must.

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  9. Great news, especially for someone who is looking forward anxiously to buying Live 8 (currently have only the APC limited version) and running it on a new iMac which I have also yet to purchase. I don't need every single feature, but stability is a must.

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  10. As a software dev, this actually makes me want to pick up a copy of Live. This is the kind of behavior that is all to rare (contrast with Steinberg, for instance).

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  11. as a developer I can honestly say that hearing the upper ups take genuine ownership of the problem is refreshing. It warrants my patience.

    Get it rock solid first, smooth over the feathers, and then full speed ahead. Nice to see someone doing it right.

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  12. I'm a Ableton Live Suite & Max for Live user and I'm a big fan of the Ableton software. Every DAW I used before (Sonar, Cubase) had a crash once and a while. But I experience more crashes after the 8.1 release with max for Live in it. And I have problems opening old songs in 8.1. It simply crashes on opening. All these bugs are allready reported, so for me this is good news! And indeed brave to deal with it this way.

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  13. I'm a Ableton Live Suite & Max for Live user and I'm a big fan of the Ableton software. Every DAW I used before (Sonar, Cubase) had a crash once and a while. But I experience more crashes after the 8.1 release with max for Live in it. And I have problems opening old songs in 8.1. It simply crashes on opening. All these bugs are allready reported, so for me this is good news! And indeed brave to deal with it this way.

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  14. Been using Live for 5 years. On Live Suite 8.03, no Max for Live yet. Very few bugs or crashes over the years, mostly VST related, but Live always recovers my work. Still, this type of transparency is beyond respectable. They’ve made a customer for life out of me.

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  15. As a software dev, this actually makes me want to pick up a copy of Live. This is the kind of behavior that is all to rare (contrast with Steinberg, for instance).

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  16. Been using 8 with an APC since August with no worries (knocking furiously on wood). Just did the update and I'll watching it closely. I have a show in a couple of weeks so we'll see. But so far I can honestly say that the only glitches I've had using 8 onstage or in the studio have been of the PEBCAS variety.

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  17. kudos to Ableton management!

    I don't own version 8 yet (using 7), but i'm so glad to hear that Ableton is run by wise and honest people. knowing that, I'll be a customer for life

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  18. kudos to Ableton management!

    I don't own version 8 yet (using 7), but i'm so glad to hear that Ableton is run by wise and honest people. knowing that, I'll be a customer for life

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  19. I was going to upgrade from 7 to 8 but now I don't think I'll bother. I've never had any issues with 7 and don't see enough additions in 8 to make it worth paying anything for it if they are having potential stability issues. It's not a problem if you're at home working on a project and you need to restart the software because it crashes. But if you are actually using it for a live set, having your software go down isn't an option. It's an exponentially worse situation than just losing a bit of work.

    It's good that they are working on the issues but what I don't like is that they are on a really fast release cycle (because you can get all your users to give you another $150-$200 every 12-18 months) and put out a product that wasn't ready yet. A similar thing is happening across the digital music industry so it's not just reflective of Ableton. But a large number of products put out another 'full' release every year to year and differences between versions keep getting smaller. With this happening maybe Ableton will slow their cycle a bit and wait until there's actually something worthy of being called a full new release before putting out version 9. I personally don't think they will be able to develop enough for 2-3 years for it to not be called 8.5.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  20. I was going to upgrade from 7 to 8 but now I don't think I'll bother. I've never had any issues with 7 and don't see enough additions in 8 to make it worth paying anything for it if they are having potential stability issues. It's not a problem if you're at home working on a project and you need to restart the software because it crashes. But if you are actually using it for a live set, having your software go down isn't an option. It's an exponentially worse situation than just losing a bit of work.

    It's good that they are working on the issues but what I don't like is that they are on a really fast release cycle (because you can get all your users to give you another $150-$200 every 12-18 months) and put out a product that wasn't ready yet. A similar thing is happening across the digital music industry so it's not just reflective of Ableton. But a large number of products put out another 'full' release every year to year and differences between versions keep getting smaller. With this happening maybe Ableton will slow their cycle a bit and wait until there's actually something worthy of being called a full new release before putting out version 9. I personally don't think they will be able to develop enough for 2-3 years for it to not be called 8.5.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  21. I wish Apple would do this with Garageband and Logic!

    Companies should slow down on the feature creep and work more on getting things rock solid.

    I had a Commodore sequencer back in the days that never crashed. Why, 25 years later, does software need to be so buggy?

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  22. Been using 8 with an APC since August with no worries (knocking furiously on wood). Just did the update and I'll watching it closely. I have a show in a couple of weeks so we'll see. But so far I can honestly say that the only glitches I've had using 8 onstage or in the studio have been of the PEBCAS variety.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  23. Been using 8 with an APC since August with no worries (knocking furiously on wood). Just did the update and I'll watching it closely. I have a show in a couple of weeks so we'll see. But so far I can honestly say that the only glitches I've had using 8 onstage or in the studio have been of the PEBCAS variety.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  24. Commendable move but it shows the sad, sorry state of software development and quality of software products, or the blatant lack thereof.

    It's unfortunate that because of the meteoric increase in computer software applications the past thirty years, the vast majority of people did not have ample time to be informed or educated and be able to tell the horrible level of quality in software before they make a purchase – all software, mass market, office type apps, music apps, and everything else in between.

    The original intent and desire of many programmers for efficient, effective, feasible and usable code when the field was starting a few decades ago has been squashed and discarded in favor of bloat, utter waste of hardware resources, and the unrelenting push for flooding the market with cr*p because the buyers can't tell the bad quality of the end products they buy.

    It's unthinkable that with so much computing power available in an average computer system, the software using it should be developed by such incompetent and inept developers who have dismissed quality control in favor marketing drivel.

    In all that sea of ineptness and incompetence maybe Ableton's product developers still have some intent of offering a quality product. We'll see.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  25. Commendable move but it shows the sad, sorry state of software development and quality of software products, or the blatant lack thereof.

    It's unfortunate that because of the meteoric increase in computer software applications the past thirty years, the vast majority of people did not have ample time to be informed or educated and be able to tell the horrible level of quality in software before they make a purchase – all software, mass market, office type apps, music apps, and everything else in between.

    The original intent and desire of many programmers for efficient, effective, feasible and usable code when the field was starting a few decades ago has been squashed and discarded in favor of bloat, utter waste of hardware resources, and the unrelenting push for flooding the market with cr*p because the buyers can't tell the bad quality of the end products they buy.

    It's unthinkable that with so much computing power available in an average computer system, the software using it should be developed by such incompetent and inept developers who have dismissed quality control in favor marketing drivel.

    In all that sea of ineptness and incompetence maybe Ableton's product developers still have some intent of offering a quality product. We'll see.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  26. I've been on Live 8 Suite since it's release and have found very few issues – and I'm on Vista no less. I'm currently on 8.0.9. I didn't got to 8.1 yet as I'm not using Max for Live.

    I use it every day with piles of VSTs. I composed, produced and mastered my recent album with it. If you were just about to take the 8 upgrade plunge don't let this announcement dissuade you from at least trying out 8 via the trial. You can test it and see if it works for you.

    Softwere companies are all in a race for market share while balancing quality. The pendulum swings to innovation and then back to stability. I've always felt Ableton has baked quality in. Clearly they feel they've lost a bit of focus in pricess. This announcement is just good transparent customer service and an acknowldgement that after a big year of new features they are going to stablize the platform before the do the next round. Seems reasonable.

    Mark

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  27. I've been on Live 8 Suite since it's release and have found very few issues – and I'm on Vista no less. I'm currently on 8.0.9. I didn't got to 8.1 yet as I'm not using Max for Live.

    I use it every day with piles of VSTs. I composed, produced and mastered my recent album with it. If you were just about to take the 8 upgrade plunge don't let this announcement dissuade you from at least trying out 8 via the trial. You can test it and see if it works for you.

    Softwere companies are all in a race for market share while balancing quality. The pendulum swings to innovation and then back to stability. I've always felt Ableton has baked quality in. Clearly they feel they've lost a bit of focus in pricess. This announcement is just good transparent customer service and an acknowldgement that after a big year of new features they are going to stablize the platform before the do the next round. Seems reasonable.

    Mark

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  28. im pretty sure its my choice in vst thats makes it crashes i have never any issues when playing live no crashes nothing i still suggest ableton to almost anyone thats wants to do somthing with electronic music its a power house ill be using for life

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  29. So now it's official: Ableton's strategy for competitiveness is to release new versions of Live before they pass QA.

    Their product cycles are too quick and their buggy upgrades cost too much. This is why I am no longer a Live user. Glad they're changing their pace now but it may be too little, too late for me.

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  30. So now it's official: Ableton's strategy for competitiveness is to release new versions of Live before they pass QA.

    Their product cycles are too quick and their buggy upgrades cost too much. This is why I am no longer a Live user. Glad they're changing their pace now but it may be too little, too late for me.

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  31. Torley – interesting feedback. This must only be hitting a segment of Live users hard, because most people seem to be working fine with it.

    Sounds like you'd support their new focus.

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  32. Ableton Live 8 in general has been disappointingly unstable to me, especially 8.1 which I found very crashy. I'd crash routinely after doing trivial operations like copying an instrument from one track to another, and this was was harsh to my workflow. I also experienced crashes when slicing audio to a MIDI track and undoing — if these issues persist I'll surely become a more active bug reporter (as I do for numerous other companies), but while I focus mainly on recorded work, this makes me question Live's overall reliability when performing… live.

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  33. Ableton Live 8 in general has been disappointingly unstable to me, especially 8.1 which I found very crashy. I'd crash routinely after doing trivial operations like copying an instrument from one track to another, and this was was harsh to my workflow. I also experienced crashes when slicing audio to a MIDI track and undoing — if these issues persist I'll surely become a more active bug reporter (as I do for numerous other companies), but while I focus mainly on recorded work, this makes me question Live's overall reliability when performing… live.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  34. Torley – interesting feedback. This must only be hitting a segment of Live users hard, because most people seem to be working fine with it.

    Sounds like you'd support their new focus.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  35. Torley – interesting feedback. This must only be hitting a segment of Live users hard, because most people seem to be working fine with it.

    Sounds like you'd support their new focus.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  36. I do support stability! What's particularly interesting is I'm not on any weird flavor of system… I'm on Mac OS X 10.6.2 on a Mac Pro (2008 model). I'm sure I proportionately notice crashes and other glitches more than other apps as I use Live a *lot* and continue to become intimate with it, but nonetheless, the simple steps that result in some of these crashes is concerning.

    I notice 8.1.1 still hasn't fixed the bug that broke copy and paste across grouped tracks, so I'm going to report that now! Somewhere, this ties into my New Year's Resolutions…

    Here's to a prosperous 2010 for you and Synthtopia!

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  37. I do support stability! What's particularly interesting is I'm not on any weird flavor of system… I'm on Mac OS X 10.6.2 on a Mac Pro (2008 model). I'm sure I proportionately notice crashes and other glitches more than other apps as I use Live a *lot* and continue to become intimate with it, but nonetheless, the simple steps that result in some of these crashes is concerning.

    I notice 8.1.1 still hasn't fixed the bug that broke copy and paste across grouped tracks, so I'm going to report that now! Somewhere, this ties into my New Year's Resolutions…

    Here's to a prosperous 2010 for you and Synthtopia!

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  38. I received a truncated version of Live 8 with an hardware piece I bought. After 4 install/uninstall cycles the product crashes on startup. I am not an experienced user at all of Ableton, so this first impression is tragic for the company. I

    For me, Live and Ableton go in the dustbin. A total waste of time.

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  39. Thank Jebus they are taking this seriously. I Purchased live 8 a few months ago and at first I was in love with it (like call it 30 times a day on the phone love). But in the past month or so I have become very unhappy with it. I have yet to incorporate it into my live set because I too experience way to many latency issues, crashes and overall frustration with general bugs to get in front of an audience and look like a damn fool. I'm so glad I found this article because the problems I have been having seem to be getting worse and I was about to try and demand my money back. There is really no other software that can help a musician like myself do all I need to do like Live can, but its worthless until all these problems are fixed (in a live situation that is). Come back to me Ableton, but only come back if you mean it this time.
    Love,
    Me

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  40. Thank Jebus they are taking this seriously. I Purchased live 8 a few months ago and at first I was in love with it (like call it 30 times a day on the phone love). But in the past month or so I have become very unhappy with it. I have yet to incorporate it into my live set because I too experience way to many latency issues, crashes and overall frustration with general bugs to get in front of an audience and look like a damn fool. I'm so glad I found this article because the problems I have been having seem to be getting worse and I was about to try and demand my money back. There is really no other software that can help a musician like myself do all I need to do like Live can, but its worthless until all these problems are fixed (in a live situation that is). Come back to me Ableton, but only come back if you mean it this time.
    Love,
    Me

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  41. I run Live 8.01 with Fl-studio 9.03 and Reason 4.1 and everything works great! Only had 1 crash with it so far, in stand-alone "w/o re-wire." It was when I tried to export my own groove pattern. I closed out, reopened it and my work was still safe… It's really not a big deal.
    I really CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I haven't had a single crash running all 3 programs together! This program is so amazing. I recommend it to musicians everywhere… It will change your life 🙂

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  42. I run Live 8.01 with Fl-studio 9.03 and Reason 4.1 and everything works great! Only had 1 crash with it so far, in stand-alone "w/o re-wire." It was when I tried to export my own groove pattern. I closed out, reopened it and my work was still safe… It's really not a big deal.
    I really CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I haven't had a single crash running all 3 programs together! This program is so amazing. I recommend it to musicians everywhere… It will change your life 🙂

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  43. I run Live 8.01 with Fl-studio 9.03 and Reason 4.1 and everything works great! Only had 1 crash with it so far, in stand-alone "w/o re-wire." It was when I tried to export my own groove pattern. I closed out, reopened it and my work was still safe… It's really not a big deal.
    I really CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I haven't had a single crash running all 3 programs together! This program is so amazing. I recommend it to musicians everywhere… It will change your life 🙂

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  44. I run Live 8.01 with Fl-studio 9.03 and Reason 4.1 and everything works great! Only had 1 crash with it so far, in stand-alone "w/o re-wire." It was when I tried to export my own groove pattern. I closed out, reopened it and my work was still safe… It's really not a big deal.
    I really CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I haven't had a single crash running all 3 programs together! This program is so amazing. I recommend it to musicians everywhere… It will change your life 🙂

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  45. I run Live 8.01 with Fl-studio 9.03 and Reason 4.1 and everything works great! Only had 1 crash with it so far, in stand-alone "w/o re-wire." It was when I tried to export my own groove pattern. I closed out, reopened it and my work was still safe… It's really not a big deal.
    I really CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I haven't had a single crash running all 3 programs together! This program is so amazing. I recommend it to musicians everywhere… It will change your life 🙂

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  46. definitely noticing Live 8 is substantially less stable than Live 7, i mean glitches in playback, freezing, everything… if you go on the forums on ableton.com you'll see posts from frustrated users, many of which have actually reinstalled previous versions of the programme for stability…. not surprised ableton is starting to take this seriously – people are p!ssed!

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  47. definitely noticing Live 8 is substantially less stable than Live 7, i mean glitches in playback, freezing, everything… if you go on the forums on ableton.com you'll see posts from frustrated users, many of which have actually reinstalled previous versions of the programme for stability…. not surprised ableton is starting to take this seriously – people are p!ssed!

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  48. definitely noticing Live 8 is substantially less stable than Live 7, i mean glitches in playback, freezing, everything… if you go on the forums on ableton.com you'll see posts from frustrated users, many of which have actually reinstalled previous versions of the programme for stability…. not surprised ableton is starting to take this seriously – people are p!ssed!

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  49. Ive been using Ableton 8.1.1 and the APC40 and have had very few issues with stability. Everything works great and I love the way its changed my workflow.I feel they will work out their bugs soon. Go Ableton!

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  50. There are still the same problems with the 8.1.1 There are so many bugs that they can not seem to fix. The reason that they can not fix them is the business outlook that the company takes. They have either fired people or just expect the community to do their work for them. They release software a year to early and then take a beating while them depend on the community to help fix the problems that the people they pay can't even figure out. Shame on them as a company. For a name as big as they have, they still act like people who are working out of a dorm room. I love the software but what the way they run their business. Unless they do sometime unreal for the community that has helped them they will greatly suffer in the near future. Since so many people use cracked versions of their software they have been forced to fire people I am sure.

    So what does this mean. Only the future will tell, but if ableton does not get their Sh$! together they are going to take serato down with them. This would be horrible!!

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  51. There are still the same problems with the 8.1.1 There are so many bugs that they can not seem to fix. The reason that they can not fix them is the business outlook that the company takes. They have either fired people or just expect the community to do their work for them. They release software a year to early and then take a beating while them depend on the community to help fix the problems that the people they pay can't even figure out. Shame on them as a company. For a name as big as they have, they still act like people who are working out of a dorm room. I love the software but what the way they run their business. Unless they do sometime unreal for the community that has helped them they will greatly suffer in the near future. Since so many people use cracked versions of their software they have been forced to fire people I am sure.

    So what does this mean. Only the future will tell, but if ableton does not get their Sh$! together they are going to take serato down with them. This would be horrible!!

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  52. Any update on this?

    I really haven't had problems with stability in Live. I'm wondering if they're back to working on Live 9.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  53. I just started having the “crashes on open” issue recently. Forums reveal this problem is massive, & ancient. Zero response from Ableton Support (other than the automated reply).
    Glad I don’t rely on this app for anything serious. Shows that it/they is/are not really a professional tool/company.
    …and even if it is my machine, the support response time is unacceptable. Can you imagine if I had a client? Yikes. Reminds me of Otari’s foray into digital 24 tracks back in the 90s. Remember Radar? Ouch.
    2010 MacMini 10.6.7, Live Intro 8.2.2.

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  54. Live 8 is still having issues after years of problems. Now ableton is going to have serious competition from both Bitwig (a new company that is copying many features that we’ve been asking for) and NI (which is talking about a new DAW that will integrate Traktor and Machine into one live performance playground.

    Ableton is really going to struggle in the future because of Max integration and the bridge will cause for instability

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