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Apple Releases a Subscription Softw… Sorry, iPad Version of Logic Pro

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All over the Internet, the subscription license overshadows what looks like a very cool app

By now you’ve surely seen the announcement that Apple is releasing an iPad version of Logic Pro, their DAW. And even the biggest Apple cult fanboy/fangirl websites have SUBSCRIPTION in their headlines along with it.

That says a lot about how universally reviled subscription software is. Synth and Software readers certainly can’t be counted among its biggest fans.

And Waves certainly got huge pieces of people’s minds after they tried to move exclusively to a subscription model a couple of months ago!

Here are some thoughts.

First, at $4.99 a month or $49 a year Logic Pro for iPad one of the most expensive iOS apps out there. That’s a lot less than desktop programs, but we’ve become conditioned to ask whether we really want to spend $3 for an app!

But price aside, surely Apple’s executives know what people think about subscription software. Lacking mind-reading skills, we don’t know what’s going through their minds.

One clue as to the target audience is the header graphic to this story, grabbed from the Apple site: people making beats who dream of topping the charts – and maybe who can afford $5/month but would balk at $200 for Logic Pro Mac, itself an incredible bargain.

(There’s also an iPad version of Final Cut Pro, their video editing program, but that’s a different audience.)

So far Apple has priced their software so it adds value to their hardware. They include Pages, their word processor, with every new Mac. And again, Logic Pro with all its instruments and plug-ins… only $200? You can easily spend multiple times that for one instrument.

Also, if you want to keep up with the latest version of Logic, you need up-to-date hardware. Last year that weighted heavily in my very favorite music and audio tech journalist’s decision to finally get a new Mac last year. The upgraded 2009 Mac Pro I was using before that still ran everything else just fine.

But while you also need a recent iPad to run Logic Pro on it, this feels like there’s more going on, and it may not stop here. Apple makes a lot of money from their services, so that could be part of the picture.

Will their Mac pro apps follow? We know how you’d feel about that!

In the meantime all we can do is sit in our armchairs, speculate about what’s going on, and hope for the future we want.

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