Subscription licensing is starting to become the future for data storage and running applications remotely from gigantic servers that could hold data with tremendous redundancy. Now people can store photos, documents, mp3s and anything you can think of on the Cloud and don’t have to worry about losing data. With Adobe recently announcing that all of their powerful programs can be had with a monthly fee got me thinking. This could easily happen with DAWS, Software Synths or beatmaking to create music. For years I’ve seen many bloggers talk about the advantages of subscription licensing and the Cloud for musicians to collaborate on projects from around the world but never about the bad reason for using this for running your applications. Just so you know, I’m writing from a consumers perspective.
“Some say the computer of the future will be just a dumb terminal and everything will be on the cloud”
For one, I pay enough monthly fees for electricity, gas, phone, internet, my children’s tuition, mortgage, hosting, and this blog you are reading and Cloud computing services I’m using for storage. Yes, nothing is free but I feel like I pay enough for the things I need to live and music is one of them but when does one draw the line? I purchased most of my gear and I like that I just bought it and that was that. I got a Moog Little Phatty and thank god I don’t have to pay a license fee to keep using it. One day most electronic musicians will have to pay a monthly or yearly license fee for everything they use in the software world. If not a fee, you might be locked out of some functions and end up paying a monthly fee. I’m from an older generation that when I buy something, it’s mine and that’s it. Microsoft is going in this direction and so is Apple. I use Logic for all my audio recording and I’m afraid one day Apple will announce the next Logic will be Cloud only. It’s impossible now to do the type of recording I’m doing over the Cloud but it doesn’t stop a company for charging a monthly license fee. The way technology is advancing, that day can come soon. Musicians can create music on their computer and save it but there is a high chance that your data can be damaged or lost. This has happen to me. I’ve lost years of work before but it was my fault for not backing up my data.
“The younger generation that grew up with the Internet will probably accept this form of using software”
Computers Will Use Less Power and Solid State Drives
Eventually computers will consume less power and sometime is the near future there will be less of a need to have excessive storage. Cloud Computing will play the role as storage for everything. Some say the computer of the future will be just a dumb terminal and everything will be on the cloud. After a while ownership will be passé and we will be presented with a new way to look at life. Will you own the beats you create on the cloud since you don’t own the servers in the cloud or the software you are creating them with? What happens when you miss a payment on your subscription? Will you lose everything? Adobe gives you 30 days after a miss payment to give you the opportunity to renew. We are moving into slippery territory and I’m surprised many don’t see the signs. The younger generation that grew up with the Internet will probably accept this form of using software but who knows.
“Microsoft and Apple hold the keys to your salvation for beatmaking if you are strictly software”
The Future Is Still a Question Mark
Maybe I’m paranoid and just reading into this beyond what the intention is. All of everything I’ve stated is theoretical but still possible. I pay attention to the trends and I hope my readers appreciate my point of view. I think many beatmakers put too much faith in companies and I must admit I’m an Akai fan boy. I don’t trust software for everything I create and I still have hardware drum machines and synths and I don’t plan on changing anytime soon. Remember Microsoft and Apple hold the keys to your salvation for beatmaking if you are strictly software. Yes it’s cheaper to run software but remember the tradeoffs. If you decided to go the subscription cloud route with Adobe, they lock you in a contract for two years.
Is Subscription Licensing for Beatmaking the future? Leave a comment to let me know what you think.