Helpful ReplyEarly Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR

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Jim Lima [Cakewalk]
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2016/03/09 11:11:10 (permalink)
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Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR

Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR
 
Cakewalk is introducing an Early Access Program for SONAR this spring. We want to give more end users an opportunity to check out SONAR each month before its official release to the general public.
 
 
What is the SONAR Early Access Program?
 
The SONAR Early Access Program provides an advance look of the next monthly update for SONAR Platinum, Professional and Artist as soon as the software is ready. It contains no special debug code, and is the same software we'd announce officially to the public about a week later
 
 
How Specifically Does this Help Users?
 
Much in the spirit of no longer holding features back until a single major release once a year, we want to give interested users the option to obtain software updates earlier. Although we won’t be able to make changes to the code (at that point it’s frozen), this will allow us to gather feedback on the release sooner for incorporation into future updates or hot fixes. Participation is 100% optional.
 
 
Is this a Beta Program?
 
No, our Beta Program is as big as ever. We’ll continue to release Beta software on a consistent basis, several times a month, to a wide variety of professional and hobbyist users under NDA throughout the world. We will also continue to make Betas available to dozens of major software and hardware companies as well as smaller 3rd Party plug-in makers. However, Beta software is considered pre-release, and is not part of the SONAR Early Access Program.
 
 
Does the SONAR Early Access Software Perform Normally?
 
Yes. It’s the same software update we ultimately intend to release to the general public for a given month. 
 
 
How Do I Opt In or Out?
 
To participate, simply install the SONAR Early Access release from Cakewalk Command Center or download it from your account page. If you are not interested in participating, no action is required.
 
 
I’m Interested. How Do I Get a SONAR Early Access Release?
 
When an Early Access release is available, we’ll post an announcement in the main SONAR forum. The Early Access will then appear in Command Center under the Rollback menu. There will be no "yellow light" or other indicator in Command Center. You can also obtain the SONAR Early Access release through your Cakewalk Account page under "Other Versions.” The update in Command Center and the Account page will be labeled clearly as an "Early Access" release.  Install it as you normally would, or simply ignore it until it is announced to the public.
 
 
How Can I Communicate My Feedback about the SONAR Early Access release once I've Started Using It?
 
Post any feedback about the SONAR Early Access in the Problem Reports forum. 
 
 
I Am An X3 User or I Am No Longer Eligible for Updates. Can I Still Participate and Obtain Early Access Releases?
 
No, at this time Early Access releases will be available only to users who are eligible for SONAR updates.
 
 
What is the Future of the SONAR Early Access Program?
 
First, we want to gauge interest and participation in the program. Going forward we are investigating ways to make Early Access availability more obvious, possibly through Start Screen announcements or other avenues. We are also looking into different ways to handle the reporting of feedback.
 

Jim Lima
Cakewalk, Inc.

#1
John T
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 12:09:43 (permalink)
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Interesting.
 
So presumably the difference between this and waiting for the full release is just that ezine / website other promo stuff doesn't arrive for another week?

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#2
Anderton
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 12:39:37 (permalink)
+1 (1)
The eZine is a variable . It may be done in time, but probably not. It's almost always a down-to-the-wire effort. However if the Early Access program generates sufficient interest, then it might be possible to restructure the eZine schedule so that a draft of features is finished first, with the ancillary stories (like "Anatomy of a SONAR Project") released concurrently with the public release.
 
 

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Note: The opinions expressed in this post were written by Craig Anderton in his personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cakewalk Inc. or Gibson Brands Inc.
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Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk]
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 12:45:15 (permalink)
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We're just cutting out the delay between end of development on that update and release. Normally we let the "paint dry" while the other materials are being prepared and testers use the software in "release mode". In developer terminology this is the release candidate.

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#4
John T
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 12:52:25 (permalink)
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Right. So there might very occasionally be a change if something catastrophic comes up in that period, but that would be a rarity, is that a good reading of what you're saying?

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Jim Lima [Cakewalk]
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 12:57:35 (permalink)
+1 (1)
John T
Right. So there might very occasionally be a change if something catastrophic comes up in that period, but that would be a rarity, is that a good reading of what you're saying?




That's correct.  
 
Jim
 

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#6
BobF
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 13:06:20 (permalink)
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Excellent news Jim!
 
 

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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 15:40:29 (permalink)
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Niiice...   I'm liking the direction things are headed.    More transparency all the time.

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Paul P
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 16:10:39 (permalink)
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I applaud this announcement.  It adds to my conviction that you at Cakewalk really care about your product and its users.
I guess I'm too old to accept the challenge of participating, but I'll follow all comments from those that do with interest.
 

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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 16:42:41 (permalink)
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Interesting idea - I like it.

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Paul G
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 18:03:19 (permalink)
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...add this to analytics and we most certainly have a conspiracy going on here.
 
 

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TheMaartian
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 18:24:23 (permalink)
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A) I think this is a terrific idea!
 
B) I'll stick to the regular release schedule.
 
I get my SS check on the 4th Wednesday of the month. If the SS department started a program to let me get my check one week earlier, what would that buy me? One week. Once.
 
But I say "the more, the merrier!" Sometimes, it's the odd use cases that someone such as myself might generate (being an amateur/hobbyist/deranged former engineer), that hit boundary conditions that cause exceptions that "normal" beta testers might never encounter.
 
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John T
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 20:14:22 (permalink)
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I think I'll do more or less what I always do, and do the updates when I'm not right in the middle of something. Sometimes that'll be early, sometimes it'll be late.

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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 23:21:09 (permalink)
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IS this a "flack" trap? If something comes up on early access and the feedback is similar to LANDR and analytics, will you put it back in the oven for a while?

Regards, John 
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#14
scook
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/09 23:25:29 (permalink)
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I believe this is answered by Q2 of the OP
Jim Lima [Cakewalk]
 
How Specifically Does this Help Users?
 
Much in the spirit of no longer holding features back until a single major release once a year, we want to give interested users the option to obtain software updates earlier. Although we won’t be able to make changes to the code (at that point it’s frozen), this will allow us to gather feedback on the release sooner for incorporation into future updates or hot fixes. Participation is 100% optional.
 




#15
jb101
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/10 03:14:58 (permalink)
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ampfixer
IS this a "flack" trap? If something comes up on early access and the feedback is similar to LANDR and analytics, will you put it back in the oven for a while?


I am not sure about this . I think there has been as much, if not more, positive response to these as there has been negative.

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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/10 05:45:41 (permalink)
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Great idea guys.  Happy to take the early release for a spin on months where I am not in the middle of critical tasks,  and equally happy to know others have been testing the regular release for a week before I download it on months that I have. 

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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/10 06:36:57 (permalink)
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I'm in. No risk, no fun!

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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/10 09:24:27 (permalink)
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ampfixer
IS this a "flack" trap? If something comes up on early access and the feedback is similar to LANDR and analytics, will you put it back in the oven for a while?


What makes you think LANDR and Analytics should have been "put back in the oven"?
 

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bapu
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/10 09:50:31 (permalink)
+1 (1)
Excellent idea. More eyes on the "release candidate" the better.
 
If I read it correctly, it will almost never be changed before the formal release unless of course there is a show stopper across many users (that can be proven it's in SONAR and not a users setup).

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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/10 14:22:41 (permalink)
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Bristol_Jonesey
ampfixer
IS this a "flack" trap? If something comes up on early access and the feedback is similar to LANDR and analytics, will you put it back in the oven for a while?


What makes you think LANDR and Analytics should have been "put back in the oven"?
 




I have no issue with either of those. Just thinking about why you would float a release a week ahead of schedule.

Regards, John 
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#21
Anderton
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/10 23:27:28 (permalink)
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ampfixer
I have no issue with either of those. Just thinking about why you would float a release a week ahead of schedule.



Some people like previews, and some people are early adopters by nature. And if a showstopper bug does get exposed and there's a hot fix a couple days later, that wouldn't suck either.

Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from craiganderton.com or my YouTube channelListen, like, share the links!

 
Note: The opinions expressed in this post were written by Craig Anderton in his personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cakewalk Inc. or Gibson Brands Inc.
#22
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 00:13:30 (permalink)
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Jim Lima [Cakewalk]
 
When an Early Access release is available, we’ll post an announcement in the main SONAR forum. The Early Access will then appear in Command Center under the Rollback menu.


I am wondering if consideration has been given to having this early access program in its own separate menu - something like "Release Candidate" or "Early Access Program".  Of course such a change would require an updated Command Centre.

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#23
Keith Albright [Cakewalk]
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 08:51:38 (permalink)
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promidi
Jim Lima [Cakewalk]
 
When an Early Access release is available, we’ll post an announcement in the main SONAR forum. The Early Access will then appear in Command Center under the Rollback menu.


I am wondering if consideration has been given to having this early access program in its own separate menu - something like "Release Candidate" or "Early Access Program".  Of course such a change would require an updated Command Centre.




Yes we had discussed prior to announcing and the goal was to get this rolling (pun intended) as soon as possible.
I'm all for clarity and reduced confusion, we just have to put our resources where/when it makes sense to do so. 
 
Keith

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#24
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 11:01:34 (permalink)
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Great Idea! Count me in also.

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#25
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 11:20:42 (permalink)
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I congratulate Cakewalk in this leap forward.
 
However:
 
I think releasing a Release Candidate e-zine simultaneously with these releases is important. Customers need to know what they are getting even with previews.
 
Also it will be far more useful if was released 2 to 3 weeks in advance rather than a week or a few days. I hope this will be the next step.
 
Don't get me wrong, this a good first step.
#26
Paul P
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 11:49:04 (permalink)
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I think that it would be better for the brave to have to sign up to receive the previews.  If the idea is to spread out surprises in a fashion better suited to the person at the receiving end*, it should require a deliberate declaration that one is one of the brave and accepts the challenge and the risk.  If the preview is just thrown in with the rest of the updates, there's the chance that someone faint of heart will just grab it out of habit, then get hit with a surprise they can't handle.
 
*The brave get hit but they can take it.  Then they soften the blow for the rest of us by reporting their experience in a format that we can digest before having to act ourselves.

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#27
FanCake
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 12:00:27 (permalink)
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Paul P
 
I think that it would be better for the brave to have to sign up to receive the previews.  If the idea is to spread out surprises in a fashion better suited to the person at the receiving end*, it should require a deliberate declaration that one is one of the brave and accepts the challenge and the risk.  If the preview is just thrown in with the rest of the updates, there's the chance that someone faint of heart will just grab it out of habit, then get hit with a surprise they can't handle.
 
*The brave get hit but they can take it.  Then they soften the blow for the rest of us by reporting their experience in a format that we can digest before having to act ourselves.




People should make it their business to know what they are downloading in my opinion, and stop complaining about not being spoon fed. Besides if they make a mistake they can roll back.
#28
FanCake
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 12:05:47 (permalink)
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A question has popped in my head.
 
If I...
Install a final release
then later on your preview/RC version.
then later on install the next final release.
 
If I decide to roll back at this point, which version would I be rolling back to? Is there a choice?
 
#29
Jim Lima [Cakewalk]
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Re: Early Access Program Coming To Cakewalk SONAR 2016/03/11 12:15:34 (permalink)
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FanCake
...
 
If I...
Install a final release
then later on your preview/RC version.
then later on install the next final release.
 
If I decide to roll back at this point, which version would I be rolling back to? Is there a choice?
 




Just to better illustrate what I think you are saying...
 
1) March - You install the official public release.  
2) April - You decide to check out the Preview.  There's no issues with it so it eventually becomes the official public release (i.e. same build number, we just remove the "Early Access" label from the installer name as it appears in your store account - it's still the same bits).
3) May - You install the official public release, but don't like something with it so you want to roll back.
 
At that point rollback will install the last official public release for April.  Let me know if I followed your question correctly.
 
Jim
 
 
 
 

Jim Lima
Cakewalk, Inc.

#30
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