Is Avid Going To Start Locking Pro Tools HD Software To Avid HD Hardware Again?

11-19-2014 11:31 AM

We understand that Avid are considering locking Pro Tools HD software back to Avid hardware again.
For those new to the Pro Tools party, until version 9 of Pro Tools, all Pro Tools software needed Avid hardware to run it - both LE and HD, as it was called then. Having painted themselves into a corner with their outdated hardware/software philosophy they were forced by market pressure to unlock all versions of Pro Tools so that they could run with or without the hardware, just needing an iLok asset to determine which version a person got to use. This means that even without the hardware attached Pro Tools HD software will run.
To try and prevent people buying copies of HD software and thus Avid losing the hardware sales, Avid’s policy is to only sell HD software with HD hardware systems.
However thanks to eBay and some dealers splitting the parts up for legitimate reasons, such as a user just wanting an extra HDX card or interface but not needing the copy of Pro Tools HD, a lot of copies of Pro Tools HD are now in the hands of people who do not own Avid Pro Tools HD hardware.
It seems this is something Avid can’t control and has lost them significant amounts of revenue (cue violins), but it now seems they want to put an end to this way of obtaining HD software by the back door.
From information given to us by a source close to Avid, they are moving to a scenario where users will buy a support plan for their hardware and get the software upgrade included, but users would have to have relevant hardware as well.
This is not the current situation with the recently announced support plans, but watch this space, there may be a time coming soon when you’ll have two dongles for your Pro Tools HD software again, an iLok and Avid hardware.
If this does come to fruition then it undermines Avid’s claims of wanting to be more open, interconnected, and collaborative. This thinking pushes users back to a closed controlled system - a system where Avid Everywhere is only true as long as you use Avid products. Very much like wearing a space suit on the moon, there’s oxygen everywhere as long as you keep your helmet on.