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Evil Antares Tech
By Fitz - 7/10/2006

Don't buy products from Antares Technologies! Don't buy Autotune!

Music plugin maker Antares Technologies has officially pissed me off. Several years ago I bought their famous Autotune product for use in the band Hookah. It cost about $400 and now for no good reason they have disabled this product on my computer.

Why and how?

When I bought Autotune I agreed to their challenge-response copy protection. Basically it's a system where the software generates a "challenge" that you e-mail to the company and then they e-mail you back a "response" that then locks your software to your specific machine. It works great except that if you re-instal the software you have to request a whole new response. Understandably the company won't give you but a few of these responses per year.

So, when I reformatted my hard drive at the beginning of this year and re-installed all my software I sent Antares the proper software-generated challenge.

Except Antares won't send a response anymore. They have suddenly changed the rules and now demand that I buy a $40 dongle to continue to use their software. They cite some slimy clause in the their software license which allows them to arbitrarily screw over customers who have sunk hundreds of dollars into their software.

That's the thanks I get for NOT stealing their software.

I WILL NOT put a friggin' dongle on my machine. What I will do is delete the software, never ever buy anything from Antares again, and make sure I warn everyone I know to similarly avoid their products. I mean, who knows when they'll change the rules again? Repeated attempts to deal with them over this have gotten me only cheery form letters from a lawyer. That's some great customer service.

Instead of Autotune I highly recommend Melodyne. It's cheaper, has more features, and is run by a company who seems to have some measure of respect for their paying customers.

By Fitz - 7/10/2006 |