Open letter to music hardware manufacturers
Quite often manufacturers come to our department seeking some variation of ‘partnership’. They want to put their gear in the hands of our students because they know this practice feeds adoption. (psst: putting gear in the hands of professors also is a great idea! If I like your product, I will evangelize it!) Sometimes gear gets installed in our labs. Sometimes gear gets placed in our equipment room for check out. The most precious commodity at Berklee is real estate, and there is only so much space we have available in the equipment room. If students are not using something, it will get replaced with something they will.
I know we have a Minimoog in the equipment room. I know I can ask students to check out this hardware out and use it. The Minimoog is not a complicated device. You plug it in and turn it on. Simple. However, it is common for hardware devices to have a software component. This software component is a driver, used for configuration, preset management, editing, etc. Sometimes the software component extends the functionality of the hardware, sometimes it is critical. It is also 100% useless without the hardware.
Stop assuming the model of one owner = one user. There are plenty of models where multiple people may use the same hardware, such as the equipment room model I just outlined.
So, my plea is this: Don’t put up barriers to download or use this software. Barriers include registration, setting up accounts, and so on. If a student can not freely download this software component, your hardware presents too much of a barrier to operation and it is effectively useless. If you want people to adopt your product, don’t do this.