Apple drops Emagic bombshell

Hands Cubase a Windows monopoly

Apple dropped a bombshell on music makers today by acquiring Emagic which, with Steinberg, dominates the market for sequencing software. Apple said it will axe the Windows version of Emagic's Logic sequencer come September.

"I'll bet there are 70,000 fucked-off users," a musician who uses PC versions of both products told us today. The companies today said that two-thirds of Logic's 200,000 users are on the Mac already.

But the user forums are beginning to reflect some angst.

"Quite shocking," writes one Cubase user.

"What about the 35% PC-based users?" writes another. "I for one can't understand the discontinuation of the windows-based products. Seems to me that this will be the death of emagic. … it will be a loss in competition, no question about it."

Over at the Emagic user group, there's a mixed response.

"Have to say it is good news for Mac users - hopefully this means an OSX version will come along real soon now. It also means no more 'waiting for Apple' for new features etc," writes one user. Who then goes to express fear that Logic's new owners will be even less than forthcoming with technical information than Emagic.

The move effectively hands the PC sequencing business to Steinberg's Cubase - although Cakewalk users [see below] are sure to disagree - and we hope they're right. Not that Steinberg will be breaking open the champagne today: Apple is now effectively in competition with one of its most important ISVs.

Both Steinberg and Emagic are German-based companies and both Cubase and Logic were born on the Atari. Between them, they span the range from serious noodlers all the way up to professional musicians.

It's unthinkable that Apple will not introduce some form of rebate program to lure PC users to the platform, but it's still early days.

Update: Furious Cakewalk SONAR users have been mailing us to say how great it is. "From a technical standpoint [Sonar] contains many features Steinberg and Emagic have only recently caught up with, or do not yet support." Cakewalk claims 900,000 users for its products - and if this is a representative user, we don't want to argue. ®