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News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2009-04-17 14:20:47

Are there any news on the problem Vyzex Editor is having when running on MacBooks and OSX 10.5.6?

Can you yet at least confirm there is a problem?

I have to admit it is kind of annoying that the whole support thread where I mentioned this problem in great (if not too much) detail is gone with the new board software...

Cheers



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2009-04-25 15:47:51

It's been a week, so I suppose a little *BUMP* is in order?

C'mon you guys, although I definitely feel the urge to, I'm not even asking for a (quick) solution to this annoying problem, which sadly renders the Vyzex Editor absolutely useless,

but rather just that you confirm there is a problem with Apple's latest MacBooks and their USB ports in conjunction with the Vyzex Editor.

Pretty please?



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by PsicraftTony on 2009-04-25 21:43:14

Hi Think,

As we reported in the old forum, on Aluminum unibody Macbook Pro models the USB port closest to the user is not reliable for use with PocketPOD, but the one closer to the screen is reliable.

As a follow up, we don't have conclusive results yet (having only been able to test with a handful of units), but it appears that both USB ports on the that base model Aluminum unibody Macbooks are not reliable for use with PocketPOD.

If there are any owners of basic unibody macbooks that are using PocketPOD who are running Vyzex PocketPOD without issues, please post here with your details.

I will post here also when I learn anything new on this topic.

Best regards,

Tony



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2009-04-26 01:49:06

Thanks Tony, for the update!

Is it any help to report, that other MIDI-over-USB Apps like the BOSS ones (GT-10FxFloorboard http://gtx.tinfoilmusic.net/GT10-download.htmlor BOSS's own GT-10 Librarian) are working flawlessly?

One other thing, do you think this is a hardware problem, or could this possibly be resolved by using a virtual machine such as VirtualBox to run Windows and the Win version of Vyzex Editor there?

All the best



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by Pon50 on 2009-04-26 17:13:40

I can't offer much help, but I can say I have the same problems on ALL of my machines.

Macbook Pro running OSX,... both ports fail

Macbook Pro running XP both ports fail

Sony Vaio desktop running XP All ports fail

Dell workstation running Vista All ports fail

I have not been able to keep a Midi connection long enough to actually do anything useful. It's incredibly frustrating to get a connection, and then start to tweak settings, only to have the connection drop/fail at some point. Mac OSX or Windows seems to make no difference, and I have had ZERO issues with any other piece of hardware.

I tried a different cable that was of better quality and things connected right away. I thought it may have solved the problem, but within 5 minutes it had dropped the connection again.

I'm willing to try stuff out if it will help to get this sorted.



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by PsicraftTony on 2009-04-26 19:13:08

Have you tried a USB Port expansion card on your PCs? This solution works in almost every case where the computer is expandable. Unfortunately the base Macbooks aren't expandable so this solution doesn't apply to them.

Tony



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by Pon50 on 2009-04-26 19:27:55

Hmmm,... that's interesting, although I'm not sure it will work in my case. I've only got one free slot, and my video card has a heat sink that blocks that from being used. The other PC is my machine at work, and then obviously the 2 laptops I have tried it on cannot be expanded.

Do you have any idea why this USB interface is so picky? I have never experienced difficulty with a USB connection, with the exception of a port needing to have more power. (For example, I have a port that feeds through my keyboard,... I know that one won't power my large USB hard drive, but works fine for simple thumb drives.)

Thanks for trying to help though,... I'll take a look to see if I can shoehorn in a new card. I love the pocket POD, just frustrated by this connection issue.



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2009-04-27 01:40:01

Hi Pon50,

I believe Tony posted in the old board, that somehow the MacBooks/MBPs don't have several different USB ports, but rather one, that is shared among two connectors. Sort of an onboard USB Hub, which goes alongside the known problem that Vyzex Editor can't be used with USB hubs.

Also I'm not sure you and Tony mean the same thing with the expansion thing: I think what he meant, is that you should use your ExpressCard slot for a Expresscard-to-USB Adaptor, if that makes any sense.

Needless to say I am also willing to try a couple of things out to get this resolved.

@Tony:

- Have you guys tried to reach Apple in that matter?

- Also I am still wondering why other MIDI-over-USB Apps don't seem to have that problem (I also tried some BOSS and also Yamaha software, that communicates with a keyboard, all work flawlessly).

- Does the Pod use some sort of special protocol?

- Could that be a possible solution, relying more on tried and tested standards?

- Also last month you cryptically mentioned something about a new Vyzex version coming soon, does this new version fix any of the known problems? (Maybe even the old and boring "dropping files in OSXs root folder"-issue ;-) ?)

- And is it's release anywhere on the horizon?

All the best



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2009-07-09 16:53:36

It's been 2 months since this last posting, and my questions for Tony in here. Also I sent you a PM in case you would prefer to discuss this in private, which you also have yet to answer and also offered my assistance in solving this a couple of times.

5 Months since the original posting of this problem in the old forum.

This suggests, that nobody at Psicraft or Line6 is actively looking into this matter, which may appear trivial, but prevents all customers with Macbooks from using the Pocket Pod and Vyzex Editor, maybe even other Line 6 Software products?

Cheers



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by PsicraftTony on 2009-07-09 17:20:30

Tony here, answering your post in public.

Please bear in mind that Psicraft Designs has no professional relationship with Apple Computer and that this is fundamentally an issue with the USB port hardware on their baseline aluminum MacBook. Secondly, Psicraft Designs makes software and we are not responsible for direct hardware product support of any of the instruments our editors work with, such as the Pocket POD - We did not design the instrument hardware nor do we have any means to revise or update it in the event of any hardware issues.

All of this said, we have tracked down MacBook and MacBook Pro models and confirmed that the USB Ports on the basic MacBook aluminum body are unreliable for use with PocketPOD, beyond this the only news we could possibly report would be that Apple had revised their design and issued a warrantee recall on the earlier models, or if a later firmware update of these Macs had resolved the issue: Nothing like this has happened so far, of course.

There is simply nothing else that can be done on the software side at this point. I cannot speak for Line 6 with regards to the PocketPOD USB hardware, but we know that PocketPOD requires an unshared connection with the host computer, which is why computers with internal hubs behind their USB ports must be expanded with a USB port card to provide such a connection to the PocketPOD before the software can work reliably. In the case of the Aluminum Macbook, both of its USB ports are apparently shared and it also does not have an expansion slot. The only company capable of addressing this issue is Apple.

So, as I mentioned months back, when I learn of any news on this front I will post it. That's the best I can do.

Best regards,

Tony

Tony Antoniou,

Managing Director,

Psicraft Designs, Inc.



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2009-07-10 01:56:21

Hi Tony,

Thanks for getting back to me!

I don't suppose that a software company needs to have a professional relation with Apple to send them a short support inquiry about their hardware. Also as you ported your tool to OSX, I suppose you are registered as an Apple Developer? Wouldn't that qualify as a professional relation? And then there's also the Apple support forums for just about anyone, where I have yet to see a thread from you about this problem.

I don't believe your point, that this is just a Apple hardware problem in these line of MacBooks, is quite justified, as other MIDI-over-USB software (BOSS, Yamaha etc.) works quite well. But then again that is one, actually three of the questions that I would still like an answer to:

Quote from the end of April:

- Also I am still wondering why
other MIDI-over-USB Apps don't seem to have that problem (I also tried
some BOSS and also Yamaha software, that communicates with a keyboard,
all work flawlessly).

- Does the Pod use some sort of special protocol?

- Could that be a possible solution, relying more on tried and tested standards?

And yes, you are responsible for direct hardware support as far as the interaction with your software is concerned, or at least for getting together with Line 6 to solve this matter, because your software is the link between their product and the hardware people use with it. I think it's the least you could do to tell Line 6 "Hey guys there's a problem that we can't address, maybe you can fix it". Also I believe that you don't code programs for them for free, so I both your companies should have an interest to solve this problem. Even more so as a) the MacBook line is currently one of the most sucessful and common models and no niche product that only a couple of people use and b) Vyzex Editor represents an integral part of functionality of the Pocket Pod, so without that it is only half as useful, and I highly doubt I would've bought it, knowing this.

I'm sorry to say that your second paragraph is unacceptable: you imply that it would make more sense/is the only way, that Apple would revise/recall one of their most successful product lines because of an issue, that only causes trouble for your Vyzex Editor / Line6's Pocket Pod? Every other software I know of, even MIDI-over-USB ones from other manufacturers, don't have any problem at all with these shared USB ports. IMHO the route much more likely is for Line 6 to supply an firmware update correcting this, or your company to work around this problem. It appears more and more that this is a problem that lies with the Pocket Pod and not Apple (from what I hear windows users also seem to have quite some problems).

But to give you a break, reading your third paragraph I somewhat understand that in your eyes there's simply nothing more that could be done on the software side.

Basically your saying

"I cannot speak for Line 6 with regards to the PocketPOD USB hardware,
but we know that PocketPOD requires an unshared connection with the
host computer"

clears something up for me that I hadn't thought about so far. The PP causes this problem, that you appearantly can't work around. This is why other MIDI devices don't have this problem. On the other hand it isn't and shouldn't be my problem, whether the solution lies with Psicraft or Line 6. I bought a working solution, and it's up to your two companies to get the promised functionality to work.

A couple of questions now after obtaining at least some feedback (some old ones that you didn't care to answer so far as well):

1- Did you get in touch with Apple for a work-around?

2- Did you get in touch with Line 6 for a solution?

3- Could that be a possible solution, relying more on tried and tested standards?

4- Also last month you cryptically mentioned something about a new Vyzex version coming soon, does this new version fix any of the known problems? (Maybe even the old and boring "dropping files in OSXs root folder"-issue ;-) ?)

5- And is it's release anywhere on the horizon?

And please, if you won't at least answer the above questions, then don't bother, because I have read enough about why this isn't Psicrafts fault and that you're doing all that you can (which is nothing at the moment, so my statement, that nobody at Psicraft is working on solving this issue, is entirely true). And if it really isn't your fault, and that might just as well be the case, then please accept my apology and at least bring this to someone's attention that might fix it or offer some other solution (Apple or Line 6).

Also on a sidenote I would like to mention that neither the way this problem was handled, by you and subsequently Line 6, nor that this problem is nowhere mentioned, so one could anticipate that a certain Line 6 product doesn't work on selected hardware before the purchase, doesn't make me overly eager to buy more Line 6 equipment, especially those that use connections to computers.

All the best

Thinkdifferent

P.S. in all fairness, I should like to mention, that I filed a feedback ticket with Line 6, pointing them in the direction of this thread and this problem, maybe this might help the situation.



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by PsicraftTony on 2009-07-10 10:29:21

Hi Think,

Some reading for you on where the issue is:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2008/05/the-macbook-all/

class="MsoPlainText" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/04/28/audio-users-lament-u.html

class="MsoPlainText" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2009/04/27/mac-usb-audio-woes-m-audio-says-avoid-the-left-hand-usb-port/

class="MsoPlainText" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">

Your points are taken, but mine still stand.

Tony



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by ballzar on 2010-02-25 15:42:27

I have a Macbook Pro, Vyzex won't even run, crashes every time I try and start.  Did the uninstall procedure you

outlined in a previous post.  Didnt fix anything. So, what is the bottom line with this issue?  Are Macbook users screwed?  Would

have never bought this if I've known there were issues.  Went through this same stuff when I first got my gearbox,

and it still isnt perfect.  Getting a little untrusting of the Line 6 software.



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by PsicraftTony on 2010-02-25 16:17:31

I just answered your other post on this topic at: http://line6.com/community/message/123665. Please respond there and we'll see about getting you going.

Tony



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2010-09-12 13:55:01

Hi Tony!

I just wanted to get back to you regarding the problem that got me to start this thread.

As of a couple of months ago it finally works. And I believe that I have you guys at Psicraft (or your colleagues at Line6) to thank for that.

The Hardware (unibody aluminium Macbook) is still the same, and the operating system is still Apple's 10.5 (although in version 10.5.8).

But knowing how stubborn Apple is, I highly doubt, that they were able to fix the shared-USB problem via software.

So I believe the praise goes to you guys here, because ever since Vyzex 1.17 in combination with Line6's Firmware 1.01 of the PocketPod, my device finally gets to be used the way it was intended to be.

I have to add that the only USB port that works stable is still the one closer to the screen, but at least it works on one.

So it appears, that the problem was solvable via software after all :-)

Thanks again, and all the best

ThinkDifferent



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by PsicraftTony on 2010-09-12 15:41:49

Hi Think,

Great to hear you are in business at last.

Your MacBook does upgrade its operating system on a regular basis, so we can't rule out a quiet fix on Apple's part. That said, you did upgrade the firmware on your PocketPOD, and I think Line6 may have changed one or two things in the way the USB port operates in that version in the name of stability but this is only a guess since Psicraft Designs is not privy to such details. I should also reiterate at this point that all the editor software can do is ask for a MIDI port from the hardware/firmware/operating system stack it is running on - This problem (like all other USB connectivity issues reported to this forum) was never the fault of the editor software, even though we do our best to help anyone with issues such as these since they prevent the editor from working.

All the best,


Tony



Re: News on the MacBook Problem?
by thinkdifferent on 2010-09-12 16:36:12

Well anyway, thanks for your continuing help on this one.

I'm just glad it finally works after all!

Cheers

Think




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