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Old 2006-08-07, 19:06
gwmatt's Avatar
gwmatt gwmatt is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 73
Realistic expectations for the next version of Reason

A lot of us have made various requests and suggestions as to what new features we'd like to see in the next release of Reason. And whether they've chosen to respond or not, I think we can safely assume that the Props have taken note of what we've said here. But from a realistic standpoint, I think we should temper our expectations against market trends and what is possible for a relatively small company with limited resources.

There are two major hardware trends which all software developers *MUST* deal with sooner or later, and I believe these will dominate the next release. These are:

1) 64 bit CPU's

2) Multi core and/or hyper threaded CPU's

Adapting any fairly complex software product to make effective use of *EITHER* of these technologies is potentially very difficult. Either - let alone both - will require significant code changes and a lot of testing. What's more, given that the bulk of computers currently in use are still using 32 bit CPU's, any new version will require both a 64 and 32 bit version for each OS the product supports.

What that translates to is instead of having 2 code bases (one for Windows, one for Mac), there will now be 4 - a 32 and 64 bit version for both Windows and Mac.

To be sure, this is a problem faced by all software developers and not just the Props. But given the trends in computer hardware, the Props have little choice but to address these issues - the sooner the better.

So where am I going with this? Given the complex nature of such changes, and given that they must be made fairly soon, I expect that the next release of Reason will focus primarily on these 2 areas and that they will take priority over any "new" features (new synths, effects, etc.)

Even if no new features were added to Reason, these 2 changes alone could add up to more code changes than were made in all previous versions of Reason combined.

I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade - I'd love to see a lot of cool new features and devices in Reason. And who knows, maybe they'll do it anyway. But I'm a software developer myself (music is only a part time hobby for me) and I know that sometimes development cycles have to give way to changes in the marketplace.

Realistically, I expect Reason 3.5 or 4.0 to reflect one or both of these trends - and very little else. Whatever else they do, the Props (and all other software developers) must deal with these issues soon. The longer they put it off, the more likely they'll fall behind those who didn't.

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