Ableton Live Snow Leopard Compatibility

August 28, 2009 § 5 Comments

snow leapord

Today marks the release of Apple’s 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating system that many have been anticipating. Early reviews show that the new OS is not that much of an interface upgrade BUT with this $30 upgrade you can speed up your mac (up to 2x on some applications.) You can read reviews on C-Net, PC Mag, and Wired.

The big question with any OS upgrade is always – will my old applications run on the new OS? This is especially important with audio software, which is finicky to begin with. Among my concerns with the upgrade were Propellerhead’s Reason software as well as Ableton Live. Both companies usually offer updates in a timely manner but after the delays that came with OSX 10.5 Leopard, many people are hesitant to make the jump

Ableton Live’s website had this to say today in their FAQ:

Mac OS X 10.6

Is the current version of Live (8.0.4) compatible with Mac OS X 10.6?

While Live 8.0.4 may work without problems, we cannot guarantee compatibility yet, as internal tests are still ongoing. We will release a free Live 8 update in the next few weeks which will officially support Mac OS X 10.6.

Will Live 7 be compatible with Mac OS X 10.6?

It is likely that Live 7 will also be compatible, but we can’t promise this before internal tests are finished.

Is Live 8 a 64-bit application and how much memory can it address running on Mac OS X 10.6?

Live is a 32-bit application. As of Mac OS X 10.4, the Mac version of Live can make use of up to 4 GB of RAM. This still holds true for 10.6.

When will Live be released as a 64-bit application?

A 64-bit version of Live for Windows and Mac OS X is planned, but there’s no release date announced so far.

Does Ableton recommend upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6?

If your main concern is stability, we don’t recommend upgrading to 10.6 until compatibility for Live and all of your third-party software and hardware products has been assured by the responsible companies.

What can I do if I encounter problems with Mac OS X 10.6?

If you plan to try Mac OS X 10.6 to see how it works for you and encounter any problems with Live, we are happy to get bug reports! To report issues, just follow the usual support request guide here.

Does Live support new features of Mac OS X 10.6 like OpenCL or Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) ?

No, Live does not support these features. Here is a brief explanation:

Grand Central Dispatch is a bundle of functions and tools to make it easier for developers to implement multicore functionality for their applications. Because Live already supports multicore systems since Live 6 on Mac OS X and Windows, GCD brings no advantage for Live.

OpenCL is a new development platform including its own programming language for developing software that runs on common CPUs as well as on the GPUs of video cards. This allows the power of modern video cards to be used for processing tasks other than graphics. OpenCL will be released for the first time with Mac OS X 10.6 and currently only supports Intel Macs and a limited number of video cards. Additionally, existing applications are not automatically compatible with OpenCL. Therefore, this technology is not supported by Live at the moment.

While Live 8.0.4 may work without problems, we cannot guarantee compatibility yet, as internal tests are still ongoing. We will release a free Live 8 update in the next few weeks which will officially support Mac OS X 10.6.
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§ 5 Responses to Ableton Live Snow Leopard Compatibility

  • Septic Insurgent says:

    error! do not attempt to install snow leopard yet as far as i can tell it makes live incredibly unstable, i have to now painstakingly remove the thing as it crashes during live sets when multiple tracks are played!

  • I agree with Septic Insurgent, hold off on installing Snow L. I haven’t had crashes, but I’m getting all sorts of audio hiccups in sets where I previously got none. Also certain functions like exporting sets into wavs just are not working at all.
    -mvp

  • phrequency says:

    ok thanks for this information. so i i’ll wait to update my systems.

  • sixty4k says:

    crashes when I audition files, no seeming rhyme or reason. Do not upgrade if you want Live to work.

    I’m going to roll back to 10.5 so I can work again.

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