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Traktor 3.4 - Thoughts...Questions...etc

Discussion in 'TRAKTOR 3' started by chilly, Jul 24, 2008.

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  1. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    I can't help but think that this update was hastily engineered and pushed out to the user community.

    What I found interesting, and applauded, was the Public Beta - but did that actually do much to help in the Quality Control of this release?

    From what I've been reading, there are a number of 'open bugs' that people reported during the Beta that were not resolved in the Final release (just search posts from 'von Bordwehr' for example). It is also my understanding that there are bugs in 3.3 that have not been resolved with the release of 3.4 (I do not have examples off hand).

    This troubles me for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I come from a Computer Engineering day job myself, where I work for a large corporation and I make decisions and designs that affect the company corporate wide. I know what it takes to properly engineer a solution, especially when involving Beta testers. If you open Beta testing to the public and ask for feedback on issues, then those issues should be corrected, or at least addressed in some manor, prior to release.

    Secondly, NI already has a horrible reputation for its customer service. People who have used both Rane's SSL and NI's Traktor attest that the service from Rane is exponentially better than that of NI. Now NI has released another buggy update to its powerful flagship product. I'm finding it difficult to understand why NI would rather tarnish its reputation more instead of trying to take steps to resolve it.

    I want to believe that 3.4 wasn't an update in order to fulfill some sort of 'update schedule', but that's what it's looking like. Perception is what this business is all about. Personally I would have rather seen an incremental 3.3 update that addressed known issues first. I would have then kept the 3.4 Beta open longer in order to address the issues people were reporting (more specifically, the ones that were documented so well and could be repeated by everyone).

    In the realty business, they say that the 3 most important things are 'location, location, location'.

    In the computer consumer world it's 'quality, quality, quality'...and I feel NI has let the ball slip on this one.
  2. TeLLy

    TeLLy NI Product Owner Extraordinaire

    I agree that NI doesn't seem to have a good rep for their customer service lately, from what I see on the board. I've been very fortunate in that since TS1.2 and T3.3 my setups have been solid and the one time I submitted a help request to NI it was just a question on transferring a license to a new computer - easy for any helpdesk to answer and I did get a response and closure in less than 12 hours.

    I'm not saying that's how it is for everyone, but I'm just sharing my own positive (ie lack of negative) experience with Traktor. In fact I question my own qualification in the beta team; I put both Traktor versions through their paces throughout the beta phase, even taking them out to 6-8 hour gigs and going out of my way to use effects and looping (who really needs a high-pass filtered-beatmashed buildup on 4 decks at a WEDDING?), cue jumping and pushing the latency and transport boundaries but no glitches in the slightest. In fact I'm hardly able to even reproduce any of the Mac bugs reported in the bug report page. I don't want to question any of the other very seasoned DJ's and how they've set up their equipment, I'm just saying that I've been relatively problem-free, and the few bugs I've reported have been resolved.

    I will say this though - opening the beta testing first during the invite-only phase earlier this year, then publicly, was probably a hasty decision. I know they're going to have to start weeding out some of the inactive testers and from what I saw on the public beta forums there probably some people who don't know their computers now TESTING software, which to me doesn't make much sense. I mean, you don't develop a sports car and pick up some schmoe off the bus, then tell him to drive it around the Nurburgring and tell the company how it performs and what problems it has right? I would like to see how much of the beta process was helped by the participation of the public beta group, and personally wonder if the influx of the latest invited testers (MYSELF INCLUDED) made any difference over results. Seemed to me the beta and final test phases took way longer this version.

    To close off this rambling essay on nothing, I do have to applaud NI for making a product that works well for ME, the guy willing to spend tons of cash and time on systems devoted only to DJing. And if you've got a Mac and have done all the optimizations quoted ad nauseum on this forum and STILL have problems, contact me....I got it working so you can too! It probably means spending another hundred bucks on RAM and buying another computer to use for anything besides Traktor, LOL.
  3. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    To clarify...I'm not questioning the stability of my setup at all (TS1.2, T3.3). I thoroughly enjoy it and use the hell out of it.

    My post was more about fixing the 'known issues' before releasing an update to the magnitude that 3.4 is.
  4. TeLLy

    TeLLy NI Product Owner Extraordinaire

    ^^I hear you bud, I think I overlooked that when I was ranting away (I'm at work and have to stop typing when my director walks by). My bad. Now another question for nobody - does NI consider it a bug as soon as it's reported, as soon as it's duplicated by one person, or after a certain number of people vote on it in the bug reports? I mean, I've duplicated all of two bugs at most in my brief tenure in the beta team I think...and I'm using equipment that's pretty close to many other setups within the team. From an IT perspective I would start asking - is it Traktor or is it your system? Again, not questioning peoples' skill, just approaching it in my own way.
  5. SeanMF83

    SeanMF83 Forum Member

    I agree that there are several issues that are still standing in the public beta testing forum that do not seem to be completely resolved. In addition, you don't always see a NI response stating that the situation have been confirmed.

    In my mind, beta testing is a two way street where a company is admitting the product is not completely and will have some bugs. As such, when a bug is found and confirmed, it is nice to get a response stating it was duplicated.

    I also agree that "public" beta testing is not always the best as there is often a misunderstanding of a bug and a preference (i.e. duplicate tracks being able to be added to a playlist is a bug to some, a helpful feature for others.)

    I think I'd rather see an invite beta testing where reported bugs are added to a master list. This list would be updated when the issue is reproduced and confirmed by an NI team member. Also, it would have the release version that "corrected" the issue. This helps the moral of the testers (seeing results) and let's NI save members from reposting the same issue (or the yeah... I have that too messages.)

    To be fair to NI with 3.4, obviously there was a drive to convert a core code segment to be uni-code compatible (which is a decent change thus the 3.x change.) I can also understand wanting to get this core update done before solving some other issues as to prevent the same code being re-written twice. However, once the core updates are done (such as this one), its time to get older bugs resolved.

    Does NI have a timeline for any other core updates? If not, this is a great time to take care of bugs and feature requests (in the order.)

    Overall, I've been very happy with the software package. My only frustration comes from my Computer Engineering background where I like to see "TODO" lists. I'd love master lists of bugs reports/confirmations, feature requests, planned core updates, and when they will be/were corrected. However, such items are usually not even distrubed to invited beta testers due to confidentiality issues, I do understand why these are not available.

    Anyway, this is my rant and desires in addition to stating understanding of why some things have happened the way they have. Forums are nice to be able to see ideas and complaints of others, however, they often don't get the feed back to the users that I'd like to see. I would recommend more closed beta testing with a dedicated development forum.

    Also, a poll system for updates would be nice. Allow users to vote for which items are most important to them in a list. Not that things will always match, however, this makes people realize that their "emergency" issue really is not that important for most (perhaps they just use a feature a certain way that most don't.)
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  6. von Bordwehr

    von Bordwehr NI Product Owner

    A little more feedback would be nice. As would a list of confirmed bugs. I also miss some sort of memory in the support system, so that you wouldn't – in spite of detailed descriptions and all – have to explain the same problems over again, as well as defend that there really is a problem and it's not just you who's doing something wrong, every time there's a new version with the same bugs as the ones before it.
  7. jltnol

    jltnol Forum Member

    There ARE issues in 3.3 and 3.4 that have NOT been resolved, rendering them, at least for me, usable only on a test system.

    They include, but are not limited to the Native Mix Record bug, where when NMR is engaged, and preferences set correctly, a playing track can be replaced. This shouldn't happen.

    Also, there is a bug in 3.3 and 3.4 where under some circumstances, decks in Slave mode will change tempo AND pitch when the Master Tempo is adjusted.

    I was in the beta test group, and reported both bugs. Neither were fixed in the final release. This doesn't make me want to bother with beta testing.

    Everyone wants the bugs they've found, or that affect their use of the software to be fixed, without regards to other, perhaps more offensive bugs.

    In my case, not using NMR is an option and I have ceased using it(this bug is also in 3.2 as well. along with the no auto gain while NMR is engaged).

    But the occasional tempo/pitch change bug is a big problem. I consider this a core feature of the software, and while it remains broken, I can't use it.
  8. c242

    c242 NI Product Owner

    Some things that got me :

    - Instead of fancy useless things like those mouseovers, how many tracks you are dragging arround (who the heck needs that anyway ?) I would rather have seen other long demanded features in there like multi column savable sorting in the collection and/or mp3 shoutcast streaming. That leads to the question, who decides upon such features. Can't be the customer, I guess.

    - In playlist export to HTML You cannot change the field order anymore, that feature is gone. Traktor still does not remember the settings in export, still have to uncheck all the fields I don't want with every export.

    - Next track in the current playlist is not always auto-loading to the next free deck (yes it's cheked in the settings), that seems to happen, when the last track has some sort of silence at the end.
  9. jazzykat

    jazzykat NI Product Owner

    I am starting to feel like I am using the cheap end of DJing software. I have used Traktor and ONLY Traktor since version 1.

    Problems with filters have not been fixed, and in my opinion, never will. Customer support is indeed a pain the ass, but think about all the annoying quantity of common sense and google searchable answers they have to dish out. That is annoying to anyone.

    3.4 is a hoax update to make everyone feel better for alittle bit, but really what did it do to enhance the entire program? Nothing.

    I am looking into switching to Ableton and/or Serato. My favorite thing about Traktor was the filters and EQ being wonderful icons in the software that you really did not need an external mixer to operate it. Now I am looking into just that out of frustration with how it sounds now.

    Traktor never had an OFFICIAL Controller released, big mistake. Traktor 3 is now $99 dollars in the US. Cheap price for cheap software. I am waiting to see a drastic change in 3 or version 4 clips very soon, or I am outta-here

    version 3.5 better fix something broken, not break another fix...
  10. von Bordwehr

    von Bordwehr NI Product Owner

    Well, it did fix the rather limited character support of earlier versions. That, to me at least, is a big step.
  11. SeanMF83

    SeanMF83 Forum Member

    Although I understand frustration in the lack of bug fixes, I do want to defend NI a little here...

    Sometimes bug fixes DO get put off (and rightly so) in the computer world because the cause of several bugs are a core element that takes time to replace (without causing even more issues.) As such, if NI replaced the character core system as to allow future development and correction of bugs, I am okay with a few bugs being put off.

    Also, there were a couple of noticable changes in performance (increased performance.) In addition (or caused by), WASAPI support was implimented for Vista users, misc audio updates, and hot plugging options added. These type of updates suggest the NI realized they had some legacy code that needed to be re-written to allow for the future of the product.

    Basically, if your allocating time to programmers and you have a list of bugs and aging code, sometimes a decision is made to bring the code up to date (thus fixing some of the bugs) so that other bugs are easier to correct.

    Its the, "Do I really want to keep putting money into my beat up car or should I replace it?"

    Yes, you can put less money (time) in now to keep it running (bugs), however, you're going to have to replace the car at some point. If you wait to replace it, you end up wasting all that repair money now.

    Just food for thought. I too want everything now, however, I am willing to wait (and even help a bit) to get a better product later. The current product is still very good (and has a ton of potenial.)

    Remember, these are issues every company/product have (my co-worker has worked fairly close with Serato's contacts in the past and still doesn't have everything he wants.)
  12. deeplfo

    deeplfo NI Product Owner

    So, I just played out with 3.4 last Friday night, after not having moved beyond 3.2. The reported still-there bugs didn't seem to cause an issue for me, so it was smooth going.

    But I do have to say that I really enjoyed some of the new touches, including the UI clean up and the new way the effects work. The tsk setup for my VCI-100 went smoothly too, just a few changes to accommodate the new effects workings. My T3+VCI combo felt more "musical" than before.

    just my 2c,
  13. kayintveen

    kayintveen Forum Member

    is there a list of bugs and errors still open and planned to be fixed with patches or so?
  14. jeremygray

    jeremygray NI Product Owner

    @SeanMF83 - As a professional software developer I certainly don't disagree with any of the points that you are trying to make about the realities of software development. However, NI said all the same things about how they were making foundational improvements in 3.3, and yet left glaring issues in it that are still there in their yet-again-dealing-with-foundational-improvements release called 3.4.

    Though one can sometimes get away with placing foundational improvements at the top of the list for one release, one usually doesn't get away with a) doing it for two releases in a row and b) failing to address issues that the last foundational improvement release introduced. I wish I could tell my clients that two releases in a row were ignoring bugs and making foundational improvements. I often wish I could even tell my clients that _one_ release was making foundational improvements while ignoring outstanding issues. The reality is that it doesn't happen that way. If NI's engineering team has been able to get approval to do two such releases in a row, more power to them! However, it would seem that they forgot something along the way: the users.

    3.3 blindly introduced wholesale feature changes that broke the workflow and effectively dropped features for end users (effects, anyone?), and failed to fix outstanding issues from 3.2 (the last release I dare use.) Yes, 3.3 made foundational improvements, but they matter little when other things are broken.

    3.4 seems to have done this yet again. Luckily, it has dropped less features than 3.3. However, it has still failed to fix issues that were outstanding even in 3.3, again making the foundational improvements largely irrelevant to anyone affected by the outstanding issues.

    You are quite right to point out that it is often better to address the true causes of issues instead of the symptoms, and to make foundational improvements that address outstanding issues through the process of making those very improvements. I do this as often as possible in my own development work. However, you have to make sure that your foundational improvements actually end up addressing those issues, and the problem I have with 3.4 (and had with 3.3) is that the issues were left unaddressed.

    If I can't upgrade to 3.3 or 3.4 because of outstanding issues that foundational improvements didn't cover, how much do the foundational improvements actually mean for me as a user? I'll tell you: if I can't use them, they are worth nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. If I tried stuff like this with my clients, my contract would be cancelled.

    All said and done, believe me when I tell you that I love Traktor (3.2.x) and will be sticking with it as long as I can stand to. However, with each of the recent releases, I'm able to stand to less and less. :(

    It truly saddens me that people are finding that the few-hundred-dollar software that used to do everything they needed no longer even does that, and that as a result they are contemplating spending _thousands_ of dollars (buying mixers, switching vendors, etc.) just to get their previous functionality _back_.
  15. signaturex

    signaturex NI Product Owner

    3.4 seems to have addressed the performance issue that I brought up last year. The Players use less Cpu now. That was the first thing I noticed.

    I couldn't get into the Beta Action but Im happy with just this one improvement so far.

    Just started working with the update today ... he heh no shows planned for a while.
  16. Michael Coar

    Michael Coar Member

    3.4 is coming off my computer

    What a flippin mess.

    I loaded 3.4 the day before a gig, and it seemingly worked OK.

    However at the gig, it crashed at least 4 times.

    TO make matters worse, after playing and setting up playlists, I found I couldn't move (drag) a song to a new location in the playlist. It simply stopped working, but it worked when I initially started Traktor. So I was forced to use the next command to try and move things around.

    I had to stop and restart Traktor several times just to get back to playing. This is absurd.

    The only real complaint I had before was for some odd unprotected WMA and weirdly encoded MP3 files I have, the monitor function would occassionally crash. But I quickly figured out what the cause was and could avoid it.

    This new version is crap.

    (3.3 rarely crashed, only when monitoring WMA
  17. Weeddigger

    Weeddigger Forum Member

    I had done the latest Mac Airport update the night before an event, but I never downloaded 3.4, or the latest driver of the Audio 8. When I was setting up, I was getting lots of audio drop out, and tiny freezes. That's never happened before, but it happened early enough that I could pop on the internet and get the updates. At the beginning, after updating everything, I still got a drop out here and there, but eventually, they stopped. Have been using Traktor just on the laptop with no Audio 8 during the week, and haven't noticed anything else. Will try again with the Audio 8 soon enough.

    Also, this has been the only update that tossed my previous settings...
    My .tks files were gone when first using 3.4, I had my .tks files backed up, so no problem there.

    Still... Thought it was worth mentioning.


    OT - I just mapped my entire keyboard to control T3 like a real mixer... Or almost... And yeah, it's awesome...

  18. lexUK

    lexUK Forum Member

    shocking. NI is no where near Serato in terms of quality of releases and beta feedback, with some questionable priorities. i just can't trust them.
  19. DJ Freshfluke

    DJ Freshfluke Traktor Mod Moderator

    blablabla, i used several T3.4 beta on several gigs and did not have a single glitch with it. beware of dumb generalizations!

    @ guitartoys: please report the support and hand them out the crashlogs you got. also, you need to post more info. what computer model etc.
  20. applematt

    applematt Forum Member

    I've been using T3.4 for a week now... 3 gigs lasting over 4hrs each + hours of practice at home and i dont have a crash log!

    Cant say i've had a bad time with T3.4 & OSX10.5.4....
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