20th May 2009
At megatrax we have 3 studios and 6 editing bays all using different plugins, each system with it's own ilok. For us the iLok is INVALUABLE. Being able to move plugins from one room to the next just buy unplugging and plugging the ilok is extremely useful.
Being able to rent plugins with the ilok is extremely useful.
being able to transfer the licenses between iloks is extremely useful
Being able to wipe out each computer (which we do once a year) and install everything from scratch and NOT have to reauthorize everything is AMAZING! Ever used Native Instruments? Talk about a PITA. If you wipe out your computer and forgot to "Unauthorize" their plugins it can take days of emails with tech support to get them authorized again.
As a producer and engineer, I also have my own ilok with my own software on it that I like. Being able to take that with me from studio to studio for tracking and mixing is invaluable.
There are so many Pros for the iLok, it seriously out-weighs the few minor cons. And personally I don't find registering on ilok.com, installing the ilok software and driver, and downloading the licenses to be such a huge pain in the butt... Maybe if I was using dial-up or something it would be. But with a cable modem it literally takes about 10 seconds for each download.
If they could make the iLok smaller, that would be great! And also more sturdy. I've had a couple crack/break. But luckily I was able to transfer the assests over to a new ilok before the broken one stopped working.
I also think their "zero-downtime" system is a pretty good idea for people that need to have access to their plugins at a moments notice, in the event one breaks. Since Ilok.com has a record of all the plugins on your ilok, they will give you temporary authorizations for eveything that you put on a brand new ilok. You send the broken ilok back and once they get it, they switch your temp auth's to permanent ones.
I'm a big fan of the ilok. I get annoyed when I have to do challenge/response because I know it's going to be a pain in the butt later. I wish all my plugins were ilok, or at least had that option available.