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Old 26th May 2009
Here for the gear

I was about to start a topic on this very subject but it looks like I've been beaten to it

I think the physical construction of both the Syncrosoft and iLok dongles is really poor considering they can potentially hold thousands of pounds worth of software licenses.

As noted already in the thread, the iLok key is too large and made of plastic, though it does seem reasonably robust. Even so, I paid £30 for my iLok, yet USB drives I've bought for around half of that are made of metal and are more compact.

The Syncrosoft dongle is quite flimsy, in my experience. The plastic seems to crack around the USB connector and then the rest of the casing gradually fall aparts. We've got one in the office here that is plugged into the same computer pretty much all the time, so it's had a really easy life, but it's now held together with Sellotape because it just crumbled. My own dongle also has cracks showing around the connector, and the other end with the 'loop' is also cracking.

Oh, and neither of these dongles even comes with a dust cap!

I think it's about time that dongles matched up to the kind of physical standards you'd expect from a piece of professional audio hardware.

Lee du-Caine
Deputy Editor
Computer Music magazine
Computer Music