I needed to download a large bundle of software instruments and samples the other day from one brand that I am not going to name in this article. I found the whole experience rather frustrating for two reasons.
Large File - Lots Of Pieces
The first being that each product was split into smaller dmg packages. I am not a fan of these types of download as I find myself keeping a close eye on my Mac to see how the OS is handling the each download. This particular bundle weighed in at nearly 100GB so I knew I was going to be in for a long afternoon watching the digital paint dry.
What started to become apparent very quickly was reliability of the download stream. A lot of the dmg files either timed out or would refuse to open once “safely” in my downloads folder. This meant I had to download some dmg packages again. I eventually got around problem by ditching my web browser Google Chrome and switching over to a third party download manager called Download Shuttle for Mac. Even with this there was still the occasional time out.
When I finally got all the dmg files on my hard drive I noticed that some of the dmg files would take about an hour to verify so that the disk image could be mounted with the installer on my desktop. The products that would take the longest to verify were the dmg files named part-1, part-2, part-3 etc. I can only guess that it takes an hour in some cases to mount the installer as it must take a fair amount of time for the Mac OS to glue all these parts together.
The second frustration in this experience was the time it took. In total I spent around 10 hours of downloading, re downloading, waiting, checking the computer, verifying the dmgs and ultimately installing each product. 10 hours is a very long time in anyone’s life.
I suppose my rant comes down to this simple question.
Why do I feel like some brands are happy for us, the end user, to do all the laborious work in downloading lots of small components then for us to run convoluted install procedures when lots of other brands have developed their own dedicated smart download/installer manager apps?
EastWest samples are by far the largest I have ever downloaded yet I found their download system the easiest to use. EastWest's excellent Installation Center app takes care of all the download management and installation processes without me having to do anything but click a button to tell the app that I want a particular library on my system. Eastwest’s massive Composer Cloud package downloaded in around 16 hours and installed perfectly without fault or hassle. Waves as well have their own download system called Waves Central. A very simple "easy install and activate" app making it effortless to get their products on my system.
Coming out of this experience I now feel that audio plug-in & software instrument developers who offer very large download only products should develop their own dedicated delivery systems with easy install apps that removes the pain from what I've shared in this article. I don’t personally want to use third party download managers, nor do I want to mess around with dmg files that are split into parts… I want the software to come down my connection with no trouble and install with little fuss. Discuss.