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Are you ready to tame Snow Leopard?

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Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard is due to ship on August 28th. To prepare for this major OS release, MOTU has worked closely with Apple to ensure a smooth transition for your MOTU products when you make the move to Snow Leopard.

In most cases, current versions of your MOTU software have already been made forward-compatible with Snow Leopard, including support for Mac OS X's latest advances in multi-threading and multi-processor operation. In other cases, MOTU software updates or driver updates are now (or soon to be) available to tame the new Snow Leopard in your Mac.

If you need to download a software updater, log in with your motu.com user account. Don't have a log-in account yet? Create one.

If you own an iLok, update your Pace extensions

If you own a MOTU virtual instrument or any other iLok-based product, be sure to download and install the very latest iLok software installer from paceap.com on your new or updated Snow Leopard system.

64-bit support is on the way

MOTU engineering teams are hard at work developing support for Snow Leopard's new, optional 64-bit mode. For now, however, Snow Leopard defaults to 32-bit mode, and all newer Mac models that have the ability to support 64-bit mode (from late 2008 onward) default to 32-bit mode. Therefore, until 64-bit support becomes more widespread for the Mac in general, MOTU recommends running Snow Leopard in 32-bit mode. Stay tuned to motu.com for future announcements about 64-bit support in MOTU hardware drivers and software products.


MOTU hardware

Device drivers are now available for Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard for all MOTU FireWire/USB2 audio interfaces, FireWire video interfaces, PCI-424 audio interfaces, and USB MIDI interfaces. For a complete list of the minimum driver versions required for Mac OS X v10.6, read this tech note. Please download the latest installers here.


MOTU software

All currently shipping versions of MOTU software products are compatible with Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard, except for Ethno Instrument (see note below). For a complete list of the minimum versions required for Mac OS X v10.6, read this tech note. If you don't already have them, you can download the latest updaters here.

If you own a MOTU virtual instrument or any other iLok-authorized product, be sure to download and install the latest iLok software installer from paceap.com on your new or updated Snow Leopard system.

Ethno Instrument will soon be compatible with Snow Leopard. Please check this tech note for further news as it becomes available.


How to upgrade your MOTU system to Snow Leopard

This section provides some general guidelines for updating your MOTU studio to Snow Leopard.

In general, the process for moving to Snow Leopard goes as follows:

  1. Install Snow Leopard.
  2. Update iLok drivers (from paceap.com), if you own any iLok-authorized products.
  3. Update MOTU software or drivers if an update is necessary.

For step 1, there are two basic approaches to installing a major OS upgrade such as Snow Leopard:

  • A) Install Snow Leopard on your existing system drive or partition.
  • OR

  • B) Install Snow Leopard to a new, separate drive or partition.

Method A is less work because your MOTU software components are preserved by the Snow Leopard installer, and all you have to do is update the ones that require an update for Snow Leopard compatibility. But if you install over your old system, you eliminate the possibility of quickly returning to that old system for any reason. For example, you may discover that a crucial third-party component of your system, such as an effects plug-in, is not yet compatible with Snow Leopard. For this reason you should try to back up and archive your system in its current configuration on a bootable volume just before you perform the update to Snow Leopard. That way, you can always go back to the old system if necessary.

Method B is more work initially because it requires a full reinstallation of everything. However, there are several benefits. First, you start with a clean, "pristine" system. Second, if you encounter an issue, you can quickly revert to your old system volume until the issue is resolved.

If you choose Method A, simply run any MOTU Snow Leopard software updates that apply to you after you install Snow Leopard.

If you choose Method B, you may need to do a complete fresh install of your MOTU software before running a Snow Leopard updater (because the updater is not a complete install). Refer to the instructions supplied with the software or driver updater.

All MOTU hardware driver updaters for Snow Leopard perform complete installations.