How do you feel about Macs?

How do you guys feel about Macs and OSX? Mostly in general, but also in regard to making music.

Just looking for some opinions. For a while now, I’ve been entertaining the idea of switching platforms. There’s no really strong reason for that, other than wanting a bit of a change now that my hobbies (less gaming) and the job allow for it. I’ve been using Windows for 22 years (came from CP/M and TOS/GEM before, couldn’t afford a Mac when the Atari era ended), so I’d like to shake up things a bit, learn new things, gain some expertise with another consumer OS, perhaps make computing a little more exciting again.

Probably a somewhat stupid reason, really (another is that it also ties in well with the iPad, which I love). I’d be looking at a MacBook Pro (the next model, not something that’s out yet, and would also wait to see what exactly the iPad Pro/Plus will be) down the road.

Considered Linux, but that’s less compatible with my job (I’d have to use Wine), and I had ran ArchLinux for a while. Fun and educating, but more tinkering than I’m keen on.

Haha starting a fanboy war here… Mac is the most obsolete hardware ever made. But OSX is still the best OS on the planet, but Apple heavily wants to destroy it with useless stuff. OSX 10.6.8 still is the best version, but I was forced to update for compatibility reasons. 10.9 is so slow in comparison and 10.10 I won’t even try. maybe 10.11. Apple doesn’t fix essential problems (like coreaudiod now always scans all AudioUnits on boot up etc)

Regarding the hardware, it looks good, but if it gets damaged you usually can throw it away, because a repair does not pay. Or sell the remaining stuff of the device in pieces… It’s Apple’snon-refillable philosophy which is so annoying. So a good hackintosh is for me the best computer setup you can get. You can get a better hardware e.g. from Dell for 2/3 of the prize (with all the features like ultraHD and so on) - And then hackintosh it.

No doubt OSX is the audio OS… Windows is a pain in the ass and will be forever. Just look at this dinosaur company. But as I said, Apple tries to destroy its own OS. Apple wants OSX to become a pure consumer OS, not a pro-OS. If you look to Mac user forums, Apple isn’t so wrong here it seems. These people are usuallynewly wealthy or just idiots who want to status their life with an Apple life style product or facebook the whole day. Sometimes there still are nice freaks around. But fewer and fewer. For example the Apple support forum is completely obsolete and filled with useless disinformation without matter.

Still happily using both an iMac bought in 2007, a Macbook Pro from 2009 and a Mac Mini from 2012. But like Jurek says, I think it’s mostly in appreciation of OS X. You pay too much for form. 50-60% extra in many cases. Thinking about a Hackintosh with the same or better specs compared to next Mac Pro when maxed out.

For me it’s the OS and apps (Logic). Core Audio and MIDI, where you can do stuff like device aggregation. Better support for a lot of hard- and software that I use (Universal Audio, Max, a lot of plug-ins).

The machines are very quiet but I’m in such a noisy environment that I can’t really appreciate it.

In my opinion the structure of OSX for audio is way better than Windows (also used Windows for a decade). For example you can run audio apps side by side with the os internal low latency driver without problems (like asio4all or now this “new” audio layer since win2000 / WDM?). It works usually out-of-the-box with zero-configuration. Also the midi support is much more advanced, the os has midi hardware-software wiring settings, in which you can also easily setup midi-via-lan or via-wlan setups. As jiku wrote, you can aggregate audio-devices into one. Such intelligent stuff, which is not available in Windows. And this already since OSX 10.1? OSX 10.10 now also supports natively MIDI-over-bluetooth which seems to be almost fast as cable.

OSX also runs much more stable - usually. You can still crash Renoise with buggy VSTs. But there are much more plus reasons like fully hardware accelerated OpenGL like graphics output (for desktop) and much better plug and play driver structure, better firewire support etc.

In comparison to Linux I would say, the most benefits are 1. CoreAudio and Midi and 2. you have access to almost all important VSTs like in Windows. 3. You still have access to lot of Linux stuff like JackAudio thanks to its unix core.

The recent hardware of Macs doesn’t seem to be made for Audio people anymore. Just one combined output/input jack (the old white macbook has 2 and those were combined analog/optical spdif ports!), no firewire, useless / too expensive thunderbolt. Now they want to join also the power cable and the usb port. What a unbelievable stupid idea. Insane. The new hardware generation is completely made for consumers.

The main reason i’ve been using windows is compatibility and variety. While there are tonnes of specialised freeware and open source software for windows there are far less for other os’s. What you can achieve on windows without too much knowledge and for free, you would most likely pay a lot to be able to do the same on a mac if it’s possible at all.

I’m also a bit frustrated when trying a mac because i’m so used to how windows works, but i guess that is something i would get used to after a while.

I use Windows at work and Mac at home. On Windows I can guarantee at least one WTF moment every day.
On the other hand Mac is Zen. If you can afford it go for a Mac.

I agree with Bellows. The number of VSTs and other freeware in general that you miss out on with Mac OS is staggering. It appears to have gotten better over the years though.

Macs are perfectly fine machines but they’re almost always overpriced for the components you get. But that’s something that, the people that like it, really really like it and it’s worth the money to them.

I see the statement that Mac OS is the best OS on the planet, but without an extra statement of “at doing ____” I feel like it’s misleading. There’s plenty of things I hate about Mac OS. I used Macs exclusively for years because that’s what my family had growing up, all the way from Mac OS 7 too the first several versions of Mac OS X. I started dual booting Windows so I could play games, and that’s when I slowly realized that I actually hate Mac OS X.

I know a lot of people love it, but I hate the dock concept. I like having a searchable hide-able menu that you can pull up with just the keyboard that gives you both shortcut items and other menus by which to find all the things that are on your computer. Unless something has changed, on Mac OS if it’s not on your dock you have to browse to it’s file location. Ubuntu’s unity improves the dock concept greatly imo with it’s search function, but I still by far prefer the start menu concept, whether or not it’s Windows.

I also feel like way too many settings are just hidden away and disguised in Mac OS, or renamed something stupid. When I did support over phone for an ISP years back, my Mac callers didn’t even know the difference between their wireless card and their wireless router, because to them they were “airports.” Jesus apple just call it a fucking router and wireless card. Basic mouse settings that are just in the mouse settings menu on Windows are only accessible through command line commands (and god I hate mac’s default mouse acceleration). Lots of settings are like that actually and it’s really frustrating. They strip the settings menu down to what they think a 5th grader can handle, and fuck everyone else, they can use the command line.

That being said they are fine machines to create music on, and there is a reason they are so common in the industry. They are very stable and don’t require that you use shit like ASIO4ALL. You will be paying a huge mark up for them though, and for most models are probably not going to be able to do any kind of hardware upgrade to them ever. I’ve also had issues with new OS releases breaking older software and requiring whoever made that software to update to work on the new OS, but if it’s a piece of freeware that was “done” it’s probably abandoned and you’re SOL and have to find a replacement program.

After a lifetime of Mac I switched to PC some 7ish years ago and I’ve never regretted it. But I would never tell anyone that Macs are bad, and they may be the best thing for you personally. Computer preferences are just that, preferences.

Now they want to join also the power cable and the usb port. What a unbelievable stupid idea. Insane. The new hardware generation is completely made for consumers.

USB-C will be also the future thunderbolt connector on Macs. Not on the new MacBook, but in future. In this way it will be possible again (like on Firewire and the old Thunderbolt connector) to connect hardware in a line (including the power supply at the end). I like the idea connecting hardware in a line … especially on portable devices.

I don’t think, that Apple will reduce the connectors on the upcoming MacBook Pros like on the new MacBook. The new MacBook is a portabel office notebook (no more no less) and imho “the new” MacBook Air. I think the MacBook Air will not be continued in future.

With the end of Win XP (the release of Win Vista/7) I finally switched to Mac and I’m sooo happy with this decision. It’s a absolutely reliable OS and hardware too with great performance … and I will never switch back to Windows. The next step could be switching to Linux sometime - but this would be a “political” decision only and has nothing to do with needs for a better OS or hardware … B)

Recent changes to the UI make me feel like a toddler - especially with it not being Open Source, not enough gaming capability (though with in-home steam streaming and other advancements, that’ll be less of a problem,) and the general philosophy of what it stood for is now gone - ie not really self repairable unlike its origins.

Though the majority of linux distros happen to cover the needs that I had desired on Mac OS. I’ve always preferred security through obscurity. However even on my xubuntu partition I still have a shite time trying to get the audio to work with qjackctl and the like. -> luckily all the main vsts I use (Thank you U-he) are across all platforms. Eventually I want to settle on linux and wholly forget about Windows, but… I still don’t think Mac OS is the answer.

Audio wise, it had its time. But Windows has caught up(mostly) at this point. But my main point is that I still find free options (freeware) for Windows devices are much more prevalent than what could be found for Mac OS.

Also it’s marketed as if it’s “high end” which I would say it’s true to an extent, but you practically have to pay for every little thing that comes up.

Thanks for the varied views, guys. I’m still torn on this, but that’s okay, it’s not something I need to decide right away. May be a sound approach to wait to see how Windows 10 plays out and then either buy some beefy laptop (turn the current one into an ArchLinux box for when I feel like tinkering) or evaluate the then-new MacBook Pro. I definitely want to see where Apple goes with connectivity and what exactly the iPad Pro/Plus will be.

I use FL Studio on the side (for the visual freeform pattern approach), which I guess is factor I need to take into account also. (Well, not necessarily a major point. Renoise is the important one for me, and that’s available anywhere.) No native Mac version yet, though it’s on the horizon. Gaming isn’t a huge concern, but who knows, I seem to go a couple years without gaming much, then diving head-first in again for a while. But consoles can scratch that itch too if necessary.

Chances are I’ll go back and forth on this for a while. :slight_smile: