updated 12:30 am EST, Fri January 16, 2004
Final Scratch DJ/Panther
A MacNN reader reports a problem developing between Native Instruments, maker of FinalScratch DJ, and Mac OS X "Panther" users
" is a software/hardware combination built by Stanton Magnetics with software from Native Instruments that allows traditional vinyl record DJ turntablists to play digital audio files (MP3, WAV, AIFF, and audio CDs) from a computer. The traditional turntables hook into the "ScratchAmp" you get in the package. The ScratchAmp routes this audio to a Mac or PC via USB. Special records (included in the package) with a digital timecode recorded in analog are played on the turntables. This audio is fed to the computer, at which point Native Instruments's software interprets it and plays the audio back to the ScratchAmp, which routes to the DJ mixer.
The problem is that, as of right now, Final Scratch was rendered effectively unusable with the release of MacOS X Panther. Native Instruments is mum on the issue, providing canned responses to most users who send in for tech support. I received a personalized response (I specifically asked for a non-canned response) which states that Apple is releasing new OS's too quickly and NI can't keep up. We feel this is a farce, as this software has had compatibility issues since Jaguar 10.2.4. The problem was worsened with Panther.
The effective problem right now is that many users - both veterans of Final Scratch who have upgraded to Panther and new users, like myself - are stuck with a highly expensive system (many people buy dedicated laptops for the purpose, plus the FinalScratch Package, which retails for $499 at Guitar Center) that is unusable. Specific symptoms: the audio has clicks and pops (similar to what Audio Soft Studio users experience when using a latency too low for the system), the software randomly fails to keep up with the audio and pitch shifts (drastic changes in speed) occur, thereby rendering mixing useless."