DevTalks: Native Access Startup Journey and Next steps



  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 258 Advisor

    True dis.

    I would pay money for a long internal discussion on Battery 5 or anything NI makes that actually enhances my music making.


  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 258 Advisor
    edited April 17

    "I hope also that this version will tell me when there is a newer one to upgrade to. The last one didn't which is why I was stuck on version for so long ;)"

    The only reason you were never notified was because Native Access 1 stopped being developed over a year ago and is now essentially retired.

    It would have been nice to somehow have NA1 tell us that NA2 was stable and available - but NA1 did not have such an ability and NI relied on email, forum posts and other marketing means to blitz the user base on the general availability NA2 starting last summer.

    NA2 on the other hand - WILL display an update notification when a new version is available, but you will need to be using it to see it.


  • Hayo_NI
    Hayo_NI Product Team Posts: 182 mod

    Hey, so as part of a longer initiative we're overhauling our installers so we can install/update them more granularly, but it's definitely an on-going effort. Not sure when we can call it done, so keep an eye out for the release notes where I'll put more detail in there.

  • Hayo_NI
    Hayo_NI Product Team Posts: 182 mod

    Hey! No plans on overhauling preferences folders at this stage, but I'll take note for us to investigate when we have more time to explore other initiatives.

  • Hayo_NI
    Hayo_NI Product Team Posts: 182 mod

    Thank you for reaching out and voicing your stance here! So yes, removing products is a pain. We've noted the ability to hide products as an initiative for somewhere near the end of the year, at least in a "beta" stage, where it would only be device specific for now. As of 3.3.0, ended subscriptions also get removed from the available tab. There's more to do here for sure, just want to get other things out first :)

  • Hayo_NI
    Hayo_NI Product Team Posts: 182 mod

    Hey, so this is likely just NTK Daemon being reinstalled as it wasn't primarily running. While not coming in the upcoming hotfix, we're addressing this hopefully by the next release, if not the one after that.

    Think i mentioned it already, but back in the Beta days we were experiencing phantom Daemons appearing, and the decision to install new Daemons would circumvent that. But the issue had since been addressed and we never reverted. We're making a few more improvements on both sides, Native Access now asking the Daemon to start and revisiting these commands to make it reliable. Addressing a few immediately emerging concerns first, then we get back to this :)

  • Lowkus
    Lowkus Member Posts: 22 Member

    I have already reached out to support a few times about the issue, and their reply is always "we don't support that application anymore." I've started researching how to crack software, hoping in the future I might actually get to use the software I paid for.

  • Lenron
    Lenron Member Posts: 6 Newcomer

    Some of us download and install libraries all the time.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,192 Expert

    Ok. Probably you need to free up space or something else so you don’t keep them all installed, I do understand it.

    So…wouldn’t you be more concerned about being sure the libraries DO GET installed without any problem than having to wait 20 sec more to open NA?

    Maybe I was misunderstood: I appreciate NA being fast as lightning too…but in my book there are other priorities. This is all I wanted to say

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,192 Expert

    I agree with you that a choice on the theme color would be very welcome.

    But…The reason for the switch to dark themes (not only NI did it, the world is moving in this direction. See Apple and many others) is because they “discovered” that watching a white light screen 18h a day damages and fatigue the eyes. And that’s why nowadays more people need to wear glasses. Because the majority of the population spend more time than before with a light shooting in their eyes from a screen than with a shovel in their hands. At the work place, in their free time hobbies and then also in the evening when “relaxing” watching the television.

    So, even if it could seem the opposite to you, the dark switch is to protect your eyes, even if then reading it could seem more difficult.

    Black on white surely allows you to read better, but white on black will allow to read longer 😉

  • Paul B
    Paul B Member Posts: 41 Helper
    edited April 18

    First, thank you for offering these spaces where we can learn more about how things have developed and where they're going, and give our thoughts.

    I bought a new much more powerful machine in late February, so I can't say how much startup improvement is due to that, but NA had already appeared to be getting faster on the old machine. This improved startup time is much appreciated. It may be something only opened occasionally, but that's no reason it should be slow. Generally speaking, and given the roadmap shown here, I am happy enough with how NA is working. There are improvements I'd like to see that aren't listed, but they are low priority for me, and, I think, for most people (like being able to hide things I am not going to install, for which I can wait).

    Most of my thoughts here are about the use of NTK Daemon. Despite what has been presented for why it is reasonable to have it running at all times, I'm skeptical. I appreciate that for some users the ability to continue interrupted installations will be welcome. But even that can be achieved by reopening Native Access, triggering NTK Daemon to start up and continue.

    It may seem a small thing and why should I care? Because the more services I have starting on boot, the slower that happens. So I do not look kindly on services that are not truly needed on a regular basis, even if I chose to install them. I have just removed one that I used every day but no longer do – on those days I want to I can run it manually. For me, and I would argue many other users, NTK Daemon is an occasional need, when we run Native Access.

    I have set up my system so that NTK Daemon will not run unless I want it to, and will close when I want it to – and everything in NA is working as expected, quick startup, installations work, etc. I hope NI doesn't make it a requirement that NTK Daemon runs when NA is not active, and allows users like me to continue running it the way we want.

    I'm still open to being convinced we should all have it running at all times, but so far I'm not seeing it, and I think it should be an opt-in during installation: 'do you want to enable this background service to run constantly when Native Access is not open? This is what you will get if you do (mention installations continuing automatically, etc.). Yes/no?'. Coupled with starting it (from what I read above the 'install' is to be replaced with 'start') when starting NA, and terminating it when no longer needed (so if it needs to finish up some installations, let it run until that is done and then self-terminate), for users who said 'No'.

    I may be an outlier with this request, and I won't hold it against you if you say 'no, NTKDaemon is going to be set up in one way only, always on.' In part because if I wish to I can easily bypass this, as I already have. But also because while I may not agree with the decision, the transparency on offer here means I can expect that the decision will have been taken with due consideration for what you think is best for the majority of users as well as development priorities. Doesn't hurt to ask, though :).

    About one more thing proposed in the thread:

    • "have Native Access be able to close without quitting" – please don't do this how iZotope did. I had to remap Cmd-Q so their installer will actually quit because they hijacked the standard key command to close but not quit. It should be a different key command. I know how to deal with things like this, and for me they're a minor annoyance, but not everyone will know how to get back the standard Cmd-Q behaviour.
  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,192 Expert
    edited April 18

    "I hope also that this version will tell me when there is a newer one to upgrade to. The last one didn't which is why I was stuck on version for so long ;)"

    …and I’m SOOOOO happy with this. Seeing all the problems newer NA has now, I am GRATEFUL to still be on the old, working version. Once the new one will be functional (and…sorry to tell this, but should have been BEFORE being released…you know…the ancient practice of testing a program deeply BEFORE release vs the new trend of “my users are my beta testers”) I will be so happy to switch to it. But at the moment…having a instrument installer that actually install them makes me so happy…

  • Jojo123
    Jojo123 Member Posts: 148 Advisor

    Hello, thankyou for giving us the opportunity to comment.

    Are you going to require us to be online/have NA running when ever we use any NI products? I dont ever want to be forced to do this in order to use the products I've paid for. I dont want NA running unless I choose to check for updates or do other similar tasks. If this is to do with licenses then I fail to see the necessity of verifying the authenticity of the products we've paid for everytime we use them on a day to day basis. For new purchases, re-installs and the like, of course no problem with that.

    I asked ages ago and still haven't had a clear answer about telemetry. Can you verify that we can still opt out of usage tracking? This is one of the main reasons Im still on NA1

    Thankyou for starting work on the uninstallers. This will really make a difference and is so needed especially for owners of many libararies like UCE's.

    Please provide us with installers. I agree with others about this. My own example: Recently I updated an NI product and it completely rendered my system unusable if I used any Kontakt instruments. By the time I was supplied with the previous installer it was days of downtime. If people had immediate access to installers it would greatly alleviate the stress and inconvenience to your customers when these can get you up and running in the meantime.

    We shouldn't have to install other programs and use workarounds like getting into the terminal and running commands in order to get NA to run smoothly so we can use the products. This is not conducive to being user friendly at all and is a big turn off to more non tech users.

    Looking forward to dark mode when I update NA but hopefully its not too contrasty. It would be nice for people to have an option to choose light mode who dont prefer dark. I do think if the font is bright white on a very black background that can be real hard on the eyes. Off white font on dark grey seems to be what people prefer.


  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 258 Advisor

    "If this is to do with licenses, then I fail to see the necessity of verifying the authenticity of the products we've paid for every time we use them on a day-to-day basis. For new purchases, re-installs and the like, of course no problem with that"


    As I read more and more about the hoops and swerves you guys seem to think is "necessary" for NA2 - after reading this above post - I am actually starting to think that NA2 is doing way more than is necessary to use my NI purchased software.

    I also feel like I am falling into the camp where NA2 should ONLY be operational when I specifically make an effort to launch it. This notion of NTKDaemon running all the time is actually making me wonder just what the heck is going on in terms of telemetry, licensing and a number of other less than desirable angles.

    Is NA2 keeping tabs on my licensing in real time? Is NA2 sending back a truckload of my DAW data back to the mothership? Are there some other privacy issues I need to be made aware of?

    While this tech talk is excellent - the fact remains that you guys have made a VERY thin case as to why you believe NTKDaemon "should" be running on my system 24x7 to pad your inability for NA2 to function correctly but that does not allow you to assume (Or force install) any specific service that runs all the time on my DAW.

    In a way this is starting to feel like a company like ASUS (and others) - who excel at stealth installing ***** on users PC without so much as a dialog box. Suffice to say that I take great offense to these sorts of tactics.

    If my licenses have been previously checked by NA2 at initial setup OR a recent NA2 run - that should be good enough for me to never have to touch it again until the next time I choose to use it. Once I close NA2 out (after ANY run) it should never leave any resident services or processes in memory and completely disengage with any activity on my DAW - which quite frankly is none of your business.

    As @Jojo123 states as well - if I buy a new product OR want to check for updates OR (hopefully coming soon) remove a product - then a legit run of NA2 (with the associated NTKDaemon process) is warranted.

    But I 100% disagree that NI should be allowed to make any assumptions they can leave what is really a totally useless service running without asking. Or without supplying any detailed documentation to me to show exactly what this thing is doing, sending, retrieving, collecting etc WHILE it's running so that I can determine if it's something I choose to allow.


  • Hayo_NI
    Hayo_NI Product Team Posts: 182 mod

    Hey Tom! Glad you're liking the series so far. I have no intention to stop them as it's really good to touch base and see where concerns lie and what our users want.

    We decided to focus on the startup times for a multitude of reasons, such as bad first impression, consistency in extensive startup times, and developer experience. The latter had a lot to do with why it got bumped in priority. Aside from one that I mentioned in my previous response to D-one, we're parking startup improvements and buckling down on more important issues.

    Regarding transparency, it's something we need to do better on. Our error handling in some cases need work for sure. Spinners are one way we express loading states, something we could unite at some point, but we can't measure precise progress for anything aside from download progress at this stage.

    Regarding dev support, the Native Access team is incredibly packed with stuff to do, so having them be present to offer support on the community forum is not really ideal for productivity. Our customer support team has eyes on this forum, and our teams are informed, but I can definitely do a better job making sure at the very least users are heard and acknowledge their frustrations, so I'll work to make a habit of that.

    We have a lot to fix, so we want to prioritize that, and in the meantime make some quality of life improvements to our existing feature set. We'll do a full user experience sweep once we've addressed the critical stuff like download issues.

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