installers.pngFor the last three evenings I’ve been spending valuable time in the studio for just plain installation of Native Instrument’s Komplete 5 upgrade.

There’s something special about user-friendly installers; this one is not.

Where do I start? Just having eight+ DVDs that I need to feed in takes time — at some point I think it would be cheaper for even the company to include a small mini-drive or just provide online incremental downloads of the content. As it took so long I tried to do this a little bit at a time, put the computer to sleep and continued next evening. Well, that didn’t work. After two false starts I just ended up doing incremental installations of each part in Komplete 5 (Guitar Rig, FM8 and so on…) As sometimes the DVD got stuck in the computer of some odd reason I had at least something in place.

Now, the installer should know that I had something already installed. Not. If I forgot to un-check an earlier installed component it just happily installed it again. As I don’t know what’s really going on inside the mind of an installer software brain I rather let it do it all over in case it wanted to wipe out something before installing. So that took time.

I would also expect that an installer would remember locations where I had selected download directories for the material. Nope. Now, I think the Vise X kit they use is an old Carbon-based installer; you could see that from the spinning ball that is black&white. But it would be good for Native Instruments to spend some resources to fix the installer. There were cases where I had to start over where I took out a DVD and the installer dialog telling me to insert the other one got stuck in a loop — I think the Vise X stuff is showing its age.

If that was not all; when trying to run Native Instrument’s Service Center application to activate the separate components — that’s didn’t work at all, no activation. I followed some notes that I found via googling about issues with having old or two NI Service Centers installed; removed all entries and plists, but even after that no go. So I just sent an email to their support center.

I do think that installers give the first impression for a software company. If the installation is miserable, you don’t get a good feeling what will happen next. It’s easy to save money on just getting something running, but a complex installation such as Komplete 5 with lots of components and content requires a really user-friendly installer. The only reason I kept my sanity was that I know what’s going on behind the scenes, but after all kinds of improvisations I just had to give up. Imagine a composer with a deadline, looking at a dead Kompakt 3, the clock isĀ  ticking and she or he can’t get anything done with an expensive investment.

I’m sure this all will be sorted out tomorrow (suspect they will send me separate activation keys for each component and I found yet another lurking bug with Komplete 5 upgrades and installations.)