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Percentage of musicians that use Mac or PC


We're developing software for musicians containing both a web and a stand alone interface... Thing is that a lot of musicians use Macintosh and we're wondering if it is worth the effort to build the standalone part platform independent. Off course platform independency is desirable, but the amount of time it takes to develop will increase significantly.

Is there anyone who knows the usage ratio among musicians. 50% Mac vs 50% PC?

Grtz. Jurgen
Jurgen Send private email
Friday, November 19, 2004
My completely unprofessional opinion is that a majority of serious musicians are using Macs because the protools release is much more solid for that platform. 

Although i'll readily admit i have no clue.  But i do know a bunch of musicians who all use mac and also know our setup at my old school used mac exclusively and trained on mac only.
Glen Rosenblatt Send private email
Friday, November 19, 2004
again, not empirical correct, but every musician i know (me included) has a mac. and since logic is mac only now the number might increase.

i don't know what you are developing but if it has anything to do with signal processing (effects or synthesizer) do so as a vst plugin. that should be fairly cross plattform.
Friday, November 19, 2004
I'm a musician, and I don't own a Mac because they're not affordable. I'd love it if there were more, and better, music software available for Windows. Thousands of starving musicians would thank you.
Friday, November 19, 2004
My last girlfriend was a singer, I built/added a reasonable home recording studio to my dev PC for less than a mac would have cost. Something interested I discovered was: the cheapest audio card at a music store far outperformed the most expensive sound card at a computer store.

Hypothesis: the stuff sold at computer stores sells based on the feature shoot-out on the side of the box (wow, this box has 14 bullet points, and that one has 21, better buy the one with 21 bullet points). The cards sold at music stores, being aimed at musicians, were designed for far lower noise levels than the ones sold in computer stores.
Friday, November 19, 2004
My roommate is a part-time DJ (he used to do that while in college), and he uses a Mac for his mixes and other musical stuff because the software is an order of magnitude better for Mac than their Windows counterparts.

Plus it's easier for connecting his keyboards and other toys up to it, too. Not as many problems.
Anonymous coward
Friday, November 19, 2004
Hi there,

My company is a website builder for bands, and I can say that less than 2% of our thousands of musician members use MACS (based on our log files).  I thought that it was wrong at first, but it has been consistent for over 2 years now.
Chris Send private email
Friday, November 19, 2004
What does your app do? Is it anything like GarageBand?
MT Heart
Saturday, November 20, 2004
No. it will not be anything like garageband. As far as I can judge, Acid pro is for PC what garageband is for the MAC.
I always use a PC for my music and video projects. No complaints so far... there's very good audio/video software for the PC and  it's stable.
But I do know that lot's of musicians simply use the Mac because it's common in the 'scene'.
But, than again, those musicians are most likely the ones that run bussiness with their music and make money with it... So they can afford a Mac.
Our decision will be to first develop for the PC (this will save us LOTS of time) and in case of success....

Thanks for the feedback!
jurgen Send private email
Saturday, November 20, 2004

That's really interesting.

I am interested in finding a card that won't be affected by electronic interference, it's 2004 and other peripherals on my PC still bleeds hisses into the onboard sound card, you'd think they got this cracked.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Most of the laptop musicians I know or have seen play, use Macs. The Powerbook & Protools combination seems pretty standard and much nicer than most PC setups I've seen.

Plus the fact that, cliche alert, Macs are arty and slick and well-designed and musicians being somewhat aesthetically minded tend to value these things.

Thinking of getting an iBook myself to work on some pieces with - much more handy than my current clunky PC music setup & shitty sound card...
Matt Send private email
Monday, November 22, 2004
Li-Fan, you need a card with a break-out box that contains the A/D converters, with a long enough cable that you can get it away from that CRT monitor as well as the PC itself.

Shameless plug: I use an M-Audio Delta 88 (yes with a PC), and it's really good at what I use it for. Clear sound and good drivers (no probs in the year or so that I've used it).

Oh, and in case it's not obvious, I'm using a PC for my music work, though I must admit that I'm not much of a musician ;-)
Antti Kurenniemi Send private email
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
I'd think it would be worth the effort to make the application cross platform just based on the sheer number of pc's.  Must cross platform applications (targeted at muscians or otherwise) are going to have more pc users than mac users due to the fact that so few people have macs. If you subtract all of the educational sales that are apple's bread and butter, mac's have what a 10-20% market share?

I'd really consider your market closely, you can't always make assumptions based on the fact that everyone's amateur musician friend has a mac.  Pro Tool's isn't the only musical app out there, sonic foundry and similar companies make plenty of money catering to pc users.

Especially if you are catering to home type users and not fortune 500 companies or something, you are going to want to consider pc's. Even a lot of people that really like mac's go with pc's due to pricing concerns.
Zach M Send private email
Wednesday, November 24, 2004

It depends what your application is. If you're developing something to do with recording/sequencing/signal processing then you ought to thing a little bit about the mac, because the mac is strong there, mainly due to ProTools and Logic.

If it's a music business application, I'd forget the mac. I run a very small private web site for musicians. I've got one of the free visitor stats programs running on it. There's been maybe 1 or 2 mac users.

In fact web log files are an interesting thing (!). Well actually pretty boring. As the info they give is so consistent. Windows 98/2000/XP, IE5 or above, 800x600 or 1024X768.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
For professional and semi-pro musicians who actually purchase their applications, the split is about 50/50.  Before Apple bought eMagic, their sales were in that range.

The mac userbase is traditionally more apt to buy programs (rather than pirate them or find lesser-quality freeware equivalents), which drives the percentage of sales higher than percentage of users.

Be careful, though.  If your application is targeting a section of the market that is well-established, you'll have to be the best or your sales will suffer.  Professional Mac users care more about quality and de-facto standards ("what does the studio I go to use?") than price or bullet-point features.
Ben Allison Send private email
Thursday, December 09, 2004

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