Avid Pro Tools 9

Recently Avid released the latest version of their Pro Tools software: Pro Tools 9.  Normally, these kinds of software updates are not a huge deal, but the release of Pro Tools 9 is important to project studios for several reasons.  Pro Tools formerly had several limitations.  First, the software would not work without a Pro Tools interface.  To anyone that previously used Pro Tools, this wasn't a huge deal, but could be a MAJOR pain in the ass.  Not being able to run the software without an interface made things such as editing on the run difficult.  Sure, Digidesign (now part of Avid) released the MBOX Micro as a USB dongle to allow you to run the software on a laptop without your home interface, but at $250, this wasn't exactly a welcomed addition.  Programs such as Apple's Logic run without attached hardware and dongles, making software such as this more attractive from an "editing on the run" standpoint.  Second, Pro Tools used to only work with Pro Tools hardware.  The interaction was proprietary and you could not use a third party audio interface to get audio into Pro Tools without some sort of Pro Tools hardware attached to your computer.  This was great for Digidesign, but not so great for the consumer.  I used to have a 002 Rack, the preamps on which were less than stellar, sounding thin.  However, I couldn't run Pro Tools [LE] without it.  If I wanted to use other preamps to pipe audio into Pro Tools, I'd have to hook up another interface via ADAT or coax digital input.  With Pro Tools 9, the software works with ANY Core Audio compliant audio interface.  This means I could use my Apogee Duet as I/O for Pro Tools!  While this is great news, unfortunately the prior limitations of the software caused me to sell my Pro Tools system about 10 months ago.  By making Pro Tools open, Avid has made Pro Tools a much more attractive option for the project studio in terms of flexibility.  They also added other features such as increased track count and automatic delay compensation on plug-ins, previously reserved for more high-end Pro Tools HD systems.  One bit of curiosity that still remains is will their line of controllers (Command 8, C24, D-Command, ICON) work with 3rd party software??  This would amazing if possible, the Command 8 I had was a great controller....I sold it only because it wouldn't work with Logic.  I have to tip my hat to Avid for making product strides that so many of us have wished for.  While I currently continue to use Logic 9 for my DAW needs, I will certainly consider Pro Tools again for my next setup.  Cheers!