If you’ve been having problems with Live being stable lately, there’s a good chance you’re running Live 8.1 (or 8.1.1)

The folks at Ableton have been hard at work on a major bugfix update which looks like it will be available very soon. In the meantime, there’s a beta version of this release available to download from the Ableton forum. I’ve been running the beta versions that have been coming out for the last few weeks and they seem to be getting better and better.

Bear in mind that beta software is not fully tested, so it’s always a good idea to run a backup of your important stuff backed up before messing around with it. Also know that if you modify a Set using a beta (or any new version) of Live, you may not be able to open it with any prior versions – that’s been the case with this latest round of betas.

Once you’re running a beta version of Live, you can always make sure you’re running the latest one by using the Check For Updates feature.

Picture 19

If an newer beta release has come out, this menu option will take you to the download link. Another very important thing to remember about Ableton’s beta versions is that they have expiration dates after which you will no longer be able to launch them. If you’ve been running a beta version and you’re heading off to a gig, make sure that your version isn’t about to expire and download an update if it is.

It’s typical for Ableton to release betas of the updates they release, so feel free to keep an eye on the forums for future beta updates. Personally, if my machine is running just fine, I tend to ignore the betas. In fact, if my system is stable and running smoothly, I’ll often avoid installing new versions of anything – unless there are new features I want to check out.