Under The Microscope

Capture Phone Relay Audio From FaceTime With Audio Hijack Pro

Audio Hijack Pro IconWe’ve just posted an update to Audio Hijack Pro with a handful of small fixes. However, in addition to those improvements, there’s one major update worth mentioning specifically for users on Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). With the latest update, Audio Hijack Pro can now assist you in recording phone calls placed with your iPhone!

The combination of Yosemite and iOS 8.1 on the iPhone now offer a function called Phone Relay.1 Using Phone Relay, you can use your Mac to make and receive phone calls. That’s very handy on its own, but adding Audio Hijack Pro to the mix makes it even better. By setting FaceTime as the source in Audio Hijack Pro, you can record those calls for later reference!2

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Audio Hijack Pro recording a Phone Relay call via FaceTime

We’ve had a lot of requests for this, and starting with version 2.11.4, we’re delighted to make it possible! Whether you’re working on a phone-based podcast interview, saving a conversation for later transcription, or anything else, using Audio Hijack Pro with Phone Relay makes it a snap to get a copy of your audio.

So if you’ve ever wished you could record calls from your iPhone, you’re now in luck! Just grab the latest Audio Hijack Pro from our site, or if you’re already a user, just select “Check for Update” from the Audio Hijack Pro menu. Happy recording!


Footnotes:

  1. 9to5Mac has a great overview of Phone Relay.

  2. People are sometimes unclear on the legality of call recording, but in most places it is entirely legal. In the United States, you’re always allowed to record your own calls, though you may also be required to inform the other parties on the line that you’re recording. You’ll want to research the laws in your area.

Here’s to You, Macworld

After the Apple festivities of Tuesday, yesterday brought some much more somber news. It seems the physical Macworld magazine will cease publication, and Macworld.com will be run with a greatly-reduced staff. There’s not even an official announcement on this, but many now-former Macworld staffers have tweeted about their layoffs, and former editor-in-chief Jason Snell has posted his own related news. Ultimately, nearly all of the folks we’ve interacted with at Macworld have been let go from the company.

This is a sad day. Macworld has been a staple of the past thirty years even as the publishing industry contracted. It will be very strange indeed to no longer find the magazine in print. And while Macworld.com will live on, and perhaps even remain great under the direction of Chris Breen, it has lost nearly all of the people who provided top-notch writing, reviews, and in-depth coverage. This was some of the best writing and reporting in the Apple industry, and it will be sorely missed.

Rogue Amoeba has had far too many friends at Macworld magazine to properly list them all. Way back at Macworld Expo San Francisco in 2004, Jim Dalrymple awarded Nicecast with a Best of Show award. Dan Frakes twice awarded Airfoil with a stellar 4.5 mouse rating. Dan Moren, Chris Breen, Jason Snell, Serenity Caldwell, and many more said kind things, recommended our work, and even presented us with three Editor’s Choice awards. It’s impossible to express how incredibly gratifying it was to have our work honored by people we respect so deeply. Every time our name was mentioned in print or on the web site, it really was a thrill.

For years, Macworld set the standard for Mac journalism, and the volume of talent that is presently unemployed is simply obscene. There’s little doubt that these talented folks will quickly find new opportunities. I only hope that many of them will remain in the Apple space, so that we can continue to benefit from their work for years to come.

A Slew of Updates for Yosemite

Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) IconAs you may be aware, the next version of your Mac’s operating system is coming soon. Mac OS X 10.10, also known as “Yosemite”, is due to be released sometime this fall. However, in a departure from their traditional method of releasing the OS to the public, Apple has just opened up a Public Beta program. Through this program, users can get early access to a not-yet-final version of the operating system.

Waiting until the official Yosemite release in the fall is likely to be the best bet for the majority of users. Because the operating system is a beta, and not yet complete, there are likely to be more bugs and problems than usual. Further, it’s likely that some of the third-party applications you use won’t yet be updated for perfect functionality in the new OS.

However, we know that some of our users will want to run Yosemite as soon as possible. We’ve been running it on test machines since it was first provided by Apple back in June, and working to get our software functioning smoothly with it. Fortunately, we’ve managed to work out the kinks we’ve found. That means that at this time, our current releases all offer initial compatibility with Yosemite. We’re very pleased about that!

While several of our apps were already working just fine with Yosemite, we’ve just posted fresh updates to Airfoil, Audio Hijack Pro, Intermission, Nicecast, and Piezo. Be sure you’ve got the very latest by choosing “Check for Update” from within the app. Alternately, if you’re doing a fresh install, just grab the download from the relevant page on our site.

Airfoil For Mac Icon Audio Hijack Pro Icon Intermission Icon Nicecast Icon Piezo Icon

These updates aren’t yet perfect, and we will of course be issuing additional updates. Most notably, you may see some visual glitches. As well, if you purchased Piezo from the Mac App Store, that update is still pending, as it waits to be approved by Apple. Finally, on Yosemite, Piezo is not able to capture audio from Apple’s FaceTime or Messages apps. We’re still investigating that issue, but suggest you use Audio Hijack Pro if you need to capture audio from those applications.

All that said, we’ve used the applications extensively on the new OS, we’re confident they work well. We still encourage you to wait for the official release to update your OS, but if you choose to run Yosemite, be sure to let us know of any major issues you find with our apps. As always, you can also track our status page for the most up-to-date information on compatibility with the new OS.

Intermission 1.1 Brings Big Improvements

Intermission IconIn September of last year, we unveiled our newest app, Intermission. With Intermission, you can pause and rewind live audio on your Mac. That means you can pause any audio while you take a call, answer the door, or use the restroom. You can even pause streaming audio on services like Pandora and Spotify to build a buffer, then skip right past the ads and songs you don’t want to hear! If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.

We’ve been working hard on enhancing the underpinnings of Intermission, and we’re pleased to release version 1.1 today. This update brings several key improvements. First, Intermission has been heavily optimized, reducing its energy usage dramatically. Mother Earth will thank you for updating!

In addition, we’ve improved the way Intermission handles audio. Previously, Intermission could introduce a small amount of latency in live playback. Now, because Intermission removes itself from the audio pipeline entirely during live playback, it causes no latency at all. While this change was extremely complex to implement, the updated design is cleaner and better all around.

Finally, we’ve improved the way Intermission works with higher-end mixers and multi-channel audio output devices. During live playback, Intermission will no longer interfere with these devices in any way, which is a very good thing. Further, all non-stereo audio output devices (such as those higher-end mixers and more) will now also work better with Intermission when it’s playing back non-live audio.

All in all, Intermission should now work flawlessly with far more setups. Couple all that with a myriad of other fixes including improvements with Fast User Switching, and you’ve got a great overall improvement.

Get It Now

If you’ve already got Intermission you can update immediately from the Preferences window. Just click the “Check for Update” button to get the latest. You can also download it directly, of course.

If you’re new to Intermission read all about on the Intermission page, then grab the free trial to take it for a test drive.

Real World Usage: Routing Audio From Specific Apps to Different Outputs

Audio Hijack Pro IconIf you work with audio on your Mac, it’s likely you have multiple audio outputs hooked up. If so, this tip is for you. With the help of Audio Hijack Pro, you can route audio from different applications to different outputs. That means you can do things like sending your music to one output, such as a good set of USB speakers, while other audio continues to play through your Mac’s built-in speakers. Nice!

The folks over at iDownload Blog have a helpful post explaining just how to accomplish this. Their quick video shows exactly how to get your audio routed just as you desire. While Audio Hijack Pro wasn’t designed with this idea specifically in mind, it’s more than powerful enough to help you get this functionality. If you’re interested, download a free trial of Audio Hijack Pro to test it out.

Fuzzy Memories

Rogue Amoeba fans who’ve been with us since the beginning may have fuzzy memories of a product we once made called Detour, which performed a similar function. While that product was ultimately discontinued almost nine years ago, we know there are plenty of people who want to send audio from specific apps to different audio outputs. With this tip and Audio Hijack Pro, you can do just that.