Under The Microscope

Audio Hijack 3 Has Arrived!

It’s been a long, long, long time coming, but the day is finally here.

Audio Hijack 3 has arrived!

Yes, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce Audio Hijack 3 to the world! It’s immediately available for Mac OS X 10.9 and up, and we think you’re going to love it. Here’s a look at the new Audio Hijack:

Audio Hijack in Action

We’ve prepared a 45-second video overview to get you acquainted. Let’s watch!

Read on for a run-down of some of the key improvements you’ll find in Audio Hijack 3.

Welcome the Next Generation

We’ve been developing products under the Audio Hijack name since 2002, when Mac OS X 10.1 was cutting-edge! Over the years, users have found incredible ways to adapt Audio Hijack for their needs, leading us to make many updates and improvements. Eventually, however, these changes caused Audio Hijack to outgrow our original designs. We’ve incorporated over a decade’s worth of experience and feedback into Audio Hijack 3 to improve the process of recording and enhancing audio. Every aspect of our previous Audio Hijack products has been thoughtfully examined and considered, with enhancements made across the board.

Start With a New Interface

Whether this is your first time using Audio Hijack or you’re a skilled veteran, you’ll find it’s a snap to get started. Audio Hijack 3’s intuitive audio grid provides a terrific pipeline-style view of exactly how your audio flows. Use our new Blocks to bring in audio from application and hardware sources, adjust it with audio effects, then record it and send it to your speakers.

An audio pipeline in action
A typical audio pipeline pulling in Safari’s audio, adjusting it with an equalizer, then recording it to MP3 and playing it locally

A pipeline can be as simple as one Source Block to pull audio from an audio source and one Output Block to send audio to speakers or a recording. Or, you can build a complex pipeline that captures audio from multiple sources, adjusts it with multiple effects, and saves it to multiple audio formats. Experimenting is fun and easy, allowing you to get the exact results you want.

Session Templates Speed Things Up

The Template Chooser

Of course, Audio Hijack is made to get things done. With that in mind, the new Session templates provide a quick way to complete common tasks. Whether it’s recording from a web browser or cranking up the volume on a quiet laptop, you’ll be able to get started faster than ever. Choose a template and Audio Hijack will open a new Session, pre-configured.

Everything in Its Right Place

The Home Window

Audio Hijack’s new Home window provides a central starting point for all your work. In the Sessions tab, you can create a new Session or use one of your previously-configured Sessions to capture audio. After you record, you’ll find your saved audio ready to preview right in the Recordings tab, sorted by Session. And if you need to schedule timed recordings or create a musical alarm clock, you can do so right from the Schedule tab.

And So Much More

There’s just so much to see in Audio Hijack 3 that a thorough review would take days. To save time, we’ll resort to our trusty old friend, the bullet-point list.

  • Multiple Recorders in One Session – Want to record to both the MP3 and AIFF formats at once, or record different sources in sync? Just add multiple Recorder Blocks to get multiple files!

  • Bulletproof Audio Recording – Every format in Audio Hijack is now bulletproof, so even if your computer crashes, you’ll never lose a recording again.

  • Denoise, Declick, Dehum – Clean up dirty audio with custom audio effects, powered by audio technology licensed from industry leader iZotope.

  • Simplified Audio Effects – Harness the power of audio effects without needing a degree in audio engineering.

  • Audio Block Presets – Saving presets for an Equalizer is obvious, but how about other settings? With Audio Hijack 3’s new presets, you can save configurations for almost every Block, then instantly use them in other Sessions.

  • Improved Instant On – Capture audio from already-running apps, as well as all System Audio. If you haven’t looked at Audio Hijack for a while, you’ll be thrilled to see that installation and updates to Instant On no longer require a restart.

  • Streamlined Recording Options – Audio Hijack offers a half-dozen sensible defaults for recording. Of course, if you’re looking for powerful recording options, they’re still available too.

  • FLAC Recording – Audiophiles will be thrilled to learn that Audio Hijack now supports recording directly in lossless FLAC format.

  • HE-AAC Recording Too – Audio Hijack can now record in the high-efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) format as well.

  • Full-Screen Mode – Whether configuring a tricky Session or focusing on a recording, going full-screen helps you focus.

  • Massively Improved Accessibility – We know many visually impaired users love Audio Hijack, and we’ve worked hard to make it fully accessible with Apple’s VoiceOver.

Go Forth and Download

Audio Hijack 3 offers so much for new and old users alike that you really just have to try it for yourself. Head over to the Audio Hijack page to get more information and to download the free trial. Once you’re ready to purchase the full version of Audio Hijack, visit our online store to purchase for just $49.

Audio Hijack icon Audio Hijack icon Get Audio Hijack Now!

Discounts for Previous Audio Hijack Owners

As always, we’ll be issuing free upgrades to recent purchasers of Audio Hijack Pro. In fact, anyone who purchased since our first public mention of this update all the way back on February 17th, 2014 will receive a free upgrade. Just watch your inbox.

It’s also fairly standard to provide discounted upgrade pricing for customers who purchased the previous version of a product. We wanted to take this one step further. Audio Hijack 3 is the official successor to all of our previous “Audio Hijack” products, so we’ve decided to offer upgrade pricing to all of our customers who have ever purchased a product with “Audio Hijack” in the name. If you bought Audio Hijack Pro 2, Audio Hijack Pro 1, Audio Hijack 2, and Audio Hijack 1, you’re eligible. It’s a small way of saying thanks for your support over the past decade-plus. Just click here for full details on discounted upgrade pricing.

Enjoy!

We’re incredibly pleased to finally release this upgrade and we hope you’ll be glad to have it. Download it, try it out, then let us know what you think!

An Acceptance Speech of Sorts

Hall of Hame logoEarlier this week, the founders of Rogue Amoeba learned that we were part of the first Mac class to be inducted into iMore’s Hall of Fame. This is a tremendous honor and we couldn’t be more appreciative. I’d like to express our sincere thanks to all the folks at iMore, in particular Peter Cohen and Rene Ritchie. We’re humbled to be included in their Hall of Fame alongside so many people who inspire us on a daily basis, including Mac friends from Bare Bones, The Omni Group, Panic, and Smile.

While our induction focuses on the company’s three founders, Quentin Carnicelli, Alex Lagutin, and Paul Kafasis (that’s me), Rogue Amoeba is much, much more than just its founders. We’ve been thrilled to work with over a dozen employees since we got started, along with countless other contractors, all of whom have contributed to what Rogue Amoeba has produced. Without the work of these people, the products you use every day simply wouldn’t be what they are. Heck, they might not exist at all.

So, please indulge me while I attempt to extend this honor to all who’ve worked with Rogue Amoeba since we got started. Particular thanks are due to Jeff Johnson, our longest-tenured employee. Jeff has had a hand in improving just about every one of our apps, and we’re deeply grateful for his work. As well, our first employee Mike Ash was essential in helping us grow beyond our humble beginnings.

We’ve recently also celebrated the five year anniversaries of our designer Christa Mrgan and our support tech-turned-Windows developer Lee Falin. Christa fights the good fight in improving the look and feel of all our work, while Lee has pushed hard on the development of Airfoil for Windows.

Rounding out our current staff are some newer recruits. Chris Barajas handles our technical support, adeptly fixing problems when things go wrong. Ed Wynne has performed incredibly wizardry on the backend of all our audio capture apps, and is currently working on a brand-new app to be released in 2015. Finally, Grant Farr has been cranking on the future of audio capture for literal years, and we are so very close to unveiling it to the world. Exciting!

These are only some of the people who’ve been such a big part of what we do. It’s impossible to properly thank everyone, so just know that if you’ve worked with us, you helped us greatly and we damn sure know it.

Now Hiring

While I’m lauding our staff, I ought to also mention that we’re hiring! Why not apply to join our team?

Five Good Looking Years

As some folks know, Rogue Amoeba is a distributed company, with home offices around the globe. This has both upsides and downsides, and it leads us to work hard to make the company feel like a cohesive group. Part of that is taking time to celebrate major releases and anniversaries. As readers of this site may recall, one big anniversary we celebrate is five years with the company. Previously, Mike Ash, Jeff Johnson, and Lee Falin all reached that mark, and were properly feted. Now, it’s Christa Mrgan’s turn!

Christa joined us back in October of 2009, as our first full-time designer. When we started the company, we used various part-timers for our art needs. As we grew, we realized we needed more, and eventually we sought out someone to work with us full-time. Unfortunately, we had a run of prospects who simply didn’t work out.

I had first met Christa at WWDC in 2009, and we hit it off as friends. After repeatedly bemoaning our troubles in finding a suitable designer with her, we eventually realized that, hey, she ought to give it a shot. More than five years later, it’s clear this was the right call. In ways both big and small, Christa has touched almost every single thing we make here at Rogue Amoeba. She’s done touch-up work on older apps, and full designs for newer apps, and all of our apps are better for it. There’s lots more to come, too, with some major updates including improved designs coming in the next year.

Piezo and the Braun RT-20

One of Christa’s best designs can be found in Piezo, our charmingly simple audio recording tool. Piezo was made to be very simple to set up, with one big record button and not much else, and it certainly succeeds in the ease-of-use department. However, its interface and corresponding icon also look great, featuring subtle wood grains and other textures. Even after the skeuomorphic trend has passed, Piezo still holds up well.

Christa did a lot of research finding reference images for old stereo equipment. As Christa noted in her Piezo design review from 2012, perhaps the most relevant hardware found was the Braun RT-20 radio. You can read more about that radio thanks to Australia’s Powerhouse Museum.

The RT-20 hasn’t been made for decades, but I knew this would be a great gift for Christa. Thankfully, the Internet makes it possible to track down things like this. After I hunted down and acquired an RT-20 to match Piezo, Quentin did some work in restoring it.

Christa's Braun RT-20

The controls are all in German, but it works! It sounds great, and it looks even better. We hope it enjoys pride of place in the Mrgan household for many years to come. As Christa’s Instagram photo indicates, she was delighted:

…[C]heck this out: a vintage Braun RT-20 radio, which inspired the design of Piezo, the first product I designed from inception at Rogue Amoeba. PLUS a special challenge coin for the RA elite (5 years!) Many thanks to [Paul] for hunting it down, and to Quentin for restoring it. And to both, for a job I enjoy doing!

Thanks for Five Great Years and More to Come

So then, allow us to issue a public thank you to Christa for her great work in the past half-decade! We look forward to the future as well, with many exciting new products and updates in the pipeline, all with your mark upon them.

P.S. Now Hiring

This also seems like a great place to mention that we’re currently hiring. While Christa handles all our current design needs, we do have an opening for a Cocoa developer. If you’re interested to join us in making top-notch audio products used by Mac users the world over, we’d love to hear from you.

You can get the full details on our Jobs page. Apply now!

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

ALT NAME

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.