Under The Microscope

Major Updates for Airfoil and Airfoil Remote

Today we’ve got updates to our whole Airfoil line, including Airfoil for Windows, Airfoil for Mac, and Airfoil Remote on iOS. Read on for more details, or just update your copies to get the latest!

Airfoil Remote 4.0

Airfoil Remote IconThe biggest change in version 4 is that Airfoil Remote now works with Airfoil for Windows. Now you can control Airfoil running on your Windows machines, your Macs, or both! As well, thanks to some under-the-hood changes, Airfoil Remote now reflects changes in Airfoil and its sources more rapidly, along with correctly showing password-protected speakers.

In addition, we’ve updated the design of Airfoil Remote a bit, to better fit in on iOS 7.1 This is a free update if you already own Airfoil Remote, so just update via the App Store on your iOS 7 device. If you haven’t purchased Airfoil Remote yet, you can get more details here, and purchase via the App Store.

Airfoil for Windows 3.6

Airfoil for Windows IconAs you might guess, Airfoil for Windows needed an update to make it compatible with Airfoil Remote, and version 3.6 provides that compatibility. Now you can use Airfoil Remote to control Airfoil for Windows, as well as its supported sources. That list now includes Spotify, so if you want to see what’s playing and remotely control it while you transmit Spotify with Airfoil, you can!

We’ve also included an SDK in Airfoil for Windows, so third-party developers can add enhanced support with Airfoil to their audio applications. If you have a favorite audio player that’s not yet supported, point the developers to this blog post.

And Airfoil for Mac as Well

Airfoil for Mac IconAirfoil for Mac already worked well with Airfoil Remote, but we’ve got an updated version to improve compatibility. Now all supported sources will work with Airfoil Remote, just as you’d expect. We’ve also added support for two new apps, Vox and Ecoute, and fixed several other minor issues.

Get Them Now

These updates are all free for registered owners, so be sure to download them now. Choose “Check for Update” from within Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows, and visit the App Store on iOS to update Airfoil Remote.

If you don’t yet own Airfoil, you can download a free trial for Mac or Windows then purchase through our online store. Airfoil Remote is a great iOS companion to either version of Airfoil, and is available right in the App Store on your iOS device.


Footnotes:

  1. Please note that Airfoil Remote 4.0 requires iOS 7. If you’re on iOS 5 or 6, you’ll still be able to buy and use Airfoil Remote 3.0, through the App Store.

Developer Note: Integrating with Airfoil for Windows

For some time now, Airfoil has offered an enhanced experience when transmitting audio from supported audio sources. That enhanced experience meant that Airfoil pulled in metadata like song titles, artist names, and album artwork, then passed it back out to Airfoil Speakers and other AirPlay devices that support it.

Metadata in Airfoil Speakers
Metadata in Airfoil Speakers

It also allowed remote control of the supported audio sources, meaning playback in the audio source could be affected remotely from across the network. When a supported application is transmitted by Airfoil, buttons for play, previous track, and next track will be shown in Airfoil Speakers and Airfoil Remote. Any other AirPlay device that offers controls will be able to remotely control playback as well.

Playback Controls in Airfoil Speakers
Remote control buttons in Airfoil Speakers

However, while the Mac side has offered support for over a dozen audio sources, until now only iTunes was supported on the Windows side.

Version 3.6 of Airfoil for Windows brought two big improvements in this arena. First, we’ve added support for Spotify, our most frequently requested source. Second, and more importantly for developers, we’ve released an SDK to help the makers of audio applications better integrate with Airfoil. If you make any kind of media playing application for Windows, this post is for you. With just a few minutes of work, you can get your application to integrate with Airfoil for Windows and Airfoil Speakers, so your users can see what’s playing and control playback as well.

How It Works

Just like with Airfoil for Mac, we’ve created an easy way for developers of Windows audio applications to be able to provide this functionality to Airfoil for Windows.

In brief, the process works like this:

1. When Airfoil for Windows starts intercepting audio from an application, it will look for a named pipe called:

\\.\pipe\{process id}_airfoil_metadata

Where {process id} is the process id of the application’s main process. The main process id should be used even if it is a child process that is responsible for creating metadata or handling metadata requests.

Thus if your application’s main process has a process id of 8675, the named pipe you create should be called:

\\.\pipe\8675_airfoil_metadata

2. If Airfoil for Windows is able to connect to that named pipe, it will start sending messages using the Airfoil for Windows Metadata Protocol.

A Sample Implementation

The easiest way to understand this API is via example, so we’ve got a sample C# project you can download here:

Download for Airfoil for Windows Integration Sample
Click to download

All messages are sent across the pipe in the following format:

length;message

The length segment indicates the length of the message segment in UTF-8 encoded bytes.

Once the named pipe connection has been made, the application should begin reading messages sent by Airfoil. The first messages sent across the pipe will be supportsRemoteControl and providesTrackData.

If the application responds to supportsRemoteControl with true, then it must also respond to remotePlayPause, remoteTrackNext, and remoteTrackPrevious, even if it doesn’t take any action in response to those messages.

If the application responds to providesTrackData with true, then it must also respond to requestTrackTitle, requestTrackArtist, requestTrackAlbum, and requestAlbumArt, even if it only responds to those messages with an empty string.

Full details on each method are provided in the README.md file included with the sample code.

Get In Touch

Once you’ve looked over the sample code and documentation, if you have any questions or feedback about the API, just let us know by emailing our hello@rogueamoeba.com address.

Once your application supports track metadata or remote control, be sure to let us know. We can then add your application to our list of applications that provide an enhanced experience with Airfoil for Windows. We hope to hear from you!

Hear All About Us: News from Macworld/iWorld 2014

At the end of March, we exhibited at Macworld/iWorld out in San Francisco. It was a great chance to see some of our long-time customers and fans, and to connect with new folks as well. If you didn’t make it to the show, you missed out on a great time. But, you can still catch up on news and interviews we did, with a slew of links below.

At the show, I did a few interviews, including a quick one on Audio Hijack and more, with Rene Ritchie from iMore. Catch that 90 second hit right here.

We also showed off Fission, speaking with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices as well as Allison Sheridan of the Nosillacast. And I was happy to have a chance to talk with Adam Christianson of the Maccast podcast too. Macworld really is a great place to run into the people behind all your favorite Mac podcasts!

Finally, I joined Macworld Senior Editor and Mac writer-about-town John Moltz on stage at the show to discuss where Apple’s headed. We had fun with a range of topics, and the chat was recorded for later consumption. It’s available right here.

Though Apple no longer exhibits at Macworld, the show is still going strong, and we were glad to be there. It’s a great place to connect with potential customers and long-time users alike, as well as with many members of the press. As always, we encourage software developers to exhibit at the show, and users to attend. Hope to see you there next year!

An Opening for More Beta Testers

Last month, we gave a quick peek at the future of audio capture, and gathered a small cadre of beta testers. We’re ready to bring in a new crew of testers, so if you’re interested, act quickly!

As before, we’re looking for some skilled beta testers on Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or 10.9 (Mavericks) to try out our new Preview. If you’re already a fan of Audio Hijack Pro 2, we’d love to have you try out the forthcoming update before its release. Just send us an email with the following info:

  • Your Full Name

  • Your Existing Audio Hijack Pro License Key

  • Your Postal Code

Be sure to include all of the above information if you want to be selected!

Update (March 24th, 2014): We’re closed up again, but keep your eyes on this blog and our Twitter account for more news.

And if you’re looking for more information, please give the previous post a read.

Beta Test The Future of Audio Capture

As most readers likely know, Audio Hijack Pro is our tremendously popular audio recording tool. It’s been around in one form or another since 2002, and in that time, it’s helped countless users record audio on their Macs. From capturing a web stream, to recording audio from a microphone, to saving music from a DVD or just about anything else, Audio Hijack Pro can get you the audio you want.

For some time now, we’ve been hard at work on the next major version of the app. Audio Hijack Pro’s last major version bump (version 2.0) was almost ten years ago! Of course, the app has gained dozens of new features and improvements in the minor version updates released since then, but now we’re in the process of a major overhaul. With this update, we’re incredibly excited about the future of audio capture.

Tell Me More

Let’s start with a small picture:

The Audio Grid in action

You’re looking at the heart of the update, the all-new Audio Grid. With it, you create an intuitive audio pipeline in seconds, making powerful audio capture easier than ever. Now you can visualize your audio capture to guarantee perfect results, then “see” the audio as it flows.

The Audio Grid simplifies audio capture for users of all skill levels. Casual users will be able to get started on the most common setups with the built-in templates. If tweaks are required, the templates can be customized with just a few clicks. Meanwhile, advanced users will be able to create complex and powerful audio capture setups from scratch, all much faster than ever before.

There’s plenty more, from simplified audio effects to improved audio recording options. We’ve got custom plugins for easy noise removal, improved AudioUnit support, and gorgeous custom Retina-quality graphics. We’ve looked at every facet of the existing app, and worked to enhance, improve and streamline across the board.

Testing, Testing

While we’re tremendously eager to get this update in your hands, we don’t have a release timeframe just yet. At the moment, we’re looking for some skilled beta testers on Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or 10.9 (Mavericks) to try it out. If you’re already a fan of Audio Hijack Pro 2, we’d love to have you try out the forthcoming update before its release. Just send us an email with the following info:

  • Your Full Name

  • Your Existing Audio Hijack Pro License Key

  • Your Postal Code

Be sure to include all of the above information if you want to be selected!


Update (March 24, 2014): And we’re closed up again. If you’re interested in beta testing, keep your eyes on this blog or our Twitter account.


We’ll only be sending the beta out to a small group of interested folks, so get in touch as soon as possible. If you don’t hear back from us, it just means you weren’t selected for this round of testing. In that case, keep your eyes on this blog for more.

As you’d imagine, we’ve tested this update extensively, and it works great for daily use. That said, if your setup is mission-critical, we’d recommend sticking with the official Audio Hijack Pro release for right now.

If you’re not up for testing, that’s alright. We’ll have much more to say about this update in the near future! Be sure to keep your eyes on this blog, as well as our Twitter account, for all the latest news.

New User? No Need to Wait!

Potential Audio Hijack Pro users should have no fear about buying now, as all purchases made from today on to the official release will receive a free upgrade to the new version. So, if you need to record audio on your Mac, get Audio Hijack Pro now. You can download the free trial and purchase via our store to get started right away. Later, when the new version ships, you’ll receive a free upgrade right in your inbox.