Posted By Paul Kafasis on January 13th, 2023
It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time for another edition of Rogue Amoeba’s annual status report, recorded before a live studio audience. Read on for a look back at 2022 and a preview of 2023.
What happened in 2022? A lot!
61 Individual Updates
Across our product line, we shipped an incredible 61 updates to add features, improve functionality, and fix bugs. We averaged well over one release each week, all year long. This consistent parade of updates meant our apps stayed both fresh and functional.
Worth noting, 60 of these updates were entirely free for existing users. When you purchase a product from us, you’re buying the app as it exists now. Additional updates are never guaranteed. However, we take pride in offering tremendous value to our customers. Our decades-long track record demonstrates this, with products continuing to receive improvements long after a purchase is made.
Audio Hijack 4
In order to run a sustainable business, when we add major new functionality to a product, we charge a discounted upgrade price to move to the new version. As 2022’s lone paid upgrade, Audio Hijack 4.0 offered over 100 new features and enhancements, including powerful new blocks, automation support via scripting and Shortcuts, manual pipeline connections, and so much more.
As part of the release, designer extraordinaire Neale wrote up “The Design of Audio Hijack 4”. This was the latest in a series of posts which pull back the curtain on the design work which goes into our major upgrades. It’s fun to see the early mockups and transitional periods of our designs.
In December, Audio Hijack found itself the recipient of two major awards, winning the “Best App Update of 2022” from MacStories and then the 2022 Upgradie for “Best Mac App”. Suffice it to say, Audio Hijack 4 is a hit, and we’re not slowing down. See the “Looking Ahead” section below for more.
Last year saw another large update worthy of special mention. SoundSource 5.5 was a free update which brought several major features, the most important of which was the new Shortcuts support.
With Shortcuts coming to both SoundSource 5.5 and Audio Hijack 4, last year was a big one for automation. Automation support has long been one of our most-requested features, and we’re happy to provide it now via Shortcuts. SoundSource now enhances your Mac with a slew of audio device-related actions available to the Shortcuts app, even when you’re not directly using SoundSource. With these shortcuts, you can automate changing device volumes, setting effect presets, toggling effects processing, and much more.
SoundSource is now up to version 5.5.7, and it just keeps getting better. If you’re new to the app, you should visit the SoundSource page to learn more and download the latest.
MacOS 13 (Ventura)
In 2022, Apple’s MacOS update followed their now very predictable pattern. MacOS 13 (Ventura) was first shown at WWDC in June, followed by public betas over the summer, and an official fall release. As always, we strongly cautioned users against running beta versions of MacOS and spelled out our plans for support for Ventura.
Indeed, we have our own now-familiar pattern when it comes to a new MacOS. After multiple months of work to support the new version, we make our initial updates available as test releases, allowing users outside the company to try them during the beta period. Next, as Apple’s release approaches, we provide official releases of our products that offer initial support for the new OS. In 2022, our releases arrived the weekend before Ventura was posted.
After the dust has settled, we typically issue a second set of updates with fully baked support for the new operating system. In 2022, those updates arrived about a month after the release of Ventura, signifying that we were now confident to have all users update their OS when ready.
All seemed well, until the release of MacOS 13.1 in December led to intermittent failures of audio capture. We had a hectic few days shortly before Christmas as we dealt with this, Fortunately, we were able to restore full audio capture to all of our apps in very short order. Though rare, this sort of hiccup is not unprecedented. It should serve as a useful reminder that taking it slow with OS updates is always wise, particularly for those with production machines and mission-critical setups.
In 2022, Rogue Amoeba celebrated our 20th year in business! The world of technology was very different when Quentin, Alex, and I got started in 2002. The iPod was still in its infancy, the iPhone was years away, and even Mac OS X (as it was then called) was an upstart new OS. From the humble release of Audio Hijack 1.0 in the fall of 2002, our company has grown tremendously. We’re incredibly proud of our many beloved products, as well as the top-notch team we’ve assembled to work on them.
Speaking of that team, we also celebrated Robert Charlton’s fifth anniversary with Rogue Amoeba. We want our company to be a place where employees feel empowered, valued, and encouraged to stay long-term. The many employee milestones we’ve been able to celebrate are a good indication that we’re doing pretty well on that front.
Odds and Ends
In January, I wrote a post about improving the accessibility of our License window. Making our software accessible is no afterthought for us, with countless hours devoted to testing and improvements that make it possible for all users to take advantage of our tools. Still, we know we can always do better, and we’re grateful for feedback on how we can improve.
For several years now, we’ve licensed parts of our technology stack to other Mac software developers. ACE, the audio capture engine that powers many of our own products, is now also used by almost two dozen outside programs as well. Last year, we also signed our first licensee for Resonate, which provides a dramatically easier-to-use interface for MacOS’s CoreAudio. If you’re a developer who needs help handling audio on the Mac, licensing ACE and/or Resonate might be right for you.
There was plenty more, from Airfoil gaining the ability to stream to stereo pairs of HomePods Mini to continued work improving our support center. But now, 2022 is done. It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming year.
In 2023, we’ll of course have maintenance updates to all of our products throughout the year. It’s also likely we’ll need to devote significant time to supporting the next version of MacOS. For now, though, I’ll highlight two big updates planned for the first half of the year.
Audio Hijack 4.1
As noted above, we have plenty more in the works for Audio Hijack. That starts with version 4.1, coming soon. It will offer a more configurable “System Audio” block that enables you to exclude specific sources. The Recording Inspector has also been souped up, to allow you to rename files directly. And if you’ve been using Audio Hijack 4’s new scripting capabilities, we’ve made several refinements to make writing scripts easier and more enjoyable.
Beyond that, we devoted substantial time to interface enhancements. We’ve greatly reduced the screen size Audio Hijack requires, making it possible to shrink Session windows way down. There are also many improvements to lists throughout the app, particularly the “Session List” window, which is gaining new sorting options, as well as new and customizable columns.
We’re eager to show it all off to you. We expect to make the free update to Audio Hijack 4.1 available as a test release in the near future, with an official release soon after.
Though this update was actually mentioned in last year’s Status Report, an assortment of factors delayed its release to 2023. This sort of slippage is not uncommon, and it’s one reason we’re often tight-lipped about the future. We prefer to under-promise and over-deliver. Now, however, Farrago 2.0 is very close to complete.
We’re eager to get Farrago 2 out into the world, so expect more news soon.
You can track our latest news in several ways.
First and foremost, we strongly recommend keeping version checking turned on in “Settings” (née “Preferences”). You’ll be alerted to updates automatically, with detailed release notes so you know what’s new. You can also read each product’s release notes right on our site:
We mention nearly all of our updates on social media, and offer other fun news and randomness there as well:
And look at that, we’ve just set up a new Mastodon account too.
This blog offers posts for larger updates and upgrades, as well as other stories. Subscribe to our handy feed in an RSS reader like NetNewsWire.
Our Mailing List
Finally, our very low-traffic mailing list (~2-4 emails per year) will alert you to our biggest stories, as well as exclusive deals.
Stay abreast with one or more of the above methods, because 2023 promises to be a big year. For now, though, we hope your new year is off to a great start. Until next time!