Under The Microscope

A Tour Of Audio Hijack Pro 2.6

Last week, we released Audio Hijack Pro 2.6 (and shortly after, version 2.6.1, the current latest), bringing a completely new timers module and a bunch of other additions. Today, we’re going to walk through all of the new features in detail. So grab a seat and make yourself comfortable. My name is Mike, and I’ll once again be your tour guide today.

Extra! Extra!

Audio Hijack Pro 2.6 introduces not one but two new Extras. The new Extras are Unsanity’s Smart Crash Reports and our very own Schedule Helper.

Like A Black Box For Your Mac – Smart Crash Reports

As we already covered in another post, Audio Hijack Pro 2.6 is our first product to support Unsanity’s Smart Crash Reports, with support coming to the rest of our products as they’re updated. Smart Crash Reports lets us get at all of the juicy black-box info that Mac OS X generates when one of our programs crashes (not that they ever do, of course). Mac OS X only sends this information to Apple, but Smart Crash Reports makes it so that we can get this information as well, which helps us make even better products for you.


Schedule Helper

Audio Hijack Pro’s timers system got an internal overhaul with this release. Although the interface is virtually unchanged, the guts have been rebuilt. Things like waking your computer from sleep and launching Audio Hijack Pro if it’s not already running need to be handled by a separate program. In previous versions, this separate program was a little tool called ra_timer_helper that lay buried within the application’s bundle. Unfortunately, ra_timer_helper was getting old and creaky and causing problems with people’s timers. As of 2.6, responsibility got handed off to Schedule Helper, an application which sits in /Library/Application Support/Audio Hijack Pro and provides the same functionality, but in a way that’s shiny and new, and far less prone to failure.

When you first use a timer, or when you launch Audio Hijack Pro after upgrading if you already have timers set, you’ll be prompted to install Schedule Helper, which requires an administrator password due to the automatic wake-from-sleep feature.


Once you do this, you should never hear from Schedule Helper again, while it carries out its duties in the background.

Messages For You

Sometimes Audio Hijack Pro likes to put up a lot of messages. Normally we have two choices, we can display an alert or we can display a sheet. Both of these choices force you to respond before you can continue with what you’re doing.

So we came up with the idea of the Message. A Message is a lot like an alert, but it doesn’t force you to acknowledge it right away. Messages appear grouped in their own floating window, which you can move aside or work around if you don’t want to dismiss them right away. Like Smart Crash Reports, this feature will get also worked into our other products as they get updated.

More Black Box Recorders

Just like an airplane, Audio Hijack Pro actually has many different systems working to record data so we can figure out what happened when something goes wrong. This update includes a new debug panel, as seen below. You can make this panel appear by holding down the Option key while starting Audio Hijack Pro. The options are the same as before, but now it’s prettier, and it’s also more extensible so that we can easily add more debug logging in the future.

MP3 Settings

You now have a couple more options when recording to MP3. The sample rate can now be set to a specific value if desired, although in most cases you should leave this on Auto. There’s also an option for creating bookmarkable MP3s. A bookmarkable MP3 will remember your position within the file when you stop it, so that the next time you play it, playback will begin at the same position instead of starting over from the beginning.

VoiceOver

The interface for the VoiceOver plugin has been revamped. It’s now a compact window with a nice tabbed interface to get at all of the options.

iTunes URLs

The URL selection window now has the ability to select URLs from iTunes, as well as the many other applications it supports.

File Extensions

It’s now possible to change the file extension used in a recorded file by simply adding the extension to the name of the file. If the extension is one that Audio Hijack Pro recognizes, it will replace the extension of the file rather than becoming part of the file’s name. This is useful for users with PCs who attempting to make use of the Bookmarkable AAC format, which relies on the file extension on Windows.

The Use of Cell Phones Is Now Permitted

That covers the major changes in Audio Hijack Pro 2.6, and so we’ve reached the end of today’s tour. Please make your way to the exits at the front and rear of the site be sure you have all of your personal belongings. I hope you enjoyed the tour, and don’t forget to download the latest version as you leave.

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