Under The Microscope

Announcing Our Newest App – Piezo!

Back in August, we mentioned we were working on a top-secret project with new hire Grant Farr. It’s been a long haul, but today we’re thrilled to be able to reveal the fruits of that work:

Say Hello to Piezo

This is Piezo, our charmingly simple audio recorder. With Piezo, getting started recording audio on your Mac is a snap. Seconds after you open it up, you’ll be ready to record audio from any application. Piezo requires almost no configuration, and it’s a blast to use, with beautiful graphics and thoughtful interactions.

Using Piezo, you can record from almost any app on your Mac. Whether it’s web streams in Safari or music from services like Spotify and Rdio, you can record it with Piezo. Just select the desired source and press record to capture its audio. When needed, straightforward settings for recording name and format are also available. Piezo can even capture audio from audio devices. Hook up a microphone like a standard Apple iPhone headset, and you can record your own audio right into your Mac.

Raisons D’etre

Piezo exists to bring audio recording to the millions of customers in the Mac App Store. That’s right: Piezo marks the first Rogue Amoeba app available in the Mac App Store, and you can get it right now.

Now in the App Store

Due to the many restrictions Apple imposes, it’s taken us almost a year to get an app in the Mac App Store. Our award-winning recording tool Audio Hijack Pro has many features which rely on deep integration with Mac OS X, but Apple’s restrictions disallow this, preventing Audio Hijack Pro from appearing in the App Store. The streamlined Piezo, however, has been approved by Apple’s review team. This allows us to bring the power of recording any app to a wider audience1.

In the process of making Piezo, we also realized it gave us a chance to simplify audio recording. While Audio Hijack Pro is incredibly powerful, it does have a bit of a learning curve. For truly simple recording, Piezo can’t be beat.

As part of that, we worked incredibly hard on Piezo’s interface, giving it an alluring retro-modern feel. Christa really got to sink her teeth into all the artwork, while Grant had fun with some new interactions like the time display. We’re delighted with the way Piezo looks, and we know you’ll love using it.

That’s a Wrap

Piezo IconBy now, we hope you’re ready to try out Piezo. It’s cute and fun, and in addition to being easy to use, it’s easy on the wallet. How easy? Right now, Piezo costs an amazingly low $10.

Piezo is available for Mac OS X 10.6 and higher. As noted, Piezo is our very first Mac App Store app, which means you can purchase and download right through Apple’s App Store. Of course, we’ll always sell it directly as well. Whichever way you choose to buy, you can download Piezo first to take it for a test drive.

We think you’re going to love Piezo. If you have any questions or feedback, contact us directly. Otherwise, just enjoy!


1. As far as our other apps making their way into the App Store, we don’t really have anything new to say right now. We’ll always sell our software directly, alongside any Mac App Store versions, so there should never be any concern when considering a purchase. 

19 Responses to “Announcing Our Newest App – Piezo!”

  1. CM Harrington says:

    This looks fantastic! And thanks for always making your stuff available in and out of the AS.

    Can you do a quick feature comparison between AHP and the new Piezo? I am not quite sure I get how it’s different (specifically).


  2. Anthony Garand says:

    Looks awesome! How would say.. Skype recording be? Could this be used to record Skype conversations or would it only get one side of the conversation?


  3. Jeff Bishop says:

    Is this app accessible with VoiceOver? Can VoiceOver speech and a Microphone be captured?

  4. Ben K says:

    The UI sports analogue-style level meters that purport to measure signal above 0 dB. Obviously, that’s impossible in the digital realm. So, what are those meters actually for? Just eye candy?

  5. Adam Robbie says:

    How the hell did you manage to accomplish this functionality in lieu of all the restrictions. Hella curious.

  6. Paul Kafasis says:

    CM Harrington: We have a basic answer to this question here.

    We’ll have to see about expanding that as needed.

    Anthony Garand: You can record Skype conversations, though that’s not really what Piezo is aimed at. That said, you can indeed record both halves of a Skype conversation (incorrect reply here before, since amended!).

    Jeff Bishop: We did preliminary work to make it accessible with VoiceOver, but it may need more – let us know.

    Piezo can record from your mic, but it won’t pick up VoiceOver speech, I don’t believe. That would be something to do with Audio Hijack Pro.

    Ben K: The meters are accurate and calibrated, but being VU meters the scale is different than digital peak meters, with the maximum being at +4.

    Adam Robbie: Well, the audio capture we do isn’t as invasive as you might think. We’re not using an SPIs, just some assembly coding, coupled with a good understanding of the system.

  7. Fazal Majid says:

    I have AHP, but would welcome a simpler tool, and just purchased Piezo. It looks like it is limited to 256kbps AAC. Would it be possible to add a lossless option, ideally matching whatever bit rate and word depth set for the system output device?

  8. Jays says:

    I was just about to ask about what audio formats it allows you to save! Is it true that it only supports AAC? After much pain and agony trying to find a recording solution for my quirky needs (recording multiple hours of 24bit 96/192kHz audio losslessly), I finally settled on Audio Hijack Pro (auto-splitting AIFF every 1.5 Gbytes). I’d be most interested in seeing CAF and/or Apple Lossless options!

  9. Paul Kafasis says:

    Fazal Majid: Possible? Of course. We’ll have to see though. If you’re someone who needs to record in lossless format, it’s likely Audio Hijack Pro is the right tool for you. We’ve got exciting updates for Audio Hijack planned for 2012 as well.

    Jays: Piezo records to both AAC and MP3. You can (and should!) use the free trial to answer any questions, but it sounds like Audio Hijack Pro is right for you.

  10. Esteban says:

    Is the sandboxing of App Store apps going to affect recording of said apps?

  11. Paul Kafasis says:

    Esteban: It does not appear so, no. We’ve tested this pretty extensively with Piezo, and it appears it will work just fine, with no changes needed.

  12. Disappointed in Wiretap says:

    You guys should make some noise about this and AHP working in Lion. The folks at Ambrosia seem incapable or unwilling to support Lion and there are a lot of folks tired of waiting only to hear “it’s Apple’s problem”.

  13. Alex says:

    Nice move! Never found a compelling reason to buy AHP but I’ll certainly get Piezo. It’s in the “impulse purchase” price range (especially on the Mac App Store) and might come in handy, at some point in the future.
    Now, if a similar app were possible on iOS…

  14. AIFF says:

    Would be nice if you could save as CD quality AIFF, I own AHP but would rather use this app if and when it can save to AIFF.

  15. Paul Kafasis says:

    Disappointed in Wiretap: I can’t say we’ve ever paid much attention to competing products. But if they’re not working properly on Lion, we certainly hope folks will check out our apps. Both Piezo and Audio Hijack Pro work great on Lion – spread the word!

    Alex: Glad to hear you like it! As for iOS, there’s definitely no way to grab audio from other apps there (and get in the App Store, that is).

    AIFF: We may consider a lossless option for the future – we’ll have to see. Until then, Audio Hijack Pro is the way to go.

    For now, we want recording to be as simple as possible. 256 kbps AAC is very high quality. But we’ll see!

  16. chas_m says:

    It’s a beautiful-looking app, but I already have AHP (and very happy with it) so I’ll probably pass on this for myself, though I will certainly recommend it to others.

    To that end, is there a trial version available on the website? And secondly, it would sure be nice if some of that spiffy artwork and under-the-hood stuff made its way into AHP in perhaps a “simplified” mode … I’m jus’ sayin’ …

  17. zpjet says:

    Looks simple and beautiful and I would recommend to our company users of Skype to record calls but when Piezo is on, I can hear myself. Wish there was a way to switch off that pass-thru!

  18. JPTJr says:

    I’ll give the trial a shot. In the meantime, can it record audio from the DVD Player application?

  19. Paul Kafasis says:

    chas_m: That’s certainly fine – we expect lots of AHP users are all set. And yes, there’s certainly a trial, as noted in the post.

    As for Audio Hijack Pro, we’ve got plenty of improvements in the pipeline there.

    zpjet: In Piezo 1.1, this is all set – it’s great for VoIP recording!

    JPTJr: Yes, Piezo can record from DVD Player, and almost any other app.

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