Under The Microscope


Archive for October, 2016

Making It Tick: 5 Years (And More) With Ed

For the second time this year, we’re delighted to celebrate a five-year anniversary here at Rogue Amoeba! This is always a treat for me, because it’s a chance to put one of our great employees in the spotlight for a bit. Today, we’re honoring Ed Wynne, who joined Rogue Amoeba full-time back in October of 2011. Since then, he’s been helping to make our products the best they can be. In fact, he was doing so for many years before he came on full-time as well.

Ed’s most visible work is actually our newest product, Loopback, which allows you to route audio between applications and around your Mc. While Ed has been working for Rogue Amoeba since 2011, this app marked the first time he handled the front-end of an application. Loopback has proven even more popular than we expected, and we’ve been pleased to see Ed’s skills develop in this area after many years working behind the scenes.

It’s in our back-end code that Ed has made his biggest contribution. From the recording done by Audio Hijack and Piezo to the local audio streaming Airfoil allows, and even broadcasting to the web with Nicecast, audio capture is an integral part of our apps. The Instant On component used for much of this audio capture has long been Ed’s domain, and he’s worked long and hard to make Instant On powerful, robust, and as close to flawless as it can be.

Even before Ed joined us full time, he did contract work on our audio capture code. For over 13 years, Rogue Amoeba has been using Ed’s work. In the past five years things have really improved, however, as Ed has been able to devote his full efforts. When things work right, users barely notice, but we certainly pay attention internally. From reduced latency in audio capture to far fewer bumps surrounded OS updates, we’ve got a lot of reasons to be thankful to Ed.

Most recently, Ed was instrumental in adding support for Chromecast to Airfoil for Mac. He’s also hard at work on updates to Loopback, so you can be sure he’s not done making things better yet. We hope our users will continue to be delighted with Ed’s work for many years to come.

Nerding Out

When an employee reaches the five year mark with us, we like to find a gift especially for them. For several years, Ed’s been working with his son and daughter on various robotics competitions. If you’re thinking of Battle Bots, you’ve got the general idea, anyhow.

To help him in these endeavors, we provides a gift certificate to SparkFun Electronics, one of the best electronics retailers out on the web. While Radio Shack may have gone the way of the do-do, the internet has fortunately stepped in to provide places to purchase all the bits and pieces needed for electronics projects.

Even more fun is the Flir One thermal imager we got for Ed. Below, you can see our old friend Ammo using a Flir to diagnose a problem.


“Yup. There’s the problem.”

The Flir One attaches to an iPhone (or an iOS device), and turns it into an infrared camera. This can show overheating components in a robot, which windows are drafty and in need of repair, and even find leaks behind walls. Or you can just point it at a dog to see which parts of your canine are the hottest. In Ed’s own words, “this is so much better than the plaque my last employer gave me after 5 years!”

Dog picture
Cold Nose

In addition to these gifts, there was also our traditional custom card and 5 year challenge coin as well.

Coin and Card
Custom Card

Thank You!

I’ll close by again publicly expressing our gratitude to Ed. The work he’s done to help our products, particularly in his last five working full-time for Rogue Amoeba, has been tremendously appreciated. Thank you for all you’ve done, Ed!

Previously

We’ve previously celebrated the five year anniversaries of six other employees here at Rogue Amoeba:

Airfoil 5.5: Now Playing on Chromecast!

We’re now shipping Airfoil for Mac 5.5, a major update to our tool for streaming music around your house, and we’re very excited about it! With this update, it’s now possible to stream any audio from your Mac to the Google Chromecast, using Google’s Cast protocol. After many months of work, we’re delighted to be able to provide full Chromecast support in a free update for all of Airfoil 5 users. Read on for more details.

Airfoil and Chromecast Pair Beautifully

To reiterate, Airfoil now supports sending audio to any device that supports the Google Cast protocol. As pictured above, that includes the Google Chromecast Audio, as well as both the current Google Chromecast Video and the original (stick-shaped) model.1 Further, there are also many televisions and stereos which support Google Cast, and Airfoil works great with those as well.

Better still, Airfoil can send to multiple devices, all in sync! Of course, if you’ve got AirPlay or Bluetooth devices, Airfoil will still send to those as well. With this new version, you can get the party rocking with more devices than ever before.

Airfoil Satellite Improvements

We’ve made some big improvements to the companion Airfoil Satellite app as well. As you may know, running Airfoil Satellite on another computer turns it into an audio receiver. Now, Airfoil Satellite for Mac is easier to use than ever.

Airfoil Satellite is now AppleScriptable, enabling it to offer full support for an enhanced experience when it’s set as the source in Airfoil. This is especially useful when using Airfoil to send from iOS to multiple outputs. By setting Airfoil Satellite as your source in Airfoil, you can then send audio from iOS to your Mac, then from your Mac out to any and all supported devices. When you do, metadata will flow through to your outputs, and remote control will be available as well.

In addition, we’ve added optional global shortcuts for controlling Airfoil Satellite. Now with a quick press of your custom keyboard shortcuts, you can make Airfoil Satellite appear, hide it, and even control playback of supported applications.

And More

That isn’t all we added in Airfoil 5.5. This update also removes the separate sections Airfoil and Airfoil Satellite previously used to group remote outputs. You’ll now find all of your remote outputs in one section, regardless of what type they are. We’ve also fixed several minor bugs in Airfoil, and improved how it handles missing audio output devices (as used by the Computer output). Of course, as usual, we’ve also made myriad backend improvements for stability and improved performance.

Get Airfoil 5.5 Now!

This is a free update for all those who’ve already upgraded to Airfoil 5, first released back in February. To download the latest, just open Airfoil and select “Check for Update” from the Airfoil menu.

If you’re still using Airfoil 4 (or older!), there’s no better time to upgrade to version 5! You can download the free trial from our site, then purchase a discounted upgrade.

Of course, if you’ve never used Airfoil before, now’s a great day to learn more. Airfoil lets you stream any audio from your Mac all around your network. With version 5.5, Airfoil now supports sending audio to thousands of different devices that support AirPlay (like the AppleTV and AirPort Express), Bluetooth (like countless speakers and headphones), and Google Cast (like the Chromecast and more). Learn more, and download the free trial, on the Airfoil page.

Coming Soon to Airfoil for Windows

Fear not, Windows users, because we’re hard at work on adding Chromecast support to Airfoil for Windows as well. We’re working hard on a free Airfoil for Windows update that adds Chromecast support, and hope to ship that by early next year. Stay tuned for more on that!


Footnotes:

  1. We’re still waiting to get one of the new 4K Chromecast Ultra devices, but we expect it to work just fine. ↩︎

Our Software