Under The Microscope


Archive for May, 2019

Get Dark Mode Support and Much More, in SoundSource 4.1

If you use audio in any way on your Mac, our newest app SoundSource is for you. With it, you can control audio on a per-app level, add effects to any audio, boost sound from even the tiniest MacBook speakers, and gain fast access to your Mac’s audio devices.

After we released SoundSource 4.0 in March, we received a lot of great customer feedback. We kept these requests and ideas in mind as we continued development. Today, we’re shipping a major update in the form of SoundSource 4.1. This new version adds several features, squashes a large number of bugs, and improves the app in ways both big and small.

Big Changes, Tucked in the Preferences

The two biggest changes in SoundSource 4.1 can be found in the new “Appearance” section of the Preferences window:


SoundSource’s new Appearance preferences

Dark Mode Support

The most striking change is certainly the optional new Dark appearance:


SoundSource’s new Dark Mode appearance

Use the default “Match System” setting, and SoundSource will follow your OS-wide appearance.1 If you prefer, you can force SoundSource to use the “Light” or “Dark” theme, regardless of your system-wide settings.

Output Volume in Menu Bar

The other major appearance change comes via a simple checkbox. Turn on the “Show output volume in menu bar” preference, and SoundSource’s default menu bar icon will be replaced with a volume indicator.

This icon helpfully displays a simplified approximation of the current output volume, and even indicates when your output device is entirely muted. With this, you no longer need the system Volume control in the menubar at all.

Easier Control of Special Audio Sources

We heard from users who wanted to adjust and control audio in the Finder, as well as the OS’s “Text to Speech” functionality. That’s now possible with SoundSource 4.1, as these sources are now easily selected from the new “Special Sources” section found in the “Add App” Source selector.

Smaller Updates

There are also many smaller updates to appreciate as well. These include:

  • Full Undo Support – SoundSource now includes full Undo support, so you can revert any changes you make to settings. Just hit Command (⌘)-Z on your keyboard to undo your most recent change.

  • Audio Effects Indicator – SoundSource now shows a helpful “FX” badge to indicate when a source is being modified by audio effects.

  • Right-Click Menu Bar Menu – A standard click on SoundSource’s menu bar icon reveals the app’s main window. Now, a right-click will show a helpful menu giving you quick access to SoundSource’s settings, or a fast way to quit the app.

  • Enhancements and Refinements Galore – We worked tirelessly to provide a worthy follow-up to SoundSource 4’s auspicious debut. This update includes over 30 distinct improvements, from better handling of Bluetooth devices to a more-obvious background state, and much, much more.

Critical Bug Fixes

Older versions of SoundSource had several issues which could cause the app to pinwheel or even crash. These issues were fortunately quite rare, but that also made them difficult to track down. After some deep debugging, we believe we’ve eliminated these problems. We strongly encourage all users to update to SoundSource 4.1 immediately for optimal performance. If you see any similar problems in the latest version, be sure to get in touch.

Get It Right Now

SoundSource 4.1 now represents the latest and greatest in sound control for your Mac, and we can’t wait for you to try it out. Users who already have SoundSource 4 should update to version 4.1 free of charge. Just open the Preferences window in SoundSource, click the “Check for Update” button, and enjoy!

If you’re new to SoundSource, visit our web site to learn all about our superior sound control. You can also download the free trial immediately.


Footnotes:

  1. “Match System” will follow settings found in the General System Preference. On MacOS 10.14 (Mojave), it follows the “Appearance” setting for Light or Dark Mode, while on MacOS 10.13 and lower, it follows the older “Use dark menu bar and Dock” setting. ↩︎

Update to Piezo 1.6 Now

We’ve just posted a fresh update for our charmingly simple audio recorder Piezo, now up to version 1.6. Piezo remains the easiest way to record audio from any application on your Mac, as well as from input devices like microphones. Read on to see what’s changed in our one-click recording tool.

Enhancements in Piezo 1.6

There are several small, but worthwhile, improvements in this update. Most importantly, we’ve worked to make recording even more robust under very heavy loads. Piezo has always worked well even when your CPU is burdened by other tasks, but with this update, even the busiest Mac will produce perfect recordings free from skips or dropouts.

As part of work we’re doing across our product line, we’ve also made small refinements to Piezo’s Source selector. This includes new organization and an enhanced look, as well as an update for the input device icon. These changes and more will be coming to the rest of our line-up soon.

Finally, the Audio Capture Engine (ACE) backend has been updated to version 10.0.1, for the most robust and reliable audio capture. We’re constantly refining and fine-tuning ACE, so be sure you’re running the latest version by checking “Install Extras” in the Piezo menu.

Bug Fixes

This update also fixed a couple small bugs. On MacOS 10.14 (Mojave), Piezo’s popover could get a little…funky. While, the connector should point toward the Gear button, Mojave has some issues which meant that with enough clicking and dragging, you could get the popover looking like this:


The old Piezo, misbehaving on Mojave

Once we discovered this issue, we couldn’t sleep until it was corrected. Thankfully, we were able to work around these Mojave issues, and all is again right with Piezo’s popover:


Piezo 1.6, looking great on Mojave

We also fixed a very rare bug, where some unlucky timing could cause the aforementioned popover to get stuck out of position. Internally, we dubbed this the “wiggle freeze”, as it required a lot of wiggling to make the popover freeze.

We’re not aware of any users actually running in to this issue in the wild, but it’s worth mentioning because it has a fun name.

Update Now

This is a free update for existing users, so if you already own Piezo, just open it up and select “Check for Update” from the Piezo menu to download the latest. If you’ve never used Piezo before, now’s a great time to learn more about it, and download the free trial.

Looking for More Power?

Piezo is incredibly easy to use, but you might be looking for additional features from your recording tool. We’ve got you covered there too, with Piezo’s big brother Audio Hijack. Piezo is great for simple recordings, while Audio Hijack is great for users who need more power.

You can always review our brief comparison between Piezo and Audio Hijack, then download a free trial of both apps to test things out.

Our Software