Under The Microscope

Rogue Amoeba’s 2020 Status Report

With the new year not being so new anymore, it’s well past time for Rogue Amoeba’s annual status report. Read on for a recap of what we did in 2019, as well as a look at our plans for 2020.

Recap of 2019

Major Updates

In 2019, we had almost 50 different releases across our line. As always, this included many minor improvements and bug fixes, but we also had several noteworthy releases. In fact, five of our seven products received at least one major update. In alphabetical order, they were:

Airfoil Satellite 2.0 for iOS

Our popular home audio streaming app Airfoil for Mac didn’t get overhauled in 2019, but its companion app Airfoil Satellite for iOS did. With version 2.0 of Airfoil Satellite, streaming to all the latest iOS devices is now fully supported.

Audio Hijack 3.6

Audio Hijack is our best known app, and we’re always hard at work fulfilling the promise of letting you record any audio on your Mac. With Audio Hijack 3.6, we made improvements to our noise clean-up plugins (Declick, Dehum, and Denoise) and made it a breeze to capture audio from Finder, Text to Speech, Siri, and more.

Fission 2.5

Apple featured Fission in the Mac App Store last year, and it was great for our easy-to-use audio editor to get more exposure. In Fission 2.5, we added full Dark Mode support, made improvements to custom ringtones, and fixed a handful of irksome bugs as well.

Loopback 2.1

September’s Loopback 2.1 release featured a brand-new Dark theme for use with MacOS’s Dark Mode, as well as a marked improvement dealing with physical audio hardware, so far fewer adjustments are needed to your Loopback virtual devices. If you’re a podcaster, live streamer, or audio tech of any stripe, the cable-free audio routing offered by Loopback will make your life better.

Piezo 1.6

Though Audio Hijack is aimed at users of all levels, folks are often drawn to our charmingly simple audio recorder Piezo, thanks to its simple, one-click usage. We made many improvements to recording and setup in Piezo 1.6, but most notably, this update fixed two different ways the app’s settings popover could misbehave in amusing fashion. “Wiggle freeze” begone!

SoundSource 4 and SoundSource 4.1

Our single biggest release of 2019 was the upgrade to SoundSource 4. It was a dramatic overhaul from previous versions, leading us to cheekily refer to it as the “brand-new SoundSource 4”. From its origins as a quick way to change your system devices, SoundSource has grown into a powerful tool for controlling all aspects of audio on your Mac. With it, you can control volumes on a per-app basis, add audio effects to any audio, and much more.

Just a couple months after that initial 4.0 release, SoundSource 4.1 added a full Dark Mode theme, an improved menu bar icon which shows your current volume level, and literally dozens of other refinements. We think SoundSource is so good, it ought to be on running every user’s Mac. If you haven’t checked it out yet, there’s no time like the present.

Another Year, Another New MacOS Version

At the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled the newest version of the Mac’s operating system, MacOS 10.15 (Catalina). We spent much of the summer ensuring all our apps had preliminary support for Catalina when it arrived in early October. A handful of issues came to light once Catalina was officially released, however, and this required us to spend further time on updates.

We eventually smoothed out the issues, and all of our products now have full support for Catalina. Still, it was a rather enervating fall. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that just staying current with the annual OS updates is a heavy burden for developers. Alas, until Apple slows the pace of their OS updates, we have little choice but to continue expending energy to keep up.

On a related note, remember that our Status page always provides details about support for various operating systems. When a new version of MacOS comes out, we post prominent links to the Status page, but you can always check it at https://rogueamoeba.com/status/.

Additional News

Software releases weren’t the only thing we did last year, of course.

Tutorial Videos

Many great instructional videos were posted last year, with real users of the apps discussing our products. First up, podcast pro Chris Enns had several great tutorials for Audio Hijack. Not long after that, audio producer Mike Russell covered all four apps in our Ultimate Podcast Bundle (That’s Audio Hijack, Loopback, Farrago, and Fission). Finally, Guy Serle posted two great videos discussing Loopback 2. We’re always grateful when folks share their knowledge in this way, and we hope it helps users like you get the most from our products.

Posts from Neale

Our designer Neale had two particularly great posts about design last year. The first of these was a look at the design of SoundSource 4, where he explained some of the progression the design of the app took over time. It’s always fun to read about, and to see, the iterations software takes before it ships publicly.

Neale’s second post was about “all-up design”, and discussed how NASA’s approach to the moon landing can be applied in other fields, including software design.

Adieu, Airfoil for Windows

At the end of 2019, we quietly bid farewell to an application most of our users likely never even tried: Airfoil for Windows. This was our lone product for the Windows platform, and for over a decade, it met a real need. Ultimately, many factors led us to retire the app, including changes on the Windows platform which made it impossible to capture audio combined as well as falling sales. It’s certainly sad to see it go, but it’s also good to free up developer time for other projects.

Coming in 2020

Part of the reason for the lateness of this status report is we were busy releasing two major updates since the start of the year. We’ve already shipped SoundSource 4.2, a major update to our audio control utility, as well as an overhauled version of Airfoil Satellite for Android, our Airfoil audio receiver and remote control for the Android platform.

Those updates mean the year’s off to a great start, and we’re not slowing down. Here’s just some of what we’ve got in the pipeline for 2020.

A Major Farrago Update

Farrago is actually our youngest application, dating back only as far as 2018. After shipping that initial 1.0, we’ve steadily added new features and made improvements, bringing us to the current version 1.2.7.

We’ve recently been working on a major Farrago update which we hope to ship this spring. Farrago 1.5 will remain familiar to existing users, but its List Mode will be greatly enhanced. We’re also making dozens of other improvements and fixes to the rest of the app.

A sneak peek at Farrago 1.5

We’ll be releasing this in the near future, but there’s no need to wait to check out Farrago, as the new version 1.5 will be a free update for existing users. Try out the best soundboard app for Mac today, then watch for Farrago 1.5 soon.

Continued Audio Hijack Improvements

In last year’s status report, we mentioned that Audio Hijack would see a great deal of resources devoted to it in 2019. Last year saw one major update, the aforementioned Audio Hijack 3.6, but much additional work was done that has not yet shipped to the public.

We’ll have much more news on Audio Hijack updates later in 2020. For now, here’s a sneak peek at some changes we’re currently working on:

More Live Streaming Capabilities

As part of that Audio Hijack push, we’ve also been experimenting with adding even more support for live streaming. Audio Hijack 3.5 added the Broadcast node, which helps with radio station style streaming via Shoutcast and Icecast. For more “live event” type broadcasting, we’re now working on adding Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) support. RTMP streaming is used to connect to major streaming services like YouTube Live, Twitch, and many others. We’re excited to have more to show there soon.

Keep Up With Rogue Amoeba

There will be lots more to see this year, including plenty of smaller updates and improvements. To get the latest news from Rogue Amoeba:

That’s it for the moment, but please accept our (rather late) wishes for a very merry new year. Here’s to a happy 2020 for all!

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