Posted By Paul Kafasis on January 11th, 2022
Back in 2018, I wrote a post examining the evolution of the License windows found in all of our products. At the end, I highlighted a fun animation we’d recently added, which featured some no-cleanup-required digital confetti.
Fast-forward a few years, and I received an email from friend-of-Rogue-Amoeba Allison Sheridan. Allison is a prodigious user of several of our products, using them to create a variety of podcasts over at podfeet.com. She often has valuable feedback and questions, but the subject of this particular email really intrigued me:
While “Confetti needs sound” sounds amusing, her email detailed a valid issue she’d found. While discussing the accessibility of our products on the American Council for the Blind’s streaming radio show “Magic Mac”, she realized that our digital confetti wasn’t accessible. When unlocking our products, sighted users see the animation above, but nothing was provided for the visually impaired.
We work very hard to make our software accessible, and the Golden Apple award Audio Hijack received from the AppleVis community fills us with pride. So after reading Allison’s email, I opened a ticket in our bug tracker for further discussion. In short order, our designer-turned-sound-designer Neale had created some possible sounds to consider. We kicked around an assortment of ideas.
This was the first stab, which I found a bit too high-energy:
This next one sounds like a great “Sent Email” sound, but that’s not what we needed:
Should unlocking our software convey the sense of mystery and wonder felt when a hidden object is suddenly revealed in a video game? Perhaps not.
New wave meets “The X-Files”. This wasn’t it either.
Ultimately, this was our winner:
It’s soft and subtle, but it still conveys a positive note. Importantly, it’s low-key enough to avoid interfering with any work you’re doing with our tools.
Lee had previously worked on the current iteration of our HTML License window, so he stepped up to get audio playing as desired. In just a few short days, we’d gone from a user suggestion to a full implementation. Once we shipped the next round of updates to our lineup, this change was present in all our products, making even our unlocking animation accessible to all.
Hear for Yourself
You can experience the latest in software innovation by purchasing any of our powerful audio tools, then unlocking it with your license key.
If you’re a long-time user of one of our great apps, who unlocked your copy many moons ago, fear not! You can re-unlock the software by taking advantage of an internal testing function.
2. Open the application, but make sure the License window is not open.
3. Hold down the option key as you select “License…” from the application’s main menu.
The License window as follows, with your key already waiting to be submitted:
Click the “Unlock” button, then bask in that sweet sound of success. The digital confetti will fire off, and your personal party will begin then rapidly end. Whee!
We work tirelessly to make our tools work well for all users. This particular change is a small touch, but it’s yet another way we can show that no user is a second-class citizen.