Under The Microscope

Archive for January, 2023

Level Up to Audio Hijack 4.1

When we shipped Audio Hijack 4.0 last year, we also had a roadmap for further releases containing additional features and enhancements. Today, we’re thrilled to show off the first of those releases: Audio Hijack 4.1. It’s available now as a free update for all Audio Hijack 4 users, and it contains an astonishing 53 enhancements. Read on for details or just click to download immediately.

The Overhauled Session List (And Global Window)

The updated Session List

Audio Hijack automatically saves your sessions for re-use, displaying them in its Session List window. That window has now been greatly enhanced.

  • Customizable Columns: Now you can customize the exact columns shown in the Session List, by clicking the ||| view options button.

  • Optional New Columns: Audio Hijack now has columns for Recordings (A count of recordings found in each session) and Timers (A count of timers in each session), as well as a new stand-alone Meters column.

  • Adjustable Column Widths: You can now change the width of any column in the Session List. Most notably, the Meters column can be resized between 5 and 30 bars wide.

  • More Sorting Options: It’s now possible to sort based on additional columns, not just the session name.

The Session List now looks and acts more like a standard Finder window in List view, and that’s very nice.

Sessions are also found in Audio Hijack’s global window, which lives in the menu bar to provide access even when the app is in the background:

Audio Hijack 4.1’s updated Global Window

This window has also seen substantial updates. Like the Session List, it behaves more like a Finder window, with new columns and enhanced sorting. As well, when it’s detached, the visable columns can now be customized and their widths can be adjusted.

More Powerful System Audio Source

The System Audio input block has always allowed you to capture all audio playing on your Mac, but now it’s much more customizable.

The updated System Audio popover

The new controls allow you to exclude specific sources manually, to capture “All system audio except X”. In addition, you now have the option to include alert sounds, like notification dings and error beeps. With this update, System Audio is more powerful than ever.

Audio Hijack Gets Smaller

Many users, especially podcasters, wish to have Audio Hijack recording in the background while other apps are in use. We’ve made some changes to make this work better for you. First up, session windows can now be shrunk way, way down to a much smaller minimum size. The Session meters are also now tied to the window width, and will disappear at the narrowest widths:

A minimum size session window in Audio HIjack 4.1

Of course, thanks to Audio Hijack’s optionally floating popovers, you don’t have to leave your session visible at all. The Recorder popover can be collapsed to a very small size, as seen here:

Audio Hijack’s Recorder popover, pinned for global access

Pin it for easy reference, so you can see your recording no matter what app you have in the foreground.

Interface Refinements

There are many other interface refinements to be found in Audio Hijack 4.1. Control-click in the Session List to access the new contextual menu, allowing for fast duplicating, exporting, and deletion. When playing a recording in a session’s Recordings tab, click the right time readout to see the track’s remaining time count down. The delete button in the Session List window is now helpfully labeled “Delete Session”, for improved clarity.

And last but certainly not least, lists have been improved throughout the application. You might not even notice most of these changes, but they’ll make the app feel and work better.

Additional New Features

The new features don’t stop there. We’ve also added:

Standard Audio Unit Presets: Audio Hijack now saves and reads standard Audio Unit presets, meaning they can be read by other applications which support Audio Units, including our own app SoundSource.

Recording Inspector Updates: The Recording Inspector window has been improved, with the ability to rename files without needing to go to the Finder, new time readouts, new status indicators for active recordings, and some useful reorganization.

Scripting Enhancements: Following useful feedback from scripters, we’ve extended scripting support to include renaming, moving, and setting tags on recorded files. Deleted scripts are also now better handled by automations, the read-only nature of built-in scripts has been made more obvious, and both logging and errors from scripts were improved as well.

Give the release notes for 4.1 a read to learn even more.

Bugs Be Gone

We always want our latest version to be our greatest version, and part of that is whittling down the number of known issues. In addition to enhancements, we also took time to eliminate over two dozen bugs and rough edges. Among other fixes, the “Undo” function now works more smoothly, several rare crashes have been eliminated, and small visual glitches have been corrected.

Audio Hijack 4.1 Is Available Now

Audio Hijack 4.1 is a free update for all users of version 4. To download it, just select “Check for Updates” from the “Audio Hijack” menu.

If you’re an Audio Hijack 3 user who hasn’t yet moved up to version 4, you can still do so at the heavily discounted upgrade price of just $29. Get started on the “What’s New in Audio Hijack 4” page.

And if you’ve made it this far, but you’re entirely new to Audio Hijack? Click to learn more about the Mac’s premier audio recording tool, and download the free trial.

Rogue Amoeba’s 2023 Status Report

It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time for another edition of Rogue Amoeba’s annual status report, recorded before a live studio audience. Read on for a look back at 2022 and a preview of 2023.

What happened in 2022? A lot!

61 Individual Updates

Across our product line, we shipped an incredible 61 updates to add features, improve functionality, and fix bugs. We averaged well over one release each week, all year long. This consistent parade of updates meant our apps stayed both fresh and functional.

Worth noting, 60 of these updates were entirely free for existing users. When you purchase a product from us, you’re buying the app as it exists now. Additional updates are never guaranteed. However, we take pride in offering tremendous value to our customers. Our decades-long track record demonstrates this, with products continuing to receive improvements long after a purchase is made.

Audio Hijack 4

In order to run a sustainable business, when we add major new functionality to a product, we charge a discounted upgrade price to move to the new version. As 2022’s lone paid upgrade, Audio Hijack 4.0 offered over 100 new features and enhancements, including powerful new blocks, automation support via scripting and Shortcuts, manual pipeline connections, and so much more.

As part of the release, designer extraordinaire Neale wrote up “The Design of Audio Hijack 4”. This was the latest in a series of posts which pull back the curtain on the design work which goes into our major upgrades. It’s fun to see the early mockups and transitional periods of our designs.

In December, Audio Hijack found itself the recipient of two major awards, winning the “Best App Update of 2022” from MacStories and then the 2022 Upgradie for “Best Mac App”. Suffice it to say, Audio Hijack 4 is a hit, and we’re not slowing down. See the “Looking Ahead” section below for more.

SoundSource 5.5

Last year saw another large update worthy of special mention. SoundSource 5.5 was a free update which brought several major features, the most important of which was the new Shortcuts support.

With Shortcuts coming to both SoundSource 5.5 and Audio Hijack 4, last year was a big one for automation. Automation support has long been one of our most-requested features, and we’re happy to provide it now via Shortcuts. SoundSource now enhances your Mac with a slew of audio device-related actions available to the Shortcuts app, even when you’re not directly using SoundSource. With these shortcuts, you can automate changing device volumes, setting effect presets, toggling effects processing, and much more.

SoundSource is now up to version 5.5.7, and it just keeps getting better. If you’re new to the app, you should visit the SoundSource page to learn more and download the latest.

MacOS 13 (Ventura)

In 2022, Apple’s MacOS update followed their now very predictable pattern. MacOS 13 (Ventura) was first shown at WWDC in June, followed by public betas over the summer, and an official fall release. As always, we strongly cautioned users against running beta versions of MacOS and spelled out our plans for support for Ventura.

Indeed, we have our own now-familiar pattern when it comes to a new MacOS. After multiple months of work to support the new version, we make our initial updates available as test releases, allowing users outside the company to try them during the beta period. Next, as Apple’s release approaches, we provide official releases of our products that offer initial support for the new OS. In 2022, our releases arrived the weekend before Ventura was posted.

After the dust has settled, we typically issue a second set of updates with fully baked support for the new operating system. In 2022, those updates arrived about a month after the release of Ventura, signifying that we were now confident to have all users update their OS when ready.

All seemed well, until the release of MacOS 13.1 in December led to intermittent failures of audio capture. We had a hectic few days shortly before Christmas as we dealt with this, Fortunately, we were able to restore full audio capture to all of our apps in very short order. Though rare, this sort of hiccup is not unprecedented. It should serve as a useful reminder that taking it slow with OS updates is always wise, particularly for those with production machines and mission-critical setups.


In 2022, Rogue Amoeba celebrated our 20th year in business! The world of technology was very different when Quentin, Alex, and I got started in 2002. The iPod was still in its infancy, the iPhone was years away, and even Mac OS X (as it was then called) was an upstart new OS. From the humble release of Audio Hijack 1.0 in the fall of 2002, our company has grown tremendously. We’re incredibly proud of our many beloved products, as well as the top-notch team we’ve assembled to work on them.

Speaking of that team, we also celebrated Robert Charlton’s fifth anniversary with Rogue Amoeba. We want our company to be a place where employees feel empowered, valued, and encouraged to stay long-term. The many employee milestones we’ve been able to celebrate are a good indication that we’re doing pretty well on that front.

Odds and Ends

In January, I wrote a post about improving the accessibility of our License window. Making our software accessible is no afterthought for us, with countless hours devoted to testing and improvements that make it possible for all users to take advantage of our tools. Still, we know we can always do better, and we’re grateful for feedback on how we can improve.

For several years now, we’ve licensed parts of our technology stack to other Mac software developers. ACE, the audio capture engine that powers many of our own products, is now also used by almost two dozen outside programs as well. Last year, we also signed our first licensee for Resonate, which provides a dramatically easier-to-use interface for MacOS’s CoreAudio. If you’re a developer who needs help handling audio on the Mac, licensing ACE and/or Resonate might be right for you.

There was plenty more, from Airfoil gaining the ability to stream to stereo pairs of HomePods Mini to continued work improving our support center. But now, 2022 is done. It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming year.

In 2023, we’ll of course have maintenance updates to all of our products throughout the year. It’s also likely we’ll need to devote significant time to supporting the next version of MacOS. For now, though, I’ll highlight two big updates planned for the first half of the year.

Audio Hijack 4.1

As noted above, we have plenty more in the works for Audio Hijack. That starts with version 4.1, coming soon. It will offer a more configurable “System Audio” block that enables you to exclude specific sources. The Recording Inspector has also been souped up, to allow you to rename files directly. And if you’ve been using Audio Hijack 4’s new scripting capabilities, we’ve made several refinements to make writing scripts easier and more enjoyable.

Beyond that, we devoted substantial time to interface enhancements. We’ve greatly reduced the screen size Audio Hijack requires, making it possible to shrink Session windows way down. There are also many improvements to lists throughout the app, particularly the “Session List” window, which is gaining new sorting options, as well as new and customizable columns.

We’re eager to show it all off to you. We expect to make the free update to Audio Hijack 4.1 available as a test release in the near future, with an official release soon after.

Farrago 2

Though this update was actually mentioned in last year’s Status Report, an assortment of factors delayed its release to 2023. This sort of slippage is not uncommon, and it’s one reason we’re often tight-lipped about the future. We prefer to under-promise and over-deliver. Now, however, Farrago 2.0 is very close to complete.

We’re eager to get Farrago 2 out into the world, so expect more news soon.

Stay Informed

You can track our latest news in several ways.

Release Notes

First and foremost, we strongly recommend keeping version checking turned on in “Settings” (née “Preferences”). You’ll be alerted to updates automatically, with detailed release notes so you know what’s new. You can also read each product’s release notes right on our site:


Social Media

We mention nearly all of our updates on social media, and offer other fun news and randomness there as well:


And look at that, we’ve just set up a new Mastodon account too.

This Blog

This blog offers posts for larger updates and upgrades, as well as other stories. Subscribe to our handy feed in an RSS reader like NetNewsWire.

Our Mailing List

Finally, our very low-traffic mailing list (~2-4 emails per year) will alert you to our biggest stories, as well as exclusive deals.

Stay abreast with one or more of the above methods, because 2023 promises to be a big year. For now, though, we hope your new year is off to a great start. Until next time!

Steadfast Support Worthy of Salute

Any day when I get to celebrate an employee milestone here at Rogue Amoeba is a good day. I’m thus very pleased to honor our support technician Robert Charlton, who recently reached five years of service with the company.

A Key Member of Our Dependable Support Team

Since our earliest days, Rogue Amoeba has made fast and responsive customer support a top priority. We’ve had many talented support techs in our more than 20 years in business, but as a result of the demanding nature of the role, Robert is only the second employee to reach five years of helping customers.

Robert first joined us back in 2017, as we were expanding from a single support tech to a team of two people. Since day one, he’s been a remarkably steady presence at Rogue Amoeba. Robert’s thoughtful, calm, and confident disposition was a great asset. He’s always eager to help users, demonstrating tremendous patience and a desire to get to the root of every issue.

Even as needs have changed over the years, Robert has always managed to fit the bill. The expanding nature of work-from-home culture at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a substantial increase in demand for support, as usage of our products soared. We realized we’d need to quickly transition from two support techs working together to a team of three, with long-time support tech Chris Barajas moving up to be manage this expanded team. Robert has been instrumental in making that transition viable, first by working with a temporary contractor, and then helping to bring our newest hire Aaron Wasserman onboard and up-to-speed with our resources and policies.

During Robert’s tenure, our support team has gotten even more responsive and well-organized. Our documentation has been enhanced across both our public Knowledge Base and our own internal resources, and our processes have grown to support a team environment. Individual users who request assistance weren’t the only ones to benefit, either. By better integrating customer feedback into our development process, the very way we build our products has improved too. Everything we make at Rogue Amoeba is a team effort, and we’re grateful for all that Robert contributes.

Superb Bags for Superb Support Techs

Whenever one of our employees reaches five years of service, we present them with a personalized gift. Robert spends a lot of his free time working on music, so we initially considered providing him with some studio time. However, after a bit of discussion we went a different route.

Back in 2015, we presented our now-support manager Chris with a gorgeous briefcase for his five year anniversary. This, along with Robert’s feedback, led us to create a new tradition: superb bags for our superb support technicians.

In Robert’s own words, because he frequently walks and uses public transit, he’s “more of a backpack guy”. He thus selected a tremendous bag from Tom Bihn, one which will let him tote his laptop (and anything else) for years and years. He also shared an amusing story:

If you recall in my earlier times at RA, the “7UJM” row of keys on my MacBook Pro was broken. That was due to water damage sustained when toting it in…my $30 Amazon Basics backpack.

Never again!

We also sent Robert a card custom-made by our designer Neale, along with one of the custom challenge coins we’ve been issuing since 2013:

A custom card and coin

Below, you can see (and hear!) a short video Robert created as he opened the coin box:

Expressing Our Appreciation

Working as a support tech means Robert speaks directly with our customers on a daily basis. Thanks to his superb work, he receives plenty of kind words from grateful users in private, but we wanted to be sure to take the time to publicly thank him for his five years (and beyond) here at Rogue Amoeba. Since 2017, Robert has helped over 20,000 users of our products, and that list of satisfied folks grows day-by-day.

Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do to make things better for our users, Robert! We look forward to much more great work together.

Winning Big at the Upgradies

Fresh off Audio Hijack 4’s recent selection as MacStories’ Best Mac Update of 2022, our flagship recording tool has once again been honored: Audio Hijack is the 2022 Upgradies winner for “Best Mac App” as well!

MacStories Selects 2022 Best App Update: Audio Hijack 4

Listen to Upgrade episode #439 to hear Myke and Jason talk all about Audio Hijack, and check out all the 2022 winners over at the Upgradies.com site. We’re extremely gratified to have been chosen.

This marks Audio Hijack’s third time being selected as the “Best Mac App”, following previous victories in 2018 and 2016. As a three-time winner, Audio Hijack has now been enshrined in the coveted “Lifetime Achievement” section of the Upgradies Hall of Fame, the first Mac app to make it!

Upgradies Lifetime Achievement Winner Badge

As a lifetime achievement winner, Audio Hijack won’t be eligible for an Upgradie in future years, but we’re delighted to make room for other deserving apps to be selected. And hey, perhaps some of our other popular apps like SoundSource and Loopback will enter future conversations.

For now, though? Check out the award-winning Audio Hijack.

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