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Archive for the ‘Annual Status Reports’ Category

Rogue Amoeba’s 2021 Status Report

It’s (past) time for a new calendar, which means it’s (also past) time for the latest Rogue Amoeba status report. Our fifth annual report contains a recap of our busy-beyond-belief 2020, along with a look at plans for 2021.

Though the word “unprecedented” has been sorely overused of late, 2020 really was a year unlike any other for Rogue Amoeba. It began normally enough, but as COVID-19 led so much of the world to lock down and work remotely, we saw staggering new demand for our products. We first noticed something was up when our support volume soared:

A chart showing many, many more support requests in 2020, compared to 2019.
Year-over-year support requests for 2020 vs. 2019

Beginning in March, there was a surge in usage of all our products, especially our audio routing tool Loopback, our sound control utility SoundSource, and our recorder Audio Hijack. The highest peaks didn’t last forever, but there has been a sustained increase in the popularity of our tools, with a new normal that’s much higher than before.

While coping with that increased demand has been challenging, we’re glad to be able to assist Mac users around the globe. It’s tremendously gratifying to know our products are helping so many of you adapt to new ways of working and living.

New Guides for Using Rogue Amoeba Apps

One result of this increased usage was the discovery of new, and newly popular, use cases. Much of the world is now communicating via voice chat on services like Zoom and Google Meet, and several of our products can enrich that experience. We created some great new support resources, which help you:

Our article on adding volume control to unsupported devices also proved quite popular. If you have an HDMI, DisplayPort, or other audio output that the system refuses to adjust, SoundSource can provide volume adjustment, as well as keyboard volume key support.

Software Updates

In 2020, we released an insane 80 new versions, more than in any previous year. Though all of these updates contained new features, improvements, and refinements, 79 of them were provided free to existing users. Let’s highlight a few of the biggest changes.

SoundSource

We began the year with SoundSource 4.2, which enhanced our Bluetooth support and added a new “Volume Overdrive” effect, among other changes. Following that release, we stepped back to review the tremendous quantity of feedback we’d received since the initial release of SoundSource 4.

Many months of work later, we unveiled SoundSource 5, 2020’s lone paid upgrade. Version 5 is a reimagining of the product, with an interface that’s been noticeably slimmed down, particularly in the Compact view. SoundSource also now automatically handles audio apps, so there’s less need to manually manage things. Of course, there are many new features as well, from powerful menu bar meters to enhanced audio effects.

SoundSource is made for anyone who does anything at all with audio on the Mac, and it’s rapidly become one of our most popular products. If you haven’t checked it out, take a look today.

Audio Hijack

In April, Audio Hijack received a major update to version 3.7. This release included the new “Live Stream” block, making it possible to stream audio to RTMP services like Facebook Live, Twitch, and YouTube Live.

The release of this functionality was actually pushed up in response to user requests. With so many people locked down at home, the Live Stream block has provided musicians, DJs, and other content creators with an easy way to share and monetize their work.

Farrago

When Farrago 1.5 arrived, our soundboard app got its biggest update since the original release. This enormous undertaking contained over 30 new features, supercharging the List Mode, and checking off literally dozens of user requests. Farrago was able to help thousands of new customers in 2020, whether they used it for voice chats, remote tabletop gaming sessions, or podcasts.

A Continuous Parade of Updates

Of course, the rest of our products got plenty of love throughout the year as well. We repeatedly fortified Loopback to better handle all manner of wonky audio devices and configurations. Our home audio streamer Airfoil gained full support for the new HomePods Mini. Piezo and Fission also received several smaller releases to keep them working well.

The final months of 2020 were spent rolling out an incredible parade of updates to the entire product line. This past fall, Apple made two major changes to the Mac platform, with MacOS 11 (Big Sur) followed by new hardware powered by Apple Silicon. We devoted countless hours to preparing our products to support Apple’s latest changes.

We were ready for Big Sur prior to its release, and had betas available for the new M1 Macs when they arrived. By year’s end, our official releases all had support for both the new OS and the new hardware. Make sure you have the latest versions of our products, and you’ll be good to go.

Other 2020 News

Here’s a bit more news worth noting from last year.

Technology Licensing

Back in 2018, we announced licensing for ACE, the audio capture engine that underpins many of our products. This licensing really took off last year, and now over a dozen different products use ACE to power their audio capture, from screen recording tools to transcription apps.

After the success we had with ACE, we introduced a second framework for licensing: Resonate. Resonate simplifies audio handling with a dramatically easier-to-use interface for MacOS’s CoreAudio. If you’re developing an application which needs to use audio on the Mac, Resonate is for you.

Staff Anniversaries

We also marked anniversaries for two members of our team. Our all-star designer Neale Van Fleet has now been with us for over five years, while our support ace Chris Barajas is now by far our longest-tenured employee, with over a decade under his belt. One of Rogue Amoeba’s greatest strengths is our incredible staff, and it’s a special privilege to have the chance to celebrate milestones like this.

We’re generally pretty tight-lipped when it comes to future plans, preferring to show, rather than tell. That said, there are a few things I can share today.

Coming Very Soon: SoundSource 5.3

We’re currently finalizing the next major update to SoundSource. In version 5.3, changing your devices will be faster than ever, and we’ve honed many aspects of audio effects. In particular, if you like tinkering with your audio adjustments, the new “Effects Bypass” option will prove very useful.

Effects have moved into a separate process, to prevent misbehaving plugins from crashing SoundSource. This change also brings support for older (built for Intel) plugins on the new M1 Macs. With additional advancements to the “Headphone EQ” effect and more, you won’t want to miss this free update. Watch for SoundSource 5.3 in the coming weeks.

Audio Hijack Updates

Work on our best-known product never stops, and we’re planning more major Audio Hijack updates in 2021. Lots of new features are in the works, as is an interface touch-up. We’re also planning to bring over work done in SoundSource, with Audio Hijack gaining a new “Magic Boost” block and enhancements to Volume Overdrive. It’s always nice when work on one of our products can find its way into other apps as well.

We’ll have more to say about Audio Hijack in the coming months, but for now, enjoy this teaser image:

Much More to Come

2021 should be just a little bit quieter than 2020 for Rogue Amoeba. We aren’t currently planning to release any brand-new products this year, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that Apple will avoid shaking up the platform quite as much as they did last year. Nevertheless, 2021 is sure to be a very busy year. We’ll still be doing all we can to push the state-of-the-art forward in audio software on the Mac, so you can be assured of updates both big and small for our entire line. Perfection in software may be unattainable, but that doesn’t stop us from striving for it.

I hope to expand our support resources to help even more folks use our products. We’ll likely create new articles in our Knowledge Base, as well as videos on our nascent YouTube channel. If you have an idea for an article or video we might make, or you’re making use of our products in an unusual way, we’d love to hear from you.

Finally, the Rogue Amoeba team will be growing in the near future. With our products proving more popular than ever before, our support and development teams were both kept incredibly busy throughout 2020. We want to devote even more resources to both customer support and future development in 2021. We’ve been collecting applications, and we plan to bring on multiple new amoebas later this year.

Get the Latest News From Rogue Amoeba

That’s all for today, but there are several ways you can keep abreast of our latest news:

Stay safe, stay healthy, and here’s to a tomorrow.

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!

Rogue Amoeba’s 2019 Status Report

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s once again time for a Rogue Amoeba status report. This post offers a look at what we did in 2018, as well as a glimpse at our plans for the future.

Impressive Release Numbers

Last year, we shipped an astonishing 65 releases, averaging well over one per week. That number represents our highest raw number of releases ever for a calendar year, and it was almost twice what we shipped in 2017. We worked hard to provide users with bug fixes, minor improvements, and compatibility with new operating systems. We were also pleased to have all of our software ready for MacOS 10.14 (Mojave) well in advance of Apple shipping it to the public.

Major Updates

2018 also saw us ship a brand-new product, a major upgrade, and major features and functionality in several of our existing applications.

In January, we unveiled Farrago, a new soundboard app that provides podcasters, theater techs, and more with an easy way to play sound bites, music clips, and audio effects. That initial release was followed Farrago 1.1 in April, which added a dark mode and undo support, and by Farrago 1.2 in July, which made it possible to control things via MIDI. If you’re looking for a great soundboard app for the Mac, be sure to check out Farrago.

Our home audio streamer Airfoil received multiple improvements to continue supporting the latest hardware and devices. Apple’s HomePod began shipping in February, and we quickly had Airfoil for Mac 5.7 available, to stream audio to the new smart speaker. In the summer, Sonos became the first third-party vendor to ship AirPlay 2 compatible speakers, and Airfoil was updated to version 5.8, with Sonos support.

Updates on the PC side took a little bit longer. In August, Airfoil for Windows 5.5 brought support for the HomePod, as well as long-awaited Chromecast support. Just a month later, Airfoil for Windows 5.6 was released, with Sonos support.

Airfoil’s been around for well over a decade on both platforms, and we continue to make it easy for you to stream audio everywhere you want, with support for new protocols and devices.

Our flagship audio recording product Audio Hijack saw a major update which brought even more value to a subset of users. In June, we shipped version 3.5, which now lets you use Audio Hijack to broadcast audio across the internet. It supports MP3 and AAC streaming to remotely hosted servers, making it a perfect tool for livecasting podcast recordings, creating the internet stream for a terrestrial radio station, and more. Anyone who used our now-retired Nicecast broadcasting tool will want to have a look at Audio Hijack. As for Nicecast, read on for more information there.

We finished up 2018 by shipping Loopback 2, a massive overhaul of our powerful audio routing tool. This update included plenty of new functionality, from more powerful audio monitoring to myriad volume controls. The biggest change, however, was seen in the user interface itself. We worked hard to redesign Loopback to be more intuitive, showing how your audio will flow, and we’ve been very gratified to hear tremendously positive feedback on this new version.

Assorted Company News

Software releases are always our main focus, but there are other things we do throughout the year.

New Revenue Streams

Farrago was actually just one of three new sources of revenue we unveiled in 2018. Though it’s not of direct use to most of our readers, software developers were pleased when we began licensing our audio capture technology for use in other Mac applications. Now, in addition to making products that solve our users’ audio needs, we’re assisting other developers in making their own products work better. From screen sharing tools to game streamers, our ACE technology is now helping several different applications on the Mac, with more on the way. If you’re a developer who needs to capture audio on the Mac, get in touch via our Licensing page.

On the consumer side, our new Ultimate Podcast Bundle has proven to be quite popular. Several of our tools have long been the go-to solutions for podcasters, and this bundle allows users to save when purchasing them together. If you’re interested in creating a podcast, the Ultimate Podcast Bundle is the place to start.

Holidays with Rogue Amoeba

While I write much of the content for this blog, we also get great contributions from the other Amoebas. This year, that included two different holiday-related posts. In April, Lee Falin described how he pranked his own children using a combination of Fission, Airfoil, and Farrago. Meanwhile, Neale Van Fleet worked alongside his young son to make a truly great Halloween setup, with help from Farrago and Airfoil. Our tools are designed to help you be productive, but mischief is definitely encouraged as well.

Other News

As I noted above, our old stand-alone broadcasting tool Nicecast has been retired. We announced this at the end of February, with a detailed post discussing the change. It’s sad to end development of a product, but Apple’s pending removal of support for 32-bit apps in MacOS combined with gradual but substantial market changes to make this the right move. We encourage all former Nicecast users to check out our post “Migrating Your Broadcast From Nicecast to Audio Hijack”. It will guide you on transitioning, and our support team is always here to help.

It wasn’t all retirements, though, as July saw the hiring of our newest employee Nathan. He’s already done solid work adding MIDI support to Farrago, and he’s now focused on a major update to SoundSource. You’ll see more of Nathan’s work in the near future.

As we marked Rogue Amoeba’s 16th anniversary in September, I took a moment to write about the long progression of part of our software, our license window. This small piece of our apps has evolved over the years, and it was interesting to review the different iterations.

Finally, we closed out 2018 as the grateful recipients of several awards and honors. We’re extremely proud to see the love people have for Audio Hijack, Farrago, and indeed, all of our products.

The State of the Mac in 2019

In recent years, Apple’s pace of updates to Mac hardware has slowed considerably. After the Worldwide Developers Conference passed in June with no new Mac announcements, we were concerned enough to write about the issue. This piece was widely shared, with many heads nodding in depressed agreement.

Happily, Apple shipped some major Mac updates in the fall, giving us renewed hope in Mac hardware. Of note for our users, the new Macs Mini and MacBooks Air both feature improved built-in audio hardware. We hope to see continued positive signs for the Mac in 2019, particularly the long-awaited new Mac Pro.

Support Improvements

We doubled the size of our support team in 2017, and that extra manpower led us to change and improve our support systems throughout 2018.

The most visible change is the re-design of our support center. Each product now has its own section, with app-specific information. As well, the underlying knowledge base is now fully searchable, providing fast access to information the goes beyond the product manual. We’re now frequently adding more knowledge base content, enabling users to find instant answers to many questions, rather than needing to email us.


Audio Hijack’s Support page, showing several Knowledge Base articles

However, if you do need to contact us directly, don’t hesitate! We strive to provide friendly and responsive support via email, and that’s only gotten better. We recently made our contact form simpler and more powerful, even providing carefully curated suggestions to knowledge base articles which could help you instantly. We’re also using a more modern support backend, Help Scout, to better process support requests. This has enabled us to integrate several tools which allow for even more rapid responses.

That covers last year pretty well. Now, let’s have a look behind the curtain to discuss our plans for 2019. We’re always busy keeping all of our current products running smoothly. That means providing support for the likely release of MacOS 10.15 (this year’s guess: Sonoma), as well as updates small and big for the entire line-up. Beyond the standard maintenance releases, we have specific plans for several larger releases.

A Major SoundSource Update

We plan to ship a major update to SoundSource in the first half of 2019, and it’s going to change the way you listen to audio on your Mac. We’re very excited to get this update out to our users, hopefully in the very near future! For now, here’s a carefully cropped sneak preview:


A vision of SoundSource to come

Focusing on Audio Hijack

We’re also hard at work on the next iterations of our flagship product, Audio Hijack. Since the initial release of Audio Hijack 3 in 2015, we’ve shipped a steady stream of large updates to add functionality and improve the product, and we have plans for much more.

We’re currently working on additional interface refinements based on user feedback and other work we’ve done. We’re also adding and improving features in ways that will please both existing users and new customers. We should have more to share about Audio Hijack updates later this year.

Loopback 2.1, and Beyond

The recently released Loopback 2.0.0 is certainly not the last update we plan for Loopback. Prior to unveiling version 2, we had a rough roadmap for additional versions, and now user feedback has helped us flesh that out further. Look for Loopback 2.1 in the coming months, as well as further updates throughout 2019.

Stay Tuned

Our software’s built-in version checking is the best way to ensure you have the very latest releases, but you can also stay up to date with Rogue Amoeba in one (or more!) of the following ways:

That’s all for now. All the folks here at Rogue Amoeba wish you a happy and healthy 2019! Stay tuned for more news from your favorite Mac audio software company.

Rogue Amoeba’s 2018 Status Report

In January of 2017, I posted a summary of our 2016, and a peek at plans for 2017. With today’s post, this becomes an annual tradition. Read on for a roundup of what happened in 2017 and a look at some of our plans for 2018.

Recap of Releases

Though neither was a major product launch, we actually shipped two new apps last year. On Valentine’s Day, we gave our users the most romantical gift of all: sound control software. The audio device control functionality from the then-retired SoundSource was merged with LineIn’s play-thru ability and modernized to create SoundSource 3. The best part? Rogue Amoeba customers who own a current license for any of our other apps are eligible for a free license to SoundSource 3! If you’re not up-to-date, now’s a great time to get the latest, then take advantage of the free SoundSource offer as well.

Our second new app came about as the result of some unexpected changes made by Apple. In late March, a tvOS update from Apple broke Airfoil’s ability to send audio to the Apple TV. Shortly after, we shipped a new tvOS app called Airfoil Satellite TV. This served as an interim solution for streaming audio to the Apple TV while we worked on restoring compatibility directly within Airfoil.

Fortunately, we were able to work around Apple’s changes, and we released Airfoil for Mac 5.6 and Airfoil for Windows 5.2 to restore full Apple TV compatibility. With these updates, the Airfoil Satellite TV app became largely redundant for the time being. However, it will continue to exist as a fallback. If Apple again breaks the Apple TV’s AirPlay compatibility, Airfoil will still be able to send audio to the device.

One other release worth noting was version 2.4 of our audio editor Fission. This update also resulted from changes made by Apple. The new iTunes 12.7 utterly broke the ability for any app to make custom ringtones for iOS devices, even Apple’s own GarageBand app. Knowing how much users love this feature, we worked quickly to restore it. We also posted instructions for using custom ringtones with newer versions of iTunes, whether or not they’re made with Fission.

Of course, we shipped plenty of updates for all of our applications, with a total of 33 releases last year. This was actually our lowest yearly total in almost a decade, however. This reduction in releases was largely due to a lowered need for bug fixes, which is always a good thing. We also had a larger-than-average amount of work in progress that didn’t ship in 2017, and I expect our raw number of releases will jump back up in 2018.

The Newest Amoebas

We made multiple hires last year to keep our team strong and productive. In June, we hired Andy Taylor to work on Airfoil for Windows. Since then, he’s worked to ship the necessary updates to restore Apple TV compatibility and fix other minor bugs. We’ve still got more in the pipeline for Airfoil for Windows, including the long overdue support for Chromecast, so stay tuned for more updates.

Later in the year, Robert Charlton joined us as we doubled the size of our support team from one full-time tech to two. This larger team continues to provide fast and friendly help, but also has more time to refine and improve our support site, manuals, and backend processes. All of this will allow us to provide ever more solid software.

Other Major News

In February, we posted the results of removing Piezo from the Mac App Store. Piezo actually earned more revenue when it was available exclusively through our store than it did when it was also available in the Mac App Store. That’s a nice outcome, but the far greater benefit to leaving the Mac App Store was that it allowed us to improve the quality of Piezo. Given the convenience the Mac App Store could provide, it’s unfortunate how poor an overall experience many developers have had with it. Fortunately, direct distribution of software is easier and more convenient than ever. In fact, in 2017 we also switched our entire store over to use Paddle.com for payment processing, with very few issues.

At June’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced the new HomePod, which is finally arriving this week. We’ve confirmed that Airfoil can send audio directly to the HomePod, so you can stream any audio from your Mac or PC to the HomePod, right out of the box. We’ll be updating Airfoil to improve compatibility, so watch for updates in the near future.

Apple also announced a new AirPlay 2 protocol, which they have since delayed. There are many open questions with AirPlay 2, and for now, we’re all waiting for more from Apple. Worth noting though is that Airfoil can already match AirPlay 2’s announced ability to stream to multiple devices, all in sync.

In September, we celebrated a rather momentous occasion, our 15th anniversary. It was fun to look all the way back to the very first version of Audio Hijack, and to reflect on how far we’ve come. We plan to be here providing great audio software for many more years to come!

The Future

We’re always tight-lipped about what we’re up to for the future, but I’ll share what I can.

Farrago IconLast year, I teased a new app codenamed “Iron Beetle”, which has now shipped as our new soundboard app Farrago. We’ve been getting lots of great feedback already, and we’ll use this to help guide the development of Farrago updates in 2018.

We also expect to ship a major Airfoil for Windows update in the near future. This was discussed last year, which means it’s quite overdue at this point. Progress was slowed by the Apple TV issues we had to work around last year, but we’re still working hard on support for Chromecast.

Our work on big updates for Loopback has progressed well, and we hope to have more to share later this year. We’re planning to offer even more power coupled with a more polished user experience. For now, here’s a sneak peek at some interface improvements we’re working toward.


More to come!

We’re not currently planning the release of any brand-new products in 2018, so we’ll instead be focused on updates for our existing apps. That will include new features and functionality, as well as more run-of-the-mill bug fixes. We also always plan for updates for Apple’s nearly-annual MacOS release (this year’s name guess: “Sequoia”).

Stay Tuned

You can keep up to date with our latest news in several ways:

We can’t wait to share more with you in 2018. For now, I hope the new year is treating you well. Stay tuned for updates from Rogue Amoeba!

Rogue Amoeba’s 2017 Status Report

While we’re always hard at work here at Rogue Amoeba, last year was one of our busiest in recent memory. Here’s a quick look back at the year that was 2016, as well as a look at what’s ahead in 2017.

A Brand-New App, A Major Upgrade

The winter of 2016 was a frenzied one for us, as we shipped one new application and released a pair of simultaneous upgrades to another.

Loopback

Loopback is our first brand-new product in several years, and it allows you to pass audio between applications on your Mac by creating virtual audio devices. Loopback has proven much more popular than we’d expected, and we’ve continued working to improve it, shipping Loopback 1.1 in December.

Airfoil

Shortly after introducing Loopback to the world, we shipped simultaneous upgrades to Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows. With its new ability to send to thousands of Bluetooth audio devices, Airfoil 5 is now about much more than just AirPlay audio.

Even as we shipped Airfoil 5, work on streaming audio to Google Chromecast devices was already in progress. Airfoil for Mac 5.5 shipped near the end of the year with the power to stream to Chromecast and all Google Cast devices. Windows users should keep an eye on our site for similar updates to Airfoil for Windows in 2017.

Updates, Big and Small

Last year we added compatibility with MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) and fixing myriad bugs and issues, but also found time for several larger updates, including:

Audio Hijack 3.3

This update continued our string of incremental improvements to our flagship audio recording app, adding powerful new low-latency options great for podcasters and musicians, improved AAC and ALAC recording, support for capturing audio from Slack, and more. Take Control of Audio Hijack, the companion eBook designed to help you get the most out of our app, was also updated for the latest version.

Piezo 1.5

Our simplified audio recorder now includes the Instant On component, which restores its ability to record from several hard-to-capture apps including Safari, Chrome, and FaceTime. However, this change forced Piezo to exit the Mac App Store. Fortunately, we were able to transition existing Mac App Store customers to our direct version, and we’ll continue to sell all of our software directly through our own store.

In total, we shipped nearly 50 distinct updates across our entire product line last year, or nearly one update every week. That’s not easy, but we want to provide our users with the latest fixes and features as rapidly as possible.

Reviews and Awards

2016 featured some wonderful distinctions for our team. We started with phenomenal reviews from Macworld, as Loopback earned a 4.5-mice review and Airfoil 5 followed that up with a perfect 5 out of 5 mice. That’s a veritable infestation!

On top of that, Audio Hijack 3 was selected by iMore as the Mac App of the Year for 2015. The many accessibility improvements we made also led to a Golden Apple award for Best Mac App from AppleVis, a site for visually-impaired users. It’s very gratifying to be recognized with awards like these.

A New Identity, and Other Staffing Notes

Our designer Neale really began to show his stuff in 2016, with improvements seen in both Loopback and Airfoil. The single biggest change he’s made, however, is Rogue Amoeba’s new logo and branding, which debuted in August. Yes, after almost fourteen years, we’ve rebranded with a splashy new logo and look.1

For a small company, staffing is both tremendously important and tremendously difficult. In 2016, we bid farewell to our longest tenured employee Jeff, who departed after providing eight years of rock-solid code inside just about every one of our apps. Our hope when we hire is always that an employee will stick around for such a long tenure.

Given that, we were delighted to celebrate two anniversaries in 2016. We marked Grant’s five year anniversary with a motorcycle-themed gift, and a few months later, we celebrated Ed’s five year anniversary with some delightfully geeky hardware. I’m humbled to be able to work with the many talented folks we employ, and honored to have them stay with us year after year.

Toward the end of the year, we began looking to hire for three different roles. We’ve made great progress on filling those positions, and we anticipate expanding our team very shortly.

What’s Next

Enough about the past. You want to hear about what we have planned for the future. Long-time readers will know we’re fairly tight-lipped, but I’ll certainly drop a few hints.

We’ve already announced that Airfoil for Windows will gain support for Chromecast, just as its Mac cousin did. Unforeseen challenges have led that update to take longer than we’d hoped, but we remain committed to getting it out to our users.

After Loopback found a larger-than-expected niche, we’ve decided to dedicate more resources to it. We received a lot of great feedback and ideas, and we’ve got a very solid plan for future improvements. It’s not yet clear what we’ll ship in 2017, but Loopback is getting plenty of attention.

We shipped a small but useful update to Fission last year, with version 2.3 adding the ability to read and write for MP3 chapters and offering faster MP3 encoding. We’ve got a lot more in the pipeline for Fission, however, and we’re eager to get moving on it.

Of course, we won’t be ignoring any of our current applications. As usual, you can expect updates big and small to all of our products. We’ll be adding features, fixing bugs, and bringing compatibility with the likely next version of MacOS (our guess for the name: “Mojave”).

Perhaps most exciting is a brand-new application code-named “Iron Beetle”. Without revealing much, I’ll say that we think many of our existing customers will be quite pleased with this playback-based addition to our line-up. Keep an eye on this blog, as we’ll be starting a private beta test in the coming months.

Thanks To You

Let me close this post by thanking you for being a Rogue Amoeba customer (or at least for reading our blog). It’s your support that allows us to continue running this great software company with the strange name, putting out powerful audio tools that make the world just a little bit better. We’re incredibly grateful to those of you who purchase our software, provide us with valuable feedback, or even just tell a friend about our products.

Now here’s to 2017, and all the progress to come!


Footnotes:

  1. Our old mascot Ammo has taken a backseat, but you can still get one of the special plush toys we first created over a decade ago. We’ll ship a free plush Ammo to anyone who makes a new software purchase in January and requests a plushy. Purchase through our store, then request your free plushy through this form. We’ll ship him out to you free of charge. ↩︎

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