Under The Microscope

Rogue Amoeba’s Newest License Window

Rogue Amoeba’s 16th birthday is coming up this Sunday, so it seems an appropriate time to take a look back into the past. Join us for a quick tour of the evolution of our in-app License window.

Our Very First License Window

When we first started shipping software in 2002, our License window was very rudimentary. This image dates Audio Hijack Pro 2’s release in 2004, but we believe it was still using our very first License window design:

As you can see, this window offered only a small “Thank you” message at the bottom. Not long after Audio Hijack Pro 2 shipped, we decided this window should have a bit more flair and style.

The First Flashy License Window

As Quentin detailed when we made our first update, our goal in jazzing up the License window was two-fold. First, we wanted to show our appreciation to our paying customers by providing a little something special when they unlocked the software. In addition, we hoped to reduce the number of folks who lost their license keys, by encouraging them to print them out for safekeeping.

To accomplish these goals, we showed paying customers an old-timey stock certificate with the user’s specific details filled in. Here’s what that original certificate looked like in 2004:


Stately, like Wayne Manor!

Further Iterations

The above design lasted almost a decade, but the License window has since been updated several times.

A Different Certificate

After we hired our first full-time designer, Christa, we eventually got the third iteration of our License window. This started shipping in 2012:


I barely remembered this existed, but I actually quite like it.

However, this certificate lasted less than a year before it was supplanted by something quite different.

An HTML-Based Window

In mid-2013, we undertook a revamp of the entire License window to make it HTML-based. This led Christa to make an update to the window’s content as well. Here’s the least certificate-y version of our “certificate-style” window:


We also moved away from the typewriter font style at this time.

Neale’s First Design

The window looked like that until we finally undertook another update earlier this year. Our current designer Neale took over the reins from Christa back in 2015, and he’s now overhauled the window’s HTML with many small improvements to provide a better experience. While doing this, he also put his own stamp on the window’s look and feel:


We’ve started trending back towards a certificate.

The above design shipped briefly, before we decided to make a larger change.

License Window Number Six!

These days, we really don’t expect anyone at all to be printing out this certificate. Printers are less and less common, and we long ago developed an automated tool enabling customers to recover lost license keys. As a result, showing the actual license code in the window was of minimal usefulness, and we decided to remove it from display entirely:


We also added a fun gold foil seal.

This is the current iteration of our License window, and we think it looks pretty great. However, there’s something you can’t see in a static image. When the software is unlocked, we now show a delightful animation! Click below to have a look:

Digital confetti is by far the best confetti, because you don’t have to clean it up.

See for Yourself

You can experience this extremely brief party yourself, by purchasing any of our great audio tools, then entering your license key to unlock it. We hope you enjoy!

If you’re a loyal user who’s already unlocked our software, don’t worry. You too can join in the fun, thanks to this one weird trick. Just follow these steps to trigger an internal testing function which will let you re-unlock the software.

      1. Be sure you have the latest version of your Rogue Amoeba app (Airfoil, Audio Hijack, Farrago, Fission, Loopback, Piezo, or SoundSource).

      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.

Now, the License window should look like this, with your key already waiting to be submitted.

Just click “Unlock” and your personal party will begin, then rapidly end. Whee!

That’s All for Now

This is just one way we show our appreciation for your purchase, and it’s a good source of fun for our designers as well. We hope you enjoy this little touch!

Airfoil for Windows 5.6 Adds Support for Sonos

Airfoil for Windows just got another big update, to version 5.6. This update brings support for the new AirPlay-2 compatible 7.8 firmware for Apple’s AirPort Express.

There’s bigger news than that, however. With this update, Airfoil for Windows can now stream audio to all of Sonos’s AirPlay-compatible devices. That means Airfoil can now help stream audio to even more devices. Whatever mix of AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Chromecast devices you have, Airfoil can help you stream audio to all of them at once.


Sonos’s current lineup of compatible AirPlay Hardware

Currently, Sonos’s AirPlay-compatible hardware lineup is the Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, and second-generation Play:5. Of note for Sonos users with older hardware, you need just a single AirPlay-compatible Sonos device to enjoy audio on your entire Sonos system! For full details, see the instructions on this page.

Even More Compatible Devices Coming Soon

With their recent update, Sonos became the first third-party vendor to ship AirPlay 2 compatible speakers, but they won’t be the last. Indeed, updates from Denon, Marantz, and others are now available, and there are many more AirPlay 2 devices coming soon. Much of this hardware is already available for purchase, and firmware updates to enable AirPlay on these devices are due at various points later this year.


More compatible outputs coming soon!

Like the Sonos hardware, these devices are also compatible with Airfoil once their firmware is updated. We’re excited for Airfoil to power audio streaming to even more great hardware!

Get Airfoil for Windows 5.6 Now

With today’s update, Airfoil for Windows supports more outputs than ever before. If you’re new to Airfoil, learn more on its product page. You can download the free trial, then purchase right through our store.

Owners of Airfoil for Windows 5 can update to version 5.6 free of charge, by selecting “Check for Update” from the Airfoil menu. Owners of older versions of Airfoil for Windows are still eligible to upgrade to version 5 at a great discount.

Airfoil for Windows 5.5 Brings Full Chromecast and HomePod Support

We’re now shipping an official version of Airfoil for Windows 5.5. This update adds the ability to stream any audio from Windows to the Google Chromecast as well as other Google Cast devices, like the Google Home third party Cast-enabled players! It also includes full compatibility with Apple’s HomePod devices. With this update, you can stream audio from your Windows PC to more devices than ever before.

We’ve been testing these updates with Public Previews for the last few months. Those previews provided early access to the new functionality, while we worked out the kinks. Now, we’re pleased to provide this update to all users. It’s a free update for owners of Airfoil 5, so be sure to get it now, right from the Airfoil for Windows page.

If you’re still using an older version of Airfoil for Windows (version 3 or lower), now’s a great time to upgrade to the latest.

Stream to Sonos’s AirPlay Hardware With Airfoil for Mac 5.8

We’ve got big news for Airfoil today: Sonos compatibility! With the new Airfoil for Mac 5.8, you can stream any audio from your Mac to all of Sonos’s AirPlay-compatible devices. That means Airfoil can now help you play audio to even more devices. Whatever mix of AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Chromecast devices you have, Airfoil can help you stream audio in sync to all of them at once.

Currently, Sonos’s AirPlay-compatible hardware lineup consists of the Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, and second-generation Play:5. If you’ve already got one of these AirPlay-compatible Sonos device, make sure its firmware is up to date, then update to Airfoil for Mac 5.8 to start streaming any audio from your Mac all around your house.

Of note for users with older Sonos hardware, you need just one AirPlay-compatible Sonos device to enjoy audio on your entire system.

From Sonos’s announcement:

Even though AirPlay 2 is only supported on Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, and Play:5, with any one of these speakers you can listen via AirPlay on your entire home sound system. That means that even non-AirPlay compatible speakers like Playbar or Play:1 can reap the sonic benefits of our AirPlay 2 integration, provided they’re grouped with one of our newer, AirPlay-friendly devices in the Sonos app.

That means that if you have an older Sonos system, you can just add a single new device to get AirPlay compatibility going throughout your home. The Sonos One is a very worthy HomePod competitor, and its $199 price tag is just slightly more than half the cost of Apple’s smart speaker.


More Compatible Devices Coming Soon

Sonos’s recent update made them the first third-party vendor to ship AirPlay 2 compatible speakers, but they won’t be the last. There are many more AirPlay 2 devices coming from Denon, Libratone, Marantz, and more. Much of this hardware is already available for purchase, and firmware updates to enable AirPlay on these devices are due at various points later this year.


More compatible outputs coming soon!

Like the Sonos hardware, we expect these devices will be compatible with Airfoil, once their firmware is updated. We’re excited for Airfoil to power audio streaming to even more great hardware!

Get Airfoil for Mac 5.8 Now

For over a decade, Airfoil has helped stream audio from your Mac to outputs all around your house. With today’s update, it supports more outputs than ever before. If you’re new to Airfoil, learn more on its product page. You can download the free trial, then purchase right through our store.

Owners of Airfoil for Mac 5 can update to version 5.8 free of charge, by selecting “Check for Update” from the Airfoil menu. If you’re an owner of Airfoil 4 or lower, you’re still eligible to upgrade to version 5 at a great discount.

Stay Tuned, Airfoil for Windows Users

Fear not, Windows users. We’re hard at work on an update which will add Sonos compatibility to Airfoil for Windows as well. Stay tuned for more news in the near future!


Update (September 13th, 2018): With version 5.6, you can now stream to Sonos devices with Airfoil for Windows as well! Be sure to update to the latest version.

Haere Mai, Nathan!

Earlier this month, the Staff section of our Company page got another update when we added our newest hire, Nathan Tiddy. If you’re a New Zealander like Nathan, you may already know from this post’s title that today we’re using the blog to publicly welcome Nathan.

Nathan’s actually relatively new to the world of Mac programming, but he’s proven himself to be a quick study. Prior to joining us, Nathan developed and shipped his own audio utility called “menuBUS”. Now, we’re delighted to have him working on more audio tools here at Rogue Amoeba.

If you’re a user of our soundboard app Farrago, you can already appreciate some of Nathan’s work. His first project with us was implementing MIDI support, as well as other improvements you can find in the new Farrago 1.2. We’re excited to have Nathan joining our team, where he’ll be able to improve and push forward more apps. As always, stay tuned for more!

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