Under The Microscope

Airfoil for Windows 5.2 Restores Full Apple TV Compatibility; More to Come

Airfoil for Windows with AppleTV

Earlier this week, we shipped Airfoil for Windows version 5.2, which enables it to once again send audio directly to all versions of the Apple TV. That includes the newer Apple TVs running tvOS 10 and 11, as well as Apple TV 3 and below. All security modes are now supported with this free update, so users streaming to any Apple TV should be sure to grab the latest.

Further Updates in the Pipeline

Chromecast IconIn recent months, Airfoil for Windows has not been updated as much as we would have liked. When we began work on Chromecast compatibility last year, we announced that we hoped to ship it in short order. Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out that way. Among other issues, the Apple TV 10.2 update forced us to shift our focus to restoring functionality, rather than implementing new features. We’ve heard from users who are eager to stream to Chromecast with Airfoil for Windows, and we continue to work hard to accomplish this. Progress has been slow, but steady.

Having missed one estimate for release already, I won’t make the mistake of giving another. Instead, I’ll just state that we now have Chromecast streaming working in Airfoil for Windows here, and we’re currently conducting extensive testing. It will likely still be some time before it ships, but we’re back to work on this now that Apple TV compatibility has been handled.

Windows Store IconWe’re also hard at work on improving issues with audio capture from Windows Store applications. Because Windows Store apps are written in a very different way from other applications, there have been issues capturing their audio. We’ve been striving to make Airfoil compatible with as many Windows Store apps as possible, but further work remains to be done.

We’ll be continuing to plug away on both of the above items, and shipping additional updates as soon as possible. For now, just grab the latest Airfoil for Windows, and stay tuned for more.

Notes on Airfoil Satellite TV

Airfoil Satellite TV IconThe Airfoil Satellite TV app we released back in April was a useful workaround for streaming audio to the new Apple TVs. Now that we’ve worked around Apple’s changes, you can once again stream audio to the Apple TV without needing any additional software. As such, Airfoil Satellite TV generally shouldn’t be necessary at this time.

In the future, we may update Airfoil Satellite TV so it better matches the iOS version of Airfoil Satellite. If nothing else, however, Airfoil Satellite TV will continue to exist as a fall-back, so that even if Apple changes or breaks AirPlay compatibility, Airfoil will still be able to send audio from a PC or Mac to the Apple TV.

A Small Airfoil for Mac Update, Too

Airfoil for Mac IconWe also updated Airfoil for Mac to version 5.6.4 this week. Apple TV support was restored with Airfoil for Mac version 5.6, and this new version has some additional improvements made while working on Airfoil for Windows, including updates for tvOS 11. If you’re also using Airfoil for Mac, be sure to get the latest by selecting “Check for Update” from the Airfoil menu.

Fixing an Important High Sierra Incompatibility

All current versions of our software have compatibility with MacOS 10.13 (High Sierra). However, users running an outdated version of some of our apps may experience problems with audio playback on the new OS. Please read on for more details.

The Basics

A small number of our users on High Sierra have experienced a loss of audio on their Macs, with no audio being heard from the computer. This problem can be caused by a conflict between High Sierra and an outdated version of our Instant On audio component (specifically, Instant On version 8.4.3). When Instant On 8.4.3 is installed on High Sierra, MacOS’s audio backend (CoreAudio) can crash, resulting in lost audio.

The conflict described only occurs when the outdated Instant On 8.4.3 runs on High Sierra. Well before High Sierra was released, we updated Instant On to fix the incompatibility. Instant On 8.4.4 (and up) has no conflicts on High Sierra, and users who are up-to-date will experience no problems on the new OS. While very few people will be affected by this issue, any number greater than zero is undesirable.

How To Avoid This Issue

To ensure a smooth upgrade to High Sierra, just make sure you’ve got the latest versions of your Rogue Amoeba apps by selecting “Check for Update” within the app, then updating if prompted.

Location of updates in the app menu

You should also check the “Install Extras” window to make sure you’ve got the latest Instant On as well. If you’re running Instant On 8.4.4 or newer, you’re good to go.

Location of Install Extras in the app menu

Fixing The Issue on High Sierra

If you’re on High Sierra and you’re experiencing issues with audio playback, try removing the outdated version of Instant On. You can do this manually with the steps below.

Manually Removing Instant On

1) In the Finder, select “Go to Folder” from the Go menu, then enter /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/

Location of Go to Folder

2) If Instant On is installed on your Mac, you’ll see the “InstantOn.driver” folder here. Drag it to the Trash.

diagram showing the folder dragging to the trash

3) Enter your administrator password when prompted, then empty the Trash to complete the removal of this old version of Instant On.

4) Log out of your Mac, then back in. Audio should now play as expected.

After Fixing, Remember to Update!

As mentioned, newer versions of Instant On are fully compatible with High Sierra, and can be installed without a problem. Instant On provides enhanced audio capture in our products Airfoil, Audio Hijack, Nicecast, and Piezo. You should be sure to update to the latest version of these apps, after which you can re-install Instant On via the “Install Extras” window.1


When the conflict between High Sierra and Instant On 8.4.3 was discovered during High Sierra’s beta period this summer, we quickly released updates to rectify the problem. These updates shipped well in advance of High Sierra’s official release, and ensured that nearly all of our users would experience no problems. For those users who didn’t update our apps, the information above will help fix the conflict, or prevent the issue entirely.

We always recommend users stay up to date with our latest releases, as that’s the only way to be sure you have the most recent bug fixes. On our side, we’ll continue our never-ending quest to avoid bugs entirely!


  1. Loopback is also powered by Instant On, but unlike our other apps, it’s a mandatory part of the software. As such, no additional installation is needed.

Rogue Amoeba’s 15th Anniversary Sale

Update (October 1st, 2017): Our anniversary sale has ended. Our phenomenal products are still available at their regular, everyday low prices, however, so start at our front page to learn more. When you’re ready, head over to our store to purchase.

September 30th will mark a major milestone here at Rogue Amoeba. On that same date 15 years ago, we unveiled the very first version of Audio Hijack. Put on your solar eclipse glasses so as not to be blinded, and have a look at Audio Hijack 1.0:

The original Audio Hijack
Audio Hijack 1.0, in all its glory

From “RealOne Player” being selected as a source (or “target” as it was then known) to the pinstripe-festooned interface, this entire screenshot is an amazing relic from a distant past. A decade and a half and many improvements later, we’re tremendously proud that Audio Hijack is still going strong as a powerful recording tool for MacOS.

For that matter, Rogue Amoeba is going strong as well. From the humble beginnings seen above, we’ve built a broad lineup of award-winning audio tools, and we’re now able to celebrate our fifteenth year doing business. We continue to relish the chance to earn our livings by meeting your audio needs.

We’re incredibly grateful to our users, and not just for your purchases over the years. Our products have been improved immensely thanks to the helpful feedback and suggestions we get from our dedicated fans. As well, the impact of satisfied users spreading the word about our tools can’t be overstated. If you’ve made a purchase from our store, told a friend about our apps, or sent in comments, please know how much we appreciate you.

Sale-ebrate With Us

We’re always eager to help even more people with their audio needs, so to celebrate our 15th anniversary, we’re offering a rare and very limited-time sale. Through the end of September, we’re offering discounts on every product we make.

So just how big is this sale? We started by lowering the price of all of our products by 15%, to match the 15 years we’ve been in business. We didn’t stop there, however. We’re also offering the chance to boost those savings by 1.33x, 1.67x, 2x, 3x, or even 4x. A few lucky users will save as much as 60% off our everyday low prices.

Providing a great deal on our apps is one small way we can thank our existing customers for all their support, and to help new users with our tools as well. We don’t discount our software often, but right now, everyone can save on every purchase from Rogue Amoeba.

Visit our 15th Anniversary sale page to obtain your discount, then make your purchase to get these great savings.

One Other Thing: Will You Help Spread the Word?

Word of mouth is our very best form of advertising, and we’re always tremendously thankful when our customers let others know about our work. If you’re a fan of Audio Hijack, Airfoil, or any of our other audio tools, we’d be honored if you’d tell your friends!

This rare discounts available this week make it a great time to spread the word about Rogue Amoeba. Tweet a link to https://rogueamoeba.com/store/deals/15years/, post about it on Facebook, or share it anywhere you like. We’ll be most appreciative!

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Use Fission 2.4 to Save Custom iPhone Ringtones

If you have an iPhone or even an iPad or iPod Touch, you may already know how much fun custom ringtones can be. Using custom tones, you can set the special song you share with your spouse to play whenever they call you. By assigning unique sounds to specific contacts in your address book, you can tell exactly who’s calling or texting, without even looking at your device. Custom tones even work with the iOS alarm clock, so you can wake up day after day to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” (or any other song you like).

Unfortunately, Apple recently broke the way custom tones work in iTunes. With the release of iTunes 12.7, Apple dramatically slimmed down what the app does, removing some redundant functionality. One problem with this change is that it broke the way applications previously passed ringtones to iTunes. Even Apple’s own GarageBand app is now incapable of saving tones to iTunes.

This change also affected our audio editor Fission, which offers its own custom tone saving. With Fission 2.3.3 and lower, the “Save as iPhone Ringtone” option is unable to pass your custom tone to iTunes 12.7 for loading onto your device. Thankfully, we’ve managed to work around this issue!

Today, we’re releasing Fission 2.4 with revamped ringtone saving. Using Fission, you can once again save custom tones for use on your iOS device. While the new iTunes makes it much less obvious, it is indeed still possible to load custom tones onto your iOS device, right from your Mac.

The changes made by Apple in iTunes 12.7 mean that you now need to manually drop your custom tones directly on to your iOS device in iTunes. Fortunately, the process is quite simple, and we’ve posted a quick, step-by-step guide in our Knowledge Base.

Get Fission 2.4 and make fun custom tones for your iOS device. If you’re new to our audio editor, you can learn more about Fission, and take it for a test drive. If you’re already a Fission 2 user, just select “Check for Update” from the Fission menu to download this free update.1


  1. Mac App Store users should watch for an update coming as soon as possible. We’ve submitted to Apple, and we’re waiting on their approval now. ↩︎

Telecommuting for Beginners

According to the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey, approximately 6.5 million Americans telecommute currently. Rates have been climbing every year since the early 1990s, with the number of telecommuters in the US doubling since 1995. Recently, I joined the ranks of the telecommuters for the first time.

After many years working as an in-house computer engineer, I took the plunge and began a telecommuting job with Rogue Amoeba. Since then, I’ve learned a great deal about telecommuting, both good and bad. I hope to help other telecommuting beginners by sharing things I wish I’d known before I’d started.

For me, working from home promised some interesting changes: setting my own hours, working to my own deadlines, being able to work weekends or odd hours without the office being locked, and taking breaks on my own schedule. To a large degree it also means being your own boss in terms of organizing your work and your day-to-day schedule. It seemed very clear and achievable. After reading a few quick articles on the web, I decided I was a pro, and away I went.

When the dust settled, I realized there were a bunch of things missing from those articles. I’m going to detail some of the more intelligent tips I’ve read that applied to me, and add the things I’ve learnt so far. This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, because I’m still learning myself. Hopefully, I can help other telecommuting beginners find their way.

Office Area

The first thing you’ll need to work from home is a place to work. Setting up a proper office area, space or room is imperative. No working when you’re lying on the bed or slouching on the couch. Your workspace doesn’t need to be an entire room, but it should be quiet. Avoid the main thoroughfare of the house and ideally have a door you can close.

The reasons for this are two-fold: First, a professional working environment will put you in the right frame of mind mentally. It’s far too easy to trivialize what you’re doing and get distracted without a proper work space. Second, you can make sure everyone in the family knows that your office area is out of bounds when you’re working. I have a door I can close, which means no interruptions (though my three Yorkshire terriers often ignore that one). The door generally stays open, but I’m comforted knowing that if the house gets too noisy, I can take steps to get my concentration back.

You’ll want a desk, lamp, organizers, shelves, drawers, and more. When I set up my home office, I got a large L-shaped desk with plenty of room, paper trays and organizers, an HP LaserJet printer/scanner I’d wanted for years, a rolling drawer unit, and all the pens, pencils, stationary, staples and push-pins I was always struggling to find at home. At my previous office, I also had access to a large white-board that I used frequently for lists, as well as drawing designs, graphs, and weird cartoons of Moomins. I found some accessible space on a wall and bought one of those too.

Working from home is an investment, and many web articles overlook that fact. It may cost you some money to set things up, but it’s well worth it.


Whatever tools you use day-to-day, make sure they’re the best you can comfortably afford or get from your employer. Even if your employer supplies you something such as a laptop, try and get the best that you can. Inefficient or lower grade tools cheapen the work-from-home experience.

I’ve had a dual monitor setup for a long time, but when I started telecommuting, I upgraded to larger screens. Now I feel like I have a better working environment than any office I’ve ever worked in before! Coupled with my other upgrades, it’s a big confidence boost. I feel like nothing will hold me back, and that I have everything I need to attack my work.

Change Your Routine

Many articles tell you that you should prepare for work the same way you always did, advising you to shower, dress in your office clothes, and have breakfast before you begin work. Despite the frequency with which this advice is mentioned, I didn’t find it to be very valuable. When I worked in an office, I worried about maintaining an image. At home with my family, that’s less important. Telecommuting is different from office work, so changing your behaviors to better fit your new lifestyle makes sense.

Hygiene is good obviously, but breaking from the hard and fast routine hasn’t been detrimental for me. Now, I do what feels natural to me. I’ve changed my clothes, because I never enjoyed getting dressed for the office. While I never wore a suit, I did always dress in business casual. Now, I’ve switched to much more comfortable clothes. The fact is I’m more productive when wearing my lovely warm fleecy pajama pants. Heck, sit there naked with your feet in a bowl of warm custard, if it works for you.

Many articles imply that doing this is akin to “dropping your standards”, and that before long you’ll become a slovenly couch beast who no longer works. That certainly hasn’t been the case for me. This is all about personal choice though. You no longer have to answer to any corporate dress code, so do whatever makes you more comfortable to work. If that’s following the normal office morning routine, then do it. If you’re like me and want to change things up, however, don’t be afraid. It’s helped me immensely.


Working in an office can be a very social experience. In a normal office, computer programmers often ask each other questions if they’ve never done something before, or if some API is unknown to them. We might ask each other to look over our code when we can’t find a particularly stubborn bug, or sit in design meetings when a team must build something new.

I didn’t realize just how much I’d miss this until it was gone. Our team uses Slack for nearly all communication, and while we certainly help each other out frequently, it’s a very different experience. Without an office, you are physically on your own. Maturity and experience help combat this, and I think being confident is essential to telecommuting.

For me, the change was initially a knock to my confidence. I quickly learnt the magic that is Google, and certain sites like Stack Overflow have proven to be helpful friends. I’ve also bought more reference books in the last six months than I have in the last six years. That can add up, so choose wisely! Over time though, I realized I was better than I thought, and that I had the experience and skill to hack it on my own. Now, I pat myself on the back for each little triumph, and my confidence grows daily.

Don’t Go Crazy

Most of us do that in the office anyway, but working from home can drive you crazy fast! The biggest missing thing about telecommuting is general human contact. Whether you have family members at home during the day or the house is mostly empty, you’re likely to have a lot less human contact than in a traditional office. Make an effort to get out and socialize. The amount of contact you personally require will vary, but pay attention to how you’re feeling, and take steps to increase your human interaction as needed.

Personally, I’ve found that small things can help. It sounds silly, but I now meet the postman each day when he delivers our mail. It only takes a few minutes, and now our conversations have crept up to the weather! It gives me a little bit of human contact mid-afternoon. When I can, I also run brief errands during the day. It gets you out of the house, and affords some human contact. If you previously ate lunch with your workmates daily, then go out to lunch somewhere you really like. Bonus: No one will complain that you already ate Mexican twice this week.


No matter how well you prepare yourself, you will get distracted working at home. In an office, your focus is generally on work throughout the day. When you telecommute, your mind is free to wander and think about licorice birds floating in a sea of Jello…ahem. Sorry about that. This is one of the biggest problems to master when you first start.

My problem was the web. I would often start my day at the office by browsing my favorite web sites, catching up on the news, checking my eBay listings, reading a few blogs, and so on. I suspect many people do that for a few minutes before getting down to work as they become conscious of everyone else in the office doing the same. At home, there is nothing to stop you browsing the web, or reading that book, or flicking through that magazine, or making that personal phone call.

Even once I got started working, I found myself going back to the web multiple times a day. To fight this distraction, I decided to ban personal chores on my work computer. I have other computers in the house that I can do those things on after I’m done working, so I made a bargain with myself. On my work computer, I would only Google work things, read work-related blogs, and save my shopping for later. This system isn’t foolproof, as my attention does wander. But when you set fair rules for yourself, you’ll feel a more useful guilt when browsing the web. This restores the motivation to get back to work, just like the positive influences in the office.

Family and home life can also be a big distraction. Each family dynamic is different, so I can’t recommend any specific advice for you and yours. But I mentioned the definite advantage of a door to your workspace, which allows you to set a rule that everyone in the house understands. Even when my door is open interruptions should be minimized, but if it’s closed, don’t bother me unless the house is burning down! Over time, you’ll likely find that the family will respect your office space, and interrupt you less.

Your smartphone is another distraction. If you need it for work, then bad luck. I’ve been tempted to put mine in another room when I’m working. Even when I put it in airplane mode, I pick it up when I’m thinking now and then and start a game. Again, it’s about discipline and making bargains with yourself. Just don’t leave these things unaddressed in your mind.

Control Your Expectations

I spent a lot of my first few months feeling guilty that I was working differently at home than I had in an office. It took a while for my thick skull to come to terms with telecommuting being a distinct experience. In fact, change is necessary when you telecommute; you just cannot work the same way at home as you do in a social office.

For example, I found myself feeling incredibly guilty when I took breaks. Was I taking more breaks than I would in an office? Was I working fewer hours? Should I postpone that errand, even though I’m desperate to leave the house right now? I began to count my hours much more than in the office, just to make sure I was putting in at least 40 hours a week – and then was 40 hours enough? Better work another 15 to make sure.

When I was really wound up about something, my wife would tell me I could take an hour or two off, or even the afternoon off. When I was hired, Rogue Amoeba tried to make it clear I could manage my time in exactly this way, but I initially didn’t due to the aforementioned feelings of guilt.

When I eventually tried it, the improvement was obvious. I returned to work refreshed and my productivity shot up. When you’re in an office and something particularly difficult lands on your desk, you might get frustrated, but you can’t just take a few hours off to unwind. In my case, I would stay angry and unproductive the rest of the work day, come home and tell my wife what a rotten day I’d had, and be angry that evening too.

Telecommuting allows me to manage my time to be most effective. I know how I work and how my brain works. I work better at math problems in the morning than the afternoon for example. When I get wound up over something, I will stop being productive until I wind down. I know what motivates me and the best hours for me to work. So long as I’m visible on Slack, I can manage my time to suit my productivity and stress levels.

Don’t feel guilty about doing things differently than you did them in the office; telecommuting offers advantages that allow you work much smarter, more relaxed and more productively. You’ll likely do things that you’re not always allowed to do in a typical office environment. That’s a good thing!

Working Too Much

You probably think I’m mad, but it’s a real problem. When I first began, I worked a massive number of hours a month. Weekends, late into the evening, couldn’t sleep? I sat at my desk and worked. At home, there’s no restriction on office access, so you can be at work at any time. When you aren’t finished with something at the end of the day, you just tend to carry on . Before you realize, it’s 11 PM and your significant other is not pleased with you.

It was my wife that alerted me to this problem, by literally smacking me across the head. She told me things were getting ridiculous and that I didn’t even seem to notice that my hours were creeping up. I eventually made a concerted effort to reduce the excessive hours I was working, in favor of family time. I also made a deal with myself that when I finish in the evening, I don’t go back until the morning, even if I can’t sleep.

I still work more hours than 40, but I’m much more dynamic. When my family interrupts me in the middle of the day, I can often finish up my work and go do things with them. If anyone complains when I work on a weekend, I stop immediately and don’t go back. That closed-door policy stays the same, but I make a concerted effort not to close the door on weekends, nor on weekday evenings. This also means that I don’t start anything new that will catch my attention past 4 PM, just to make sure I don’t work late into the evening.

There’s another more crucial point here that I didn’t realize at first. If you set yourself up well to work at home, you can actually be more productive than in an office. It’s like 60 minutes of home time is equivalent to 75 minutes of office time. Take care to set up your home office and adopt good habits, and you’ll feel like you gained a superpower!.


I’m still new to this working from home thing, so that’s it for now. I don’t have all the answers yet, and I’m sure not everything will apply to your situation. While I did see problems with other articles out there, you should certainly read other posts to get a wider perspective on the subject. I’ve now been working from home for approximately six months. When I’ve gained more experience, perhaps I’ll write another article to tell you how things have changed, what new insights I’ve found, and note if anything I’ve said here turned out to be bunkum (entirely possible for me). Until then, good luck telecommuting!

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