For an independent app developer, a 13-year run with a flagship app is nothing to sneeze at. When that flagship app owns its particular niche of the OS X ecosystem as thoroughly as Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack, however, that kind of longevity is less surprising. Since 2002, chief amoeba Paul Kafasis and his merry band have been improving and enhancing Audio Hijack/Audio Hijack Pro alongside the company’s other production-centric products.
Despite all the attention lavished on AHP’s core “capture live audio from any app” functionality, it wasn’t necessarily the easiest tool to love from a usability perspective. Podcasters and broadcasters found ways to use AHP to record independent sides of a Skype conversation, for instance, but the mixing option to accomplish that common task was tucked away in a complex plugin matrix. And the basic Audio Hijack vs. Pro distinction created some consumer confusion.
With the announcement today of Audio Hijack 3 (no more Pro), an entirely rebuilt app with a classy new UI, those concerns are now in the past. The new Audio Hijack looks fantastic; it uses a simple, easy to understand block-based interface that still delivers enormous capture, routing, filtering and archiving power for almost anything audio-related that might happen on your Mac.
Select a predefined “session template” to put together the core inputs and outputs you need, or build your own from scratch. Drag in a origin block to define an audio source — an app, voice calls, system audio, microphones or even a record player — then connect further blocks to record the signal (with clear time-elapsed and filesize indicators plus pause and split controls), listen and monitor on headphones, perform EQ or noise filtering, and even use the Audio Unit plugins familiar from the old AHP app. The system is slick enough for you to throw in a meter or filter mid-flow while you’re recording audio and it doesn’t miss a step.
The new-look app comes with a generous upgrade policy; owners of any previous version of Audio Hijack can license the new AH3 for $25, versus the full purchase price of $49. Anyone who bought the existing product after mid-February 2014 (when the beta of AH3 was announced) is entitled to upgrade for free.
It may take some getting used to for AHP veterans, but there’s a lot of awesome under the hood here to go with the shiny facade; download the trial, and check out the great interview with Paul over atJason Snell’s Six Colors.