Thursday, January 11, 2024

Easier Mac Audio App Installs

Paul Kafasis:

As a result of changes Apple made back in MacOS 11, our apps have been stuck with a setup process that’s much more complicated than we’d like. Currently, an annoying restart is required to get going on Intel-based Macs. Setup is even more burdensome on Apple’s newest M Chip-based Macs, with multiple restarts required, as well a change to the Mac’s “Security Policy”. This has been a notable pain point, which comes before a user even has a chance to try the app. It’s been very frustrating for us to not be able to do better for our customers, and there’s no doubt that this has deterred people from using our products.

We’re now very close to removing those obstacles completely. We’ll soon be shipping updates that simplify things immensely. In fact, Airfoil, Audio Hijack and Piezo will feature an installer-free setup that won’t even need your administrator password. Meanwhile, Loopback and SoundSource will use a new audio capture plugin called ARK that won’t require a single system restart. It’s going to be an incredible improvement to our user experience.

Hopefully the new interfaces they’re using are more reliable than MailKit.


Update (2024-03-14): Chris Barajas:

Under the hood, however, there are massive changes. Now, anyone getting started with Piezo can do so without needing to install additional components, nor even enter an admin password.

Update (2024-04-08): Paul Kafasis:

Audio Hijack has now been updated to provide our new installer-free setup on MacOS 14.4 and up.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

I'm delighted to hear that Rogue Amoeba have found a workaround to the awful installation procedure that Apple forced on them and their users. If Apple had any sense at all they'd have apologized profusely to Rogue Amoeba -- given how stellar of a third party developer they are -- and worked quickly to improve their Core Audio APIs to not require that, rather than requiring Rogue Amoeba to find a way around it years after the fact. But Apple doesn't seem to have a lot of sense these days. :-(

This ability to update without restarting goes back a while, I think it was released in Ventura. Other apps use this feature, for example, Little Snitch can self-update without rebooting MacOS, even though LS has fairly deep system hooks.

I wonder about the new audio capture plugin and what actually changed. Arc has been amazing, and widely adopted by other vendors under the hood. No one does system audio better than Rogue Amoeba.

The one audio plugin issue that Apple could fix whenever they wish is the need to restart the AU plugin host every time you install a new AU. Most developers just tell you to restart your Mac. This problem started years ago, I think with Mojave. Why isn't there an API to notify the system regrading the new plugin?

It gets even worse when Logic is in the mix. I've seen cases where you just CANNOT get Logic to recognize that a new version of the plugin exists. Somewhere it caches the old AU, and you end up loading the old version. Restarting doesn't help. Sometimes even deleting the Logic plugin registry and rescanning all your plugins doesn't work. Yes, there are advantages to running the AU plugin host in a separate process, but the added complexity makes the system fragile.

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