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MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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MacRumors has been given the opportunity to provide an exclusive preview of an unreleased and unannounced application from Ambrosia Software called WireTap Studio, due for first release later this month.

While WireTap Studio shares a name with WireTap Pro, it is an entirely new application with a broader range and appeal. The major feature of the original WireTap Pro application was the ability to selectively record audio from any Mac application and save it to a variety of formats. Uses ranged from recording Internet radio to ripping audio from DVDs. WireTap Studio promises to provide a more complete solution with tools to record, edit and manage your audio. A few standout features should make it particularly compelling for both amateurs and professionals who distribute audio over the Internet.

As a preview, we are simply touching on the major features of the application, and this shouldn't be seen as a review. I do think that the most compelling feature is the patent pending LivePreview technology, so if you read nothing else you should at least watch the video below. Beyond that, lossless editing and lossless format selection are also very attractive features.The Controller

The WireTap Studio Controller provides you with an "always on top" window that gives you access to many of the features of the application in a compact interface:

control2.png

Controller


As you can see, two different sources can be selected. Either source can be an active application or an audio input device: microphone, iSight, Line In, etc. For example, podcasters can record from their microphone as well as a second application such as iTunes or Skype. This means you can perform over-the-Internet audio interviews or lay down a background track to your voice. Most useful, perhaps, is that each track can later be normalized independently, allowing you to calibrate the volumes to match:

twotracksb.png

Normalize volume on two different tracks


Audio can of course be recorded and exported in a variety of formats and qualities, including MP3, AAC, AIFC, AIFF, Apple Lossless and WAVE formats. You can choose from presets or specify exact parameters:

formatsb.png

Preset formats


The Library

Recordings are organized in an iTunes-like library view, which can be organized into folders and searched by keywords/tags. Audio recordings can be distributed conveniently, simply by dragging the title to the appropriate icon on the bottom "Send to" toolbar. Ambrosia tells us that they will be including "iPhone" as an export option before the application is released.

libraryb.png

Library view


LivePreview

Now, on to the good stuff. One challenge for audio distribution on the Internet is finding the sweet spot between file size and audio quality. To address this, WireTap Studio provides a new feature called LivePreview. LivePreview gives you realtime conversion of the source audio into any supported format. This allows you to preview encoding quality on the fly.

Describing LivePreview doesn't quite capture the ease and utility of the feature, so I encourage you to watch this QuickTime movie of LivePreview in action:

QT_WriteOBJECT_XHTML('http://media.macrumorslive.com/m/im/wts.mov','769', '540', '');
Audio starts about 25 seconds into the video. The audio source is a CD.

Lossless Recording and Editing

While changing audio encoding on the fly is nice, getting to change your mind is even better. Once audio has been recorded, the audio encoding decision that you make is not set in stone.

Under the hood, WireTap Studio records everything in a full-quality lossless format. For instance, if you use WireTap Studio to record off of a CD into a 64kbps MP3 file, you can later (days, weeks, etc...) change the format to 128kbps (or 320kbps) MP3 and see the expected gain in quality. The full uncompressed audio remains available to the software "behind the scenes" to allow format conversions to work as expected.

Another related feature is lossless editing. No matter how many changes you've made to the recording, you can always go back to the original recording (at the highest quality). This feature is similar to how Apple's iPhoto and Aperture applications work on digital photos, keeping the originals intact while you apply edits over time.

Other Features

- Timed recordings with Pre-recording actions and Post-recording actions
- Scheduled recordings with auto wake from sleep and auto power on for the computer
- Support for Audio Unit plug-ins
- Automatically Crop Leading and Trailing Silence
- Mark and Crop at Silence

WireTap Studio will be offered as shareware and is expected to be released later this month with upgrade options for existing WireTap Pro customers.

Article Link: Exclusive Preview: Ambrosia Software's WireTap Studio
 
Last edited:

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,713
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To calm the suspicious, this is not an advertisement, and we receive no direct financial gain for this content. Instead, it's to expand a little bit of our content in a meaningful and appropriate way.

You can direct general content feedback to this feedback thread, but please keep this news thread on-topic. Any off-topic posts there will be deleted.

This thread is for discussion of the preview of WireTap Studio article.
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,575
416
Location Location Location
I once used WireTap to record Jack Johnson's KFOG radio concert. Awesome and free. Then I think they started charging for it, and it became less awesome since I only had one type of use for it, and they took away the "free" part of it.
 
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Ja Di ksw

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,310
6
This is very impressive, I've always wanted something like this for recording songs off of internet radio. Granted, not enough to look on my own :eek:, so it may be out there with other programs, but this looks like it's very easy to use, and that Live Preview and the Lossless options are awesome!
 
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BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
[admin edit: General feedback copied to feedback thread]

As far as the post itself goes, the app sounds exactly like a combination of Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack and Fission. I don't see anything featured there that sell it over the two, but then the screenshots are hardly a complete picture of the app. I have no particular loyalty to Rogue Amoeba, but then I have to admit I dislike Ambrosia. I have tried out their shareware apps from time to time, but none of them have remained on my hard drive let alone merited purchase.

I do appreciate Snapz Pro, though. It is a well-designed app and as such seems to have found an excellent niche. The only problem is, it's a very expensive niche. There is no way I would spend $70 on a piece of software for video screenshots - $30, maybe.

I apologize for my bluntness and tendency to rant about the company. I do appreciate that Ambrosia's developer is an active member of the community and will read this, and I assure you my comments are not personal. Put it that based on my past experience with the company I don't have high hopes for this app, but the screenshots look moderately promising and I look forward to trying out a demo. And I would suggest that you price it below the $50 price point of Rogue Amoeba's Fission/Audio Hijack combo deal - most of Ambrosia's products, as touched on by Abstract, are rather overpriced.

[/wordy rant]
 
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randyharris

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2006
136
2
I'd like to hear about comparisons, pro's and con's with WireTap & AudioHiJack.

I do appreciate Snapz Pro, though. It is a well-designed app and as such seems to have found an excellent niche. The only problem is, it's a very expensive niche. There is no way I would spend $70 on a piece of software for video screenshots - $30, maybe.

Check out iShowU, it's similar to SnapzPro and is right around $30. Great Application.
 
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hooch

macrumors member
Mar 2, 2006
75
0
Chicago
You tube audio?

So, how well will this work with converting audio on youtube music videos? There are some songs that I really like on youtube that aren't released yet. I used zamzar to convert the files to audio but the quality obviously turned out to be a lot worse. Would this be a better way to convert youtube to audio?
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,713
4,559
So, how well will this work with converting audio on youtube music videos? There are some songs that I really like on youtube that aren't released yet. I used zamzar to convert the files to audio but the quality obviously turned out to be a lot worse. Would this be a better way to convert youtube to audio?

Both Audio Hijack or Wiretap Pro would do what you want better than any conversion tools, and as noted above, both are shareware and available right now.

arn
 
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mashinhead

macrumors 68030
Oct 7, 2003
2,676
339
i've been using wiretap pro for years and it is a great app. i paid for it. So my question is how does this affect WTP users? Do i have to purchase this app too? or is there and upgrade option?
 
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moki

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2001
220
0
[admin edit: General feedback copied to feedback thread]

As far as the post itself goes, the app sounds exactly like a combination of Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack and Fission. I don't see anything featured there that sell it over the two, but then the screenshots are hardly a complete picture of the app.

Trust me, you haven't seen anything yet. ;) WireTap Studio is far, far more than just AudioHijack + Fission. We do things in a way you've never seen before, and I believe you'll be suitably impressed when it is released.

Check out iShowU, it's similar to SnapzPro and is right around $30. Great Application.

IShowU is a nice application, but it doesn't do everything Snapz Pro X does (and its cursor support is a show stopper for most people)... and its performance suffers because it does the encode while it is doing the capture.

Download 'em both and try 'em both out!

i've been using wiretap pro for years and it is a great app. i paid for it. So my question is how does this affect WTP users? Do i have to purchase this app too? or is there and upgrade option?

There will be a great upgrade discount for registered users of WireTap Pro, no worries.

I'd like to hear about comparisons, pro's and con's with WireTap & AudioHiJack.

I'd suggest waiting until WireTap Studio is released, and then trying them both for yourself. We're extremely happy to have people try our software before they buy it, and compare the feature set to other products that are on the market.

I believe it will be a no-brainer choice to go with WireTap Studio, but then I'm ridiculously bias. ;)
 
Comment

Zygon Gambit

macrumors regular
May 21, 2006
133
0
England
Trust me, you haven't seen anything yet. ;) WireTap Studio is far, far more than just AudioHijack + Fission. We do things in a way you've never seen before, and I believe you'll be suitably impressed when it is released.
As an owner of AudioHijack (Pro) and Fission - what would make me want to get this new app? What does it offer that those applications don't?
 
Comment

flir67

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2005
256
0
just get audio hijack like others have said, its basically free, you can record a full 10 minutes from any app,movie,or audio source from a mac.

even youtube videos and soundtracks...

figure it out ......
 
Comment

moki

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2001
220
0
As an owner of AudioHijack (Pro) and Fission - what would make me want to get this new app? What does it offer that those applications don't?

Well, as a quick example, you can't do anything like this with AHP/Fission. :)

Notice what's going on... we're previewing audio from iTunes (this is our LivePreview technology we've filed patents on), hearing what it sounds like compressed before it's ever recorded, then changing the compression on the fly (we could even change the compressor, from AAC to mp3 if we wanted to), adding a few effects on the fly, and then recording it at a very low quality.

Then we decide "Crap, those effects sound bad, and we really need it to sound better than the quality we recorded it at." So in the editor, we just turn off the effects we recorded with, and then boost up the quality. And there it is.

Granted, we changed this immediately after recording it, but you could come back 3 months later and do the same thing. Never have to re-record audio again!

Some other things you can do in WireTap Studio (that you cannot do with the Audio Hijack/Fission combo) that might interest you: crop losslessly -- normalize in realtime -- play with the format/compressor on the fly -- losslessly delete audio -- losslessly silence audio -- and of course the LivePreview feature is pretty cool.

And yes, there's more... just a taste. :)
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,713
4,559
Waahh Waahh wahh it costs money ..what is $20 bucks going to break the bank. Lets be constructive here.

I think people are also missing the point to a degree.

Seems people are getting hung up on the record-audio portion of it. Let's be clear. Record audio from any application has existed for a while. As mentioned multiple times, Audio Hijack and WireTap Pro both do it and have done it for a while.

Now if you are just looking to rip an occasion song off a DVD or something, you're set, use those applications.

For people who need more, take of look at this app, and the video which I thought was very cool.

arn
 
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pamon

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2006
250
0
great writeup and one of the more entertaining demo's i've seen with sound qualities. thanks MRF
 
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illitrate23

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2004
574
131
uk
must say, i've been a fan of Ambrosia shareware for many years. admittedly, it may be a bit more expensive than the competition but i feel that's compensated by the fact that generally you get to try out the complete app beforehand without restrictions. and their interfaces are always very intuitive, very mac. and they work, mostly, without fail.

i've been using WireTap Pro for years, not regularly but intermittently from time to time, and have been very happy. However, gotta say that it think the extra feature of the wave editor means i might end up using WireTap Stuido far more regularly - if it's a quicker process to edit the audio than it is in Quicktime (can't zoom into the waveform) or GarageBand (takes time to open and import and then export)
 
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k2director

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2006
126
180
This is all great stuff, but how about an update to Snap Pro X? I'd love to be able to save a screen shot to any folder AFTER I've taken the shot, instead of having to remember to set the destination beforehand.
 
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moki

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2001
220
0
This is all great stuff, but how about an update to Snap Pro X? I'd love to be able to save a screen shot to any folder AFTER I've taken the shot, instead of having to remember to set the destination beforehand.

We are absolutely working on that as well. Many of the paradigms that you see in WireTap Studio will also appear in new versions of Snapz. :)
 
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Geordiekeith

macrumors member
May 12, 2006
78
78
Other formats?

Well I have always been impressed by Ambrosia products ever since getting over my addiction to Maelstrom many years ago, but the "high" pricing has put me off more recent products. However I would be ready to abandon Audio Hijack for Wire Tap Studio if there was also the facility to work/convert from with other formats such as FLAC and OGG. I currently use Toast to do those.
Any hint of the pricing Andrew?
 
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Exodemia

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2007
191
0
Ambrosia make some great products, the only product I've used by them is Snapz Pro X and it's really good!
 
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