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Audio Hijack 3's improved interface makes capturing audio a breeze

Christopher Breen | Jan. 21, 2015
Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack Pro has been a longtime favorite of many who wish to capture sound routed through their Mac--whether from apps or audio input devices. Inventive and powerful though the app was, however, its interface could be challenging to the uninitiated. With the release of Audio Hijack 3, the company has taken a large stride forward in making the app both capable and easy to use.

Apart from the On/Off switch you find other options here. For example, suppose you have more than one microphone — your Mac's mic and an attached USB mic. To choose the mic you'd like to use, you'd click on the Input Device block and select your preferred mic from the Audio Device pop-up menu. Similarly, you can choose the output format for your recording — MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, and FLAC are available — by clicking on the Recorder block and selecting the setting from the Quality pop-up menu. You can also name and tag your recording in this expanded view. If you've added an Audio Unit effect, clicking on the block reveals its controls (you can choose to see its generic or custom interface). And you needn't start from scratch with many block options. Many of them allow you to save your settings as presets, which you can then call up in other sessions.

Not all block options are tucked away, however. The Recorder block displays two buttons that you can access without exposing the blocks options — Pause and Split. You might use the former to pause a long dictation session when your phone rings and the latter to separate tracks when digitizing an old LP.

Staying on schedule

Also like the previous version of Audio Hijack, version 3 has a scheduling component. Just click the Schedule button at the bottom-right of the window and a Schedule window appear where you can request that Audio Hijack initiate a session at a particular date and time. You might use this feature to record an Internet radio broadcast at the same time each week.

Along similar lines, what's missing is a feature that tells Audio Hijack to stop or split a recording after a configurable period of silence. It's not something that podcasters would find helpful, but if you're digitizing streaming audio or old LPs and tapes, it saves you from sitting in front of your computer and clicking Pause and Split buttons as you record. Rogue Amoeba would likely direct you to its Fission editor for this kind of "silence splitting" after the fact, but still, having the ability to record without babysitting your Mac would be welcome.

The bottom line

While Audio Hijack 3 certainly allows you to do some things you couldn't do before, much of the release is about making existing features easier to use — to the point where you get more (and better) audio work done. It's no mean feat to rethink an interface so that an app takes on a new life. Rogue Amoeba has admirably done so with this release of Audio Hijack 3. If you're a current user of any version you can upgrade for $25. And you should. If you've stayed away because of its challenging interface, it's time to give it another look.


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