Message to Rogue Amoeba about Audio Hijack Pro

In response to How to Record a Podcast

The value of Audio Hijack Pro for Podcasters can be increased by:

1. Keeping the application as it is.

2. Modifying the existing application in some key areas.

3. A complete overhaul of the functionality so it becomes a Podcaster's dream studio.

Let me address these points in more detail.

1. Keeping the application as it is.

Surprise ;)

Actually, having tested the application quite a bit, I think it is already pretty good. What could make it better without changing the actual application is for us to know how to put it to best use. For me as somebody with a fair technical understanding if I would know more about the inner workings of the application I could easily optimize my configuration. For the less technically inclined, this would have to be translated into easy setup descriptions and 'Do's & Don'ts'.

Concretely, what we should know right now (what I've been trying to figure out by trial and error) is:

- Where does latency occur?

- What buffers are there in the application and how big are they?

- How can I get the least amount of latency from Mic input through some microhpone effects to my headphones?

- What causes the increase in latency that sometimes occurs?

   (Reset by turning hijack on the microhpone off and on again.)

- What affects the encoding and recording part and how can we make it most stable and least CPU/ Harddisk intensive?

My current reference setup can be read here...

Low latency podcasting studio setup: the results

...and heard here:

Low Latency with Audio Hijack Pro: the test recordings

The audio files also contain a narrated tour through the setup.

2. Modifying the existing application in some key areas.

Taking the questions from point 1. if these concerns can be made more visible in the user interface it would make the whole user experience better.

For example:

- Add buffer indicators to the 'source' and 'effects' setup screens. Preferably calculating the delay in miliseconds.

- It would be nice if the application showed the cumulative latency in miliseconds for the signal that goes to the headphones.

- Add CPU activity and I/O activity monitors with warnings for critical situations.

- Add the possibility to configure the application's system scheduling priority.

(See also: the 'nice' command in the shell/ terminal.)

- Inside AHP, give sufficient priority to the signal that is being sent to the headphones.

- Detect and correct changes in latency to the headphones.

Note that some of the comments above are described with my configuration in mind. Please let me know if something is unclear.

3. A complete overhaul of the functionality so it becomes a Podcaster's dream studio.

This would probably mean including the Soundflower functionality in the application, include a mixer, include media players, etc. That would be a next step and would require input from several podcasters, including non-techies.

Please let me know if you, the reader of this blog post, yes... you, have any ideas to add.