Sound Studio 4.6.1 is now in the Mac App Store, which is good because it fixes several bugs and adds a few new features, but it also removes a couple features such as saving to MP3.
Sound Studio 4.6 in the Mac App Store uses App Sandboxing, and because of this and other rules of the Mac App Store, there are some features which have changed or are removed from the Mac App Store version. However, we do have a workaround.
First, the ability to save in MP3 format when the LAME.framework is installed is no longer available on the Mac App Store version. This is because of a Mac App Store rule that prohibits downloadable software that changes the how the app works after it has been approved by Apple. I can’t include the LAME framework in the app, so I can’t reference it from the app.
Second, the way AppleScript and anything that uses AppleScript such as our Monbots has changed, so the first time you save to a new location, Sound Studio will prompt you to get permission to save there. I think this is a small inconvenience, and if you use the same location to save your batch processed files, it will only have to prompt you just one time.
The workaround that we have is that the version of Sound Studio you can download from felttip.com (which was called the Trial version) now detects if you already have bought and run a copy of Sound Studio from the Mac App Store, and accepts that as the license. This means you don’t need to buy or enter a license code for the app if you already bought it on the Mac App Store, while being able to use a non-sandboxed version of the app, and get updates as soon as we post them on our web site. You can even delete the MAS version after running both the MAS version once, and then the non-MAS version once, since the app will make a copy of the MAS receipt.
We have three new things for the holidays! First is the new release of Run Half Marathon, a 13-week GPS-based running app for half marathon training. And second is that our Run 5k and Run 10k have been updated with GPS support to show distance and pace. All of these require iOS 6, so you might need to update your device’s system software.
I spent a lot of time fine-tuning the GPS (Core Location actually), which is especially hard in the urban canyons of Manhattan. I got a pretty good GPS signal along the rivers and and in the larger parks, but along the city streets, the trees and buildings can get in the way of GPS. Each location fix comes with an accuracy level, and the better the accuracy, the more I trust the location, so the app smoothes the location track based on that. There’s even more smoothing applied to the pace information, so you might have to run a few hundred feet before it settles on the new pace.
I also had to deal with some GPS location fixes coming in out of order, so the timestamps would sometimes jump backwards in time. But I think overall the distance and pace smoothing works better than most apps out there. The Core Location stuff is in both apps, but I’m showing maps only in the Half Marathon app since I didn’t want to clutter up the 5k and 10k apps.
The other big change is that I’m now using the iOS Sharing sheets for Twitter and Facebook, so you don’t have to log in separately to these apps. This should make for a more seamless experience using Run 5k and Run 10k. And you can post your pace and distance info now.
We haven’t updated our web site for the new versions since they came out so quickly. I wasn’t expecting iTunes Connect to be kept open until today. They finally closed it today, but they approved our updates just before they did so. So we’ll be updating our web site in the new year.
I just wanted to note that today, June 21, Apple featured Sound Studio on the front of the Mac App Store in the Readers & Reporters section at the bottom of the page. —Lucius
The App Sandboxing deadline was June 1, so what does that mean for Sound Studio? For now, not much, since the app isn’t currently sandboxed in the Mac App Store. I managed to submit a big update before the deadline, and now I have to work on some things to get it sandboxed.
There were some things I did change in the current version of Sound Studio to accomodate sandboxing. First is that the Scratch Disk is no longer selectable in the Preferences. I don’t think many people were using that. Second is that Split By Markers now prompts for the Save location every time you use it. Third is that saving and deleting Presets is now a bit different, so you no longer can open the Presets in the Finder to manage them.
These were all because with App Sandboxing, the app can no longer write to any arbitrary location in your disk. It has to prompt you every time it wants to write something somewhere outside of its sandbox. And files inside the sandbox are private, so they’re not supposed to be visible in the Finder.
But there’s one thing that sandboxing breaks, and because of it, I didn’t turn it on for the latest release: Monbots, which are batch processing mini applets that work with Sound Studio. The problem is Monbots use AppleScript, and while using AppleScript to send events to Sound Studio still works, the scripts can no longer save to an arbitrary location on the disk. So the AppleScript “save” command no longer works when sandboxing is turned on.
One option I have is to prompt the user every time the AppleScript “save” command is invoked, but because the Monbots are supposed to work silently on batches of files, prompting to save every file is not realistic. Another option is to rewrite the Monbots to save in the same location as the original files, but I didn’t write the Monbots and they’re in AppleScript, so that’s a lot of work. A third option is to rewrite the Monbot’s functionality as a new batch processing command within Sound Studio, but that’s also a lot of work, and I wouldn’t be able to finish it in time for the deadline.
So for now it’s not sandboxed, and I’m weighing my options.
I’ve just updated the trial download version of Sound Studio to make it a code-signed app, so that it will work with Gatekeeper in Mountain Lion (Mac OS X 10.8). There’s no other changes to the app in the version 4.2.3 trial from the previous version, and functionally, it’s identical to version 4.2 in the Mac App Store. —Lucius
Apple just sent out an email to everyone highlighting some apps in the Mac App Store, and Sound Studio is in it! The email’s subject is “The Mac App Store. Get apps for your Mac with a click.” in case you’re looking for it. Sound Studio is all the way at the bottom, under Apps for music.
It’s also on the Mac App Store page under the OS X Lion section on their web site. —Lucius
Since our Run 5k and Run 10k apps were early users of a certain method of logging in to Twitter called xAuth, and since Twitter recently made some changes on their servers, for the past two weeks people couldn’t log in to Twitter on our Run apps. People could still post to Twitter if they had already logged in, but if they logged out and tried to log back in, or never was logged in before and now tried to log in, they were out of luck until now.
I emailed the Twitter API team yesterday about the issue, and it was fixed just now, so you can log back in to Twitter now.
(For developers out there, the error was “Client application is not permitted to use xAuth” and this discussion thread has the answer you’re looking for.) —Lucius