TweetFollow Us on Twitter

December 94 - Make Your Own Sound Components

Make Your Own Sound Components

Kip Olson

Sound Manager 3.0, Apple's current audio software release, has an extensible architecture based on sound components that makes it easy for developers to add support for third-party audio hardware and any compressed audio format. Inside Macintosh: Sound gives the theory of how to do this; this article illustrates how to implement the theory, with examples of a sound output component and a sound decompression component.

Since its release as a system extension in June 1993, Sound Manager 3.0 has offered developers the possibility of obtaining high-quality digital audio output from the Macintosh using third-party audio hardware and any compressed audio format. Sound Manager 3.0 is now built into all shipping Macintosh computers and is fully integrated into System 7.5. QuickTime 2.0 also takes advantage of new Sound Manager features to provide an even higher level of audio support for multimedia applications. "Somewhere in QuickTime: What's New With Sound Manager 3.0" in develop Issue 16 gives a brief sketch of Sound Manager 3.0 and the new vistas it open.

The Sound Manager architecture and the sound component programming interface are described in detail in Inside Macintosh: Sound. What you won't find there is an illustration of how Sound Manager features are implemented in practice. This article fills that gap by offering two examples of sound components. On this issue's CD you'll find NoiseMaker, a sound output component, and MewLaw, a sound decompression component. After briefly describing how Sound Manager 3.0 works, I'll explain how to make a sound output component and a sound decompression component, with reference to these examples.

HOW SOUND MANAGER 3.0 WORKS

Sound Manager 3.0 uses an architecture based on sound components to process audio samples for playback. A sound component is a software module that performs a specific task, usually some kind of audio processing like decompression, rate conversion, sample format conversion, or mixing. Sound components use the Component Manager for registration, loading, and execution.

Figure 1 diagrams a typical sound playback scenario and the sound components that are used. Basically, the sequence is as follows: When an application wants to produce a sound, it calls the Sound Manager to open a sound channel and play the sound. In response the Sound Manager creates a chain of sound components for this channel, where each component performs a specific operation on the audio data. The Sound Manager passes the audio data to the first component in the chain, which can be a decompression component if the data is compressed, a format conversion component if the sample size needs to be changed, or a rate conversion component if the sample rate needs to be adjusted. These components can be applied in series to completely process the audio data into the required format. The mixer component then sums all these audio streams together and provides a single audio source for the sound output component, which uses hardware to convert it to an audible sound.


Figure 1. A typical playback scenario

The sound output component (sometimes called the sound output device component or the output device component) is a software module that identifies, controls, and plays audio samples on some audio hardware device. This device can be a plug-in audio board, a telecommunications pod, or just about anything else that can play sound. Apple provides a sound output component for the built-in audio hardware on every Macintosh except the Macintosh Plus, SE, and Classic machines.

All the sound output components installed on a Macintosh have icons displayed in the Sound control panel that ships with Sound Manager 3.0. The user selects which sound output component to play sounds with by clicking an icon. Figure 2 shows a situation where two sound output components are available: the standard built-in Macintosh sound output component and our example sound output component, NoiseMaker.

Figure 2. The Sound control panel

When the Sound Manager wants to play a sound, it opens the selected sound output component and sends it commands to start playing the sound. The component is closed when sound playback is completed. The sound output component is responsible for opening a mixer component, which handles the complicated work of allocating chains of sound components and processing the audio data. Our example sound output component, NoiseMaker, shows how this works.

Apple provides sound components for mixing, rate conversion, sample format conversion, and decompression. In addition, sound components can be defined to expand compressed audio from any other format into a format that can be used by other components and played by the hardware. Our example decompression component, MewLaw, illustrates this.

MAKING A SOUND OUTPUT COMPONENT

Now I'll explain how to make your own sound output component, using NoiseMaker as an example. NoiseMaker doesn't actually control an audio hardware device but rather plays sounds using normal Sound Manager routines. It can be installed on any Macintosh running Sound Manager 3.0 and is meant to be used as a template to manage your own audio hardware.

Here's how NoiseMaker works: The NoiseMaker component is loaded at system startup if the Register method called at that time indicates that the corresponding hardware is available. When the Sound Manager plays a sound using NoiseMaker, it first calls the Open method to open the component, followed by a call to the InitOutputDevice method to have NoiseMaker do any hardware initializations and open a mixer component. It then calls the PlaySourceBuffer method to start the sound playing. When the sound has finished playing, the Sound Manager calls the Close method to have NoiseMaker release the audio hardware and dispose of any memory it created.

I'll refer to NoiseMaker as I describe how to register a sound output component, the structure of a sound output component, the dispatcher, and the methods and interrupt routine that must be implemented.

REGISTRATION AND LOADING

In order for a sound component to be recognized by the Sound Manager, it must be registered with the Component Manager. This is most easily done by creating a file of type 'thng' containing a 'thng' resource that describes your sound component. When you place this file in the Extensions folder, the Component Manager will automatically load the sound component every time the Macintosh starts up. Listing 1 is a 'thng' resource describing our example sound output component.

Listing 1. The 'thng' resource for NoiseMaker

#define cmpWantsRegisterMessage   (1 << 31)
#define componentDoAutoVersion    (1 << 0)
#define kNoiseMakerVersion        0x00010000
#define kNoiseMakerComponentID    128

resource 'thng' (kNoiseMakerComponentID, purgeable) {
   'sdev',                             // sound output component type
   'NOIS',                             // subtype of this component
   'appl',                             // manufacturer
   cmpWantsRegisterMessage, 0,         // component flags
   'proc', kNoiseMakerComponentID,     // code resource
   'STR ', kNoiseMakerComponentID,     // component name
   'STR ', kNoiseMakerComponentID+1,   // component description
   'ICON', kNoiseMakerComponentID,     // component icon
   kNoiseMakerVersion,                 // component version
   componentDoAutoVersion,             // registration flags
   0, 0                                // icon family ID, platform
};
    For full details on the 'thng' resource, see the Component Manager documentation in Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox.*
The component type and subtype in the 'thng' resource identify the component so that the Sound Manager can find it. The subtype must be unique for each hardware device connected and must contain at least one uppercase character (Apple has dibs on all-lowercase types); it's usually advisable to use an application creator type that has been registered with Apple's Developer Support Center to avoid conflicts with other companies. Similarly, the manufacturer name should identify your company and must contain at least one uppercase character; in our example, Apple is the manufacturer so we can get away with using all lowercase letters.

Setting the cmpWantsRegisterMessage bit in the component flags causes the Component Manager to call the sound component with the Register method during the startup process so that the component can determine whether its hardware is available (more on this later). The code resource is the resource type and ID of the code that implements your component. The component description is a string that describes the function of the component to the user. The component name and component icon are used in the Sound control panel, as shown in Figure 2.

The component version and the registration flags are used by the Component Manager during loading to determine whether this component should replace an existing one. If the componentDoAutoVersion bit is set in the registration flags, the Component Manager will install this component only if the version given here is greater than for any other existing component.

The icon family ID and platform fields aren't used by our component.

THE COMPONENT'S STRUCTURE

Sound output components use the standard format required by the Component Manager. The main entry point is a dispatcher, which uses a selector to call the appropriate subroutines (methods). The standard Component Manager methods must be supported, along with a number of additional methods defined for sound output components. The sound output component also contains an interrupt routine that functions as its heartbeat.

Sound output components can create globals that are passed to each method. In addition, there can be one set of global variables that the Component Manager maintains even when the sound output component is closed, which is useful for storing state information. (More about this later when I describe the InitOutputDevice method.)

THE DISPATCHER

The first routine in the component is the dispatcher, which uses a given selector to call the appropriate method. Selectors used by the dispatcher have three ranges, described in Table 1.

A number of methods are defined for sound components that don't need to be implemented by every type of sound component. For example, the method SoundComponentAddSource is used only by mixer components and shouldn't be implemented by sound output components. When a component receives a selector that it doesn't support but that can be delegated, it should delegate that selector to its source component and let that component take care of it.

Listing 2 is the dispatcher from our example sound output component. This dispatcher calls an internal utility routine called GetComponentRoutine that returns the address of the routine to call based on the selector. If the sound output component doesn't implement a method, it returns kDelegateComponentCall (-1) as the routine address, which is a flag that this method should be delegated. If the routine returns nil, this is a nondelegatable selector not supported by this component, and an error should be returned. Otherwise, this is a valid method address and the method should be called.

Listing 2. The dispatcher from NoiseMaker

#define kDelegateComponentCall   -1

pascal ComponentResult NoiseMaker(ComponentParameters *params,
                                    GlobalsPtr globals)
{
   ComponentRoutine   theRtn;
   ComponentResult      result;

   // Get address of component routine.
   theRtn = GetComponentRoutine(params->what);

   if (theRtn == nil)
      // Selector isn't implemented.
      result = badComponentSelector;
   else if (theRtn == kDelegateComponentCall)
      // Selector should be delegated.
      result = DelegateComponentCall(params,
         globals->sourceComponent);
   else
      // Call appropriate method.
      result = CallComponentFunctionWithStorage((Handle) globals,
                     params, (ComponentFunctionUPP) theRtn);
   return (result);
}

STANDARD COMPONENT MANAGER METHODS

The Component Manager requires that every sound component implement five standard methods, as listed in Table 2. I'll describe each of these methods here; look at the NoiseMaker code to see them in practice.

The Open method is the first method called when a component is opened. This method must create the component globals and store them with the Component Manager, which will then pass these globals to all subsequent methods. While this sounds fairly simple to implement, there are a number of nuances that frequently escape the attention of component writers and wreak havoc; read "Pitfalls of the Open Method" and be forewarned!


    PITFALLS OF THE OPEN METHOD

    Implementing the Open method can be straightforward if you watch out for some common pitfalls. Most important, do not access or even look for your hardware in the Open method! There is a separate method (InitOutputDevice) for initializing hardware. The Open method should only allocate instance globals and return. There are two reasons for this:

    • If you access hardware in the Open method that isn't available, you might crash or make bad assumptions. The possibility that you might try to access hardware that isn't available is a real one because the Component Manager calls the Open method before it calls the method that checks to see whether your hardware is installed (the Register method).

    • Sometimes the component is opened when sound is already playing, to get status information like sample rates and sizes. For instance, the Sound control panel does this to display hardware settings to the user. Resetting or changing hardware in any way during this kind of Open component operation would obviously be disruptive to the sound.

    Another tricky interaction with the Component Manager comes into play when you're trying to decide where to create the component globals. Because the sound output component is shared by all applications that are playing sound, the Component Manager will attempt to load the component in the system heap. In this case, your component should create its globals in the system heap as well, so you aren't dependent on any application heaps.

    However, if the Component Manager can't find enough space in the system heap to load the component, it will load it in the application heap. In this case, you'll want to create your globals in the application heap as well.

    The Component Manager gives you a way to determine where you should create your globals. The call GetComponentInstanceA5 returns the A5 world for the component. If it returns 0, the component was loaded in the system heap and the globals should go there as well; otherwise, the component is in the application heap and the globals should also be created there. The NoiseMaker code shows how this works. The Close method is called to release all memory allocated and all hardware set up by the component. If the Open method fails for some reason and returns an error, the Component Manager calls the Close method. This means the Close method must always check to see if there are valid globals before using or disposing of them. The Close method also must not access the hardware unless the InitOutputDevice method has been called, for the same reasons described in "Pitfalls of the Open Method."


The CanDo method is used to determine whether a selector is implemented by this component. In our example code, the CanDo method calls the internal utility routine GetComponentRoutine to determine whether a selector is implemented.

The Version method returns the version of the component, specified as a fixed-point number. If you're using the auto-version feature of the 'thng' resource, this version must agree with the one specified there.

If the cmpWantsRegisterMessage bit is set in the component flags of the 'thng' resource, the Register method is called by the Component Manager at startup time so that you can see if your hardware is installed and determine whether your component should be loaded. Typically, the Register method should just try to find your hardware. If it's successful, it should return 0; if not, it should return 1, in which case the component won't be registered and won't show up in the Sound control panel. Note that the Open method is always called before the Register method.

OUTPUT COMPONENT METHODS

In addition to the standard Component Manager methods just described, the sound output component must support the methods listed in Table 3. Again, I'll describe these methods here and leave it up to you to take a look at how they're implemented in the NoiseMaker code.

The InitOutputDevice method is called by the Sound Manager after it opens the component to set up the hardware. This method should initialize the output hardware to a known state and then set the hardware to the default settings stored in the component's permanent globals. "Managing Sound Component Preferences" describes an easy way to manage permanent globals.

MANAGING SOUND COMPONENT PREFERENCES

Sound Manager 3.0 provides an easy way to save and recall preferences for your sound component. It maintains a file called Sound Preferences in the Preferences folder and provides two routines to manage this file: SetSoundPreference and GetSoundPreference.

pascal OSErr SetSoundPreference(OSType type,
   Str255 name, Handle settings);
The SetSoundPreference routine saves a handle of data in the Sound Preferences file tagged with the OSType

and name you provide. Typically, the name and type will be the same as your sound component's.

pascal OSErr GetSoundPreference(OSType type, 
   Str255 name, Handle settings);
The GetSoundPreference routine retrieves a handle from the Sound Preferences file based on the OSType and name provided. Typically, the name and type will be the same as your sound component's, and you'll store the handle in the refCon of your component, as shown below.
OSErr GetPreferences(ComponentInstance self, Handle prefsHandle)
{
   Handle                     componentName;
   ComponentDescription      componentDesc;
   OSErr                     err;

   componentName = NewHandle(0);   // Space for name
   if (componentName == nil)
      return (MemError());

   // Get name and subtype of sound component.
   err = GetComponentInfo(self, &componentDesc, componentName,
      nil, nil);
   if (err != noErr)
      return (err);

    // Get preferences for this component from file.
   HLock(componentName);
   err = GetSoundPreference(componentDesc.componentSubType,
      *componentName, prefsHandle);
   DisposeHandle(componentName);

   // Keep preferences in component's refCon.
   if (err == noErr)
      SetComponentRefcon(self, (long) prefsHandle);
   return (err);
}
The InitOutputDevice method must also open a sound mixer component that will be its source for all further sound operations. The mixer does all the hard work of maintaining separate chains of sound components and calling back to the Sound Manager to get more data, while mixing down all the sounds into the single stream of audio data required by your sound output component. Your component simply has to specify the type of sound it needs in the SoundComponentData structure, and the mixer will take care of the rest.

Listing 3 shows how NoiseMaker opens a mixer that will produce a 16-bit, stereo, 44.1 kHz sample stream. For 8-bit data, the format field must be kOffsetBinary, while for 16-bit data, the format must be kTwosComplement. The sampleRate field contains an unsigned fixed-point sampling rate in samples per second. The sampleSize and numChannels fields specify sample size and the mono/stereo setting. The sampleCount field specifies the size of the mixer's output buffer in samples. Every time it's called, the mixer returns a buffer of this size that can then be copied directly to the hardware buffers.

Listing 3. NoiseMaker's InitOutputDevice method

pascal ComponentResult __InitOutputDevice(GlobalsPtr globals,
                                                long actions)
{
#pragma unused (actions)

   ComponentResult   result;
   PreferencesPtr   prefsPtr;

   // Open the mixer and tell it the type of data it should produce.
   // The description includes sample format, sample rate, sample
   // size, number of channels, and the size of your optimal
   // interrupt buffer. If a mixer can't be found that will produce
   // this type of data, an error is returned.

   // Get settings from preferences.
   prefsPtr = *globals->prefsHandle;

   // Set to hardware defaults.
   globals->hwSettings.flags = 0;
   globals->hwSettings.format = (prefsPtr->sampleSize == 8) ?
      kOffsetBinary : kTwosComplement;
   globals->hwSettings.sampleRate = prefsPtr->sampleRate;
   globals->hwSettings.sampleSize = prefsPtr->sampleSize;
   globals->hwSettings.numChannels = prefsPtr->numChannels;
   globals->hwSettings.sampleCount = kInterruptBufferSamples * 2;

   // Open mixer that will produce this format.
   result = OpenMixerSoundComponent(&globals->hwSettings, 0, 
                  &globals->sourceComponent);
   if (result != noErr)
      return (result);

   // Set the hardware to these settings.
   result = SetupHardware(globals);
   if (result == noErr) {
      // Hardware is ready to go.
      globals->hwInitialized = true;
      // Lock prefs so that we can use them at interrupt time.
      HLock((Handle) globals->prefsHandle);
   }

   return (result);
}
The GetInfo method returns information about the hardware settings. The information returned is based on a four-character selector and is different for each selector; see Inside Macintosh: Sound for the details. The SetInfo method changes hardware settings. All sound output components must support the GetInfo and SetInfo selectors listed in Table 4. All other selectors must be delegated to the mixer component.

The PlaySourceBuffer method is used to begin playing a sound. This method has to first delegate the call to the mixer to start it playing the sound and then make sure the hardware is turned on before returning, by checking the kSourcePaused bit in the actions parameter.

Similarly, the StartSource method is used to begin playing a sound that has previously been paused. In this case, the mixer isn't returning any data for this sound, and the sound output component may have turned off the hardware if no other sounds were playing. Like PlaySourceBuffer, this method has to first delegate the call to the mixer to start it playing the sound again and then make sure the hardware is turned on before returning.

THE INTERRUPT ROUTINE

The interrupt routine is the heartbeat of a sound output component. It's called whenever the audio hardware needs to play another buffer of audio data. It's entirely defined by the component, so it doesn't have a selector or a programming interface. Still, all interrupt routines share the same common features.

First, the interrupt routine should check to see whether any requests have been made to change the hardware settings as a result of the SetInfo method. If so, the hardware should be reset to the new settings. It's important to do this at interrupt time so that the mixer can be synchronized to the new settings without a glitch in the sound.

Second, the interrupt routine must make sure the mixer has provided a load of data. It does this by checking the state of the SoundComponentData structure last returned by the mixer and asking the mixer for more data if needed with the GetSourceData method, described in the next section. Remember, the mixer always returns a buffer of the same size, so it's a simple matter to copy the data to the hardware in fixed sizes. The only exception occurs at the end of the sound, when it might not fill up an entire mixer buffer. In this case, you should copy only as much data as the mixer returned.

Finally, if the mixer has no more data, all sounds have completed playing and the interrupt routine can turn off the hardware.


MAKING A SOUND DECOMPRESSION COMPONENT

Sound components can also be defined to expand compressed audio into a form that can be used by other components and played by the available hardware. The Sound Manager tells a decompression component what format it should use for the data it produces so that when a sound is played it will decompress to the correct sample size, sample format, and number of channels. Our example sound decompression component, MewLaw, decompresses audio data encoded in u-law format.

When your sound decompression component is installed, the Sound Manager will be able to automatically play sounds compressed in your format, so most applications will be able to play your compressed sounds without any modification. To determine which decompressor to call, the Sound Manager matches the compression format types stored in AIFF files and 'snd ' resources (described in detail in Inside Macintosh: Sound) against the subtype you specify in the 'thng' resource.

The structure of a decompression component is similar to that of a sound output component, with a few exceptions and some additional methods, described in the following sections.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE OUTPUT COMPONENT MODEL

Because there is no hardware associated with a decompression component, no initialization is needed beyond the Open call, and only one selector has to be implemented for the GetInfo method. The 'thng' resource should have 'sdec' for a type and your compression OSType for a subtype. The component flags must also be set to describe your format, as documented in Inside Macintosh: Sound. The flags should specify the data formats supported by your component in terms of the sample sizes, sample formats, and number of channels that your component can handle.

In the case of a sound decompression component, the GetInfo method returns information about your compression algorithm. Your component needs to support only the siCompressionFactor selector. The infoPtr parameter passed in will point to a CompressionInfo data structure, which must be filled out with information describing your compression algorithm. On entry, the format field of the CompressionInfo record will contain the OSType of the compression format. The fields that you must fill out are as follows:

Just like in the output component, the PlaySourceBuffer method is called when the Sound Manager needs to play a new sound. In the case of a sound decompression component, though, your routine should clear out any pointers to the source data that you're keeping. It should not reset your compression state variables, as this new buffer is probably a continuation of a previous sound. Be sure to delegate this call to your source component (the component immediately preceding yours in the chain) before you return.

ADDITIONAL METHODS

Besides the methods supported by the sound output component, the sound decompression component must support the methods listed in Table 5. MewLaw demonstrates the use of these methods.

The SetSource method is used by the Sound Manager to tell your component who to call to get more data. The source field should be stored for later use; then the SetOutput method should be called on this source to tell it the type of input needed by the decompressor.

The SetOutput method is used by the Sound Manager to tell your component what kind of output to produce. A SoundComponentData record is passed in specifying the output the Sound Manager is requesting. If your component can't produce data using this format, it should set the actual field to the kind of output it can produce and return paramErr. The Sound Manager will then try to convert your output to the format it needs.

The GetSourceData method does the work of getting compressed data from the source, decompressing the data into an internal buffer, and returning this buffer to the component that called it. A couple of subtle features must be supported:

  • If the source returns data that's already in the required output format, no decompression needs to take place, and the source data pointer should be passed back.

  • If the source buffer is nil, that means that the Sound Manager is requesting that the mixer produce silence for this channel, and your component should just pass the data pointer through.
If neither of these is the case, there is valid compressed source data that your routine should decompress. First you have to decide whether the sound is playing in reverse (that is, backward). Many applications (such as QuickTime applications) need to play sounds backward. The Sound Manager supports this by setting a bit in the flags field of the SoundComponentData record telling the components to play the sound backward. Decompression can't go backward, but the decompression component can decompress chunks of the sound starting at the end of the source buffer and working toward the beginning. (Because the internal buffer is typically fairly small, decompression components often need to decompress source data in chunks.) It passes these decompressed chunks to the format conversion component, which takes care of actually reversing the samples. The example code on the CD shows how this is done.

Once you've determined the right source data to decompress, you simply call your decompression routine, update the information in your SoundComponentData record, and return a pointer to this record.

The StopSource method is called when the Sound Manager needs to stop a sound from playing. Your routine should clear out any pointers to the source data and reset all compression state information. Be sure to delegate this call to your source component before you return.


PLAY ON

With Sound Manager 3.0 so widely available, you'll want to take advantage of the support it offers for third-party audio hardware and for the full range of compressed audio formats by making your own sound components. Look to Inside Macintosh: Sound for the technical details of how to proceed, and examine the code for NoiseMaker and MewLaw to see examples of how it's done. Then start making some noises of your own!


    REFERENCES

    • Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox (Addison-Wesley, 1993), Chapter 6, "Component Manager."

    • Inside Macintosh: Sound (Addison-Wesley, 1994), Chapter 5, "Sound Components."

    • "Somewhere in QuickTime: What's New With Sound Manager 3.0" by Jim Reekes, develop Issue 16.

KIP OLSON received a watch for Christmas last year that records vertical feet skied. To test it out, he had to abandon his post working on QuickTime at Apple while he went on a two-month ski odyssey with his shredder-pal KON. When they weren't arguing about unfair scoring on the Puzzle Page, they managed to rack up 537,460 vertical feet in 340 runs over 28 days, a feat akin to skiing down Mt. Everest 18 times.

Thanks to our technical reviewers Bob Aron, Ray Chiang, and Jim Reekes.

 
AAPL
$116.47
Apple Inc.
+0.16
MSFT
$47.98
Microsoft Corpora
-0.72
GOOG
$537.50
Google Inc.
+2.67

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cobook 3.0.7 - Intelligent address book....
Cobook Contacts is an intuitive, engaging address book. Solve the problem of contact management with Cobook Contacts and its simple interface and powerful syncing and integration possibilities.... Read more
StatsBar 1.9 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Evernote 6.0.1 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
calibre 2.11 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Herald 5.0.1 - Notification plugin for M...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), and 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a notification plugin for Mail.app, Apple's Mac OS X email... Read more
Firetask 3.7 - Innovative task managemen...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.6 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PhotoDesk 3.0.1 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos! (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you *need* an *existing* Instagram account). But you can do... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to E...
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to Earn In-Game Stuff for Far Cry 4 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Golfinity – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, an...
Dig this: Would you like to know what we thought of being an infinite golfer? Check out our Golfinity review! Golfinity offers unlimited ways to test your skills at golf. Here are a few ways to make sure your score doesn’t get too high and your... | Read more »
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Meli...
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Melissa, is Available Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meowza! Toyze Brings Talking Tom to Life...
Meowza! | Read more »
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG f...
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG for Mobile, Heavenstrike Rivals. Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] With their epic stories and gorgeous graphics, | Read more »
Quest for Revenge (Games)
Quest for Revenge 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The great Kingdom of the west has fallen. The gods ignore the prayers of the desperate. A dark warlord has extinguished... | Read more »
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for Y...
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for You and Your Friends Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] In the tradition of round-robin storytelling, | Read more »
SteelSeries Stratus XL Hardware Review
Made by: SteelSeries Price: $59.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars | Read more »
ACDSee (Photography)
ACDSee 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Capture, perfect, and share your photos with ACDSee. The ACDSee iPhone app combines an innovative camera, a powerful photo... | Read more »
ProTube for YouTube (Entertainment)
ProTube for YouTube 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ProTube is the ultimate, fully featured YouTube app. With it's highly polished design, ProTube offers ad-free... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale today for $1749. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on...
 B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available... Read more
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979, save $1...
B&H Photo has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
B&H Photo has lowered their price on the 13″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air to $1059.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $140 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this... Read more
Save up to $400 with Apple refurbished 2014 1...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping... Read more
New 13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $8...
 Adorama has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple Expected to Reverse Nine-Month Tablet S...
Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 62 percent of the nearly 36 million branded tablets shipped in 3Q 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from market intelligence firm ABI... Read more
Stratos: 30 Percent of US Smartphone Owners t...
Stratos, Inc., creator of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform, has announced results from its 2014 Holiday Mobile Payments Survey. The consumer survey found that nearly one out of three (30 percent... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has lowered their price on the new 1.4GHz Mac mini to $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.