Espiridion's Recent Posts
Interesting. MacUpdate bashes Koingo yet sells software by spammers and unethical companies (e.g., ondesoft, wondershare, etc.) via MUpromo. I'm a customer of both MacUpdate and Koingo. Although both parties have been quite immature, this is NOT about taking sides. It's supposed to be a place to post real reviews of the actual software. With all due respect to Peter and the people who agree with him, what does his 1.5-star review have to do with the actual use of the software? I just checked the "awful and very confusing" licensing: "...we occasionally charge upgrade fees for products. Upgrades are always free if you had purchased a retail copy of the previous version within the past six months. Also, if you own the Software CD or Utility Package Pro, upgrades are free. However, for everyone before the six month cut-off period or those with a promotional copy, a small upgrade fee is required. In the entire history of Koingo Software, we have never charged for a program update more than once in any given year. Also, any upgrade licenses before 2006 have been converted into full licenses. Lastly, any users who purchased our products through special promotions before 2006 have been granted a free lifetime Utility Package Pro, as well as for users who had donated when we had links on our web site..." Based on this, and history, people have been able to purchase a Koingo app and get free updates (not a major upgrade) even if the time period is longer than 6 months. And licenses are valid for both Mac & PC. That aside, on to the application itself. I have Tinker Tool and Tinker Tool System, as well as Cocktail and others. MacPilot gives me a wealth of information and options via a single application. Some of these options overlap with other software, but MacPilot saves me some time by having it all in one place. As Ken420 mentioned below, MacPilot's price is $29.95 (For some reason posting accurate information resulted in frownies to Ken420). At this price it can be expensive if you don't use or need all of MacPilot's features and also if you have alternative applications. I haven't had the need to use the advanced features. I'm sure some people will definitely find those useful. I've rarely contacted Koingo for support, but they've always been great. The only downside has been perhaps their discontinued software, but it hasn't been a big deal. IIRC they had a periodic table of elements back in the days before OS X.
It brought my Mac Mini Server to a halt and I couldn't run the software. OS X 10.9.1. I had to force shut down my computer. I gave it the benefit of the doubt, tried it again, and the software seemed to make more progress at launch, this time scanning for cookies, until eventually it froze my system again. This time I had Activity Monitor open in case I had to Force Quit the application but it was of no use since the whole system froze again. I gave it at least 20-30 minutes each time the system froze before checking again and finally performing the force shutdown. Upon restart, my Mac was slow and unresponsive as Cookie Stumbler, Activity Monitor and Firefox were starting up, since they were running when the computer froze. I wanted to try an alternative to Macscan since it hasn't been updated in over a year. As they say, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." Macscan still performs superbly and the spyware definitions and cookie blacklists are updated regularly. The last ones are from January 2 2014. Using CleanApp I removed 28 files related to Cookie Stumbler, including the application itself.
I write this quick review in case someone wants to take advantage of their promo (Amarra for $99.00 until Dec 23rd). What does Amarra offer? • Adds Sonic Studio Engine to iTunes • Sample rate support up to 192 kHz, 24-bit • Automatic sample rate switching • Plays mp3, mp4, alac, aac, wav, aiff • FLAC to AIFF conversion • EQ via iTunes interface or via Amarra Presets • 384 kHz support • FLAC file playback • Cache play • Amarra playlist creation • Can work independently from iTunes • Sonic Mastering dither algorithms • Independent Amarra EQ Window • Includes Sonic Studio Processor Sample Rate Converter application It's up to each individual to decide what features they need, and whether they're willing to pay for those features. For example, Fluke or X Lossless Decoder may provide some features for free. There's a simple test that shows objectively whether 2 audio files are different. I recorded the output from iTunes into Audio Hijack Pro, and then recorded the same file but this time played via Amarra. If both files are identical, inverting the polarity on one yields silence. This can be done with Sonalksis' FreeG. For example, Fidelia -and IIRC Decibel- sound exactly the same as iTunes. On the other hand, Amarra and Pure Music do not sound exactly the same as iTunes. Does Amarra sound $189 "better"? Not to me. Since I had tried the demo before, I wrote support asking for a new evaluation. I received no answer. I purchased Amarra and although I will use it, it is buggy. For example, artwork was incorrectly displayed, and it takes a bit of configuring and often relaunching the program in order to get it to work properly. At first it would not play 96 kHz files. On another occasion no sound came out at all. iTunes measurements in dB after playing a song fragment: Max Peak: -8.47 L, -8.57 R Max RMS: -14.02 L, -14.09 R Average RMS: -22.25 L, -22.33 R Amarra measurements in dB after playing the same song fragment: Max Peak: -3.35 L, -3.45 R Max RMS: -8.91 L, -8.98 R Average RMS: -16.76 L, -16.84 R Most people listening to iTunes and to Amarra would perceive Amarra as better due to the increase in volume. After getting both files to the same levels, the differences between Amarra and iTunes, at least in this test, are very subtle. For example, using FreqAnalist Pro iTunes is stronger (i.e., louder) at 120 Hz and from 18 kHz and above, but in this last case at levels around -93 dB, so no one would hear those differences. Definitely not a thorough test, particularly since the song I used only has piano and vocals. Still I wanted to get this done quickly in case anyone wants to take advantage of the promo. Pure Music is only slightly more expensive than this promo, so you may want to try both. Amarra does sound good and $99 is certainly more reasonable than their regular pricing.
The null test link posted by Moogan makes sense, so I played a file using Fidelia and then using iTunes, I captured the audio from the file using Audio Hijack Pro, and loaded the resulting 2 audio files into Studio One along with the original WAV file. Using Sonalksis' FreeG to invert the polarity of a track the files nulled almost perfectly, with only something going on below -93 dB. I then tried to reverse the polarity using Melda Auto Align, and this time the files nulled 100%. In practical terms there was silence regardless of which plugin I used to invert the phase. I nulled Original vs. Fidelia, Original vs. iTunes, and iTunes vs. Fidelia. What does this mean? That the audio is and sounds exactly the same, regardless of whether you use Fidelia or iTunes for playback. In all fairness, Fidelia does not claim to sound better than iTunes. Additional issues I encountered with Fidelia: Very slow and unresponsive. Adding a song resulted in losing my playlists until restarting the app. Numerous crashes upon launching -or trying to launch- the app.
I had used Macupdate Desktop years ago. It amazes me that after all this time, the application is still mediocre at best. -It warns me about paid upgrades when dealing with a free update. -Many "installation complete" messages result in no changes whatsoever, so I have to manually install the application. -Many "Error-the operation could not be completed" messages. -In some cases it will take me to a page, but there's no download available. It is convenient when it works, but these days it's painless to launch an application and have the application check for updates and update itself. Nice addition for free, but I would not pay for this application in its current state.
My comments when Triumph came out were unpopular. Now 2.1 is out and at the bottom of the release notes there's this gem: "over 200 bug fixes" I'm definitely giving it another shot, given that 2.1 has plenty of improvements in addition to the bug fixes. It does put the 5-star reviews in perspective. No doubt this comment will yield additional frowns, but I stand by my comments.
A new release just in time for a promo elsewhere. Hopefully people are no longer fooled by this terrible software. I have no opinion regarding the new owners, but the software will never again be in any of my Macs. Fool me once, that's one time too many.
Unusable with large data sets. I had to Force Quit twice. I then tried it with a small data set but all I got were blank charts. At $25 during the promo it was tempting, but it turned out to be disappointing.
I really like Wave Editor (WE), but can't say the same about Triumph (Tr). For my needs, here are some disadvantages I've found: -Meters are treated as plugins (Tr)instead of windows (WE). IMO it hinders navigation once many plugins are in use. -A real metering plugin, Nugen Visualizer, will not work in Triumph. This is the case for various plugins such as Waves 7, URS, Molot Limiter 6, Soundtoys, and many others. Most PSP plugins are displayed, but not MasterQ. Apparently it won't load VST or 32-bit plugins. -Instead of displaying an organized plugin list like WE, Tr has a whole list with each plugin name visible. Most -but not all- is in alphabetical order. -While scrolling the plugins, sometimes there's something like an arrow pointing to the right in many of them simultaneously. -No upgrade path. For my needs I'll keep using WE. I can get things done faster in that one and it allows me to use all of my plugins.
@Martin, Thanks for the link. Unfortunately that won't work for my VST plugins, and even if I wanted to have 64-bit plugins it will be up to the developer. Both Flux IRCAM and Soundtoys are supposed to be available in 64 bit format, but who knows when will that happen. I have no interest in upgrading my Waves bundles at the moment. My IRCAM and Waves plugins show up fine in 32-bit mode. Thanks again. BTW, I've always disliked Apple's lack of upgrade path for many of its application. Back when they charged $29 for the first OS X beta plenty of us made a fuzz about it and Apple eventually discounted the beta fee from the final release. :) I do use meters as plugins, including Nugen Visualizer, Voxengo SPAN, bx_meter, and sometimes go back to Wavers PAZ. I just don't like that Triumph's meters are now also plugins. The plugins view is already too cluttered for me. The ability to collapse plugins by vendor would help a great deal, but maybe there's not much interest in doing that. Fixing the bugs in alphabetical sorting would also help. I have 7 brands of plugins showing up after Waves, but their names begin with E, J, K, R, etc. @Liam, It may be better for you, but for me slower audio imports, bugs, clutter, higher resource usage, etc., is a step backwards. If bugs and clutter are not evident, you can easily measure the speed of opening an audio file or use Activity Monitor to check resource usage. These will give you objective measures and it's hard to disagree with those. The only one I have that is more CPU-intensive is Twisted Wave. Other than that, Triumph performed worse than WE, DSP-Quattro, and Amadeus Pro (1.5.5). If it "supports VST plugins just fine" how come there's no mention in the manual? It just says "...in addition to compatible Audio Units plug-ins installed on your system." more importantly, how come my VST plugins don't show up? ;) In contrast, VSTs work fine in WE (and DSP-Quattro, Twisted Wave, Amadeus, etc.) Section 11.3 which refers to incompatible AUs does not even appear in the manual! At the very least I know that if it is not sandboxed, it won't work in Triumph. The process you describe for metering was done in 2 clicks before; Window and selecting the meter. Closing them takes 1 click. Now its browse the meter, drag it, and then open it. Closing them takes 1 click as well, but it is still present as a plugin. 2 more clicks to remove it. To me that's not an improvement over the previous approach. YMMV.
A friend's wife was having a lot of problems with her Mac in the form of constant crashes and very slow speed, so they brought it to me. Turns out she had installed MacKeeper. I've already posted my opinion about this garbage software (and company) a few times. This is just another example of the damage done by crappy software. She has not complained since I returned her Mac. After removing all traces of zeobit and mackeeper I ran DiskWarrior and iDefrag. Rebooting was fast (after the second reboot) and her system was stable. Mackeeper is awful software from an awful company.