Synergy Advance
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(7) 2.5357142857142856

iTunes hotkey and Growl integration tool.   Shareware ($9.95)
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Synergy Advance is a powerful iTunes accessory written from scratch to take advantage of the technologies behind Apple's new Tiger operating system (although it also runs on Panther). The core module provides a powerful hot key engine, Global Menu, and Growl integration, and works seamlessly alongside Synergy Classic. Future preview releases will provide some of the functionality already available in Synergy Classic as well as new features enabled by the new architecture.
What's New
Version 0.5.1b:
  • [Feature] User-customizable Dock menu.
  • [Feature] Five additional optional hot key slots for for assigning half-star ratings.
  • [Feature] Ability to set half-star ratings by holding down the option key while navigating the "Rating" menu; this applies both to the Global Menu and the Dock menu (feature request #240, "Menu items for half-star ratings").
  • [Enhancement] Eliminate some redundant code only used on Panther for better performance.
  • [Bugfix] For the purposes of updating the Global Menu, the "Fast forwarding" and "Rewinding" states are now considered to be functionally equivalent of the "Playing" state; previously they were left to fallback to the default (unknown) state.
  • [Bugfix] To avoid confusion, suppressed echoing of harmless warning messages to console at default log level (bug #568, AEGetParamPtr error message written to Console every two seconds").

This includes the changes in the previously seeded 0.5 beta:

  • [Feature] It is now possible to provide overrides in the Instant Messaging preferences panel to be used depending on whether iTunes is playing, paused, stopped or not running (feature request #471, "Separate control over iChat status when playing, paused, stopped etc").
  • [Feature] Warning icon now shown when an invalid format string is entered; clicking on the icon takes the user to the appropriate help page on the website (feature request #475, "Show warning icon in UI for invalid format strings").
  • [Feature] Three new checkboxes added to the Growl preference pane, allowing users to determine exactly which state changes ("Playing", "Paused" or "Stopped") should trigger notifications (feature request #527, "Option to turn off 'pause' notifications for Growl").
  • [Feature] Many new Dock icon options for controlling opacity, colors, badging, progress meter; almost every aspect of the Dock icon can be customized.
  • [Enhancement] Plug-ins can now add their own custom preference panes to the Synergy Advance preferences window. As an example, the iChat support is now bundled entirely within the iChat plug-in (previously it consisted of two separate components: a plug-in and a preference pane). This will enable the future deployment of fully-featured plug-ins that are well-integrated into the existing interface.
  • [Enhancement] All Dock-related code has been moved into a separate plug-in which provides a dedicated preference pane for Dock-related preferences. Users not wishing to use Synergy Advance's Dock icon features can now deactivate the plug-in entirely for a performance and memory benefit.
  • [Enhancement] Optimizations made to reduce the number of times Synergy Advance queries iTunes for cover art. Previously Synergy Advance queried for cover art every time a notification was received; now it only queries when there is a track change. As querying for cover art is a relatively resource-intensive operation this should lead to a more responsive user experience.
  • [Enhancement] Application launch time is improved as a result of dismantling the large support framework, WOBase, and incorporating the code directly in the application itself. Likewise, absorbed the shared code used by all preference panes and plug-ins (previously in the "SynergyAdvance.framework") directly into the main application for further gains.
  • [Enhancement] For ease of use the outline view in the Hot Keys preferences pane is automatically "expanded" when first displayed.
  • [Enhancement] Massive code-audit and refactoring effort; almost every method in in every file has been improved and reworked under the rewrite (better logging of error conditions, more extensive exception handling, code more logically grouped for better maintainability and development speed, removal of redundant code for smaller memory footprint, enhancements to thread-safety and general robustness of code).
  • [Enhancement] Rewrote hot key implementation to allow hot keys to work even when a full-screen game or other application has taken control of the display (feature request #524, "Make hot keys work when a fullscreen app/game is running"). This requires access for assistive devices to be enabled in the Universal Access pane of the System Preferences; if it is not enabled then Synergy Advance will fall back to the old hot key implementation.
  • [Enhancement] In the Hot Keys preference pane filter out the "Fn-" prefix when applied by Cocoa to certain keys that always behave as though the "Fn" key (present on some laptop keyboards) were pressed even if it is not; affected keys include the arrow keys, page up, page down and so forth.
  • [Enhancement] Optimizations and clean-up of the preferences back-end which should lead to slightly faster performance and lower resource utilization.
  • [Enhancement] If Synergy Advance fails to find iTunes on the first attempt (as may occur when the user resets the Launch Services database), try again using a hard-coded path as a last resort.
  • [Enhancement] The Dock icon code now uses Core Image for compositing, leading to higher image quality without increased resource consumption.
  • [Enhancement] Icons in the preferences window toolbar now drawn with the assistance of Core Image during clicking and dragging.
  • [Enhancement] Hitting the Return or Enter key after entering your email address and license code is now equivalent to hitting the "Verify" button (no need to use the mouse).
  • [Enhancement] More informative message if a manual version check fails due to a network error (previously just said "No new version available at this time".
  • [Enhancement] More appropriate usage of modal session APIs resulting in better CPU usage when some modal dialogs are displayed (for example, during activation).
  • [Enhancement] Upgraded embedded Growl framework to the latest release (version 0.7.6) plus some minor fixes that have been committed to the Growl repository since then (Subversion revision 4072).
  • [Enhancement] Users no longer need to hold down the Option key in order to insert a carriage return while specifying custom format in the Growl preference pane.
  • [Bugfix] Fixed potential crash in iChat plug-in (bug #402, "Crash in iChat plug-in startScrolling method").
  • [Bugfix] Fixed a known regression introduced with version 0.4b where the "Genres" and "Artists" menus provided album-level access but did not provide submenus for accessing individual tracks directly (bug #421).
  • [Bugfix] Addressed remaining issue with the automatic version checking system wherein the user had to touch the automatic version checking preferences after launch in order to start the automatic version checking timer (bug #326).
  • [Bugfix] Plugged a tiny memory leak in the method used to get the path to the "Application Support" folder.
  • [Note] Changed the possible range of settings for the "Logging level" advanced preferences; possible values now lie in the range of 0 to 7 (the previous range was 0 to 10) and the default level has been changed from 0 to 5. This change was made to bring Synergy Advance in line with the logging levels specified for the BSD syslog facility in RFC 3164 and mirrored in Apple's ASL ("Apple system log facility"). See the documentation for the "Logging level" setting for more information.
  • [Note] Bumped the minimum required Mac OS X version from 10.3.9 to 10.4. For users still running Panther the previous Synergy Advance release continues to be available from the download page.
  • [Note] Removed the code for hiding and showing the Dock-icon for compatibility with Mac OS X Leopard's code-signing feature. The redundant sections of code have been removed in order to give Synergy Advance a smaller memory footprint.
  • [Note] Although there are no plans to include non-English localizations with Synergy Advance prior to version 1.0 it is being developed with future localization in mind; with that end in mind added a small number of Spanish localized resources in order to test that the existing localization mechanisms are working correctly.
  • [Note] Better compression on disk image.
  • [Note] Dropped price of single-user licenses from 10€ to 9.95€.
Version 0.5.1b:
  • [Feature] User-customizable Dock menu.
  • [Feature] Five additional optional hot key slots for for assigning half-star ratings.
  • [Feature] Ability to set half-star ratings by holding down the option key while navigating the "Rating" menu; this applies both to the Global Menu and the Dock menu (more...
Requirements
Intel/PPC, Mac OS X 10.4 or later







  • Synergy
    +2

  • ByteController
    +1
Synergy Advance User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 0.x:
(7)
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(7)

sort: smiles | time
burypromote

+11

yuletide reviewed on 04 Sep 2008
Oh, here are the stars for the previous comment. Works pretty well, I bought it as a replacement for the (free) hotkey functionality of Quicksilver. I still use this instead, but only because I'm too lazy to look for alternatives. It works well enough, but every once in a while goes crazy and freezes. And has bare-bones functionality. And none of the "modules" that were promised long ago. Did someone say stagnant?
[Version 0.5.1b]

1 Reply

burypromote

+11
yuletide replied on 01 May 2009
Ever since upgrading to Leopard it doesn't work at all! Hooray for crap software!
burypromote

+11
yuletide commented on 04 Sep 2008
I paid faithfully for this app more than a year ago, and don't think I've seen a single release since then. Wow. One of the few pieces of software I'd ADVOCATE pirating. Just cause I don't think the money will go to any use. Prove me wrong?
[Version 0.5.1b]


burypromote
+1

+1
Kaiomai commented on 26 Apr 2007
10 dollars for a 0.4 beta release? you have GOT to be kidding.
[Version 0.4]


burypromote
+1

+23
Flounder commented on 27 Mar 2007
Almost a year and we're waiting on the .5 beta release. This app is in development almost as long as vista/longhorn was. I hope the dev will have a final version out by this time next year or he'd get overrun by coverstura.
[Version 0.4]


burypromote

+23

Flounder reviewed on 10 Apr 2006
While I was critical of the app before since it was such a long time since it was last updated but it's finally moving and I congratulate the author on a fine job of the .4b3 version. I can't wait to see what they have in store for the final version. I just hope I don't have to wait for another year.
[Version 0.4b3]


burypromote

+23
Flounder commented on 22 Feb 2006
Now I've been using synergy for years, how long I can't remember but when synergy advance came out I thought it looked promising. But I think the development of it is stalled since there have been no updates since july of 05 and when his road map had said that it would have been completed in Nov of 05. I emailed the developer in the middle of Jan and he said a new release version was coming out soon after a maintence release of synergy but it hasn't come out yet over a month later.

I have paid for both synergy and synergy advance and I would buy another license for synergy advance if it would encourage the developer to continue developing but now I have serous doubts about it. Although menuet has come out and I like their product I would prefer to have synergy advance released to a 1.0 version and out of beta testing.

Here's to hoping
[Version 0.2]


burypromote


Anonymous reviewed on 07 Aug 2005
I give it one star since every link on the home page is broken and I can't even download it. And because I could have used it tonight at work.
[Version 0.2]


burypromote
+1


Anonymous reviewed on 27 Jul 2005
Looks interesting. Now that I can hide the dock icon, I may have to shell out for the new version. Makes sense that he charges for something that requires recoding from the ground up, and, you know, it's a whole 10 bucks. That's what, maybe the cost of a terrible Britney Spears CD? Or lunch? Or a cheap paperback book. Or a quarter of a big SUV's gas tank. I could go on. For those of you complaining about the cost of the advance version, when was the last time you payed 10 bucks for something that you got this much use out of?

Besides, it's not like the guy is forcing you to upgrade; Synergy Classic works wonderfully, as I can attest to right now.
[Version 0.2]


burypromote


Anonymous reviewed on 11 May 2005
I just noticed he's pushing for users to buy Synergy Classic AND Advance with no upgrade path. Thanks for screwing your old customers Wincent! I'm gone.
[Version 0.1.2]

2 Replies

burypromote
Anonymous commented on 23 May 2005
There is a discount on Advance for Classic Synergy users.
burypromote
Anonymous commented on 26 Jul 2005
Why should we pay for something twice? This isn't the pinnacle of market research, wincent, it's common sense to not ditch your previous customers if you get too greedy. Mac market not raking it in enough for you? Go work for MS, they'll enjoy your perspective towards your customers. Not worth the initial $10 hes asking for with a reputation like his.
burypromote


Anonymous reviewed on 08 May 2005
I paid for Synergy Classic when it got good enough to deserve it. I'll follow the same routine for Advance.
[Version 0.1.1]


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Downloads:5,695
Version Downloads:1,788
Type:Multimedia Design : Audio
License:Shareware
Date:17 May 2007
Platform:PPC 32 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $9.95
Overall (Version 0.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
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Synergy Advance is a powerful iTunes accessory written from scratch to take advantage of the technologies behind Apple's new Tiger operating system (although it also runs on Panther). The core module provides a powerful hot key engine, Global Menu, and Growl integration, and works seamlessly alongside Synergy Classic. Future preview releases will provide some of the functionality already available in Synergy Classic as well as new features enabled by the new architecture.


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