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DrLex reviewed on 08 Jun 2009
This is exactly what I needed. This nice little application can convert any console script that takes file paths as command line arguments into a standalone .app that supports drag & drop. When dropping files on the resulting program, it will execute the shell script. Perfect to create Finder shortcuts for your often used scripts, or to make a console-only script accessible to GUI-only users.
[Version 0.5]


DrLex reviewed on 26 Dec 2008
People who expect to flip the switch on this software and get incredible sound out of any audio set-up, expect magic. Hear is loaded with all kinds of presets which are basically worthless. To get good sound out of a particular system, one needs to tweak the necessary settings to the correct parameters. Now, this is the main problem with Hear: you need to be kind of an audio engineer to do this. You may be lucky with one of the presets, but most of those use way too exaggerated settings just to showcase what Hear can do. The better the audio system, the closer each setting should be to 'zero' or 'neutral'.

I know which settings to tweak in order to make a $5 headset sound like a Sennheiser, or get less crummy sound out of the tinny speakers in my MacBook Pro. But the 'average Joe' has no clue which of the 100+ settings to tweak in order to counteract the 10+ mysterious shortcomings of his/her particular system. Maybe some kind of comprehensive guide should be supplied which explains how each particular setting can be used to counteract a particular shortcoming of a sound system, and which settings are just pure 'ear-candy'.

Since I have learnt how to use it, Hear has become almost essential for me. Unfortunately my major gripe with this program is that it's riddled with bugs.

First of all, Hear has a memory leak. It will increase the memory usage of each and every application that plays sounds, each time a new sound is loaded or played. Eventually this will make the program crash, after slowing down your Mac to a crawl due to swapping. For instance, Audacity 1.3.6 will quickly consume all of the 3GB of RAM on my machine when loading a large sound and pressing the 'play' button a few times.
Next, the controls will stop working at random moments, including the 'on/off' button. In such cases, the only way to regain control of Hear is either logging out, or manually killing the Hear Daemon and closing and re-opening all sound-related programs.
Finally, when changing presets or settings, the previous settings are still used when a new QuickTime movie is loaded afterwards. The Hear interface must be quit and re-opened to 'fixate' the new settings.

The 'average Joe' will not realise that any of the 3 above behaviours are bugs, except maybe the first one. The second and third bug will only make it seem like Hear doesn't work at all. If anyone at JoeSoft reads this, I highly recommend fixing those bugs as soon as possible. I really love this program but it will only be a matter of time before my frustration due to those bugs piles up so high that I start to hate it.
[Version 1.0.3]

1 Reply


DrLex replied on 28 Jan 2009
Yes, in hindsight I would have given 3 stars. The fact is that when it works, and if you know how to use it, it works really well.
It would be unfair to rate down a product because it requires some technical knowledge to use it. I wouldn't rate down a program to draw chemical structures because I can't do anything useful with it, I just wouldn't use or rate it. Granted, Joesoft gives the false impression that anyone can use Hear's full potential.

DrLex reviewed on 04 Dec 2006
I first tried to install Mac OS 9.0 in SheepShaver, but even though the installation worked, it was impossible to boot from the installed OS. I got the blinking question mark, and a systematic crash when attempting to use the "Startup disk" control panel. So I tried 8.5 (upgraded to 8.6) instead, and it works.

Speed is quite good (about as fast as my old 800MHz G3). Overall it's pretty stable, as long as I don't try to do anything fancy like starting QuickTime Player (= instant crash). Clipboard sharing between OS X and the emulated OS is pretty cool, it even transfers images.

However, there are three major nuisances which make working with even the most basic applications awkward. First, the cursors are misaligned (text and crosshair cursors don't click where they are supposed to).
Second, each time I switch between SS and another application, there's like a 10% chance that when I return, SS will not accept any more input from the keyboard or mouse. I have to force quit it even though the OS inside it is still running.
Third, the folder sharing is very basic. Only simple datafork-only files can be shared, and type & creator codes are not transferred. Some file operations in the emulated environment fail when reading these files.

Another minor annoyance: command-clicking has no effect unless I use the middle mouse button of a three-button mouse.

Overall it's a whole lot better than nothing, but it would be even better if these 3 bugs were fixed.
[Version 2.3]

1 Reply


DrLex commented on 22 Oct 2008
In the meantime there have been some non-official updates which fix some of the bugs I mentioned (unfortunately, not the QuickTime crash). You can find them at http://www.emaculation.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=20 (see the sticky topics). Compiled binaries with these fixes have been made for OS X and Windows, but it should be possible to compile a Linux version as well.
DrLex commented on 16 May 2006
I have tried the demo version of USB Overdrive to get rid of the annoying 'acceleration' behavior of the Apple mouse driver (i.e. the cursor moves like a snail at slow speeds but accelerates quickly at higher speeds).
However, I have a Mighty Mouse and there's a problem with the scroll ball. When UO is enabled, horizontal scrolling in 'Open file' dialogs is way too fast, and too slow in many other applications. I can change the speed in UO's control panel, but this only fixes things in certain situations. Because the 'Open File' dialog is not an application, setting separate preferences for it is impossible. I don't know how Apple does this, but with the MM software, the speed is always right. So for now I'll just stick with the weird acceleration.
[Version 10.4.5]

Drlex had trouble on 28 Jun 2010
It's pretty good, but it easily gets into a death spiral if multiple graphs are loaded in the same window and their visibility is often toggled. Once one of the graphs stops reacting to the checkbox, the rest will soon follow and eventually it becomes impossible to modify, delete or add any data series. Deleting one of the graphs is almost a guarantee to instantly make the list get all mixed up and unresponsive. This should be fixed.
[Version 3.7.0]

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