M Noivad
Downloads: 59
Posts: 83
Smile Score: +95
About Me
I am a Free member
Hailing from a small cluster in the galactic quadrant Q2A, noivad is the Earth’s last, best hope for peace.

I have been a Mac User since 1985. I started as a DTP, move to Administrator for Mac & Windows. I am now a technical consultant and do Systems Architect/Retooling, and know how to script for the web and code in C, Obj-C a bit.
I participate in closed betas fairly often, and often make suggestions for UI improvements and features I would like to see that others would probably appreciate. I try a ton of apps, but usually only take the time to comment on the best ones. My blog has tips on Macs, Electronics and other things.

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Noivad reviewed on 15 Apr 2014
I have tried various DJ apps, both before I got Traktor and after, but I keep coming back to Traktor (Pro 2, now) because of its features, flexibility and quality. Its auto beat matching means I don’t need a physical controller in order to DJ smoothly, although it supports a plethora of physical interfaces. The ability to remap the keys to my choosing means I can enable thing to my liking and disable show stopping features other DJ apps don’t allow: I love that I can disable stop/start on the space bar, and there’s a preference to lock playing decks from loading. Both of these prevent that sudden dead air scenario I have seen other DJs do when they accidentally cue the wrong deck or slip and hit the wrong button.
I use Traktor with an Native Instruments AudioDJ4 external USB audio IO which has 4 in, 4 out. This is no longer sold, but Traktor sounds great through this and I can assign the inputs to go through the box in case inputs on the DJ board are not enough to accommodate all DJs input needs.
I also like that it can read the iTunes library complete with playlists immensely. I think this is a great feature because I can use iTunes to find the tracks I want to play through casual listening between events and don’t have to do any thing tedious to remake a playlist or find tracks. This is one feature that keeps me coming back, because other DJ apps only read their own libraries, meaning you have to either work in them only or do double duty for making playlists.
Traktor’s internal playlist edit and cue system is also very powerful. I have tried to make it crash with over 20,000 tracks, but it handled tat many just fine. (I have since rebuilt the library and have a modest thousand or so tracks in it that I draw from routinely.) Adding new tracks or playlists is as easy as importing from the finder or iTunes.
Upon import, it reads the key tag for those of you DJs that have discovered harmonic mixing, so finding the net song isn't completely dependent on you memory. Of course it also calculates BPM at that time too, to enable easier beat matching. If it gets the track’s beat sync wrong, you can adjust the grid of each song, along with setting in/out, cue and loop points that it remembers in its own library.
In practice that means it only takes one listen (often during or just before a DJ session) to practice and set this stuff up, then the next time you play any cue or loop points you have previously set are recalled the next time.
One of the few complains is that if the USB audio interface is abruptly removed or the setting for the output quality is changed, the application or even the entire computer will crash, meaning a painfully slow reboot process. This might have been fixed within the past year, but it is something I never test anymore, and it as been over year since that happened (luckily this only has happened a few times while I was just practicing at home). The other complaint is that sometimes, if I sleep the computer, upon waking it up, Traktor will hang, necessitating a command-option-escape to force quit it. This hasn’t happened for a few versions so, I think the Native Instruments developers have solved the sleep issue at least.
Overall I would recommend it to any Digital DJ since its flexibility means it can fit well in so many different types of DJ’s play styles.
[Version 2.6.7]

Noivad rated on 01 Apr 2014
[Version 2.2.3]


Noivad reviewed on 27 Feb 2014
This new version disables the ability to drag and drop images into the cover art section when editing multiple song info. So iTunes is getting worse and worse in terms of its UI for anyone beyond novice level. It is a shame Apple continues to neuter its products.
[Version 11.1.5]

1 Reply


Noivad replied on 27 Feb 2014
@MonkeyJunky Nothing on the system has changed, and that worked a few days ago, before the System Update. It might be a browser issue since I don’t use Safari.

Noivad reviewed on 14 Feb 2014
Bartender is what small screens need.
When space on your menu bar is at a premium, Bartender come to the rescue with flexible and easy configuration, it is exactly what I wished for when menu items started getting hidden by application menu. It works well, and has gotten very stable. It was well worth the $15, especially for people that have a lot of menu items such as menu meters or iStats, Fantasical, Dropbox or Copy, 1Password, Cookie, Little Snitch, Sophos, etc. that are making items fall off or make the menu bar too cluttered.

The only feature that would be on my wish list would be intelligent menu collision detection, that moved lower priority items to the bartender bar. This is something that would make it a 5 star app, but as it is it is more than recommended, and I won’t miss such a fantasy feature.
[Version 1.2.11]


Noivad reviewed on 07 Feb 2014
If you are a amateur user, then add a star to my rating. I deduct a 1.5 stars for its instability that can cause a loss of a lot of work if you are not careful.

Overall I like iDraw, however do not try to use it for anything being exported as a PDF or saved as an .ai to be printed at a service bureau. If any gradients or special effects are used on the vectors, the resulting file will require a lot of clean up before they are press ready.

I made the same design in Illustrator after having to choice but to purchase it and did not have any problems when send to the printer. The prior identical vectors & effect in iDraw, that was no more than 8 layers of simple shapes with an overall gradient on one layer and translucency took well over an hour to clean up before it was press ready which will quickly negate any savings.

For light duty work iDraw works well if you can forgive the crashes, but for anything beyond home printing, the way it writes files is unacceptable. It’s disappointing that iDraw cannot replace Illustrator for anything even remotely professional especially considering bad Adobe’s business practices, bloated software and installation restrictions are.

iDraw is good value and will work for anyone who doesn’t demand pixel perfect alignment, but it is no Illustrator.
[Version 2.3.1]

1 Reply


Noivad replied on 07 Feb 2014
To answer Qs: 1 my system is very stable, and the crashes seem to plague some people with iDraw. System instability can be an indication of bad RAM or a bad HD directory, but neither of these is the case on my system. So, it could be I am using features less stable or it doesn't like my video card or its firmware — OpenGL and other edge case (minor) video card incompatibilities happen but tend to affect few users.
I disable autosave to prevent accidentally overwriting things I like while I experimenting with things. I do not use TimeMachine versioning because of the footprint and other technical considerations.
In a sense, non-pros have an easier time but less control over their system. I prefer as much control as possible and prefer my own automation and workflows over preprogrammed ones that limit choices because the pre-packaged automation such as backups, use less flexible settings that inhibit professionals instead of assist them.
As I said, most users will not notice this app’s deficiencies, nor really push it.

By “clean up” I mean when the file is opened for printing, they make sure the paths and fills are not needlessly complex and that alignment and other vectors are printable. If they are not, the result is often bad output and separations printing out wrong. If this is the case, as it is with iDraw, someone has to remove the bad vectors and fills and recreate the artwork before it is sent to press. On non-pro equipment, there is no color separation process, etc. What bad vectors can do in printing is cause misalignment or erroneous output, so what you see is not what you get. This will only affect professional-level processes where things are done differently than in consumer printing. If you want to know more, look up color separation and what preflight document checks are.

Noivad reviewed on 05 Feb 2014
I would love to reap the benefits of sandboxed tabs, and all the bells and whistles, but it simply is not ready for prime time.
Every time I try a new rev of Chrome, it either terminates with a freeze or crashes. An unstable app is unacceptable to use unless there are no other alternative. Luckily there are plenty of stable alternatives from Firefox to Safari.
Chrome could be good if they worked on the last 10%–15% to make it stable but as it is, they keep adding features with no regard to overall stability. The only reason that could explain the substandard quality of this software is that Chrome on OS X is a second class citizen. Google are simply releasing a Mac version as lip service to the platform, because if they were serious it would be ad stable as the Windows version. Either that or this is some lone dev’s pet project, because this is no where near the level of professional software.

My machine has no problem under heavy loads, Web browsers are solid even with many tabs, & I do regular maintenance. So, I know the hardware and OS are solid. The fault here is all Google’s lackluster Mac support.
Bottom Line:
Avoid Chrome.
[Version 32.0.1700.107]


Noivad reviewed on 28 Dec 2013
After installing this extension, my Finder slowed noticeably. Also, the finder likes to crash now. I am not sure if this is because of interaction with another this party Finder extension or not, but the last time I installed Paragon on 10.7 and 10.8 the same crash behavior flared up, leading to uninstalling it. At first I thought it was something else, but then after uninstalling this new version, the system stability is back and the slowdown in the UI has mostly cleared up.

I wish this thing worked smoothly, and I really do not feel like troubleshoot for hours to find out if it is just this extension or an interaction with a finder plugin.

I might try this again in a few months. Who knows, maybe Mavericks 10.9.2 and/or an update by them will clear this up.

I got this as part of the bundle. But nothing else in the December bundle is all that great so far. Really disappointed how this bundle is, considering the last 2 I bought were good-to-great deals.
[Version 11.1.263]


Noivad reviewed on 17 Dec 2013
The developer finally replied, and I finally got it working, but then the next time I tried to login after updating to 10.9.1, it said no account existed. I had to try a few times before I could login.

I am not sure why it showed no account, and I am certain I typed in the right password because I use a password manager. Since then, it has ran smoothly. I have not noticed a significant slow down.

The only thing that bothers me is both a positive and a negative: there is no way to confirm that Undercover is working unless you login and check location. So, if you are not connected to WiFi, there is no way to make sure it is running smoothly. I realize this is so that a thief wouldn’t also be able to find the processes running and shut them down, but it leaves me feeling less secure than if there was a way to use 2 factor auth to check without a network connection to the laptop.

I doubt my machine will ever be lifted, but if it is, it will be a real word test that I hope Undercover passes. Only time and circumstance will tell.
[Version 5.5]

1 Reply


Noivad replied on 03 Apr 2014
Thanks for the info Virtualruffy. Since I wrote that I had found the process and network activity with little snitch: It was & is helpful to post here.

Noivad reviewed on 17 Dec 2013
This app as of 1.0.3 is not compatible with 10.9.1. I updated today only to be told DisplayPad will not run. Deducting a star until then.

Overall I like this app. However, over even 802.11N networks it will sometimes disconnect. Unfortunately the only way to reconnect is to go to the Mac and pull down the menu to select it, which defeats the remote access element if you do not simply want to use it as a second screen. As a second screen, on a Retina iPad, the screen is either too low res or too high res. There does not seem to be a happy medium to allow one to accurately hit targets while giving one enough screen real estate to justify the slowdown in response.

I am hoping the Dev has not abandoned it, but given the last update was almost a year ago, this might be the case. We shall see.
[Version 1.0.3]


Noivad reviewed on 10 Dec 2013
I purchased Undercover on Friday, and despite site claims of 1 hour credential return, it has been 5 days (3 of them business days) and I have yet to receive credentials. I wrote support twice and haven’t gotten a reply yet. I feel ripped off.
[Version 5.5]

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