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Wgscott reviewed on 12 Apr 2014
I purchased version 6.0b in late 2010. What I did not appreciate at the time is that I had bought a non-universal application with no upgrade path to intel macs (which appeared 4 years previously) that depended on Rosetta (which no longer exists in 10.9, 10.8, or 10.7). The upgrade to 6.7e (as opposed to 6.9 for windows users) involves a hefty upgrade fee. They kept all of this, including the need to pay for an incremental upgrade, well hidden at the time of purchase.

I basically need this only for editing slides in Keynote that contain mathematical expressions.

One thing that would make upgrading worth the additional fee would be Keynote iPad compatibility. Currently there is none. I tried manually installing all the fonts, and converting their non-truetype fonts into truetype first, and then installing these on my iPad using AnyFont.app. Still no joy.

I'm now making all new slides using LaTex. I just typeset the equation, compile a PDF, and then cut and paste. (TexFog is a handy free app that makes this easy).

If you don't need iOS compatibility, and don't mind being chained to the paid upgrade cycles, the software performs well, and the ease of use (which I gave 5 stars) is its strongest point. (You don't need to use LaTex or any other markup language.) It is reasonably feature-rich (I gave 4 stars due to lack of iOS compatibility).

The other rather civilized aspect is that you can make slides using the trial version, and they will still work even after the trial expires, as the application makes its fonts available to the system.
[Version 6.7e 12112800]

1 Reply


Wgscott replied on 12 Apr 2014
One of my assertions is wrong. The installer for the older version is PPC only, but the actual program itself was a universal binary.

Wgscott reviewed on 07 Mar 2014
Outstanding in almost every way. It gives you almost all of the advantages of iTunes (since it runs as a parasite on the iTunes interface), but enables you to avoid some of the limitations inherent to iTunes. What does this give you that iTunes does not?

1. Automatic bit-perfect playback. If your iTunes library contains tracks that have various sampling frequencies (normal CDs and most iTunes store tracks are 44.1 kHz sampled, "higher resolution" can be 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz or even higher), iTunes will only be able to play one of these bit-perfectly, depending on the settings in Audio MIDI setup. Everything else will get resampled, unless you quit iTunes, change Audio MIDI setup to the new sample frequency manually, and then restart iTunes. You have to repeat the process each time you play a track with a different sampling frequency, or else your music will get re-sampled. This takes care of the problem automatically. If you are using Airplay exclusively, this isn't for you, since everything gets resampled to 44.1 kHz anyway (and if you use Apple TV, gets resampled a second time to 48 kHz). Those who will really benefit from this will generally have a collection including lossless higher-resolution files. If all you have are mp3 or AAC compressed audio, you aren't going to be able to hear any difference.

2. Memory playback. Some people believe pre-loading part or all of the track into the memory buffer improves playback. I'm not so convinced, but it doesn't hurt.

3. Playback of DSD audio files on a DSD-capable DAC.

4. Better upsampling and digital volume control (although you will always be messing with the bits doing that).

The author wrote this software because he was annoyed that some other companies were charing hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars for this same functionality.
[Version 2.0]


Wgscott reviewed on 27 Feb 2014
Absolutely outstanding. Thanks so much for making this free, and making it work seamlessly. The option to automatically add lyrics to the file lyrics tag when the song plays is of particularly high value.

I've been waiting years for something like this.
[Version 3.0]


Wgscott reviewed on 19 Sep 2013
It forces you to play the test signal rather loud, compared to similar software like Dirac room correction. It blew out one of my tweeters. Fortunately Bowers and Wilkins has covered it under their warranty. However, this should probably be addressed in future releases.

The interface is really first-rate and easy to use.

What would make this ideal would be the ability to export an AU plugin for use in software like Audirvana or iTunes or other Apple OS X players. I would be willing to pay an extra $100 for such a feature.
[Version 3.3]


Wgscott reviewed on 26 May 2012
I have two Apple TV2 units. I downloaded this within hours of its appearance. It installed flawlessly, the first time, on both Apple TVs. (Previously, older editions would install on one but never the other.) I used the USB cable that came with my Harmony 650 remote, FWIW.

XBMC, at least as of May 25, 2012, would install via apt-get from the repositories, but did not display in the interface. A bit of googling turned up a patched deb package that could be installed with dpkg -i, so now I have xbmc.

I haven't had this version going long enough to detect stability problems, but previously, this would cause ATV2 to freeze up about once per week, requiring a reboot. It got to be a significant annoyance.

It helps to be able to use the command-line to ssh into the box directly, install wget, and download things like xbmc add-ons directly to the box.

Overall, considering what this is, and what you pay for it (it is free), it is a remarkable achievement. If you don't sort of enjoy software tinkering, however, this probably isn't going to impress you much. The modifications you can install are still quite limited. (I tried installing a VNC server. Although it works, it is so impossibly unresponsive, even with only 256 colors, that I decided to remove it. That's too bad, because I would really like a way to control my ATV2 from my laptop (one of mine is for music, and runs screen less).)
[Version 0.8.5]


Wgscott reviewed on 11 Feb 2012
I've been using this both on my Mac mini and my ATV2 (unfortunately you need to jailbreak your ATV2), primarily so I can stream Amazon prime videos. For this the ATV2 version is almost flawless, and the mac mini version is quite reasonable (it sometimes crashes). There is a plugin available on the internet that allows you to launch XMBC from within Front Row.app, so you can have the best of both worlds for a mac hooked up to your TV.

Apple limits you to playing their iTunes store movies through their own software, as far as I am aware.
[Version 11.0.beta3]


Wgscott reviewed on 01 Jul 2011
Absolutely outstanding. I am listening to it right now. This software is at least as good as some of the commercial options that charge hundreds of dollars (or more). I've followed this since its inception, and the developer is extremely engaged and helpful, and his focus has been on getting the best possible sound quality, rather than feature bloat. This is a simple, sleek, light-weight player that does several things that iTunes is unable to do:

1. Automatic sampling frequency switching. If you have music sampled at a frequency other than 44.1 kHz, and you want bit-perfect playback, in iTunes you need to quit the program, open Audio MIDI Setup, reset the sampling frequency manually, and then re-open iTunes. Unless you are willing to put up with that ritual, the alternative is iTunes re-samples your music. Audirvana does everything right, and on the fly.

2. Memory playback. Tracks are (optionally) loaded into memory prior to playback, to give the best possible sound quality. There are also options for "hog mode" and "integer playback" to further improve things.

3. Ability to create playlists on the fly. You can use this in conjunction with iTunes. Just drag and drop tracks into Audirvana's playlist window, and you can create playlists on the fly (which you can optionally save).
[Version 0.9.4]

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