C R Wright
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crwright reviewed on 30 Jul 2009
I really like the results this produces - and it was great value with the MacUpdate promo. As I'd already bought it when it went on sale by itself, I have two licenses now... and still don't feel cheated.

Having said that, the user interface needs a fair bit of work to make it meet the quality of the underlying programming.

Just putting a glossy "piano black" top on a floating window and a side pane of "Groups" does not an consistent Apple interface make. Aside from some very questionable aesthetics ("glossy" black title bar? "Glowing" blue text? What on earth are the earbuds floating in space for?), there are some fundamental navigation problems that need addressing. Starting with preference for "Use standard MacOS window" would be great.

For a start, why is any search reset when any function is called? If I search for U2 so that I can level new tracks I know I added... and I select them... and I click "Start", WHY would the search be cleared - returning me to a full list of all 17,000 tracks in my iTunes library? That's nuts. I usually want to watch the tracks being adjusted without doing a second search or scrolling through 12,000 tracks. Just don't clear the search box automatically - that's what the "X" at the end of the box is for. It even happens when I call "adjust tracks selected in iTunes". Not cleverly executed.

"Groups" is no substitute for a quick search & adjust. You shouldn't need to create a new "group" every time you want to isolate a set of tracks to level and check to see how much they were adjusted. In fact I still can't work out what groups are really useful for. I understand the general idea, but they really ought to function more like smart playlists and be dynamic search groups. Having to drag/drop or copy tracks to a new group each time I create it makes them much less useful. I would really like a "Live" group in iVolume to contain all tracks that have "live" in the title, genre or gouping tags to be in that group all the time.

Updating the library/links. There has to be a better way to reload the contents of the iTunes library than quitting and re-launching iVolume. The MacOS has supported system events that notify applications of changes in files since... oh... like System 6.0.2 or something earlier. Not knowing the database has been changed and updating the information in resident memory is a bit sloppy. Even if that's tricky to add - just a button that re-loads the library manually would be great. Don't make me quit/restart every time a track is added to iTunes.

Similarly - there has to be a better way to handle "No iTunesNORM tag". Maybe it will require a script to tell iTunes to add one, but that should probably be on the list of future things to tidy up.

Still and all - I like the results - it works - and it's a good effort. It just needs a bit of spit and polish (and less polish on the title bar).

[BTW - you can easily remove the absurd earbuds yourself (but not the piano black & glowing text) if you just "Show Package Contents" and look for "PhoneLeft.png" and "PhoneRight.png". Delete. You're done. Won't cause any harm in my experience. If you didn't understand that, probably best to leave it alone.]
[Version 3.1.5]

crwright commented on 29 Apr 2009
Absolutely unconscionable behaviour - tantamount to malware, honestly - to offer an automatic "upgrade" to a free application that deletes the previous version and replaces it with a "trial" version... which in turn disables itself immediately on the grounds that it is past the trial period.

I hope they lose their shirts on AirRadar during these "difficult times" as users are repulsed by such sneaky (or simply short-sighted and stupid... I suppose we could cut them a little slack) tactics.

I would have been happy to consider purchasing an upgrade to the application, had I been presented with the option in an informed fashion... particularly had I been persuaded that there was good cause to do so - either in new features or on moral grounds. I was not given that opportunity. I was tricked into downloading a trojan horse that deleted my functional freeware app and immediately disabled the replacement. Not cricket. Not clever.

I will certainly boycott Koingo's applications. Fortunately there are plenty of excellent alternatives.
[Version 1.1.7]

crwright commented on 12 Dec 2008
Remote is nice enough. Macros work sometimes - with lots of effort to set them up. I've resorted to just using it as a very flexible multi-brand learning remote... as usually the macros get confused by some component that either missed a command or was on when it was expected to be off... or the like.

The software is only eclipsed by some of HP's worst printer drivers in "Windows bodge comes to the Macintosh". The good news is that it's just as terrible on a PC (I've tried it in parallels under Win2k). The user interface was written by someone whose idea of slick and well laid out was Windows 3.x. There are radio buttons with "Next" buttons at the bottom (frequently below the bottom of the window). There is an unscalable Wintel window inside of a resizable Mac window. The unscalable window is not large enough for most of the screens once you add any devices... so you have to scroll within a scrolling window to find your "Next" button. No default button, so you must ALWAYS click. No default radio buttons, so you must always choose one (even if the choice is obvious).

Dreadful, embarrassing, convoluted, inconvenient, ill-conceived and ill-executed piece of rubbish, this software. I think that pretty much covers it. But if you've used their mouse drivers before you're probably used to that.

Still and all - I like the remote; but I could write a better interface in AppleScript if I had the APIs for the stupid remote.
[Version 7.5]

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