Brian Bard
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designr commented on 20 Nov 2008
I had high hopes for iKey. I even bought it after discovering that iKey 2 was a worse mish-mash of random thoughts than iKey 1. And now, the iKey developer web site is gone. Looks like iKey is now dead. - R.I.P.

I never did see a stable version of iKey. The interface remained buggy and poorly thought out to its dying day.*

( * What kind of sick puppy would make every input field automatically select all? And then, automatically replace what you just typed with something else? )

Too bad. ikey's only real competitor, Quickeys, has sucked since they ported the old OS 9 version to OS X. One can't even perform a 'find and replace' in a text selection without having to write an Applescript. But, now it looks like we're stuck with Quickeys for the duration.

It's a sad day when a potentially good utility dies from neglect.
[Version 2.3.2]


designr reviewed on 11 Aug 2007
I don't use any non-Apple products currently but I prefer to remove the DRM as a matter of principle. There has not been a satisfactory way to do this since jhymn. I've tried a couple of scripts that purport to circumvent the DRM by importing songs into iMovie with little or no success. Then, along comes Hijack It!

I already own a copy of Audio Hijack Pro and have Growl installed so Hijack It! wasn't a big stretch at just $12.00.

Hijack It! works as advertised, scripting the process of hijacking the audio from iTunes, one song at a time, and renaming the output - Well worth the money for the time and trouble it saves.

I'm grading it down to a 4 primarily on its lack of instructions (Ease of Use = 4). It took me several tries to get a reasonable result. More exhaustive instructions with regard to both iTunes and AHP would have been helpful.

Results were abysmal until I turned the iTunes volume up to maximum and disabled all the iTunes Playback options (Crossfade, Sound Enhancer and Sound Check). After more experimentation, I finally settled on AAC/128 for my AHP settings. Any differences between the DRM-free copy and the original were then almost imperceptible.

A section in the Hijack It! manual with Tips and Suggested Settings for iTunes and AHP would have been most helpful - and would have raised the Ease of Use score to a 5.

My other complaint was the lack of support for all the Tags in purchased iTunes songs (Album Artist, Disk # of #, Composer, Compilation, Comments, etc.). This is primarily because AHP does not support these Tags. However, there are a number of possible workarounds that would improve Hijack It! Perhaps the next version of Hijack It! could import each song back into iTunes and use AppleScripting to set the missing Tags in iTunes. Or, perhaps just put all the missing Tags into the Comments field so I don't have to search for them. Better yet, Hijack It! could work with the makers of AHP to add those Tags.

Last but not least, one final tip: After archiving the original Protected AAC files, I deleted them from iTunes. I then imported the DRM-free AAC files, losing all the Album Artwork. Import the DRM-free AAC files before deleting the Protected AAC files from iTunes and the Album Artwork is magically added to the newly imported songs.
[Version 2.7]

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