Monday, September 28, 2009

CaliBrate 1.7.3 released

CaliBrate 1.7.3 fixes a single bug that would cause searching for annual all-day duplicates to fail with an unknown error. Please see the version history.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

OmniGrowl 3.7 and GeekTool 3: A clarification

One reader posted a negative comment on OmniGrowl's page on versiontracker, the gist of which was that he was upset that OmniGrowl seemed (in the release notes) to be making an "ill-advised jab at GeekTool" and was claiming to replace it.
Since we agree that the release notes could have been more clear, here is our reply to that comment:
We love GeekTool and have been using it for years. We love GeekTool 3 even more. The "better solution" we're talking about is specifically how to display iTunes track info and artwork on the desktop using GeekTool. We wrote one of those ourselves a long time ago and published it in WBC iTunes Scripts Collection. Similar solutions have been posted on several blogs, MacOSXHints, etc. The existing solutions have 3 limitations:
  1. They all involve running 2 separate scripts (one for artwork and one for track info), and polling iTunes on a regular basis (several times a minute). This puts a huge tax on iTunes and eventually, in our opinion, makes iTunes unusable and therefore makes this kind of solution not really work.
  2. The track info and the artwork is usually out-of-sync.
  3. You have to have embedded artwork.
So, what we mean by OmniGrowl being a "much better solution for GeekTool users than anything currently available" is that it handles things differently:
  1. OmniGrowl uses the distributed notifications system to be alerted of iTunes track changes, and doesn't need to constantly poll iTunes.
  2. one plugin updates GeekTool at the same time, and uses the new AppleScript support in GeekTool to tell it when to refresh.
  3. if you have the option to download artwork from the internet on (or even if you don't and OmniGrowl is getting the artwork from iTunes), then OmniGrowl is already caching an image file, so there is no duplication of this task on iTunes or the system.*
Beyond that it is really easy to set up. Just rename a provided template and then create two new geeklets in GeekTool with specific names. So as a GeekTool user too, please just try it and then comment back what you think! Thanks. (Viva GeekTool)
* For the even more technically inclined, I would add to the comment as posted on VersionTracker by saying that also, OmniGrowl will only cache artwork once per album rather than constantly copying a cache file over another cache file. Also OmniGrowl has an embedded transparent png file in the application bundle, so there's no need to copy that around the system either.

OmniGrowl 3.7 released

OmniGrowl 3.7 has been released. This is a big update focused on iTunes artwork support. OmniGrowl now downloads album artwork from the internet, so even if the show full iTunes notification is not selected (which is less burdensome on iTunes), you can still see artwork in the notification. Related plugins & additions have been included. Most notably is a script to add the downloaded artwork to the album in iTunes, and a plugin template for GeekTool 3 which allows you to show the artwork and track info on your desktop with some minimal configuration of GeekTool. Please see the version history for details.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

CaliBrate 1.7.2 released

CaliBrate 1.7.2 has been released. It addresses a specific need: to deal with a certain type of event corruption on Snow Leopard. Please see version history for details.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Issues with Tiger Intel

As I blogged yesterday, the Apple developer tools on Snow Leopard have some major bugs which make compiling for backwards compatibility very difficult or impossible. We knew that there were issues with iDupe 2.6 on intel macs running Leopard specifically. We managed to work around these bugs to create iDupe 2.7 which does work on intel macs on Leopard (as well as tested successfully on 10.6.1, 10.5.8 PPC & Intel, and 10.4.11 PPC). However, we now have one report that iDupe 2.7 won't launch on 10.4.11 intel. Unfortunately, as we don't have this configuration to test, there's not much we can do to work around the problem without Apple addressing it. So, if you find any of the WBC don't work on your platform, we urge you to report it. In the meantime, it is very likely that an older build will work just fine. Although we continue to add features to our products, the last round of updates did focus on compatibility upgrades for Snow Leopard, so if you're not on Snow Leopard yet, the older versions should still suit your needs. Thanks.

Monday, September 14, 2009

iDupe 2.7 released

iDupe 2.7 has been released. It focuses on supporting iTunes 9, and fixing some major compiler bugs that affected particular systems, mainly intel Macs running Leopard (OS X 10.5). If your system was affected, you would have seen -3 code errors after scanning. iDupe 2.7 is a major under-the-hood update to support as many systems as possible. There are two positive side-effects of the changes: 1) Since use of the Finder is greatly reduced, iDupe will likely perform faster, and 2) iDupe may now work on FileVault systems and certain network-based volumes where it did not before, but this is yet untested. Your feedback will be helpful as it is not possible for WBC to test these configurations. Please see version history for details.

Cast Away 2.9 released

Cast Away 2.9 has been released. It's a major under-the-hood Snow Leopard update, and also adds support for iTunes 9. iTunes U media can be treated like Podcasts. It's now quite a bit faster as it has dropped the old methods to get the release date needed before iTunes 8.1 (and now requires at least iTunes 8.1). There is a new feature to add comments to the playing track. Please see the version history for details. The price has shot up from $7 to $8. Your support is appreciated.

OmniGrowl 3.6.3 released

OmniGrowl 3.6.3 has been released. It focuses on some of the advanced features such as plugins and logs. Please see the version history for details.

CaliBrate 1.7 released

CaliBrate 1.7 has been released. It's another big update that fixes bugs and adds several user feature requests. Please see the version history for details.

MoveTunes 1.6 released

MoveTunes 1.6 has been released. It adds support for Snow Leopard and iTunes 9, the interface has been reworked, and now remembers recent target folders. Please see version history for details.

Bitten by Snow Leopard

After a merciless 2 weeks of being bit by Snow Leopard, big updates to 5 WBC products (iDupe, Cast Away, MoveTunes, CaliBrate, and OmniGrowl) will be out within an hour. Thanks for your patience!

compatibility status of all other products are still unknown, but unfortunately those will have to wait while we turn to other obligations for a while. Apologies to users of DevonSync and ThinkArch for the delay, and Snow Leopard bug reports with logs will be very helpful.

Since this is our blog, let me take the opportunity to rant just a little. While Snow Leopard is fantastic in many respects, despite the fact that it has been advertised as fixing long-standing bugs, the number of bugs it introduced for developers is actually quite massive. Most of the past two weeks have been nearly sleepless and I have tried to work around these bugs. Complicating matters is that what works on one system may fail badly on another. For instance, many bugs in the Snow Leopard developer tools are revealed on intel Macs running Leopard, while not affecting PowerPC macs running Leopard. Supporting all the possible combinations of OS versions, chipsets, and iApps versions is a nearly insurmountable challenge for small developers with limited test environments. I have 5 computers in my household and its still not enough to test all combinations! For users then, it is very important to be specific about your system when reporting bugs, and to understand that the product may work on one platform but not on your system because there was no or limited opportunity to test. To conclude this rant, let me say that my feelings about Apple have plummeted in the past two weeks. While they advertise how everything "just works" they do not appeciate that it takes developers like us to make sure that is true, and we are treated badly when we are made to work so hard to work around the bugs they introduce. End rant.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Problem with iDupe 2.6 on Intel Macs running Leopard

There is a problem due to a bug in XCode with intel Macs running Leopard (not Snow Leopard) and iDupe 2.6. The problem would cause scanning to fail with -3 errors on all tracks. A work-around will be posted very shortly today. Thanks for your understanding.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Snow Leopard updates for iDupe, CaliBrate, and OmniGrowl

iDupe 2.6 addresses minor compatibility issues with Snow Leopard and adds the ability to designate five star rated tracks as keepers. iDupe now requires OS X 10.4. CaliBrate 1.6 is a major compatibility upgrade for Snow Leopard and adds a couple of popular feature requests. CaliBrate now requires OS X 10.5. OmniGrowl has been updated to fix an issue with Woot and updates the Growl framework. Please see the version history pages for iDupe, CaliBrate, and OmniGrowl.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

OmniGrowl 3.6 released

OmniGrowl now supports Snow Leopard, as well as Tiger & Leopard! Known issues have been fixed, but during this transition period please don't be shy to report any continuing issues. A few feature requests have also been added. Please see version history for details.