Potion Factory Blog

Potion Factory and The Mac App Store

Yesterday, the shape of the Mac software landscape changed forever and I'm happy to have been a part of it from the beginning. All of my Mac software except The Hit List are available at the Mac App Store. Here is a status report of where things stand with the Potion Factory apps.

Voice Candy

For the new Voice Candy 1.5, I dusted off some old code I had written for version 2 and modernized it for Snow Leopard. It now has audio code that has been rewritten from scratch and with that comes the ability to record to various audio formats including MP3.

The only downside with the Mac App Store build of Voice Candy is that it can no longer wake your Mac from sleep to sound off an alarm. This is because an administrator password is required for that and apps can't do that in the App Store. It was hard letting go of this feature but I have come to terms with it now that I've found out that iCal doesn't wake your computer either.

The version distributed from my own site can still wake your Mac, but it now requires Mac OS X 10.5 at a minimum. This affects a tiny percentage of current Voice Candy users and if you are running Tiger, you won't even get the usual prompt to upgrade.

By the way, the original plans for version 2 of Voice Candy called for a much more ambitious feature of letting you change your voice during iChat and Skype calls. In hindsight though, I'm glad that I didn't spend any more time working on that feature because it involved injecting my own code into other apps and overriding system audio APIs to intercept and change audio data. I would have had to choose between taking out a feature that I had worked months on and not submitting it to the App Store at all. It's a shame that applications that use similar techniques such as Audio Hijack Pro and WireTap Studio can't be sold through the Mac App Store because they are great apps. I hope that future changes to OS X's audio APIs will allow these applications and the Voice Candy 2 that I had originally planned to be developed for the Mac App Store.

View Voice Candy in the App Store

Tangerine!

Tangerine! received the least amount of improvements of only a few bug fixes and minor UI improvements. To make it publishable on the App Store, I had to remove its ability to analyze DRM protected songs. I didn't even bother to find out if Apple's review process would detect my rebellious bit of code in there because you can buy most songs DRM-free these days. Again, the build distributed from my own site can still analyze DRM protected songs. I am, however, leaning towards removing this feature altogether at some point in the future.

View Tangerine! in the App Store

I Love Stars

I Love Stars started out as a tiny free utility, something I considered to be a community service project. With all the handy features and refinements it has gained over the years, though, I am confident enough to charge the gargantuan price of one dollar, exclusively at the Mac App Store.

The new version 3.5.1 will now stay as the left-most menu bar item when launched during login. It will always show an icon by default, and along with that, there is a snazzy new animation. It also has the ability to set itself to start during login.

View I Love Stars in the App Store

The Hit List

The Hit List 1.0 is nearing completion, but unfortunately it didn't make the cut for the Mac App Store. It and its companion iPhone app have been in a closed beta test for almost exactly 2 months now. The beta testers have been giving me great feedback and they seem to be excited about the apps. There are still a few kinks to work out, but if you are patiently waiting for the pair of apps, your patience will pay off soon.