Mac Utilities; Versions in Beta

I’ve got a list of programs to buy at the moment. One of the main programs I miss from Windows is Sound Forge - Logic and Garageband are no substitute for a dedicated sample editor. Yeah, they have built-in editors, but they’re too clunky, cramped, counter-intuitive and limited. Audacity’s OK, though still clunky, but I’m looking for something with a more Mac-like interface.

I’ve found two main contenders for the role of Sound Forge Replacement. First up is Wave Editor from Audiofile Engineering. Not bad, but at $250 (or £125 in real money) it’s well out of my budget. That’s the same price as Logic Express.

I’ve settled instead on Sound Studio from Felt Tip Software. Great interface, fast, has all of the features I want and more, and only costs $80 (£40 in real money).

Whilst I’m on the topic of audio software, I discovered Soundflower the other day. It’s a tiny GPL program that creates a virtual sound device in OSX. You can set it as the output for one program and the input for another and, for example, rip audio streams as easily as recording from the microphone.

Anyhoo, the second program I’m thinking of buying at the moment is Pixelmator. It’s yet another Photoshop copy with all of the features you’d expect, but with two big differences. It uses the GPU for its effects processing (and so does neat things like rotating images in realtime) and only costs $59 (roughly £30). Photoshop is another application I’ve been missing since migrating away from Windows, and this looks like it’ll fill the gap.

The reason for mentioning this is that my SynchroSVN trial has expired. I’ve taken to storing all of my important files - source code, images, documents, serial numbers, etc - in a set of Subversion repositories. That means I have a working copy on my MacBook, the repositories on my MacMini, backups in their Time Machine databases, and a copy of the repositories in a SuperDuper image on a NAS. Unless the house explodes I’m pretty sure I’ll never lose anything important. I don’t want to buy any more serial numbers if I can’t add them to SVN and get them backed up automatically, so I need to buy Synchro first.


Versions, an OSX SVN client that seems like it’s been in development for nearly as long as Duke Nukem Forever, has finally gone into public beta. I tried it out today and it really is a massive step beyond all of the other clients available on the Mac. Forget Synchro, I’m going to wait for this to have a proper release. No mention of price yet, but as long as it’s not ridiculous I’m definitely getting it.

If you’re interested in trying it out, note that it currently has a stupid bug when trying to access SourceForge repos. When you try to bookmark a SourceForge repo, Versions runs into problems with the SSL certificate and opens an error dialogue with a “PROPFIND” message. There’s no way to accept the unknown certificate via Versions, so you can’t add the bookmark. The workaround is to open a shell and perform the initial checkout with the commandline client - this will prompt you to accept the certificate. If you choose to accept the certificate permanently, you’ll be able to work with the repo via Versions from then on. I’ve notified the programmers, so hopefully they’ll fix the problem before it gets a proper release.