Every now and again you might find the need to make a recording of some sound from your Mac. This sounds like a simple task, one that would be covered off within the operating system, but sadly, that isn’t the case.
For a long time I had used one of my favourite apps, WireTap Studio to record from the Mac, but since I upgraded to OSX 10.7 Lion that part of the app refuses to work, so I was left with no alternative to look for another solution.
Piezo is a demonstration of how a simple piece of software that performs one task very, very well can be an absolute joy to use. Piezo does one thing, and one thing only. It records sounds from your Mac - effortlessly. Simply select your source application, give your recording a name and comment (optional), choose your quality level and press record. It really is as simple as that.
The interface design is classic and very "Apple" in style, and the developers have clearly taken the time to create a product that will stand out in the crowded Mac App Store. With a 1970's HiFi style, and dials to match it's a truly stunning app both in terms of appearance and user experience.
There isn't a huge amount more to say about Piezo, other than go and buy it right now. It's a pleasure to use and achieves its singular task in a ruthlessly efficient and enjoyable fashion.
Audio HiJack Pro
Audio HiJack Pro is the big brother of Piezo and is also developed by Rogue Amoeba. It's the polar opposite of Piezo, offering dozens of additional features including a mixer to allow for recording from multiple apps at once, recording of AM/FM radio, the ability to combine "real" audio sources (like a microphone) with sounds coming from Skype or a browser, as well as commands for burning to disc or sending direct to iTunes. It even comes with more than 50 plugins for adjusting your recordings to help you clean up your work before saving it out to publish.
Audio HiJack is not as beautiful, quick or convenient as Piezo - but for those users that it targets that really won't make a difference. This is a Pro app, hence the name, and it really lives up to the billing, allowing users to control every aspect of their recording in a utilitarian but still classically "Apple" style interface without any of the 1970's charm of Piezo.
Recording direct and digitally from one piece of software isn’t possible in OSX by default, but you can achieve great results very quickly and easily with apps available right now in the Mac App Store.
Rogue Amoeba have done a great job producing two reasonably priced apps that target two completely different audiences. For those looking to make quick recordings from one source at a time; Piezo is the best app available. Likewise for the prosumer and professional market will be adequately covered by Audio HiJack Pro. Until Ambrosia Software sort out WireTap Studio these two apps are king of the hill, get downloading and let us know how you get on in the comments below.