Rogue Amoeba, the makers audio software such as Audio Hijack Pro and AirTunes, released a new application today: Fission. It’s the audio editor you’ve been waiting for (or at least I have).

Fission is a streamlined audio editor that allows you to edit files in MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless and AIFF with no re-encoding, so your audio stays crisp and sharp. It’s got a bunch of other cool features too. My thoughts after a hands-on with Fission after the jump.

With more and more people these days producing podcasts, the audio market has exploded. Apps have been popping up all over the place to cash in on “Podcast Phever”, but none of them have had much finesse. One bright spot, however is Rogue Amoeba. Their applications have, in the past, been graceful and easy to use, and Fission is no exception.

Fission provides a much needed competitor to FreeVerse’s Sound Studio 3, which has for a long time totally cornered the market for sound edit editing on a budget. Fission is an impressive rookie: it feels very Mac OS X-like, while Sound Studio is showing its aging Carbon roots.

Bright colors and bold lines dominate Fisson’s simple interface. All the major options are right there on the toolbar, and the menus are short and sweet. Fission does skimp a little on the features — it’s missing things like repeat playback mode, clip selection, and some options for durations on fade-ins and fade-outs, but it’s only a 1.0 app, and seems like it has plenty of room to grow.

So far, I seem to be only heaping the praise on RA and Fission. There is, as always, a bit of a catch: Until you register Fission, the quality of the audio you save is intentionally degraded, killing one of the major bullet points on their feature page — lossless editing. “Paying for software isn’t so bad,” you might say, but here’s the deal: Fission costs $32.

Now, if you already own Audio Hijack Pro, you can score it for only $18, which is a much more reasonable price. To me, at least, it doesn’t seem worth $32. There just aren’t 3,200 pennies worth of features in this app. I know that if I’m going to shell out that many clams, I’d like to get a little bit more. Fission is a great app, but I don’t think it’s a good value… yet.

Fission is a great 1.0 app, and I know that with feedback and hard work, it can continue to improve. However, I would recommend holding off on registering until it gets more features. If you plan on purchasing Audio Hijack Pro, though, Fission is a great buy.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2006 at 6:27 AM and is filed under AppleTalk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


Comment by Kyanr
2006-09-22 17:39:34

pennies huh…why doesnt garage band work just as well?

plus its free…

Comment by Colin
2006-09-22 19:17:23

I don’t think GarageBand does waveform editing like that (i.e. removing sections from a track). I may be wrong, I haven’t used it in ages. Both Fission and Sound Studio 3 certainly have support for things GB doesn’t, though.

Comment by PreciousRoy
2006-09-23 18:18:28

A good alternative to this, although not as easy to use is Audacity at Mac/Windows/Linux versions available and it’ll edit and record just about anything. Plus it’s free as in beer.

Comment by Shunnabunich
2006-09-25 12:19:56

If it doesn’t have beat detection and the ability to measure time in bars/beats and snap to those divisions, it’ll be pretty useless to me unfortunately. I use Audacity on occasion, but it doesn’t have those features either, and the UI is not one of the better ones I’ve seen; if I ever get Windows working again, I’ll have to pretty much stick with Audition.

Comment by Jazz
2006-09-28 12:37:41

GarageBand does have limited waveform editing, in that you can cut and slice imported audio files. It also has the advantage of not altering the original file, so you can continue to tweak exactly where things are sliced/joined as often as you want — something that SoundStudio, at least, could never do. And if you have Apple’s Soundtrack Loop Utility — a little program that shipped with Soundtrack (which was designed to handle audio track editing for Final Cut Pro and was itself the unheralded precursor to GarageBand) — you can use Soundtrack Loop Utility to tack beat-matching and key information onto AIFF files and then import those into GarageBand to play with their speed and pitch independently. It isn’t the easiest way in the world, no, but it’s almost free (assuming you can find a copy of Soundtrack Loop Utility somewhere).

Comment by kyanr
2006-10-04 22:43:52

yah…soundtrack pro is the better of garage band…but you have to buy FCP to get it…the program is awesome if your going to be editting movies full time…and the power is enormous…but its way more bulky than Imovie for say…home video or something…

FCP is all we use at school…on our sweet G4s…so pretty…

FCP also comes with a neat little app that does visual graphics…for get what its called…

Comment by kyanr
2006-10-05 17:16:06

oh yah…its called motion…

Comment by John Joyce
2006-10-15 20:41:53

This is nice, but I like Sound Studio 3 better. but the price / feature ratio works out. Garageband is cool for recording music and mixing it like an old Tascam 4 track or something, but these seemingly simpler audio progs are important. This is where you do different kind of production work. Especially, post-production on audio. Think I’ll stick with Sound Studio for now though, it’s got the features, even though they could roll the Monbots into the app somehow…

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2007-07-03 10:39:16

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