TweetFollow Us on Twitter

December 94 - Make Your Own Sound Components

Make Your Own Sound Components

Kip Olson

Sound Manager 3.0, Apple's current audio software release, has an extensible architecture based on sound components that makes it easy for developers to add support for third-party audio hardware and any compressed audio format. Inside Macintosh: Sound gives the theory of how to do this; this article illustrates how to implement the theory, with examples of a sound output component and a sound decompression component.

Since its release as a system extension in June 1993, Sound Manager 3.0 has offered developers the possibility of obtaining high-quality digital audio output from the Macintosh using third-party audio hardware and any compressed audio format. Sound Manager 3.0 is now built into all shipping Macintosh computers and is fully integrated into System 7.5. QuickTime 2.0 also takes advantage of new Sound Manager features to provide an even higher level of audio support for multimedia applications. "Somewhere in QuickTime: What's New With Sound Manager 3.0" in develop Issue 16 gives a brief sketch of Sound Manager 3.0 and the new vistas it open.

The Sound Manager architecture and the sound component programming interface are described in detail in Inside Macintosh: Sound. What you won't find there is an illustration of how Sound Manager features are implemented in practice. This article fills that gap by offering two examples of sound components. On this issue's CD you'll find NoiseMaker, a sound output component, and MewLaw, a sound decompression component. After briefly describing how Sound Manager 3.0 works, I'll explain how to make a sound output component and a sound decompression component, with reference to these examples.

HOW SOUND MANAGER 3.0 WORKS

Sound Manager 3.0 uses an architecture based on sound components to process audio samples for playback. A sound component is a software module that performs a specific task, usually some kind of audio processing like decompression, rate conversion, sample format conversion, or mixing. Sound components use the Component Manager for registration, loading, and execution.

Figure 1 diagrams a typical sound playback scenario and the sound components that are used. Basically, the sequence is as follows: When an application wants to produce a sound, it calls the Sound Manager to open a sound channel and play the sound. In response the Sound Manager creates a chain of sound components for this channel, where each component performs a specific operation on the audio data. The Sound Manager passes the audio data to the first component in the chain, which can be a decompression component if the data is compressed, a format conversion component if the sample size needs to be changed, or a rate conversion component if the sample rate needs to be adjusted. These components can be applied in series to completely process the audio data into the required format. The mixer component then sums all these audio streams together and provides a single audio source for the sound output component, which uses hardware to convert it to an audible sound.


Figure 1. A typical playback scenario

The sound output component (sometimes called the sound output device component or the output device component) is a software module that identifies, controls, and plays audio samples on some audio hardware device. This device can be a plug-in audio board, a telecommunications pod, or just about anything else that can play sound. Apple provides a sound output component for the built-in audio hardware on every Macintosh except the Macintosh Plus, SE, and Classic machines.

All the sound output components installed on a Macintosh have icons displayed in the Sound control panel that ships with Sound Manager 3.0. The user selects which sound output component to play sounds with by clicking an icon. Figure 2 shows a situation where two sound output components are available: the standard built-in Macintosh sound output component and our example sound output component, NoiseMaker.

Figure 2. The Sound control panel

When the Sound Manager wants to play a sound, it opens the selected sound output component and sends it commands to start playing the sound. The component is closed when sound playback is completed. The sound output component is responsible for opening a mixer component, which handles the complicated work of allocating chains of sound components and processing the audio data. Our example sound output component, NoiseMaker, shows how this works.

Apple provides sound components for mixing, rate conversion, sample format conversion, and decompression. In addition, sound components can be defined to expand compressed audio from any other format into a format that can be used by other components and played by the hardware. Our example decompression component, MewLaw, illustrates this.

MAKING A SOUND OUTPUT COMPONENT

Now I'll explain how to make your own sound output component, using NoiseMaker as an example. NoiseMaker doesn't actually control an audio hardware device but rather plays sounds using normal Sound Manager routines. It can be installed on any Macintosh running Sound Manager 3.0 and is meant to be used as a template to manage your own audio hardware.

Here's how NoiseMaker works: The NoiseMaker component is loaded at system startup if the Register method called at that time indicates that the corresponding hardware is available. When the Sound Manager plays a sound using NoiseMaker, it first calls the Open method to open the component, followed by a call to the InitOutputDevice method to have NoiseMaker do any hardware initializations and open a mixer component. It then calls the PlaySourceBuffer method to start the sound playing. When the sound has finished playing, the Sound Manager calls the Close method to have NoiseMaker release the audio hardware and dispose of any memory it created.

I'll refer to NoiseMaker as I describe how to register a sound output component, the structure of a sound output component, the dispatcher, and the methods and interrupt routine that must be implemented.

REGISTRATION AND LOADING

In order for a sound component to be recognized by the Sound Manager, it must be registered with the Component Manager. This is most easily done by creating a file of type 'thng' containing a 'thng' resource that describes your sound component. When you place this file in the Extensions folder, the Component Manager will automatically load the sound component every time the Macintosh starts up. Listing 1 is a 'thng' resource describing our example sound output component.

Listing 1. The 'thng' resource for NoiseMaker

#define cmpWantsRegisterMessage   (1 << 31)
#define componentDoAutoVersion    (1 << 0)
#define kNoiseMakerVersion        0x00010000
#define kNoiseMakerComponentID    128

resource 'thng' (kNoiseMakerComponentID, purgeable) {
   'sdev',                             // sound output component type
   'NOIS',                             // subtype of this component
   'appl',                             // manufacturer
   cmpWantsRegisterMessage, 0,         // component flags
   'proc', kNoiseMakerComponentID,     // code resource
   'STR ', kNoiseMakerComponentID,     // component name
   'STR ', kNoiseMakerComponentID+1,   // component description
   'ICON', kNoiseMakerComponentID,     // component icon
   kNoiseMakerVersion,                 // component version
   componentDoAutoVersion,             // registration flags
   0, 0                                // icon family ID, platform
};
    For full details on the 'thng' resource, see the Component Manager documentation in Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox.*
The component type and subtype in the 'thng' resource identify the component so that the Sound Manager can find it. The subtype must be unique for each hardware device connected and must contain at least one uppercase character (Apple has dibs on all-lowercase types); it's usually advisable to use an application creator type that has been registered with Apple's Developer Support Center to avoid conflicts with other companies. Similarly, the manufacturer name should identify your company and must contain at least one uppercase character; in our example, Apple is the manufacturer so we can get away with using all lowercase letters.

Setting the cmpWantsRegisterMessage bit in the component flags causes the Component Manager to call the sound component with the Register method during the startup process so that the component can determine whether its hardware is available (more on this later). The code resource is the resource type and ID of the code that implements your component. The component description is a string that describes the function of the component to the user. The component name and component icon are used in the Sound control panel, as shown in Figure 2.

The component version and the registration flags are used by the Component Manager during loading to determine whether this component should replace an existing one. If the componentDoAutoVersion bit is set in the registration flags, the Component Manager will install this component only if the version given here is greater than for any other existing component.

The icon family ID and platform fields aren't used by our component.

THE COMPONENT'S STRUCTURE

Sound output components use the standard format required by the Component Manager. The main entry point is a dispatcher, which uses a selector to call the appropriate subroutines (methods). The standard Component Manager methods must be supported, along with a number of additional methods defined for sound output components. The sound output component also contains an interrupt routine that functions as its heartbeat.

Sound output components can create globals that are passed to each method. In addition, there can be one set of global variables that the Component Manager maintains even when the sound output component is closed, which is useful for storing state information. (More about this later when I describe the InitOutputDevice method.)

THE DISPATCHER

The first routine in the component is the dispatcher, which uses a given selector to call the appropriate method. Selectors used by the dispatcher have three ranges, described in Table 1.

A number of methods are defined for sound components that don't need to be implemented by every type of sound component. For example, the method SoundComponentAddSource is used only by mixer components and shouldn't be implemented by sound output components. When a component receives a selector that it doesn't support but that can be delegated, it should delegate that selector to its source component and let that component take care of it.

Listing 2 is the dispatcher from our example sound output component. This dispatcher calls an internal utility routine called GetComponentRoutine that returns the address of the routine to call based on the selector. If the sound output component doesn't implement a method, it returns kDelegateComponentCall (-1) as the routine address, which is a flag that this method should be delegated. If the routine returns nil, this is a nondelegatable selector not supported by this component, and an error should be returned. Otherwise, this is a valid method address and the method should be called.

Listing 2. The dispatcher from NoiseMaker

#define kDelegateComponentCall   -1

pascal ComponentResult NoiseMaker(ComponentParameters *params,
                                    GlobalsPtr globals)
{
   ComponentRoutine   theRtn;
   ComponentResult      result;

   // Get address of component routine.
   theRtn = GetComponentRoutine(params->what);

   if (theRtn == nil)
      // Selector isn't implemented.
      result = badComponentSelector;
   else if (theRtn == kDelegateComponentCall)
      // Selector should be delegated.
      result = DelegateComponentCall(params,
         globals->sourceComponent);
   else
      // Call appropriate method.
      result = CallComponentFunctionWithStorage((Handle) globals,
                     params, (ComponentFunctionUPP) theRtn);
   return (result);
}

STANDARD COMPONENT MANAGER METHODS

The Component Manager requires that every sound component implement five standard methods, as listed in Table 2. I'll describe each of these methods here; look at the NoiseMaker code to see them in practice.

The Open method is the first method called when a component is opened. This method must create the component globals and store them with the Component Manager, which will then pass these globals to all subsequent methods. While this sounds fairly simple to implement, there are a number of nuances that frequently escape the attention of component writers and wreak havoc; read "Pitfalls of the Open Method" and be forewarned!


    PITFALLS OF THE OPEN METHOD

    Implementing the Open method can be straightforward if you watch out for some common pitfalls. Most important, do not access or even look for your hardware in the Open method! There is a separate method (InitOutputDevice) for initializing hardware. The Open method should only allocate instance globals and return. There are two reasons for this:

    • If you access hardware in the Open method that isn't available, you might crash or make bad assumptions. The possibility that you might try to access hardware that isn't available is a real one because the Component Manager calls the Open method before it calls the method that checks to see whether your hardware is installed (the Register method).

    • Sometimes the component is opened when sound is already playing, to get status information like sample rates and sizes. For instance, the Sound control panel does this to display hardware settings to the user. Resetting or changing hardware in any way during this kind of Open component operation would obviously be disruptive to the sound.

    Another tricky interaction with the Component Manager comes into play when you're trying to decide where to create the component globals. Because the sound output component is shared by all applications that are playing sound, the Component Manager will attempt to load the component in the system heap. In this case, your component should create its globals in the system heap as well, so you aren't dependent on any application heaps.

    However, if the Component Manager can't find enough space in the system heap to load the component, it will load it in the application heap. In this case, you'll want to create your globals in the application heap as well.

    The Component Manager gives you a way to determine where you should create your globals. The call GetComponentInstanceA5 returns the A5 world for the component. If it returns 0, the component was loaded in the system heap and the globals should go there as well; otherwise, the component is in the application heap and the globals should also be created there. The NoiseMaker code shows how this works. The Close method is called to release all memory allocated and all hardware set up by the component. If the Open method fails for some reason and returns an error, the Component Manager calls the Close method. This means the Close method must always check to see if there are valid globals before using or disposing of them. The Close method also must not access the hardware unless the InitOutputDevice method has been called, for the same reasons described in "Pitfalls of the Open Method."


The CanDo method is used to determine whether a selector is implemented by this component. In our example code, the CanDo method calls the internal utility routine GetComponentRoutine to determine whether a selector is implemented.

The Version method returns the version of the component, specified as a fixed-point number. If you're using the auto-version feature of the 'thng' resource, this version must agree with the one specified there.

If the cmpWantsRegisterMessage bit is set in the component flags of the 'thng' resource, the Register method is called by the Component Manager at startup time so that you can see if your hardware is installed and determine whether your component should be loaded. Typically, the Register method should just try to find your hardware. If it's successful, it should return 0; if not, it should return 1, in which case the component won't be registered and won't show up in the Sound control panel. Note that the Open method is always called before the Register method.

OUTPUT COMPONENT METHODS

In addition to the standard Component Manager methods just described, the sound output component must support the methods listed in Table 3. Again, I'll describe these methods here and leave it up to you to take a look at how they're implemented in the NoiseMaker code.

The InitOutputDevice method is called by the Sound Manager after it opens the component to set up the hardware. This method should initialize the output hardware to a known state and then set the hardware to the default settings stored in the component's permanent globals. "Managing Sound Component Preferences" describes an easy way to manage permanent globals.

MANAGING SOUND COMPONENT PREFERENCES

Sound Manager 3.0 provides an easy way to save and recall preferences for your sound component. It maintains a file called Sound Preferences in the Preferences folder and provides two routines to manage this file: SetSoundPreference and GetSoundPreference.

pascal OSErr SetSoundPreference(OSType type,
   Str255 name, Handle settings);
The SetSoundPreference routine saves a handle of data in the Sound Preferences file tagged with the OSType

and name you provide. Typically, the name and type will be the same as your sound component's.

pascal OSErr GetSoundPreference(OSType type, 
   Str255 name, Handle settings);
The GetSoundPreference routine retrieves a handle from the Sound Preferences file based on the OSType and name provided. Typically, the name and type will be the same as your sound component's, and you'll store the handle in the refCon of your component, as shown below.
OSErr GetPreferences(ComponentInstance self, Handle prefsHandle)
{
   Handle                     componentName;
   ComponentDescription      componentDesc;
   OSErr                     err;

   componentName = NewHandle(0);   // Space for name
   if (componentName == nil)
      return (MemError());

   // Get name and subtype of sound component.
   err = GetComponentInfo(self, &componentDesc, componentName,
      nil, nil);
   if (err != noErr)
      return (err);

    // Get preferences for this component from file.
   HLock(componentName);
   err = GetSoundPreference(componentDesc.componentSubType,
      *componentName, prefsHandle);
   DisposeHandle(componentName);

   // Keep preferences in component's refCon.
   if (err == noErr)
      SetComponentRefcon(self, (long) prefsHandle);
   return (err);
}
The InitOutputDevice method must also open a sound mixer component that will be its source for all further sound operations. The mixer does all the hard work of maintaining separate chains of sound components and calling back to the Sound Manager to get more data, while mixing down all the sounds into the single stream of audio data required by your sound output component. Your component simply has to specify the type of sound it needs in the SoundComponentData structure, and the mixer will take care of the rest.

Listing 3 shows how NoiseMaker opens a mixer that will produce a 16-bit, stereo, 44.1 kHz sample stream. For 8-bit data, the format field must be kOffsetBinary, while for 16-bit data, the format must be kTwosComplement. The sampleRate field contains an unsigned fixed-point sampling rate in samples per second. The sampleSize and numChannels fields specify sample size and the mono/stereo setting. The sampleCount field specifies the size of the mixer's output buffer in samples. Every time it's called, the mixer returns a buffer of this size that can then be copied directly to the hardware buffers.

Listing 3. NoiseMaker's InitOutputDevice method

pascal ComponentResult __InitOutputDevice(GlobalsPtr globals,
                                                long actions)
{
#pragma unused (actions)

   ComponentResult   result;
   PreferencesPtr   prefsPtr;

   // Open the mixer and tell it the type of data it should produce.
   // The description includes sample format, sample rate, sample
   // size, number of channels, and the size of your optimal
   // interrupt buffer. If a mixer can't be found that will produce
   // this type of data, an error is returned.

   // Get settings from preferences.
   prefsPtr = *globals->prefsHandle;

   // Set to hardware defaults.
   globals->hwSettings.flags = 0;
   globals->hwSettings.format = (prefsPtr->sampleSize == 8) ?
      kOffsetBinary : kTwosComplement;
   globals->hwSettings.sampleRate = prefsPtr->sampleRate;
   globals->hwSettings.sampleSize = prefsPtr->sampleSize;
   globals->hwSettings.numChannels = prefsPtr->numChannels;
   globals->hwSettings.sampleCount = kInterruptBufferSamples * 2;

   // Open mixer that will produce this format.
   result = OpenMixerSoundComponent(&globals->hwSettings, 0, 
                  &globals->sourceComponent);
   if (result != noErr)
      return (result);

   // Set the hardware to these settings.
   result = SetupHardware(globals);
   if (result == noErr) {
      // Hardware is ready to go.
      globals->hwInitialized = true;
      // Lock prefs so that we can use them at interrupt time.
      HLock((Handle) globals->prefsHandle);
   }

   return (result);
}
The GetInfo method returns information about the hardware settings. The information returned is based on a four-character selector and is different for each selector; see Inside Macintosh: Sound for the details. The SetInfo method changes hardware settings. All sound output components must support the GetInfo and SetInfo selectors listed in Table 4. All other selectors must be delegated to the mixer component.

The PlaySourceBuffer method is used to begin playing a sound. This method has to first delegate the call to the mixer to start it playing the sound and then make sure the hardware is turned on before returning, by checking the kSourcePaused bit in the actions parameter.

Similarly, the StartSource method is used to begin playing a sound that has previously been paused. In this case, the mixer isn't returning any data for this sound, and the sound output component may have turned off the hardware if no other sounds were playing. Like PlaySourceBuffer, this method has to first delegate the call to the mixer to start it playing the sound again and then make sure the hardware is turned on before returning.

THE INTERRUPT ROUTINE

The interrupt routine is the heartbeat of a sound output component. It's called whenever the audio hardware needs to play another buffer of audio data. It's entirely defined by the component, so it doesn't have a selector or a programming interface. Still, all interrupt routines share the same common features.

First, the interrupt routine should check to see whether any requests have been made to change the hardware settings as a result of the SetInfo method. If so, the hardware should be reset to the new settings. It's important to do this at interrupt time so that the mixer can be synchronized to the new settings without a glitch in the sound.

Second, the interrupt routine must make sure the mixer has provided a load of data. It does this by checking the state of the SoundComponentData structure last returned by the mixer and asking the mixer for more data if needed with the GetSourceData method, described in the next section. Remember, the mixer always returns a buffer of the same size, so it's a simple matter to copy the data to the hardware in fixed sizes. The only exception occurs at the end of the sound, when it might not fill up an entire mixer buffer. In this case, you should copy only as much data as the mixer returned.

Finally, if the mixer has no more data, all sounds have completed playing and the interrupt routine can turn off the hardware.


MAKING A SOUND DECOMPRESSION COMPONENT

Sound components can also be defined to expand compressed audio into a form that can be used by other components and played by the available hardware. The Sound Manager tells a decompression component what format it should use for the data it produces so that when a sound is played it will decompress to the correct sample size, sample format, and number of channels. Our example sound decompression component, MewLaw, decompresses audio data encoded in u-law format.

When your sound decompression component is installed, the Sound Manager will be able to automatically play sounds compressed in your format, so most applications will be able to play your compressed sounds without any modification. To determine which decompressor to call, the Sound Manager matches the compression format types stored in AIFF files and 'snd ' resources (described in detail in Inside Macintosh: Sound) against the subtype you specify in the 'thng' resource.

The structure of a decompression component is similar to that of a sound output component, with a few exceptions and some additional methods, described in the following sections.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE OUTPUT COMPONENT MODEL

Because there is no hardware associated with a decompression component, no initialization is needed beyond the Open call, and only one selector has to be implemented for the GetInfo method. The 'thng' resource should have 'sdec' for a type and your compression OSType for a subtype. The component flags must also be set to describe your format, as documented in Inside Macintosh: Sound. The flags should specify the data formats supported by your component in terms of the sample sizes, sample formats, and number of channels that your component can handle.

In the case of a sound decompression component, the GetInfo method returns information about your compression algorithm. Your component needs to support only the siCompressionFactor selector. The infoPtr parameter passed in will point to a CompressionInfo data structure, which must be filled out with information describing your compression algorithm. On entry, the format field of the CompressionInfo record will contain the OSType of the compression format. The fields that you must fill out are as follows:

Just like in the output component, the PlaySourceBuffer method is called when the Sound Manager needs to play a new sound. In the case of a sound decompression component, though, your routine should clear out any pointers to the source data that you're keeping. It should not reset your compression state variables, as this new buffer is probably a continuation of a previous sound. Be sure to delegate this call to your source component (the component immediately preceding yours in the chain) before you return.

ADDITIONAL METHODS

Besides the methods supported by the sound output component, the sound decompression component must support the methods listed in Table 5. MewLaw demonstrates the use of these methods.

The SetSource method is used by the Sound Manager to tell your component who to call to get more data. The source field should be stored for later use; then the SetOutput method should be called on this source to tell it the type of input needed by the decompressor.

The SetOutput method is used by the Sound Manager to tell your component what kind of output to produce. A SoundComponentData record is passed in specifying the output the Sound Manager is requesting. If your component can't produce data using this format, it should set the actual field to the kind of output it can produce and return paramErr. The Sound Manager will then try to convert your output to the format it needs.

The GetSourceData method does the work of getting compressed data from the source, decompressing the data into an internal buffer, and returning this buffer to the component that called it. A couple of subtle features must be supported:

  • If the source returns data that's already in the required output format, no decompression needs to take place, and the source data pointer should be passed back.

  • If the source buffer is nil, that means that the Sound Manager is requesting that the mixer produce silence for this channel, and your component should just pass the data pointer through.
If neither of these is the case, there is valid compressed source data that your routine should decompress. First you have to decide whether the sound is playing in reverse (that is, backward). Many applications (such as QuickTime applications) need to play sounds backward. The Sound Manager supports this by setting a bit in the flags field of the SoundComponentData record telling the components to play the sound backward. Decompression can't go backward, but the decompression component can decompress chunks of the sound starting at the end of the source buffer and working toward the beginning. (Because the internal buffer is typically fairly small, decompression components often need to decompress source data in chunks.) It passes these decompressed chunks to the format conversion component, which takes care of actually reversing the samples. The example code on the CD shows how this is done.

Once you've determined the right source data to decompress, you simply call your decompression routine, update the information in your SoundComponentData record, and return a pointer to this record.

The StopSource method is called when the Sound Manager needs to stop a sound from playing. Your routine should clear out any pointers to the source data and reset all compression state information. Be sure to delegate this call to your source component before you return.


PLAY ON

With Sound Manager 3.0 so widely available, you'll want to take advantage of the support it offers for third-party audio hardware and for the full range of compressed audio formats by making your own sound components. Look to Inside Macintosh: Sound for the technical details of how to proceed, and examine the code for NoiseMaker and MewLaw to see examples of how it's done. Then start making some noises of your own!


    REFERENCES

    • Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox (Addison-Wesley, 1993), Chapter 6, "Component Manager."

    • Inside Macintosh: Sound (Addison-Wesley, 1994), Chapter 5, "Sound Components."

    • "Somewhere in QuickTime: What's New With Sound Manager 3.0" by Jim Reekes, develop Issue 16.

KIP OLSON received a watch for Christmas last year that records vertical feet skied. To test it out, he had to abandon his post working on QuickTime at Apple while he went on a two-month ski odyssey with his shredder-pal KON. When they weren't arguing about unfair scoring on the Puzzle Page, they managed to rack up 537,460 vertical feet in 340 runs over 28 days, a feat akin to skiing down Mt. Everest 18 times.

Thanks to our technical reviewers Bob Aron, Ray Chiang, and Jim Reekes.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

EtreCheck Pro 6.0.2 - For troubleshootin...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
BitTorrent 7.4.3 - Official client of th...
BitTorrent is a protocol for distributing files. It identifies content by URL and is designed to integrate seamlessly with the web. Its advantage over plain HTTP is that when multiple downloads of... Read more
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 13.1.3 - Digi...
Premiere Pro CC 2019 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $52.99/month. The price on display is a price for annual by-monthly plan for Adobe Premiere Pro only Adobe Premiere... Read more
ffWorks 1.3.1 - Convert multimedia files...
ffWorks, focused on simplicity, brings a fresh approach to the use of FFmpeg, allowing you to create ultra-high-quality movies without the need to write a single line of code on the command-line.... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.134 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom)... Read more
TextMate 2.0.rc.28 - Code/markup editor...
TextMate is a versatile plain text editor with a unique and innovative feature set which caused it to win an Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Developer Tool in August 2006 A rapidly growing... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.132 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom)... Read more
calibre 3.45.2 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
calibre 3.45.2 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.132 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom)... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

TEPPEN guide - Tips and tricks for new p...
TEPPEN is a wild game that nobody asked for, but I’m sure glad it exists. Who would’ve thought that a CCG featuring Capcom characters could be so cool and weird? In case you’re not completely sure what TEPPEN is, make sure to check out our review... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World guide - Other games that...
We now live in a post-Dr. Mario World world, and I gotta say, things don’t feel too different. Nintendo continues to squirt out bad games on phones, causing all but the most stalwart fans of mobile games to question why they even bother... | Read more »
Strategy RPG Brown Dust introduces its b...
Epic turn-based RPG Brown Dust is set to turn 500 days old next week, and to celebrate, Neowiz has just unveiled its biggest and most exciting update yet, offering a host of new rewards, increased gacha rates, and a brand new feature that will... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World is yet another disappoin...
As soon as I booted up Dr. Mario World, I knew I wasn’t going to have fun with it. Nintendo’s record on phones thus far has been pretty spotty, with things trending downward as of late. [Read more] | Read more »
Retro Space Shooter P.3 is now available...
Shoot-em-ups tend to be a dime a dozen on the App Store, but every so often you come across one gem that aims to shake up the genre in a unique way. Developer Devjgame’s P.3 is the latest game seeking to do so this, working as a love letter to the... | Read more »
Void Tyrant guide - Guildins guide
I’ve still been putting a lot of time into Void Tyrant since it officially released last week, and it’s surprising how much stuff there is to uncover in such a simple-looking game. Just toray, I finished spending my Guildins on all available... | Read more »
Tactical RPG Brown Dust celebrates the s...
Neowiz is set to celebrate the summer by launching a 2-month long festival in its smash-hit RPG Brown Dust. The event kicks off today, and it’s divided into 4 parts, each of which will last two weeks. Brown Dust is all about collecting, upgrading,... | Read more »
Flappy Royale is an incredibly clever ta...
I spent the better part of my weekend playing Flappy Royale. I didn’t necessarily want to. I just felt like I had to. It’s a hypnotic experience that’s way too easy to just keep playing. | Read more »
Void Tyrant guide - General tips and tri...
Void Tyrant is a card-based dungeon-crawler that doesn’t fit in the mold of other games in the genre. Between the Blackjack-style combat and strange gear system alone, you’re left to your own devices to figure out how best to use everything to your... | Read more »
Webzen’s latest RPG First Hero is offici...
You might be busy sending your hulking Dark Knight into the midst of battle in Webzen’s other recent release: the long-anticipated MU Origin 2. But for something a little different, the South Korean publisher has launched First Hero. Released today... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Price drop! Clearance 12″ 1.2GHz Silver MacBo...
Amazon has dropped their price on the recently-discontinued 12″ 1.2GHz Silver MacBook to $849.99 shipped. That’s $450 off Apple’s original MSRP for this model, and it’s the cheapest price available... Read more
Apple’s 21″ 3.0GHz 4K iMac drops to only $936...
Abt Electronics has dropped their price on clearance, previous-generation 21″ 3.0GHz 4K iMacs to only $936 shipped. That’s $363 off Apple’s original MSRP, and it’s the cheapest price we’ve seen so... Read more
Amazon’s Prime Day savings on Apple 11″ iPad...
Amazon has new 2018 Apple 11″ iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $250 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their Prime Day sale (but Prime membership is NOT required for these savings). These are... Read more
Prime Day Apple iPhone deal: $100 off all iPh...
Boost Mobile is offering Apple’s new 2018 iPhone Xr, iPhone Xs, and Xs Max for $100 off MSRP. Their discount reduces the cost of an Xs to $899 for the 64GB models and $999 for the 64GB Xs Max. Price... Read more
Clearance 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core MacBook Pros a...
Focus Camera has clearance 2017 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB non-Touch Bar Dual-Core MacBook Pros on sale for $169 off Apple’s original MSRP. Shipping is free. Focus charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents... Read more
Amazon Prime Day deal: 9.7″ Apple iPads for $...
Amazon is offering new 9.7″ WiFi iPads with Apple Pencil support for $80-$100 off MSRP as part of their Prime Day sale, starting at only $249. These are the same iPads found in Apple’s retail and... Read more
Amazon Prime Day deal: 10% (up to $20) off Ap...
Amazon is offering discounts on new 2019 Apple AirPods ranging up to $20 (10%) off MSRP as part of their Prime Day sales. Shipping is free: – AirPods with Charging Case: $144.99 $15 off MSRP –... Read more
Amazon Prime Day deal: $50-$80 off Apple Watc...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 3 models on sale for $50-$80 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their Prime Day deals with prices starting at only $199. Choose Amazon as the seller rather than a... Read more
Amazon Prime Day deal: 50% discount on Apple...
Amazon has Apple Smart Keyboards for current-generation 10″ iPad Airs and previous-generation 10″ iPad Pros on sale today for $79.50 shipped as part of their early Prime Day deals. That’s a 50%... Read more
Abt drops prices on clearance 2018 MacBook Ai...
Abt Electronics has dropped prices on clearance 2018 13″ MacBook Airs by $201 with models now available starting at only $998. Shipping is free: – 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (Space Gray, Silver, or... Read more

Jobs Board

Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**710003BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000171-Winchester Road-Store **Job Description:** Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**709786BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000430-Orange Park-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**709918BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 000106-Palmdale-Store Read more
*Apple* Systems Architect/Engineer, Vice Pre...
…its vision to be the world's most trusted financial group. **Summary:** Apple Systems Architect/Engineer with strong knowledge of products and services related to Read more
*Apple* Device Support - Kelly Services (Uni...
…including iPads, iPhones, iPods etc. You will be supporting and troubleshooting all Apple mobile devices in a corporate environment. If you are interested please Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.