Today, we release “beta 1″ of Übercaster v1.6.5.
This version should take care of some of the crashing issues in Übercaster on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). It should also solve (crashing) issues in connection with Skype recordings.
In addition to that, this version contains a solution for an issue with Skype, where Skype recordings could run out of sync, causing buffer overflows. The main problem is, that Skype (as a completely independent process on the computer) might deliver audio data slightly out of sync to Übercaster’s internal CoreAudio engine. Übercaster tried to be prepared for that with relatively large ring buffers for Skype panels, but unfortunately this wasn’t enough when it came to recording Skype interviews longer than 20-30 minutes. Depending on a lot factors (inside and outside of Übercaster), even a slight (but constant) asynchronism could lead to several issues, including complete breakdown of the panels input signal.
In v1.6.5 beta 1, I try to avoid these problems by a new (experimental) approach in trying to figure out the current buffer states and by resetting the internal buffers if necessary (and before anything bad happens).
I received a lot reports on 2 other crashing bugs lately. Both bugs drove me almost crazy and forced me into some very frustrating bug hunting.
Eventually, after checking (and checking again) Übercaster’s source code without finding anything, I contacted Apple’s Developer Technical Support (DTS) with both issues.
Here’s an excerpt from the response to this DTS request:
There was a related bug that [AudioToolbox] MP4AudioFile::Close crashes writing large files, but it was fixed already since Mac OS X 10.6.3. Please ensure to upgrade to the latest Mac OS X.
The MP4AudioFile::FillGaplessString issue was the problem which caused crashes during AAC export (and probably other “large file” exports).
I double-checked the crash reports and they were indeed all sent from Macs running Mac OS 10.6.1 or 10.6.2.
So, if you’re working with Snow Leopard, please update your Mac to Mac OS X 10.6.3 (or newer)!
The other issue (which also came up with the Mac OS X 10.6.1 update) erratically occurs when playing back audio on the cut layer. Since I couldn’t find any bug in the source code, I also sent a DTS request to Apple on this one.
Apple already confirmed, that the crash is caused by a new function inside CoreAudio, they introduced (undocumented) in Mac OS 10.6. Unfortunately, after checking all possible reasons, Apple mentioned to be a possible reason for causing this new function to crash Übercaster, it’s still unclear what causes the crashes. Right now it doesn’t look like Übercaster is doing something wrong here. So this one is still pending.
Of course, I’ll let you know if I (or Apple) find a solution for the issue!
The downloaded ZIP-archive contains only the application itself. It’s no problem to keep your current version of Übercaster. Just be sure to launch the correct version (which is easy, when launching Übercaster by double-clicking on the application icon, but might be not that easy when launching Übercaster by double-clicking an Übercaster project file). If in doubt, just check the version number in Übercaster’s about dialog.