No mac is an island. When you get onto the internet, you eventually find files stored in formats you've never heard of. Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing what tool you need to read a mystery download. This is especially true for the many people who like to listen to sound files. Songs, sound effects, old commercials, TV theme songs, and even rude noises can be found in abundance, permeating the Internet in a cacophony of sounds. For those without the right tool to listen to them it can be an ear-shattering silence. Fortunately, Norman Franke has given mac users a single program that handles all your sound needs. It's the well-named SoundApp.
Most of the sounds on the web are in .wav format, thanks to windows. But the number of formats you can find if you really try is staggering. As far as I can tell, SoundApp plays them all. This beauty reads dozens and dozens of formats easily. It's small, ram-friendly, and PowerPC native with 68k support as well. If you ever come upon a sound file SoundApp can't play, you've made quite a find.
SoundApp at work.
Even more useful is SoundApp's ability to convert between nearly all its supported formats. The most common use would be converting a Macintosh sound file to .wav format, but why stop there? To the best of my knowledge, SoundApp is also the only way to make use of .MP3 files on a 68k class Macintosh (only by converting them first, MP3 files are too processor intensive to play directly).
Everything a mere mortal needs in a sound utility, and it's free to boot.
Do yourself a favor and get a copy of SoundApp, then do the author a favor and send him a note of thanks for his hard work (I imagine cash wouldn't be refused either).
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at