Take Control of Audio Hijack – Book Review

Take Control of Audio Hijack
Author: Kirk McElhearn

Publisher : TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Version 1.0
Price: $10.00
119 pages, ebook format


In addition to writing for MyMac.com, I record a podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, with Suzé Gilbert and Vicki Stokes, also MyMac writers. When we were preparing for launch, I put out feelers on social media about what I should use for recording the podcast. Most responses were Audio Hijack Pro. I got a copy and hit the ground running.

It’s been three years for the podcast and I still use Audio Hijack Pro. I know I’m not using it to its full potential, as I have no audio background, and AHP has a bit of a learning curve. Recently, Rogue Amoeba released an upgrade to AHP, simply called Audio Hijack. Much easier to use, but still some hidden features that make the application that much more powerful. To help me learn about these features, I turned to Kirk McElhearn’s comprehensive book, Take Control of Audio Hijack.

Take Control of Audio Hijack was written in collaboration with Rogue Amoeba, which makes the book even more accurate and detailed. I learned things about Audio Hijack (AH) I never knew were possible: ducking sound with multiple sources, increasing the volume of system sound, and time shifting audio, just for starters. If your Mac is capable of recording, AH can do it. Take Control of Audio Hijack tells you how.

McElhearn starts the book by bringing readers through a tour of AH, setting up a recording session, and explaining the meaning of each tab and why you would or wouldn’t use it. Next, he has you make a recording. I find this is the best way to learn. As I was reading Take Control of Audio Hijack I had AH open on my Macbook Pro and followed along.

Once readers have the basics, Take Control of Audio Hijack goes on to discuss various ways of capturing and enhancing audio.

Do you still have a collection of LPs and 45s? I do: hundreds of them! One of my goals is to convert a good portion of them to digital. McElhearn gives step by step instructions on how to achieve that goal, and what equipment you’ll need based on your setup.

Watching a movie on your Mac but can’t hear it very well? Or maybe you’re listening to a streaming concert and there’s too much noise around you, even when listening through headphones. AH has an increase volume feature that will let you boost the volume up to 4X, which is four times the volume level. Or you may want to adjust the bass or treble on a recording. You can record a Skype conversation. Take Control of Audio Hijack has you covered.

If you need to edit your audio files, Take Control of Audio Hijack has a chapter on how to use Fission, Rogue Amoeba’s editing software.

McElhearn closes Take Control of Audio Hijack by defining various audio formats, and why you would use each one.

Like all Take Control books, Take Control of Audio Hijack has plenty of screenshots to accompany the text. The writing style is witty and easy to read, yet doesn’t talk down to the reader. AH novices and experts alike will find this book filled with “that’s so cool!” and “wow, I didn’t know it could do that!” moments.

Audio Hijack does more than simply record audio. If you have Audio Hijack, or have been thinking about buying it, Take Control of Audio Hijack is a must have companion resource. It’s $10 very well spent.

MyMac.com Review Rating: 9 out of 10

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