Spotlight: Andreas Pehnack

Who are the people behind the technology that we love so much? We know the products, the websites, the online personalities but we want to learn more! 

Every week here at, we will spotlight a company, developer or person that supports Apple users by creating solutions or entertainment for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and other platforms we all use and love by asking them to answer seven questions.

This week, we turn our attention to Andreas Pehnack, Creator of Synalyze It

1 – How did you get your start in technology?

Part of the credits go to my father who worked as an electrical engineer and always had TV sets or other things to repair. But I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in understanding how things work and and could be improved. Probably it was the Commodore C64 which paved the way to my computing future since it showed me what a universal tool computers can be and the artistic and creative parts in programming.

2 – What is your favorite computer of all time?

It’s always the latest Mac I buy, currently a MacBook Pro from 2015. But chances are good that it will be replaced with one from 2016…

3 – Tell us about your latest product / Website

Back in 2009, immediately after WWDC in San Francisco I started to design and implement the application I was missing and which I couldn’t find on any platform. Since I worked in my job a lot on different print data streams like PDF and others I thought some software is needed that is able to decode not only one file format but more or less any file format. Of course there are hex editors available since decades however you need to be an expert to dissect binary files with them.

This led to the basic idea of Synalyze It: It allows you to create an abstract description of file formats like ZIP, QuickTime, MP3 or maybe something a programmer defined for his own software. Once you created that “grammar” the application decodes files for you automatically. And for the non-experts there are dozens of grammars available for free.

Sample use cases are repairing broken audio recordings, digital forensics or checking meta data of MP3 files.

4 – What was your first job?

As far as I remember I carried out newspapers but my first real job was as a C programmer and software architect.

5 – What advice would you give to younger people just getting into technology?

Learn the timeless principles like to avoid redundancy, measure first before optimizing…

… and don’t be afraid to learn new technology, be it a new programming language, operating system or whatever. Even experts feel the frustration and insecurity when diving into something new. They just don’t let it stop themselves.

6 – Who was your inspiration?

There were many people worth mentioning, but to name a few: Viktor Frankl or Nelson Mandela by never giving up and being forgiving, Steve Jobs by trusting his intuition, my grandfather by questioning everything, … write me if you want some more 🙂

7 – Where can people follow you online, and what is your website?


Twitter: @synalysis (business) / @pi314159 (personal)


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