Want to share audio between applications easily on an Intel Mac? Now you can. JACK OS X, the superb open-source solution for routing audio between applications and computers on Mac OS X, is now a Universal binary for Intel/PowerPC Macs with today’s release of version 0.73. That means if you’re running an Intel Mac, you can now easily route audio between your Intel-native copies of software like Ableton Live (released last week) and Apple Logic Pro (shipped last month).
Updated: The creator of JACK writes us to note that inter-app MIDI is bound for an upcoming release. (See comments.)
In fact, JACK has beaten the competing commercial technology, ReWire, to market; ReWire is evidently not yet available for Intel Macs (though it’s coming soon). ReWire, of course, does many things JACK can’t, like inter-application MIDI routing, transport sync, and what basically amounts to zero-configuration operation (run the host, run the client, and you’re done). But JACK has various tricks of its own: it works with all Mac audio applications instead of just a few, allows for flexible routing scenarios not possible with ReWire, and can even route audio between computers over a network. (Personally, I think there’s no reason not to use both ReWire and JACK on the Mac, especially since JACK is free. But if you’re waiting for ReWire, here’s a hint: use Mac OS X’s built-in inter-application MIDI for MIDI data, activated in Audio MIDI Setup, and JACK for audio.)
PowerPC users, of course, will want this as well (more minor updates, but if you don’t have JACK, you need this on your Mac), and the “original” JACK is also a must-have if you’re running Linux. (On Linux, JACK does offer transport sync; again, see comments.)
Congrats to the JACK OS X team for getting this out there so quickly!