For those with hard drives stuffed full with samples, soundware, audio clips, field recordings, and whatnot, the Mac-only AudioFinder has long been a gem. But Mac users are likely all addicted to the preview pane in Finder. What if an application could fully integrate audio extras with the file system?

Audio Ease showed off just such a solution at NAMM in the form of something called Soundabout. That was just a basic demo, though: no one but the developers got their hands on the builds. Now the reigning champion AudioFinder has added Finder integration into a new beta:

Beta 2 is here! [Iced Audio AudioFinder Forums]

I’m not sure how these two apps hit with essentially the same feature at once; I’ll leave that for the developers to say. But AudioFinder’s massive feature list could mean it’s the app to beat. AudioFinder’s various tricks are too numerous to list, but some quick items include:

  1. Browser, bookmarks, searching, grouping, auto renaming, batch processing, batch conversion

  2. Use MIDI input to set pitch for file previews
  3. Trip, loop, fade, beat slice
  4. Compare files using micro-harmonic sound analysis
  5. Audio Unit effect integration, plus built-in DSP and fx
  6. BPM calculators and tap pads, delay calculators, loop BPM detection that automatically renames files with BPM
  7. Automatic CD audio extraction and trimming
  8. Instantly create EXS instruments (hello, Logic and GarageBand fans)

You know what, I’ll just stop before I go on any longer. But the big problem with this has been that you have to load a separate app — now corrected by loading into the Finder directly. And while Soundabout offered Pro Tools integration, you can drag and drop from AudioFinder to any program — ideal for Logic, Live, DP, Peak, and everything else.

The beta is available now; a quick try suggests this app has been really polished and Finder integration should be terrific. But don’t take my word for it: there’s a public link to download. Let us know what you think (and report any bugs to the devs).

We’ll watch for when this gets a final release. Currently, AudioFinder is available in both free and US$69.95 versions.

  • micanada

    this is the essential app for dealing with sound files. beta2 is cool since it lets you use the Finder or integrated browser; interested to see how it ends up out of beta. that Soundabout thingy was a cool demo(video), but this delivered the goods first for sure.

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  • DarkCraft

    Ok then, what's the effective equivalent for PC?

  • cdmr

    Any idea what they are using for copy protection?

    (please please please don't say PACE)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I haven't seen an effective equivalent for PC, or I'd be using it on my Windows box! If anyone has utilities they like, though, I'm glad to hear them.

  • tommy

    AudioFinder still cannot directly edit mp3 files!

  • mike2

    I've looked for a PC solution to this issue. I care mainly about tagging and searching the files, and I found that Windows Desktop Search (and Vista's native search) indexes aiff file metadata, which can be easily edited using the built-in Summary page of the file's properties dialog. And crucially, WDS supports dragging and dropping into other apps, which Google Destop Search and Yahoo Desktop Search do not do.

    I didn't want to convert all my files to aiff, so I ended up writing a WDS plugin for WAV metadata, which works, but its not really ready for prime-time. A bigger problem is that there is that very few apps support reading and writing WAV metadata. dbPowerAmp Powerpack does it, but is shareware and costs $28. I'd prefer a free/open source solution, but that's a whole lot better than $70! Yikes. Those prices make me want to go break into BT's studio and steal all his stuff!