Review - Snapper from Audio Ease

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Let's say you are about to make the perfect voicemail message but it doesn't include the right background noise to convey exactly how things are in your home . Then suddenly it dawns on you. You need that audio file you had of screaming monkeys. You open a Finder window full of audio files with user friendly names such as xq235.mp3 and realize this is going to take awhile. Apparently someone at Audio Ease also lost the screaming monkeys audio file because their application, Snapper, is perfect to help you out of that pickle.

Snapper is a Finder add-on that pops up a little window below your finder or iTunes window. Whenever you highlight an audio file Snapper lets you preview and manipulate it. In addition to giving you audio previews, Snapper provides you a bunch of data on the file and generates a waveform. The time required to generate the waveform depends on the size of the sound file. For small files it is very quick. For a 128kbps encoded version of Miles Davis' "All Blues" it took about 8 seconds on my MacBook Pro.

Once Snapper has your audio file up you can then very easily crop and convert sections. This is perhaps Snapper's most impressive feature. It is quite intuitive as you begin selecting segments of audio and dragging it into your Finder window. For ProTools users, you can send a clip directly into your ProTools project. After little time you'll become quite conversant with Snapper clipping and converting to your heart's desire. There is something quite satisfying about selecting a portion of a song with your mouse and dragging it out. If you are looking to load up your iPhone with ringtones, this could speed the job up. Snapper's information panel can be customized and provides immediate access to just about any metadata you could ever need. While there are plenty of tools available in Snapper I thought the interface could use some polish.

I couldn't find any sound file on my Mac that Snapper couldn't play. The developer explains Snapper can open over 50 different file types. If you want the Snapper window to attach to your iTunes window you can enable that function in the preferences. I tried it and then turned it off because the wave form generation was slowing me down.

There are a few things Snapper doesn't do. It doesn't organize sound files. It really is made to latch onto a file more than organize it. Also, although you can manipulate the files, it doesn't really act as a sound editor in any traditional sense.

Snapper excels at quick and dirty clips and conversions in Finder organized audio. If you already have audio software on your Mac, there probably isn't anything that Snapper does that you can't already do with your existing software. For me, Snapper's best selling point was its convenience. It was much faster doing quick clips than any of my existing Audio software.

Unfortunately, at a price of $79.95, I think Snapper misses the mark. There is some very robust audio software out there at or around the same price that can do much more than Snapper. I suspect the ProTools integration may be its biggest selling point at its current price. While this is a handy application, I think it would be much more attractive around the $20 price point.

The good news is Audio Ease has a fully functional 100 day demonstration so you can kick the tires for over three months if Snapper sounds interesting to you. You can download it at audioease.com.